A grunt sounded from Hiccup's mouth as he pulled a large basket of meat onto his back. After their mid-day lunch, he, Astrid and Toothless decided to get some more hunting done to add to the village rations. Hiccup wore one basket on his back while Astrid took another on hers. There were two more basket with hand weaved over the top for Toothless to hold onto. After making sure they were all secure and sturdy enough to make the trip back, Hiccup climb onto Toothless with Astrid following. "Alright...everyone ready?" He asked and after getting his answer, Toothless took the to air, hovering low enough to grab the packs of meat on the ground before flying off back to Berk.
Toothless ascended higher and higher until they would see the whole island below them. Usually, when it was just Toothless and Hiccup, they always just took the direct route. But since Astrid with them, Hiccup always took the scenic route. One of her favorite parts about flying was the incredible view that came with it. She loved looking down at the village, looking down at the large island and even out at the endless sea that touched the horizon. It always reminded them both of their first flight together when she had caught Hiccup sneaking off to see Toothless. Of course, thanks to a certain midnight color dragon, the experience was at first terrifying...but now she couldn't get enough of the wind blowing through her hair.
Even Toothless had fun on these flights. He loved twisting and turning, he and Hiccup always in great sync. Of course, he would have his own little joke to play where he'd sometimes make steep dives out of no where, or do spins in the air. Just to keep them on their toes.
Laughing, they made one more circle around the forest before deciding to head back to the Village. "Heheheheh! Astrid, I think you enjoy flying more than Toothless and I!" Hiccup commented as they began to pass the forest and around the mountain said. "Well what can I say? Flying is great, but you and Toothless make it so much more fun...especially this little trickster!" She reached down, scratching the back of Toothless' head before putting her hands back on Hiccup's shoulders.
A big smile spread across Hiccup's face as he leaned the left with Toothless, heading around the mountain face. However, his smile soon faded when he saw something approaching on the water. "...what the....Toothless, hold up a second, bud!"
Glancing back, Toothless stopped his flight path, hovering in the air for a moment. He looked down as well and growled at what all three of them were looking at: a boat.
Seeing the boat, Toothless was wary, thinking that this was another outcast attack, the two teens on his back already having the same thoughts. "A boat..is it an Outcast ship?" Astrid ask, caution in her voice. Hiccup shook his head as he changed the gears on Toothless' tail fin, making them lower to a near by ledge on the mountain side. Hiccup was thankful there was a bit of a fog today. On a clear day, Toothless stuck out like a sore thumb against the snow covered rocks.
Hiccup focused his eyes, looking around the sea for any signs of an attack. But he saw none...there was just the one ship. "....I don't think that's an Outcast ship....they always attack at night and try to hide around the cliff sides....plus it's just the one....hold on a sec...." Hiccup leaned forward, while at the same time gently stroking Toothless neck to try and calm him, and tried to focus better on the boat. It was a viking ship, that was for sure. But the sails...they were familiar. Those were Hooligan colors on the sails. But the designs were old, before they became friends with the dragons.
"That's....that's one of our ships....but why would someones still hold our old "Dragon Killer" designs?" Astrid mentioned. Hiccup was quiet for a moment as he continue to watch the ship getting closer to Berk. Where had he seen those designs before...?
"...Let's head back...Dad's probably seen the ship coming already; he probably knows something." Nodding, Astrid held on tight, knowing their flight was about to get a lot faster.
As Hiccup said, Stoick and some of the other Viking's near the docks had spotted the ship from a distance. Making his way half way down the Dock's wooden paths, he had a hammer in hand, ready for anything. He didn't know what kind of trick this was, but he wasn't going to fall for it. "Stand by, men...!" He warned as the ship got closer and closer until finally it was right at the docks.
The ship was large, large enough that a full grown viking would have to lift his hand over his hand to just touch the rim. It was an old boat but upon closer inspection, Stoick realized it was one of their old explorer boats. The kinds they used to go back and forth between islands and haul heavy items.
Suddenly, the creaking of wood sounded as a figure climb over the edge of the boat and landed on the docks. Much to the surprise of the Vikings, it was a woman who jumped of the boat.
She was definitely a viking, evident by her thick but very curvy figure. She her skin was slightly tanned, and she had long, flowing dark red hair that reached to her fit waist. She wore a dark violet leather vest with a silver scale plate kilt around her waist. Under that were dark brown leggings tucked into a pair of white fur boots. Atop her head was a standard Viking helmet with horns and she wore an iron breast plate that looked like it was just made. On her back was a snow leopard pelt to keep her warm against the cold of the north island. And lastly, over that was her wooden shield and in her hand was a large iron spear. She only took two steps down the docks when she saw the group of vikings looking at her.
A look of astonishment and happiness befell Stoick's face as both their eyes met for a brief moment. A smile spread across her face, as she stepped closer.
"...V...Valhallarama.....you're alive....?" Stoick asked in shock as the woman broke into a run. "Stoick!!"
"Valhalla!!" He dropped his hammer, both of them meeting halfway into an embrace of pure love and happiness. The other vikings behind him couldn't believe what they were seeing! Valhallarama the Sturdy, is what they all called her, the wife of Chief Stoick, who was said to be long dead for the past 5 years...alive before their very eyes!
"Oh, Stoick! It's so good to see you!!" She spoke before pulling back to give her husband a kiss. Stoick couldn't begin to explain how much joy he hand in his heart. He never felt this happy before since he saw Toothless had saved Hiccup's life after their great battle. "Valhalla!! My angel...I..we all thought you were dead!! Where have you been all these years?!" He asked, taking his wife's waist into his strong grip and lifting her into the air with ease.
"Stoick, you won't believe where I've been! I got lost in a storm a-and wound up in a far country and....ha...it's a long story, believe me!"
Landing on the ground with Astrid and Toothless, Hiccup set down the pack of meat down and ran toward the docks with Astrid and Toothless behind him. Moving down the pathways, he saw a large group of Vikings making their way up toward the village...all wearing happy faces?
"Uhh....did we miss something?" Astrid asked as Hiccup looked for his father in the crowd. "Dad? What's going on?" At the sound of his question, the crowd parted...revealing Stoick and Valhalla talking in toe with them. Valhalla looked up the path and a bright smile appeared on her face at the sight of son. "Hiccup! Is that you?!"
That voice...that wonderful voice, that beautiful smile, that long red hair...he knew who this woman was. The sight of her brought tears to Hiccup's eyes as he ran full sprint toward her. "MOM!?! Mom you're alive!!"
Valhallarama also felt the sting of tears behind her eyes as she ran to her son, pulling him clear off the ground as soon as she embraced him. "Hiccup! My boy!! My gorgeous boy!!" Tears of joy rolled down their face as she loosened her grip just enough to plant kisses all over his face. "Oh, Hiccup!! Look at you! You're all grown up!! And...you're so small...!"
Chuckles and laughs sounded off as Hiccup wiped away his tears, a smile still plastered over his face. "Gee, mom, I don't see you for 5 years and that's the first thing you say? Heheh..." Valhalla laughed along with Hiccup as she set him down to look at him. "Oh Hiccup...you're just as handsome as your father! You even sound like him when he was your age and what happened to your LEG!?!" Her sights falling onto Hiccup's left leg, she was instantly filled with shock and concern. "Oh..yeah...that's...kinda of a long story, Mom. A REALLY long story...b-but don't worry, it doesn't even hurt anymore!" He said, balancing on the fake metal leg as proof to her.
Stoick smiled as Valhalla still looked worried, putting his arm around her shoulders as all three of them made their way back up the pier. "Well...I guess it does makes you look more Vikingish, eh? Hahahahah! So lemme guess, you got that killing your first dragon, didn't you?" A smile on her face, Hiccup and Stoick got nervous as they realized...she didn't know. Of course she wouldn't she had been away for several years!
"Oh....ah...a-about that Valhalla, see....ALOT has changed since you've been back home and--" A shocked gasp from Valhalla left her lips as they made their way to the top of the pier..and she laid her eyes on Toothless. "DRAGON!! Hiccup get back!!" She said, pulling her son behind her and charging for Toothless.
"NO, MOM WAIT!!!"
Stoick and Hiccup ran after her as she continued her charge, spear and shield in hand ready to cut the Night Fury's heart out. Hearing the battle cry, Toothless turned to see someone charging for him. Just by look and smell, he knew he didn't know this person. In his mind, he instantly thought: Enemy!
Baring his teeth, he roar right back and charged for her as well! They were both about to collide in a fight but luckily for both, Stoick made it to Valhallarama in time to put his arms around her waist and pulled her out of the way of Toothless' charge, the dragon instead wound up tackling Hiccup in stead.
"Stoick, let me go, he's going to kill Hiccup!!!" Still raring for a fight, Stoick had a firm grasp on her as Hiccup got up and in front of Toothless, wanting to be rid of this aggressive stranger near his human. Thankfully, between Stoick holding Valhalla and Hiccup staying in front of Toothless, they couldn't get near each other.
"Valhalla, calm down!! Calm down, he's not dangerous!! He was just protecting him!" Stoick wouldn't let go of his wife until she listened to him, Hiccup doing the same with Toothless, who was still snarling at the woman. "Wh-What?! What are you talking about?! That beast nearly attack me!!" She said, breaking loose of Stoick's hold and demanding an explanation from him; not taking her eyes off Toothless however. But Stoick just shook his head, stepping in front of her. "Valhalla, listen to me! The war is OVER. The dragon's aren't our enemy, they're our friends and allies now! And they live here, on Berk, with US now!"
Confusion was all over her face as she glared at Toothless, the Dragon growling right back her. Hearing what Stoick said, she shook her head and looked at her husband. "What on earth are you talking...about...?"
Stepping aside, Stoick let her see the numerous dragons that were walking about the village. And the vikings were walking with them! Acting as if this were an everyday thing?! She even saw a few kids hugging Gronckles, people riding their Nadders and Monstrous Nightmares. She stop in mid step however, as a group of Terrible Terrors ran past her, one of them with a boot in ones mouth, with a Viking man running behind them, trying to get his foot wear back.
Valhallarama could only stare in shock as Stoick put his hand on her shoulder. "See? They're our friends now.....so..what do you think?" He asked, as she continue to stand there, frozen like a statue. Finally snapping out of her shocked state, she turned toward her son and husband. "I think someone needs to explain to me what in Odin's name is going on!"
With the bad "meeting" over with, and the initial shock dwindling, Stoick and Hiccup got Valhallarama back to their home to explain what had transpired two years ago. Toothless, of course, was waiting outside, still brooding over the strange woman that tried to attack him. Although Toothless was acting on instinct, he was smart enough to know that this woman was probably not a threat, seeing as she was in his humans home.
Valhallarama sat at the dinner table, listening to Stoick and Hiccup's story. The night he shot down a Night Fury and became friends instead of killing him. How he fixed his tail fin, learned more about dragons and how they weren't as evil as they thought they were. Of course, the most shocking part of this story was the part where Hiccup and Toothless destroyed the Dragon Queen, which led to the union of the Dragons and Vikings on Berk. Hiccup had even told her about the Bone Knapper incident with Gobber and his friends and even about that years Snoggletog where all the Dragons flew off to have their eggs. And lastly, Stoick explained to her himself about the war between the Outcast's and Berk.
Once again, a look of shock was plastered on Valhalla's face. Stoick and Hiccup were a bit nervous about how she would take all of this information. Last time she was home, killing Dragons was the norm. Now it was all about flying with dragons.
Shaking her head slightly, Valhallarama took her helmet off to rub her head. "I...I-I don't know how to....take all of this....so...you're saying that these beasts--....dragons...aren't dangerous? Regardless of the hundreds of us they've killed?"
Hiccup, sitting next to his mother, took her hand into his and shook his head. "Mom, it wasn't that easy. That huge dragon we fought, the Red Death...it was controlling all of the other dragons. If they didn't raid us, it would've eaten them all one by one. It had some kind of...evil...hold on them or something. Now that it's dead, they live with us! We're friends now!"
Valhallarama shook her head, still unsure as Stoick now came to sit by her. "It's true, Valhalla. Almost every Viking in Berk has a dragon of their own that they befriended and ride, all thanks to Hiccup! Even I have one of my own: a Monstrous Nightmare!"
Her eyes grew as wide as saucers when she heard the kind of Dragon her husband was riding. "A Nightmare?! You're kidding me, right?" Seeing that he wasn't kidding, she looked over to Hiccup then glanced outside, catching the sight of Toothless peering into the house through the window. "And what about that Black devil of yours? He tried to kill me at the docks!"
"He was just acting on instinct, Mom. He's never met you before so he when you charged at him, he thought you were attacking us like the Outcast Vikings. He did the same thing to Astrid and dad when they first met him. They charge and Toothless was just trying to protect me. He's really not that bad mom! He's nice and he's really smart! You wanna meet him?" Hiccup asked, optimism in his voice. Valhalla had her doubts. She didn't like the notion of her son "being friends" with something roughly 5 times his size and 20 times his weight. Especially something that would kill him with a single bite!
However, seeing that it meant a lot to Hiccup, she sighed giving him a curt nod. "Okay...stay right there...I'll go get him!" Hiccup made his way to the door and was instantly met with Toothless' tongue on his face. "Aw! Eww!! Toothless...ugh.." Wiping the dragon drool from his face, he patted Toothless' neck as he led him into the house. Even though she agreed to this, Valhalla was still wary about the large beast so close to her only child, her hand resting on a large knife that was on the table.
Seeing her hand going for the knife, Toothless bared his teeth again, growling at him. When he noticed this, Hiccup looked at his mom while keeping his hand on Toothless' head. "I thought you said he was friendly...he looks ready to kill me!" She said, picking up the knife, making Toothless growl louder.
"That's because he can sense you wanna kill him, mom. Just...put down the knife and come here....trust me, he won't hurt you!" He explained before turning to Toothless as she slowly put the knife down. The dragon still didn't like this woman and Hiccup knew it was because of earlier. That and because he didn't know her. Toothless already met everyone else on Berk so strangers were not a good thing to him. Hiccup put his hands on Toothless' neck, rubbing his black scales gently as he spoke to him. "Toothless...Toothless....this is Valhallarama...this is my MOM....my Mother....understand?"
Hearing the words "mother", Toothless stopped his growling, his gaze growing slightly softer. He looked at Hiccup, then at Stoick then finally at Valhalla. Taking a carefully step closer, but staying out of her arms length, Toothless sniffed the air around the woman. It was feint but Toothless could smell it. Her scent was just like Hiccup's to an extent. It was unique, but it definitely reminded him of Hiccup. Or rather, Hiccup's scent had stemmed from hers. He looked at the woman, his green eyes studying her features and finally her face. She looked just like Hiccup..
Putting the pieces together in his head, Toothless back up again, this time his head down low and his ears flat against his head as made his way behind Hiccup, still looking at Valhallarama. Hiccup gave Toothless a sympathetic smile, rubbing his head as the dragon made sounds that sounded like a cross between purrs and whines.
Stoick chuckled at Toothless' behavior as he stood up and put his hand on his wife's shoulder. "Hahahah! You see that, Valhalla? He's sorry about attacking you. He was just doing what you were doing: trying to protect Hiccup! Right son?"
Hiccup, still rubbing and scratching Toothless, smiled and nodded. "Yeah, he's sorry.....here...." Hiccup walked up to his mother, gently taking her hand and pulling her toward Toothless. Toothless made sure to be nice this time, not growling or showing his teeth, merely sitting there; ears up and eyes wide. Seeing him sit there like that, and if it weren't for the fact that she was still nervous about a dragon being there in her house...she might've thought he looked a bit...cute.
"Here mom...I'm gonna show you that Toothless is just one big pushover when you get to know him.." Maneuvering his mother over to Toothless' left side. "Now...put your hands right there...." Valhalla didn't like this too much, evident by the apprehensive look on her face, but she swallowed her dislike and let her son move her hands to a spot on Toothless' back.
"Good..." Hiccup, making sure her hands stayed there, he backed up and smiled. "..Now start scratching!"
"....what?" A great deal of confusion playing across her face. But Hiccup kept his smile on. "Just what I said; scratch him!"
Valhallarama gave her son another looked before looking at the dragon. His green eyes were focused intently on her, as if he were waiting for something. A deep sigh leaving her lungs, she curled her fingers and started scratching that spot on his back. Almost instantly, Toothless started purring, nudging toward Valhalla. With surprise and interest, he scratches got more a bit more vigorous as Toothless purred more, arching his back into her hand and toward her body, wanting more and more scratches.
Hiccup and Stoick watched in amusement as Valhallarama really got into the scratching, moving up and down the dragons spine at high speed. Toothless groaned and purred at every stroke, his head starting to lean toward her. A paw lifting from the ground, his eyes closed and his tongue hung out of his mouth as he just basked in hod good this felt! The sight of Toothless like this, all of Valhalla's aggression toward the Night Fury seemed to dissipate, even laughing at the dragon's antics at just being scratched. "Hahahahah! Unbelievable! All this over a little scratching!" She said, getting a bit more daring and moving to scratch around his neck...and there it was. Toothless' "sweet spot"...just one scratch there and Toothless became limp as a noodle collapsing onto the ground before making a huff of pleasure and enjoyment.
All three of them stood there laughing and smiling as Valhallarama shook her head in amusement and disbelief. "Hahaha...wow....a-alright...I'll admit, that WAS pretty funny!" She said as Hiccup walked over to his dragon, that had rolled onto his side ready for the next part. Hiccup found that Toothless liked a good belly rub after being scratched like that, so that what got to doing just now. "See, I told you mom! He's just a giant teddy bear once you get to know him! Isn't that right, bud?" Hiccup smiled, rubbing Toothless' belly and receiving groans and purrs of gratitude.
Valhalla's smile shrank slightly as she watched Hiccup and Toothless together, going over to sit next to her husband. "Alright...granted, Hiccup's dragon is...alright....but what about the others...? How do you know they're not dangerous as well? How much do you really know about these things?"
Stoick and Hiccup's smiles disappeared as Valhalla still seemed to be struggling with the whole "dragons being nice" notion. And Hiccup couldn't blame her. A lot of the other vikings back then felt the same thing (not including the Outcast's that is). Their whole lives revolved around killing the beasts that had killed many a viking before them. Even after learning about the Red Death situation, they were still wary of all the dragons around them. There were mishaps, accidents and fights. But eventually, they came over their fear and anger toward them. Some faster...or slower than others.
Stoick took his wife's hands into his, a smile on his face. "Don't worry...I'm sure you'll get used to the idea...a lot of peoples struggled with it at first but they got used to it too. I was skeptical at first. A few years ago, I would've done the same and wanted nothing more than to kill the beasts but Hiccup showed me and everyone else otherwise..."
As Valhalla and Stoick talked, Hiccup sat on the floor, slowly rubbing Toothless' tummy and chest. The black dragon rolled over to lay on his stomach, Hiccup's hand going to gently scratch his back again. Hiccup could see his mother wasn't going to warm up to the dragon anytime soon. And it worried him; he didn't want his mother to make a wrong move with a dragon and get hurt, making her hate them even more. He looked at Toothless, hoping to find some answer in his dragons eyes. And Toothless seemed to know it as he lowered his head to nudge under Hiccup's chin. With a huff, he motioned his head over to a book on another near by table. It was a copy of the new "Dragon Manual" that Hiccup had written.
Hiccup smiled at the book before giving Toothless a look as if to say 'you're a genius'.
"Well, mom if you're still worried, you can come to the Dragon Training classes with me tomorrow!" He spoke up, getting their attention.
Valhalla looked at her son as he stood up and grabbed the book from the other table, a big smile on his face. "You...you're teaching Dragon Training classes?" Of course this would come to a surprise to Valhalla, knowing how small and physically weak Hiccup was.
"Well, it's not just me teaching the classes. Astrid, Gobber and the guys also train other parts of the class. Ah, but the point is, I think after coming to my class tomorrow, you'll think differently about the dragons!"
Valhallarama sighed, shaking her head as she looked at the book. "I-I don't know about this--"
"Come on...it'll be fun! I promise!"
"You might even get a dragon of your own!" Stoick added, helping his son to convince his wife. Looking between her sons hopeful face and her husbands confident one, she sighed and shrugged her shoulders. "Alright..."
"Hahahahah! Excellent! Now, in the mean time...we've got a party to get to, eh? The whole village is going to celebrate you're safe return!" Stoick and Valhala stood up from their seat, making their way outside as Hiccup smiled at them. Hiccup couldn't begin to describe how happy he felt that his mother was back home, alive and well! Toothless, sensing how happy his human was, gave him a nudge and happy lick to his face, making Hiccup laugh. "Hahahah! Thanks Toothless! Come on, let's get to that party, huh?"