The battle was raging all around me. The sounds of dragons roaring and men screaming in pain as they were set alight by their fire echoed in my ears. I made Spitfire dive steeply, right towards one of Drago’s trebuchets.
“Acid, now!” I yelled. Spitfire obeyed, spitting the corrosive green substance on the contraption. The wood sizzled and crackled as it melted away in mere seconds, destroying the war machine. I pulled on the reins and Spitfire pulled up, using the momentum from the dive to rise up now. We ascended and as I turned to look at the larger battlefield again, I heard a loud, horrible howl. I turned to look at the two Bewilderbeasts, and saw ours had lost; Drago’s alpha had overpowered and killed it.
“Oh no…” escaped my half open mouth as I watched the victorious dragon turn towards the battlefield and roar at an ear piercing volume. Its enormous tusks were covered and dripping with the blood of the other alpha that now lay motionless beside the beast.
Most of the dragons that didn’t have a rider were now under its control, and Spitfire too was having a hard time not dropping me down and flying over to join her new king. I decided to fly closer to the ground, just in case.
Then the giant dragon turned towards Valka and Cloudjumper. It inhaled, then breathed out solid ice that stuck to the ground in giant blue icicles. Valka managed to avoid being frozen but Cloudjumper’s tail was partially caught in it and was now stuck inside a block of ice. And as everyone knows, dragons can’t fly properly without their tails.
I saw Stoick abandon his fight against Drago and fly after his wife on Skullcrusher. He would make it, easily. I didn’t have to worry about her. Instead I turned my attention to the fleet of ships besieging the island. At the very least I’d sink a few of those damned tubs before they could retreat. I flew closer to them, always staying near ground or water in case Spitfire would drop me.
When I was close enough to one of the ships I let Spitfire give it everything she had. She sprayed acid on the hull of the ship and it started to disintegrate beautifully. The ship took in heaps of water and not long after keeled over, dropping its crew into the embrace of the dark and icy sea in splashes.
I headed to the next ship. When I was close enough, I jumped off of Spitfire’s back and onto the deck of the ship. “Vanish!” I yelled. Spitfire turned invisible and hid somewhere on the deck. Due to their thin skin Changewings aren’t that great at withstanding blows, so it was better for me to let her regenerate her acid shots in relative safety before trying to make her fight.
I extended the blades on my gauntlet, holding my hand back and ready to strike the first hunter stupid enough to come close. I quickly scanned the deck. There were at least six men up here, likely more below.
One hunter approached me with running steps, holding his glinting steel axe tightly in hand. He swung at me and I dodged to my left, then counterattacked with my gauntlet, piercing his fur coat with ease. The blades cut deep, and escorted by a scream of shock and pain he fell to the ground holding his hand over his wounds in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
His comrades ignored his pleas for help, instead focusing on killing me. They started to surround me, learning from the first one’s mistake and not attacking me one by one. It may be that this wasn’t exactly the best idea in Midgard…
I backed up, dodging and parrying their attacks as they came, and when I saw an opportunity I took it. I hit one in the chest when his guard was down as he looked back at his wounded friend. Maybe not exactly an honorable thing to do, but they served a dishonorable man. And I was backed to a corner, so there was that. Either way, he fell to the floor and I dived through the opening, then rolled on my feet and ran away from the other hunters who now turned to chase me.
A crossbow bolt flew right past my ear, so close I could feel and even hear the shockwaves in the air left behind by it as it passed. I looked up at the direction the bolt came from and saw a man who was now reloading his crossbow standing near the helm of the ship. He was my new target. No way I could ever fight off four hunters in close combat if there was someone shooting at me.
I ran up the stairs, but unfortunately the archer had already reloaded his crossbow and was now aiming it at me. No possible way I could dodge a bolt shot from this distance, and the other hunters were also running towards the stairs. Was I to die here? This was a really stupid idea…
Then out of nowhere I heard a Monstrous Nightmare roar. We all looked up, all of the hunters and I. And for once in my life, I was happy to see Snotlout. He dived past me with Hookfang, scorching the four hunters chasing me. They screamed and howled, jumping off of the deck and into the icy sea in the hopes of alleviating the burning.
“You owe me one!” Snotlout yelled as he flew away from the ship. I grinned, and using the archer’s surprise and shock to my advantage I jumped him, cutting through his coat and stabbing him in the chest. It sounded like he tried to say something but whatever it was, it was lost in his panicked mumbling. I stood up and whistled. Spitfire turned visible on the lower deck, then flapped her wings and flew up to my side. I jumped on her back, then flew around the ship letting her spray acid on the hull again. I watched as the ship started to tilt on its side, then decided to fly towards the island again to regroup with the other riders.
I was just past the shoreline when I heard someone yell “FIRE!” behind me. I turned my head to look and saw a net flying right towards me. I managed to dodge it, but just barely. Unfortunately when making an evasion like that on such a short notice there isn’t any time to look at where you are evading to. And so I flew and smacked face first into a Gronckle that was under the influence of Drago’s alpha.
I fell from Spitfire’s back and came tumbling down to the ground. Luckily I wasn’t very high up. I would be sore and have a few extra bruises come tomorrow, but I didn’t break any bones. Spitfire landed next to me but soon after took to the air again. And I noticed why as I looked up and saw the giant Bewilderbeast stare very intently at something below the icy platform I was lying on. My ears were still ringing from the impact with the ironhided Gronckle, but I could distinguish Hiccup’s worried and somewhat distraught voice say, “Toothless, come on. What’s the matter with you?”
I tried to push myself up from the ground and on my feet but vertigo pulled me back down. I heard Hiccup speak again, “No no no no, come on! Knock it off! STOP! Snap out of it!”
I lifted my head to look at the giant dragon again. “Toothless, no! Toothless!” I heard Hiccup say again. I realized his voice was coming from where the dragon was staring. Putting two and two together, I understood what was happening; Drago had ordered the alpha to make Toothless kill Hiccup. A quick burst of panic and worry surged through me, enough to pull myself together and stand up. I saw Stoick running towards the platform. He yelled Hiccup’s name as he approached. But he wouldn’t make it in time, he was too far away.
I started running as well, towards the edge of the platform. As Hiccup yelled “STOP!”, I felt everything around me slow down. I reached the edge and jumped. I managed to aim my jump rather well all things considered as I landed right on Hiccup’s back. He fell on his stomach, face planting the snow. I had just about half a heartbeat to look up before there was a great blaze of purple right in front of me. My feet left the ground and I flew backwards through the air. I heard Stoick yell something, but it was overwhelmed by the loud snap I heard right before everything went black.
Then everything turned white for a moment and I was standing right where I had pushed Hiccup. I saw Toothless panting with small whiffs of smoke drifting upwards from the corners of his mouth. Precisely the same signs he shows every time after he has shot a fully loaded plasma blast.
“No… By the gods no! Baird!” I heard Hiccup’s voice yell from somewhere on my right hand side. I turned to look at him and said, “No no, I’m completely fi–” He ignored me and and ran right through me. I was left gasping in disbelief by the occurrence. I turned around, saying, “What in the name of all that’s holy was tha-” Again I was interrupted, not by anyone else, but by myself.
I was looking at my own corpse, lying on its back and staring aimlessly into the distance with a pitch black and smoking hole in its chest. Hiccup hurried over to it, clearing away pieces of ice that had fallen on me. He said something, but it was so quiet I couldn’t hear. Stoick came barrelling over. He landed on his knees and the way he looked at my body… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone that sad before. He reached over to my face and closed my eyes. Only then did I notice the crooked angle my head was in. The impact with the wall of ice had probably broken my neck.
The Bewilderbeast turned away, its job done. This made Toothless able to break free of its control. The other riders landed next to him. Astrid was the first one of them to dismount and see me. She hurried over, laying her hand on Hiccup’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. Valka and Gobber walked over too, with Gobber taking off his helmet out of respect and looking at his best friend who was pressing his chin against his chest, refusing to look at anything but my body.
Toothless strolled to my corpse too. I was angry at the damned lizard, it was the one that killed me. But then again, it wasn’t Toothless. Not really. I know Toothless would never harm me on purpose. He tried to snuffle the hand of my body, but suddenly Hiccup bursted out, “No! Get away from him!” and pushed the dragon away from the body. Toothless seemed scared, sad and remorseful all at the same time. That didn’t stop Hiccup, “Go on! Get outta here! Get away!” Toothless gave him a miserable look, then ran away.
“It’s not his fault. You know that.” Valka said and hugged her son who breathed out in sorrow and disbelief. “Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things,” she said in a tone I found oddly comforting. Gods, I missed my mother now. More than when she died, even.
The Bewilderbeast roared again at a horrifying volume, and all the last dragons there were around flew towards him and started swarming around him. I watched as even our dragons flew away. Stormfly, Hookfang, Barf and Belch and Meatlug, all abandoned their riders on the ground as they flew over to serve their new king. I might very well have been mistaken, but I thought I saw Spitfire too flying around the alpha. Toothless tried to fly over as well, but without a rider operating his artificial tail he’d never get up from the ground. Drago saw this too and used his harpoon staff to pull Toothless to the ground, then pinned him by the neck with it as he stepped onto his back and sat on the saddle.
“Gather the men! Then meet me at Berk!” he yelled at some of his lieutenants as he flew away on Toothless’ back. Hiccup sprung on his feet when he saw this and tried to charge forward, yelling Toothless’ name. Valka grabbed him however, saying, “No, don’t!” All Hiccup was able to do was look distraughtly as his dragon was being ridden away by a madman.
“I’ll… go gather some wood.” Gobber said and started to walk the other way. Stoick lifted my limp form from the ground and carried it away as everyone followed Gobber and I was left alone standing there, still trying to come to terms with the fact that I was dead.
“The gods have a twisted bloody sense of humor,” I grumbled. “For the first time in my MISERABLE FUCKING LIFE I WAS HAPPY!! And then not a half an hour later I’m a rotting corpse!”
“Don’t blame the gods for something you decided to do yourself.” I heard a female voice say. I was so startled and surprised by someone answering me that I jumped a foot off the ground with my heart pounding, or if whatever I was now had a heart anyway. I turned to look at where the voice came from and saw a woman in full brass plate armor in front of me. She had long ashen colored hair that flowed unbound in the soft ocean breeze and blue eyes, but not the same cool ice blue as Astrid’s. Instead they were deeper, darker shade of blue. Almost like she had sapphires for eyes. She had a very ornate sword tied to her hip and wings consisting of the purest, cleanest white feathers I had ever seen.
“You’re a…” I mumbled, “A Valkyrie, aren’t you?” She nodded. “I’m here to see that you are sent on to your final journey, and then I shall guide you through it to Valhalla.”
I didn’t say anything. Instead I started walking towards the place the other riders had gathered. “Over here then…” I said to the Valkyrie and waved towards the direction I was heading in.
They had gathered a pyre a lot more swiftly than I’d have anticipated. They had found a small boat and piled firewood on it, then put me on the pile and covered me with a piece of the sail they’d cut off. They pushed the boat to the sea and climbed on a platform higher up, a perfect place to shoot the arrows. I climbed to the platform too with the Valkyrie right behind me. We were right in time to hear Gobber saying his prayers for me.
“May the Valkyries welcome you, and lead you through Odin’s great battlefield.” The Valkyrie stood behind me and laid her hand on my shoulder, assuring me that she intended to do just that. Gobber grabbed a bow and arrows as he continued, “May they sing your name with love and fury, so that we may hear it rise from the depths of Valhalla, and know that you’ve taken your rightful place at the table of heroes.” The Valkyrie squeezed my shoulder, but it did little to affect my mood. Gobber walked over to Hiccup and handed him a bow, then continued, “For a great man has fallen, a warrior, a minstrel,”
Hiccup continued, “A brother,”
“A son,” Stoick added. This was the first time I heard him talk since I fell. And I almost wished I hadn’t, for the way the words stuck in his throat as he did his best not to let the tears welling up in his eyes fall down his cheeks hurt. It was all just so unfair.
“A friend,” I heard Astrid whisper, finishing the prayer.
Stoick took in a deep breath, held it in for a moment, then exhaled as he held the arrow in the fire they’d set up. He knocked the arrow, drew the bow and loosened, letting the projectile fly in an orange arc, hitting the boat afterwards and setting it alight.
Now it was everyone else’s turn. They too held their arrows in the fire, then loosened them, raining fire on the boat that was to be my final resting place.
Hiccup took a few steps forward. “I’m sorry, brother,” he said. Astrid sighed in sympathy behind him.
I looked at the other riders. Fishlegs sniffled and threw his bow to the ground. Ruff and Tuff looked at each other quickly, after which Ruffnut took a step forward and bit her fist to make sure she didn’t start crying. I felt a wind of regret rush through me. I really should have at least tried it with her, seen where things would go when I had the chance. Now I’d never know.
I looked at Snotlout too, just in time to see him unsuccessfully wipe an escaped tear away, instead smearing it all over his cheek.
Hiccup continued his little speech, “I wasn’t the brother you deserved,” he said. That cut me deep. I wanted to tell him that meeting him was the best bloody thing that ever happened to me. That I’d have been a worthless street rat from the ass end of Scandinavia forever if it wasn’t for him. But there was no point. He wasn’t going to hear me.
He continued “And I wasn’t the peacekeeper I thought I was. And… And that cost you your life…” I wanted to just curl into a ball and cry. There was no way I could ever rest peacefully if I knew he kept blaming himself for this.
“I… I don’t know…” He said quietly. Stoick walked up from behind him and laid a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t go blaming yerself fer this, son.” He pressed his head down. “If anyone is to blame here, it’s Drago.”
Astrid too voiced her thoughts, “And we’ll avenge Baird tenfold.”
Hiccup took a few steps forward, letting Stoick’s hand fall off of his shoulder. Then he started talking, “When I first met Baird, he was twitchy. He didn’t trust anybody. And who could blame him? He had to raise himself up from when he was seven, his father betrayed him, he went through multiple counts of torture… He didn’t have a very ideal childhood, is what I’m trying to say.
“You can say that again…” I mumbled.
“But once you got to know him, and once you’d earned his trust, he was the most loyal friend one could ever ask for.” Hiccup continued, “And I’ll never forget his music. No matter how bad a day one had, he could always make it better playing this pipe of his.”
Only now did I notice that he was clutching the halves of my flute in his hand. So they didn’t burn it with me? Did he take it as a memento, perhaps?
He turned around, looking Stoick in the eye, then said, “A chief protects his own. We’re going back.”
Tuffnut turned to look at him and with a bit sceptical tone asked, “Uh, with what?”
“He took all the dragons,” Ruffnut added to her brother’s statement.
“Not all of them,” Hiccup replied with a bit of a smug grin, “Follow me.”
So the lot of them started to head back inside the ice cave. I was starting to follow them, but then the Valkyrie who had been silent all this time grabbed my arm. “It’s time for us to go,” she said, her voice deep yet graceful. “Odin awaits.”
I looked into the cave and saw the last of the riders disappear around the corner. With a deep sigh I replied, “Yes… Not fit to keep a god waiting…”
The Valkyrie nodded, then grabbed both of my arms and lifted me into the air. It seemed as if the sky opened up, the same way fabric might tear when it’s pulled from both ends with enough force. From this tear shone almost blinding golden light. We flew straight towards it, and as we passed through, I silently bid my last farewell to Midgard.
Based on How to Train Your Dragon 2, specifically the scenes from 1:07:00 to 1:17:40
Supposed to be the ending(?) chapter of a larger fanfic saga that I’m working on, but a scene from a movie was asked, and this was the only one I had in some way planned out.