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Rated: ASR · Draft · Fanfiction · #2189178
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Gobber hung up the final hammer and locked up the forge for the night. The Mead hall was his next stop—he needed some dinner and a drink to settle the coal dust in his throat. With what he’d been seeing with Stoick and Hiccup lately, Gobber needed to think.

Stoick had changed recently, and only Gobber noticed it. The two of them had been friends for decades, and nothing got past his eye concerning the large man. Berk saw Stoick as the Chief, but Gobber knew the man too well to accept the change in his behavior, change that involved Hiccup. Gobber had been Stoick’s friend too long to let anything slip past his eye now.

Gobber took another swallow of mead. Stoick had struggled with raising Hiccup alone. Losing Valka to a dragon when Hiccup was tiny broke something inside him, and Gobber knew that his friend would never remarry. No one could replace Valka, even if Hiccup needed a mother. Stoick was determined to raise his son, his one remaining bit of Valka, to be a man she’d be proud of. Having Hiccup for a son was the one thing that carried the chief of Berk through the worst of his grief. He could hold Hiccup, speak with him, and comfort him in his loss. But Stoick carried on, swallowing his pain before others, knowing no one possessed the ability to ease his anguish. Only Valka, gone for three years, could do that.

Gobber stared at the tapestry on the wall, not really seeing the image of a Viking defeating a Monstrous Nightmare. Gobber had listened to his friend fret about Hiccup for years now, beginning with Valka’s death and the choices Stoick had been forced to make. Hiccup was too small to clamber the hills of Berk, or board fishing vessels, but Stoick regretted the necessary separation between Hiccup and himself. Stoick had fretted and Gobber had encouraged him as much as possible. But for over a year the fretting had become frustration. All he could do most days was let Stoick vent.

As far as Gobber knew, if your last name was Haddock, you possessed legendary stubbornness and unshakeable certainty. Stoick certainly did, and had passed these traits on to Hiccup. So you had a stubborn man who was out of his depth as a father contending with a stubborn son who was, well...Hiccup. Hiccup, who outwardly was nothing like his father and inwardly as thick-skulled and single minded as the man raising him. Hiccup, who unswervingly tried to do the right thing, only to have it go wrong. Then he got up and made another attempt that resulted in a different mistake.

Gods, this was ugly. Hiccup was the smallest of the children and unable to keep up with his father’s grueling pace as he strode across Berk. As Chief, Stoick went everywhere on the island, and Hiccup’s little legs were incapable of matching the stride of his massive father. Every instance of Hiccup trying to do what Stoick did ended badly. Hiccup would run to keep up, trying to be like his father, wanting to please his dad, and overwork his small frame. Hiccup tripped over rocks and fell into brush, and became so winded he could only sit and catch his breath until he could get up again. His eagerness to be with Stoick was dangerous. A sturdier boy might be able to keep pace with the adults some of the time, then return to his mother; Hiccup had no opportunity to do either. Hiccup was the chief’s son and the heir to the Chiefdom. Other children learned about fishing, herding, or other family trades; Hiccup had no trade to study.


As Chief, Stoick was strong and confident, a man who could handle any problem. He was a Haddock, a chief, and a man with a plan, always. No villager doubted Stoick’s strength; their Chief was the authority on Berk, and they rarely questioned his decisions.

That attitude carried over to other things Stoick did, and no one wondered about how he was treating Hiccup lately. Except Gobber.

Fathers disciplined their children; that Stoick did so was expected. Hiccup attracted trouble as thoroughly cheese drew rats, and about as quickly, too. When a child like that came along, and all you could do was correct them and wait for improvement. and all you could do was correct them and wait for improvement. Hiccup never meant to harm anyone. He was a smart aleck, under his breath, and frustrating to deal with, but not malicious. Gobber knew that, and Stoick did, too.



Stoick increasingly heard complaints from the villagers about Hiccup, and Gobber himself had heard people use terms like “cursed” and “troublemaker” for Hiccup, though never where Stoick might hear. After a tiring day, Stoick had to sit down after dinner to again talk with his wayward son about the most recent mishap. Gobber had been in the house enough to see it for himself. Stoick would tell him to pay attention, slow down, don’t interrupt, don’t touch things. Hiccup would look at his father, bewildered and apologetic, but determined avoid doing it again. And Hiccup did avoid it. He never let the Larssen’s sheep out again. He scattered the Bergstrom’s chickens instead.

Gods, this was ugly. Hiccup was the smallest of the children and unable to keep up with his father’s grueling pace as he strode across Berk. As Chief, Stoick went everywhere on the island, and Hiccup’s little legs were incapable of matching the stride of his massive father. Every instance of Hiccup trying to do what Stoick did ended badly. Hiccup would run to keep up, trying to be like his father, wanting to please his dad, and overwork his small frame. Hiccup tripped over rocks and fell into brush, and became so winded he could only sit and catch his breath until he could get up again. His eagerness to be with Stoick was dangerous. A sturdier boy might be able to keep pace with the adults some of the time, then return to his mother; Hiccup had no opportunity to do either. Hiccup was the chief’s son and the heir to the Chiefdom. Other children learned about fishing, herding, or other family trades; Hiccup had no trade to study.

Hiccup was intelligent and unafraid to take risks. The boy escaped frequently and from nearly anyone. He wandered all over, studying whatever captured his attention. He disregarded rules and restrictions that prevented him from pursuing what he wanted. Unfortunately, one of the things he pursued was his father. Stoick would hunt for his father across Berk, wanting to be with him as other boys were with their dads. This never ended well. Any time Hiccup escapes, someone would have to track him down. A small, quick lad like Hiccup avoided capture, and whoever was following him could not stop following him, no matter how much he desired it. Sometimes Hiccup would exhaust himself while searching for Stoick and need to be carried back. Other times he’d find Stoick, bursting into adult discussions no child was supposed to hear. Whatever his dad, the Chief did, Hiccup wanted a part in. He hindered Stoick’s work, attempted tasks that no child his size could manage, and got under everyone’s feet. Stoick knew Hiccup meant well, but the number of times Hiccup showed up brought trouble to someone. Anyone the Chief worked with on those occasions saw Hiccup as disobedient, distracting, and a danger to everyone around him. It reflected poorly on Stoick. If Stoick couldn’t even mind his own boy, how could he mind all of Berk? The citizens would follow their Chief, but the willingness to do so would erode over time. The problem of Hiccup was growing worse with every escape, no matter where he wound up. Resentment kept growing and the villagers saw Hiccup as a hindrance to getting things done. They wanted their chief to work for Berk’s people and needs, not constantly contend with a small boy who got in the way. By now, Hiccup should know better. Children needed to mind their keepers and behave properly, as they were instructed.

Fewer people were willing to look after Hiccup, even for Stoick’s sake and Valka’s memory. Then came the inevitable comments from some of the more fed up or less charitable adults, ones that Hiccup overheard.

“Hiccup is staying at my house tomorrow. I may as well give up on getting anything done.”

‘He never pays attention.”

“That boy is trouble.”

“He’s behind every mess in this village.”

“Can’t he ever listen or follow orders?”

Hiccup knew he shouldn’t feel hurt. Other children made mistakes, but no one complained about them. They were right, he did cause trouble, even when he didn’t mean to. But he was trying to help his dad and do things for the villagers, like carry eggs or plates or milk. He wasn’t trying to drop or break or spill things. One day, Hiccup would be Chief, like his dad, and he wanted to do a good job. The Chief of Berk worked for everyone; Hiccup needed to prove he could do that, too. But it still stung.





0o0o0

Gobber stared at the tapestry on the wall, not really seeing the image of a Viking defeating a Monstrous Nightmare. Gobber had listened to his friend fret about Hiccup for years now, beginning with Valka’s death and the choices Stoick had been forced to make. Hiccup was too small to clamber the hills of Berk, or board fishing vessels, but Stoick regretted the necessary separation between Hiccup and himself. Stoick had fretted and Gobber had encouraged him as much as possible. But for over a year the fretting had become frustration. All he could do most days was let Stoick vent.

Gobber wiped his chin, letting the soup cool. Stoick’s fretting and frustration were evident to some in the village. But Gobber knew there was more. Stoick had a terror of anything happening to Hiccup; a life without Hiccup might destroy him. Without Valka and Hiccup, Stoick could only be Chief, not a man coming home to his family, to his wife and son. And Valka was dead already.

Gods, this was ugly. Hiccup was the smallest of the children and unable to keep up with his father’s grueling pace as he strode across Berk. As Chief, Stoick went everywhere on the island, and Hiccup’s little legs were incapable of matching the stride of his massive father. Every instance of Hiccup trying to do what Stoick did ended badly. Hiccup would run to keep up, trying to be like his father, wanting to please his dad, and overwork his small frame. Hiccup tripped over rocks and fell into brush, and became so winded he could only sit and catch his breath until he could get up again. His eagerness to be with Stoick was dangerous. A sturdier boy might be able to keep pace with the adults some of the time, then return to his mother; Hiccup had no opportunity to do either. Hiccup was the chief’s son and the heir to the Chiefdom. Other children learned about fishing, herding, or other family trades; Hiccup had no trade to study. What he did have was a lot of free time.


Hiccup was intelligent and unafraid to take risks. The boy escaped frequently and from nearly anyone. He wandered all over, studying whatever captured his attention. He disregarded rules and restrictions that prevented him from pursuing what he wanted. Unfortunately, one of the things he pursued was his father. Stoick would hunt for his father across Berk, wanting to be with him as other boys were with their dads. This never ended well. Any time Hiccup escapes, someone would have to track him down. A small, quick lad like Hiccup avoided capture, and whoever was following him could not stop following him, no matter how much he desired it. Sometimes Hiccup would exhaust himself while searching for Stoick and need to be carried back. Other times he’d find Stoick, bursting into meetings and discussions shouting, “Dad. Whatever his dad, the Chief did, Hiccup wanted a part in. He hindered Stoick’s work, attempted tasks that no child his size could manage, and got under everyone’s feet. Stoick knew Hiccup meant well, but the number of times Hiccup showed up brought trouble to someone. Anyone the Chief worked with on those occasions saw Hiccup as disobedient, distracting, and a danger to everyone around him. It reflected poorly on Stoick. If Stoick couldn’t even mind his own boy, how could he mind all of Berk? The citizens would follow their Chief, but the willingness to do so would erode over time. The problem of Hiccup was growing worse with every escape, no matter where he wound up. Resentment kept growing and the villagers saw Hiccup as a hindrance to getting things done. They wanted their chief to work for Berk’s people and needs, not constantly contend with a small boy who got in the way. By now, Hiccup should know better. Children needed to mind their keepers and behave properly, as they were instructed.

Stoick increasingly heard complaints from the villagers about Hiccup, and Gobber himself had heard people use terms like “impossible” and “troublemaker” for Hiccup, though never where Stoick might hear. After a tiring day, Stoick had to sit down after dinner to again talk with his wayward son about the most recent mishap. Gobber had been in the house enough to see it for himself. Stoick would tell him to pay attention, slow down, don’t interrupt, and don’t touch things. Hiccup would look at his father, bewildered and apologetic, but determined avoid doing it again. And Hiccup did avoid it. He never let the Larssen’s sheep out again. He scattered the Bergstrom’s chickens instead.




Page Break

How Hiccup is described in the above paragraphs:

Motherless
Child of Valka
One remaining bit of Valka for Stoick
Tiny baby
Pride of Stoick
One thing Stoick could hang onto in his grief
Too small to clamber the hills of Berk, or board fishing vessels,
He possessed legendary stubbornness and unshakeable certainty.
Forced to be separated from Stoick.
He unswervingly tried to do the right thing, only to have it go wrong. Then he got up and made another attempt that resulted in a different mistake.
The smallest of the children
Unable to keep up with Stoick’s grueling pace.
Little legs
Tries to do what Stoick does, but it always ends badly
Wanting to be like Stoick
Wanting to please Stoick
Hiccup tripped over rocks and fell into brush,
He became so winded he could only sit and catch his breath until he could get up again.
His eagerness to be with Stoick was dangerous.
Not sturdy
Son of the Chief
Heir to the Chiefdom
Unafraid to take risks
Intelligent
No trade to study
Escaped frequently
Wanderer
Disregards rules and restrictions
Studious when interested in something
Stubborn
Outwardly nothing like Stoick
Inwardly, thick skulled and single minded
Hiccup attracted trouble as thoroughly cheese drew rats, and about as quickly, too.
Hiccup never meant to harm anyone.
He was a smart aleck, under his breath, and frustrating to deal with.
Hiccup was not malicious.


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