Hiccup can’t find any information on Stilton Jorgenson. Draft two
|Author’s Note: This is a work of fanfiction. The rights to How to Train Your Dragon remain with Cressida Cowell and DreamWorks. Only the plot and original characters are mine.|
I’m sorry, but it’s true.
§ § §
“Man, this is a hassle. I’m happy about the growth spurt, but the leg doesn’t fit any more. At least working here makes it easier to build another peg.”
Toothless took a deep breath, before coughing. The coal dust never left the smithy, and the acrid flavor lingered in his tongue.
The smithy was hot. Typically, it was broiling, but orders had been low all week.
Hiccup fiddled with his prosthetic, sketching ideas for the replacement prosthetic. This, at least, he could do something about.
“...got my wife with the ugly face, I’m a Viking through and through.”
“Gobber has a terrible voice, Bud. If it weren’t for his hammering drowning it out, the tribe would have shipped him off years ago.”
“Ah, Toothless likes my singing, don’t you?” Toothless nodded, and Gobber scratched the Night Fury’s forehead. Of course. Hiccup’s dragon wasn’t going to agree with him when scratches were on the line. “He appreciates my talent, don’t ya?” Gobber straightened up. I didn’t expect to see you here; there’s no orders, unless you have something planned,” Gobber said, eyeing Hiccup’s drawings.
“I have to talk to you. Do you know anything about a man named Stilton Jorgenson? He’s one of the elders.”
“Can’t say the name rings a bell, and I’m familiar with most of the tribe. What’s your business with him?” Gobber lifted a rag and began polishing his hook.
“He’s on his deathbed, and wants me to speak for him at the funeral, like he didn’t have a hundred better choices. So, I have to write a speech about a total stranger and deliver it to a bunch of grieving people. I’ve never done this before and Dad wants my best effort.” Hiccup fidgeted with his prosthetic. “I have to figure out who he was, and there’s no information on him anywhere. But it’s not like there’s any pressure.”
“Have you talked with your father? He’s kept up with this tribe since his childhood. He must have something to share.” Gobber poured a mug of water and passed it to Hiccup.
“I never asked. Dad told me everything Stilton never did. He never won a Thawfest medal, never traveled far from Berk, and never held any position of authority. He wasn’t great at or terrible at anything. I’ve asked all over this plaza, and most folk have no idea who he is.” Hiccup drank, easing his dry throat.
“Did your father tell you anything helpful?”
“Stilton came to eat at Mead Hall a few times a year, and on special occasions like Snoggletog or the Chief’s birthday. He stayed for a little while, then went home. Other than that, Dad couldn’t help me.” Stoick’s amazement at how little he could share about Stilton had surprised them both. “He says he knows everything that happens on Berk. It’s like Stilton never did anything to catch Dad’s attention.”
“Did you check Berk’s archives? Every member of this tribe from the beginning is in there.”
“I tried. I found a list of names—his parents, siblings, wife, and children—and nothing else. He’s the last of his siblings, too.” Hiccup’s spent forty minutes looking at his sisters and brother, and came up empty.
“Did you talk to his children?” Gobber drummed his fingers on the anvil. “No, you’re better off leaving them alone.”
Hiccup nodded. “There’s no way ‘let me drag you away from your dying father to pump you for information’ is a good choice.”
“Hold on. Have you gone to his clan and asked? They ought to know something.”
“Crablout Jorgenson has always looked down at me, and now he despises me, because Toothless and I defeated that monster last year. If he did answer my questions, I can’t trust him to be truthful.”
“Well, then, talk to Spitelout. He’s the Jorgenson clanheir and your uncle. He won’t chase you off.”
“Yeah. Hiccup sat up and reattached his prosthetic. “I actually think that”ll work. Thanks, Gobber. Let’s go, bud.” Toothless helped Hiccup to stand.
“Good luck, lad.” Gobber picked up a rag and started polishing his hook. “Well, I’ve got my club and I’ve got my rope, and I smell like a yak...”
Hiccup and Toothless fled the smithy. It was definitely time to leave, but Hiccup finally had somewhere to be.