CHAPTER 3: Viking Princes Can’t Dance
Somewhere, in a place not too far from Enchancia, but still far enough to be even noticed; a sinister figure watched every move from the viking in a crystal ball. The figure paid especial attention when princess Sofía came into view, and her eyes gleam with a dark intention when the Amulet of Avalor appeared clearly.
“Yes… Everything goes as planned…”
“Are you sure?” other voice joined
“He still has to complete his task, don’t forget, he’s a viking. And vikings are dumb and easy to manipulate. If you make them compete, even if they know is not a real competition, they will do it anyway.”
“Remind me the plan again…?”
“Oh! How many times do I have to repeat it? What are you? A bird?!”
“Hey! You’ve only given me a petal at a time! What’s the whole flower?”
“First, the vikings go looking for the ‘mystical object’, the viking that got here takes said object, that is actually Sofía’s Amulet; for defending his honour and all that heroic-gibberish-Vikings-are-so-devoted-to, he’ll steal the amulet. Second, knowing Princess Sofía, she won’t be giving up her amulet so easily, so the boy will have to abduct her. Next, the king will send the royal guard to find his daughter; but, since he’s dealing with vikings and dragons, he’ll be in the need for as much magical help as he can. After that, we come to the king in disguise and offer our services, he will have to accept us, and we’ll take care of that stupid Royal Sorcerer, trap the royal family, and supplant them with doubles. Then, bring the viking and the princess back, we take her amulet and use the viking as a bait for the viking armada to come and we take control over them and use them as our new royal guard, so no-one will dare to defy us. Finally, we live happily ever after. ” and she added with a sweet voice… “the end!”
“Are you sure this plan is going to work?”
“Of course it will! Now stay there and inform me if anything goes not according to the plan!”
“Stop it please!” plead the young Viking to the young royals that were still giggling uncontrollably at the sight they had moments ago when the servants appeared out of from nowhere and measured him. He was not mad at them, but he clearly didn’t like the idea of people laughing at him.
“Yeah, sorry, but it’s always funny to see someone else being trapped by Amber’s ways!” admitted James.
“Is it?” the question was rhetorical, but still was answered by the prince.
“Yes, you should have seen it when she ‘helped’ Sof with the tea party...” He retold the events of that episode in the daily castle-life while they made their way to the royal stables.
“... at the end everything seemed like a total disaster; but Sofía was able to fix it”
“Well, there’s this spot in the gardens that is my favorite; and it’s a little difficult to find, it’s almost like a secret garden. Then, we placed ribbons in certain places to signal the path to follow”
“...like a treasure-hunting!” exclaimed the viking as they came into the stable.
“Exactly!” answered the princess. “That reminds me of that time when Daggur visited us!”
Sofía heard a voice say. Oh! We had to be so careful and hide from that maniac!
“Toothless!” Hiccup practically ran to meet his best friend. “Are you ok, bud?” “Yes, I’m fine. It was just a fall. You are the one I should be asking that question! You’re human! And you got me scared to death! Whatever! You’re fine!
” heard the princess, as the dragon tackled the teen to the ground and sniffled him all over… and finally licked his face and hug him with his four dragon legs.
“Yes, I’m happy to see you’re fine too…” The viking replied “Toothless… choking… not breathing…” and the reptile let him go with a playful gesture on his face. “Sorry! I think I let myself go a little bit…”
“It’s ok, bud...” Hiccup responded, and the Dragon’s front-head immediately looked for his hands to pet him.
“You understand what he says?” questioned James that had only heard a lot of roaring from the dragon. Sofía was wondering the same thing too, was it possible to learn the animal’s language? Or, did hiccup had a magical amulet himself?
“Noexactly I… it’s more like…guessing; if he’s looking at the sky, then he wants to fly. Or… if he whines in certain way it means he’s sad or tired or hungrier than usual, or hungry and tired at the same time.” the viking illustrated “...I can only interpret what he means… honesty...” “Give yourself some credit!”
Growled the dragon. “You could have fooled any wild dragon any day, for Smaug’s Solitude!
“I know Toothless, I know…” the viking told the dragon as he rolled his eyes “...but, let’s be honest I’m not exactly an expert in dragon-tongues!” “There you go again!”
Sofía laughed at this conversation, it was hilarious! Hiccup was too modest and kept firm in the fact that he couldn’t understand dragons and Toothless was trying to prove him wrong… Well, maybe it wasn’t that funny for James (he couldn’t understand half of the conversation) but,for her at least, it was. James could only watch the whole thing and wonder what was it he was missing that was so hilarious and how could the Viking be having a talk with the dragon.
“Oh! Wait a minute, bud!” Hiccup then came to see the dragon’s tail.
“We tried to take off all that gear…” explained James “but he didn’t even moved…”
“Well, he was in the process of healing his wounds. Sometimes, in order to survive, dragons fall into a deep sleep; there are times when they don’t even move and appear to be dead, others they're almost like giant breathing-rocks”
“Wow… that’s awesome! I wish we could learn that stuff in school, it would be real fun!”
“Well… I could teach you some things…” Offered the viking to the prince.
“Really?! Cool!” The prince exclaimed out of excitement and motioned towards the exist “I’ll send a message to miss Flora, Fauna and Merryweather that you’ll give us all a class about dragons!” He added and then ran out of there to his room,
“Wait…!” Hiccup tried to protest but it took the kid less time to get away than Hiccup’s voice to reach him. “Energic kid that one!”
pointed out Toothless.
“He’s just excited, it’s not usual to see a dragon as big as you” The dragon looked at her directly in the eye, then rotated his head to see her in different angles.
“Toothless, this is princess Sofía, she’ll show us around the castle. Sofía, this is my best friend: Toothless the NightFury"
“It’s a pleasure” the princess smiled . “Oh…. I remember you!”
the dragon said as he licked her face and rubbed his head against her “thank you! Thank you for helping us!
“You’re welcome, Toothless!” Responded the princess in a slightly giggled way.
“Hey…! You understand me too!
“You understand what he’s saying!” Pointed the viking once he saw the girl’s interactions with the reptile. “...b-but how can you…?
“I… just can…” lied the little princess with some guilt in her voice. “It’s… kind of a secret, please don’t tell anyone!” Begged the princess.
"Oh, it's ok. I can keep secrets"
"Hiccup, would you tell me... can you really understand Toothless?" The viking sighed, defeated, with a resigned smile on his face.
"Well, there's no use in trying to hide it from you. Thuth is... I'm not exactly sure how, but... I do" he said. "I can know exactly what dragons say, what they mean with a movement of their tails, or a small exhalation of fire... I'm not sure how..."
"I'm still wondering if he's even human!
" the dragon laughed "I didn't even noticed it when I met him! I was so surprised when I ralised other dragons were not able to argue with their riders...!
"Arguing is a good thing?"
" Listen to me little girl, it is most important for friendships to go through figts and argues! Only that way you can prove if he or she is a true one. True friends forgive and forget and are always there, even if they know the worst things about your mind"
"Enough Toothless, you need to stop the lesson and a good amount of fishes...""O Yes please! I’m so hungry I could eat one of those horses!
" at the sound of that many of the equines wined in fear and even tried to hide in their respective boxes, making the dragon laugh in a mocking way. ...that was just an expression! I was joking...
he calmly added while following his rider and his host out of the stable and then added... ...or not?
which made the horses faint"That was fun!"
Exclaimed the reptail.
"Toothless! That was mean..." Scolded the rider, but grinning at the dragon's little prank.
"I thought you eat fish" the princess questioned."Yes, I do... But your horses don't have to know...
"Toothless!" The viking called again and the dragon sworn he would stop… And so he did… the moment they got to the pier. Sofía was just about to go find a boat when the dragon jump to the water and came out with five fishes already in his mouth (leaving the humans soaking wet in the process ) just to go back under the water and look for more fishes (of course, not before quickly utter a sheepish apology). James joined them after some minutes, with a fishing rod for each of them; they didn’t had any luck, of curse (the dragon got most of the local fishes for himself).
It was already past midday when the rain started again and Baleywick came for them to go back to the castle to prepare for the party. The three humans took the dragon and went back inside (Toothless couldn’t stand be away from his viking), they were planning to go back anyways (The was too strong and Toothless hadn’t been careful with the water). Hiccup tagged along with the royals since he was not sure where he was exactly going, responding whatever question the royals had. Did everyone in Berk had a Dragon? how big were Viking ships? how was the school in there? where there other pets aside from dragons… things like that, questions became less when James reached his room’s door first.
“So… I think we should head to our room…” the viking said as the Night Fury laughed, he knew that tone of his rider, when he was about to make an awkward question.
“Need some help?” Offered the princess. “My room is nearest yours”
“Thank you, Princess”
“It’s not necessary to call me ‘princess’, you can just call me Sofia!” the girl indicated.
“Sorry… I wasn’t sure of what should I call you… Ah-” a door opened all of a sudden in the corridor and someone pulled the guest inside. Sofía was as surprised as the teen, until she recognized the ornaments around said door…
“Uh… Amber…?” The girl walked inside alongside the dragon and watched how her sister --who was already attired and ready for the party with a teal dress and a tiara with matching jewls-- had already given the viking a neatly-folded set of new clothes and was now pushing him behind the dresser.
“Be careful with your leg, there is a stool if you need to sit...! Oh! Sofía!” Amber exclaimed worried the moment she say her sister’s dress wet (the excitement had made her not notice the viking’s clothes were in the same state… or even the dragon in her room...) “...What happened to you? You’ll catch a cold!”
“We were just fishing and Toothless got too excited at the pier and… well…” ”I said I was sorry!”
the dragon muttered timidly.
“My Goodness! You’ve been like this the entire afternoon? Sofia, you must dry yourself now!”
“I’m fine Amber!” in this point is where the youngest of the royals would have to hear a speech about how Amber was just trying to ‘keep her little sister safe’
and be forced to get into her room, made to take a warm bath as quick as possible, have a preventive medicine taken and being taken care of, in general, by Amber herself; but she was saved from said situation in the moment the viking came out of the dresser with a little blushing showing, all attired in an Enchancia-fashioned outfit. The eldest gasped in awe. “Hiccup, you look so good!” she exclaimed “...I knew intense dark-olive-green was your color!”
“Absolutely...! Oh! It’s past midday and I still haven’t finished the preparations!” exclaimed the hostess dramatically. “...Excuse me, both of you, I must leave. Sofia, I leave our guest is in your hands… “ and then added a little more strictly “...but first, go dry yourself and make sure to drink something warm!”
Hiccup and Toothless followed Sofia to her room and waited behind the first door as the princess got changed in her bedroom (assisted by her animal friends, who surprised Hiccup when Mia and Robin flew to receive Sofia… and almost dropped to the floor the moment they saw Toothless) but still, they were able to speak through the closed door.
“Sorry for making you sick!” The viking said as he heard the princess sneeze multiple times.
“I’m not sick! don’t worry! It’s just the cold…!” “Or maybe it is Clover’s furr, he’s been raiding the sandy grove the entire day!
Joked Robin. “Hey! I haven’t raided the entire day! It was just until the rain started! “Who are those?”
questioned the dragon from the other side</i>
“I didn’t knew you understood ‘bird’” accused the viking “I’m a dragon, I speak everything!
“It’s not clover’s fault…” the told to Mia “...It was the rain… Hiccup, does it rain like that in Berk?” the viking heard her say from the other side, as well as the noise of her little steps (that room was surely bigger in the inside!).
“Rain is a little uncommon, but blizzards… Putting it simply: It snows nine months at the year and hails the other three” He said.
“Wow… ” the princess muttered as she put on the dry dress on (the one she would be wearing during the party, they still have some hours before it started. Princess and princesses from Royal prep were invited too, so the party would start early in order for the young royals to not stay awake until late) “I’m ready!” she exclaimed and opened the bedroom door, to reveal herself with a navy blue gown with some floral touches. “You look pretty
” said the dragon as he rubbed his head against her chest.
“Thanks Toothless-!” the girl noticed how Hiccup’s wet change of clothes was on the dragon’s back and reach for it. “We should let your clothes dry near the chimney” she suggested as she put them on the floor near the lit fireplace, finding something inside the furry vest.
“What’s this?” she asked as she analyzed the carved wooden pin in her hand, the figure of a dragon visible as a red espiral.
“Oh… that’s Berk’s crest” answered the teen with a smile. “...my dad gave it to me some time ago, it’s like a charm of good luck” he added in a nostalgic tone. He hadn’t been away from Berk for too long and he already felt a little homesick...
“ Hiccup, it’s still early for the party. Would you like to go to our library and check the charts in the meanwhile? You know, to find a safer way back to Berk.”
“That would be good…” “Yes! Maps! Maps are made of paper! Papers are cool…”
“Hm.. Toothless… It’s not that I don’t like your company but… I don’t think our royal library is suited to be visited by a dragon. not even one of your size… maybe, you should stay here”
“ oh… okay
” agreed the NightFury and then nudged the viking
“You heard her bud, stay here… and don’t get into trouble” The viking indicated.
“Trouble? ME? YOU are telling ME to stay away from trouble?
” The two of them laughed a little more as Sofia exchanged some words with her animal friends, and then they headed out of the room, leaving the Dragon wondering what to do...
“ Don’t worry pal, we know a thousand ways to have fun in this very room, you won’t get bored!”
Invited Clover after jumping on the bed. “Now, who’s ready to play some snakes and stairs? looser hands over all the berries!
As the scaly/furry/feathery friends bonded in the royal bedroom, the guest and hostess were in the library. Said place had been enchanted by Goodwin the GReat himself years ago in order to have a more efficient search system; the information could arrange itself depending on the region, the country, the subject, the year, the author… They choose to look for anything with the words viking, north, perpetual winter, and the names of some famous vikings (just in case.
The info they found was, even when interesting, completely useless. There were books about viking mythology but, according to Hiccup, they were outdated and, in most cases, there had not been a proper investigation behind about the matter; there were charts of the world according to someone called Ragnar the terrible… but it was too old and, by how the words and lines were sweepped to the point of almost disappear in some places, it had been so badly kept (perhaps due to previous use… that was a usual thing to happen for those vikings who were… not exactly good sailors); other charts and maps where found, all of them had been made by ancient vikings, it seemed… and none of them had a proper depiction of the world. there was one that only showed what looked like a birds nest with tiny houses scattered everywhere and the sea looked like a tree branch
“Maybe they wanted to show how Midgard looks from outside of Yggdrasil” the viking explained… and then ended up explaining how the tree of life worked until the clock’s bell took their attention… Oh! No, it hadn’t been the clock, it was Baleywick! he came to tell them the party was about to start, the king was already greeting the other guests, and these two were needed.
“Give us a minute Baleywick” the princess told and the steward left while saying.
“I’ll be waiting for you…”
Sofia took Hiccup’s hand and led him to the closed gates of the ball room, where Robin and Mia were waiting, along with a dry brown furry vest, a needle and thread.. The birds gave Sofía a couple of quick chirps before she took the vest.
“Sorry for the wait, I’ll compensate you later!” she said and then directed herself to hiccup “... I thought you might need this…” she smiled “do you have the crest with you?”
“Oh… yes…” he said taking the crest from under his shirt.
“Since ...you are a viking prince, you must, at least, show a little vikingness, please sit. …” The viking got on his knees and the little princess placed the vest around his shoulders; some stitches here, some more there… and the crest in the middle… The vest had been, now, turned into an elegant cloak.
“There! much better!” the girl declared, as Baleywick came outside.
“Oh! you’re here! Sofía, the queen is requesting your presence” the princess noded and went inside, Hiccup was about to follow her, but the steward stopped him...
"Excuse me? Hiccup, uh, sorry... Prince Hiccup?" called Baleywick.
"It’s just Hiccup, Baleywick" corrected the viking with some awkwardness.
"...Sorry, Hiccup but, it's about time to announce your entrance, and I need to know your titles in order to do so" Hiccup felt a sudden need to go and hide out of embarrassment
"Yes, that way everyone will know how to properly refer to you, and not call you in any mistaken way as I had already done by calling you 'Prince'" he explained with a smile and a friendly tone. Hiccup thought about this information, not really excited about the presentation, wasn't it enough with his, already, very-long name? Now they needed his titles? He sighed. He couldn't complain about this situation, it was a formality... One of many others he would have to deal-with in his future chiefing-duty.
"All of them?" He finally responded.
Baleywick raised an eyebrow to this answer, but he understood better the meaning of that question some minutes later, and wished he had answered with a"no"
, when he had to present the royal guest in one single breath; after he got everyone's attention by ringing a little bell.
"Attention, please, our most honorable guests..." the audience then turned to his direction "... may I present to you, our guest of honour, from the island of Berk, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the third, the Hope and Heir to the Hairyhooligan tribe; son of Stoik the Vast, chief of the tribe. Leader of the Dragon Academy, dragon trainer and also known, by some, as the Dragon Conqueror"
Hiccup walked towards the crowd and tried to look as respectable and solemn as his father did during viking gatherings, proudly porting Berk’s crest on his chest (A little difficult task since he lacked his father’s natural stoic gesture… and because he could hear over the noise of the crowd and in watch over the corner of his eye how James and Amber were having discussion about the colors of their clothes; apparently James had wanted them to go in different colors and not be, as always, dressed in matching sets for being twins, and Amber was trying to explain to him how different was teal from light-sea-green. It was hilarious.) The picture in front of them looked so impossible to him, he wondered if this was how Asgard would be like: with people dressed in bright colors, shiny jewels and a great banquet awaiting for everyone. The adults surrounded him and greeted him (formality in every gesture, every word and every step) The King, himself, had spoken for him to help him with some of the guests’ enthusiasm (maybe that had been because King Magnus had been invited too and Roland wanted the opportunity to make him say: “ Oh…! Impressive, Rolie! I have never meet a real viking before! I think I have never had a real viking visiting my kingdom!”
One would think the poor teen would be left alone once the adults had all taken a part of his time… but that was just the beginning...
“Hiccup! Overhere!” Called Amber as she was followed by a group of friend-princesses “I want you to meet my good friends; princess Maya, princess Penelope and Princess Hildegard”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you all your majesties!” Hiccup responded with a smile.
“The pleasure is ours!” answered back Maya.
“So… Hiccup, right? A very unusual name, I must say. Quite Bizarre for the ears…” expressed Hildegard.
"It's ok, your highness, hideous names are a viking tradition. They say it will frighten off gnomes and trolls..." He explained as he shrugged lightly.
"But, why would anyone want to frighten the trolls? They're such a nice people!" Hiccup turned around and found Sofia with another princess.
“...If you tell me there are trolls in this land, and you’re not lying, I’ll let you fly on Toothless one day!” he exclaimed.
“...I’m not lying, it’s true! Oh! By the way, this is my friend, Princess Vivian. She has a dragon too!”
“Really?” smiled the viking as the timid princess took a step closer to him with her gaze fixed on the floor, and a pinkish tone growing on her cheeks.
“Y-yes… I do… Her name is Crackle”
“Oh! I would be most happy to know her-!”
“Hiccup! Come! Here are my friends, Prince Zadar, Jin, Hugo, Rupert and Desmond, I’ve already told them how cool you are! I hope you don’t mind...”
Hiccup felt as if he had gone back in time to those days when he was hiding Toothless and became a celebrity in Dragon Training; everyone had been calling for him, had been haunted the entire evening with questions and more questions, about his origin, his likes his dislikes, about his arrival, the storm, the fall, his staying in the palace, about Berk, and dragons and his leg… After all the questions the banquet finally started; and, later, Hiccup found himself sitting in a corner, watching carefully and paying attention to all details as the invited ones moved along the music through the hall…
“Hey Hiccup! Want to dance?” The teen looked at the girl that had just appeared, apparently, out of no-where.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Sof...” the Viking answered, looking at his fake leg “…I’m… I’ve never been the most graceful Viking in the island… and… I wouldn’t know you do it here in Enchancia...”
“Don’t worry! I’ll teach you how!” and ignoring the reluctant look in Hiccup’s face, the princess took his hand and guided him right to the center of the ball room… “Ready?” She asked happily as the green-eyed did the same, slightly with a sigh.
“I think I am, princess” The girl then started her lesson as they, somehow, followed the steps as the others in the room, they moved as the gears in a clock, all while the princess sang a little advice for him. “Let me teach you how to dance,
let me lead you to the floor,
simply place your hand in mine
then you think of nothing more.
“Let the music cast its spell,
give the atmosphere a chance,
simply follow where I lead.
“Let me teach you how to dance” </p>
“Oh… she’s not going to be happy with this…!”
“Who is not going to be happy with what?”
“The viking and the princes… well… they’re seem to be friends…”
“Ha! Don’t let appearances deceive you! Vikings are smart when it comes to treasure hunts, he’s probably trying to get everyone’s trust, so it will be easier to get away with the amulet!”
“Are you sure…? It seems to me that...”
“Oh! Stop it! call me when something actually threatening happens… like… the viking leaves before he notices the amulet or something!”
“I’m seriously doubting you know your enemy enough…”TO BE CONTINUED…