Other Fan Fiction ❯ Hybrid ❯ Puzzle (theme 98) ( Chapter 14 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Hybrid: Puzzle (theme 98) [rough draft], a DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon fanfic series by Raberba girl
List of themes by AngieChild, Variation 1 for the 100ThemesChallenge group on DeviantArt

For a while, all Eret could feel was a turmoil of often-conflicting emotion. It had really sucked getting kidnapped and held for ransom, and then the encounter with freaking dragons had been terrifying, and then that creepy dragon kid had been weird to the point of disturbing. Then, on top of all that, was the annoying fuss that was made over Eret when he returned home, which probably would have been ten times worse if they'd seen him be delivered by dragons.

However...there was also the flying, which was hands-down the most incredible thing he had ever experienced in his life. And there was the fact that he had been in close proximity to dragons for an extended period of time and hadn't gotten eaten, or even hurt at all. And the fact that they had actually rescued him from his kidnappers.

And the stranger had been a Norsewoman, of all things, a native of the very same land Eret was desperate to search when he was old enough. Even with all the craziness, he had remembered to ask her about his father. She didn't recognize the name or know anything, but still, talking to her wasn't entirely useless. Eret found himself paying close attention to the way she spoke, and realized that his fluency in the Norse language was a lot worse than his tutor had been leading him to believe all this time, and that maybe...he might actually have good reason to want to see those crazy northern dragon people again.

But he got home and everything was a mess and then it was all normal again quicker than he would have imagined, until that whole unbelievable day seemed distant, like a dream.

Which was why Eret didn't think of dragons or Norsemen when people started whispering about ghosts haunting the castle.

Hamilton, his father's steward who ran the castle in its true lord's absence, tried to quell the gossip, dismissing it as superstitious nonsense. Yet over time, there were so many sightings of strange shadows passing by the windows or darting through dark corners, and so many incidents of theft (mostly food) and mysteriously ransacked rooms, that there was no longer any doubt. Ghosts or no, someone was disrupting the castle, and so far they'd been able to do it without getting caught.

Eret was getting close to buying into the ghost theory (a trail of muddy footprints had ended at the edge of a balcony; a sketch that looked far too much like Eret for comfort had been left scrawled on the kitchen floor as the scullery maids were asleep in the same room all night...) when he was awakened one morning by his personal attendants' excited chatter.

"Frederick, Harold, shut up," Eret moaned, burrowing down farther into the covers.

"We were just about to wake you anyway, young master. Mary was telling us that they've caught the ghost."

Eret sat up. "What?!"

By the time he reached the kitchen, where all the hullabaloo seemed to be centered, he had already begun to subconsciously suspect. When he saw the young boy being held captive by Gervais, as Hamilton thundered and lectured, Eret's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

Hiccup looked annoyed, and his gaze was wandering until he caught sight of the young lord. Then his whole face lit up as he proclaimed triumphantly in Norse, "I FOUND [Cornered] 'Eret'! [I'm glad!] Hello, Eret. I am greeting you, so I make this sound that is 'hello.'"

"Hi," Eret mumbled. All eyes turned incredulously to him, and he knew he had some explaining to do.

o.o.o

Author's Notes: The vignette after this was supposed to be Hiccup's POV of the same time period, but it ended up taking place slightly earlier. I will write Hiccup's perspective of the 'ghost' thing at some point.

*deletes message to people who read Strongest Of Them All and thought I was going to give up on Hybrid* I'm going to work on Hybrid as long as I have enough time and inspiration to do so. I'm just trying to figure out why this story has had such an unusually large drop in response, both in feedback and stats. I was theorizing that maybe people keep seeing the summary and forming some expectations, then read what the story is actually like and are disappointed. (I've gotten several messages about things people wanted to see in the story that I won't be able to include.)

Complete: 10/100

Chapter 13
Chapter 15
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