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From Life After They Left | AO3

Hey guys! Little bit of a shorter one today, but with this quarantine stuff going on in the US I’m going to have plenty of time to catch up on all the chapters I have outlined for you guys both here and in MTI. So enjoy, I’ll see you soon, and as always, let me know what you think or want to see!

Hiccup and Astrid: around 31 years old; Zephyr: 7 years old; Nuffink: 4 years old


“What’s wrong, Nuff?” Zephyr asked, spotting her brother pouting in the corner of the sitting room.

Nuffink didn’t answer. He only turned his body to face the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.

Zephyr giggled and shook her head. She joined her brother in the corner on the floor. “Daddy said we can go to Uncle Fishlegs and Aunt Ruffie’s hut. We can play with Nutmeg. Daddy said he’ll send Grandma Valka for us when the new baby is born.”

Nuffink turned his body away from Zephyr again, still staying silent.

Zephyr sighed. “Come on, Nuff, what is it?”

Nuffink mumbled something too low for Zephyr to hear.

“What?” Zephyr asked.

“I no want Momma to born a new baby!” Nuffink cried.

That’s not how you say that, Nuffink, Zephyr thought. But she’d correct him later; now wasn’t the time. “Why not? Then we’d have a new baby brother or sister. Aren’t you happy?”

“No!” Nuffink said, pulling his knees to his chest and burying his head in his arms.

“Well, Mommy and Daddy are happy. They’re very happy,” Zephyr thought out loud. “I am, too.”

“Well me not.” Nuffink stood up and stormed outside, forgetting to grab his furs in the process.

Zephyr sighed, corrected, “Not me, Nuff,” under her breath, and pulled on her own furs while grabbing her brother’s before following him out the door. “Nuffink!” She cried, running to catch up. “Nuff, where are you going?”

“Nutmeg,” he huffed.

“You know, Nutmeg is kind of like a sister,” Zephyr said, trying to change his mind about the new baby.

“No. Nutmeg is friend.” He snatched his furs from Zephyr’s hands and threw them around his shoulders, angrily shaking off the cold.

“Well, yeah, I guess. But having a brother or sister is like having a friend that lives with you!”

“No it not! It stinks!” Nuffink stomped down the path and crossed his arms.


Nuffink groaned and turned to look at Zephyr. “What?!” But Zephyr wasn’t walking next to him anymore. He turned around and found her standing on the path behind him. Her eyes were watery and she was hugging herself.

“We’re not friends?” she squeaked.

Nuffink suddenly felt very bad. “Well… That…”

“Why… Why do I stink?”


“That’s what you just said!”

“Well… Well, not you!”

“I’m your sister, Nuffink. You just said having a brother or sister stinks. You can’t take that back.” Zephyr scrubbed her eyes with her fist and walked past Nuffink, heart still sunk in her stomach and chest aching. “Let’s just go see Nutmeg,” she muttered.

Now Nuffink froze in place. “But Zephie-”

“Let’s go, Nuffink.” Zephyr kept trudging on.

Nuffink huffed again, more out of frustration than anger. He ran after Zephyr and grabbed her arm. “Zephie, I sorry.”

“Why don’t you like me?” Zephyr spun around to ask.

“I do! I love Zephie!”

“Then why did you say that?”

“I…” Nuffink blushed and looked to the ground. “I…”

Zephyr’s eyebrows stitched together as she watched her little brother digging his toes into the ground, arms locked behind his back. He mumbled something that she couldn’t hear. “I can’t hear you, Nuffink,” she said, but her voice was softer than she intended.

“I no wanna share my Zephie…”

“Share me? With the new baby?”

Nuffink nodded shyly.

“Nuff…” Zephyr pulled her little brother into her arms and gently squeezed him. He buried his head in her chest and squeezed his arms around her midsection.

He mumbled something into her chest, but Zephyr couldn’t make it out.

“What, Nuff?”

Nuffink lifted his head and looked into Zephyr’s eyes, his own swimming in tears. “Zephie protect me. What if you no protect me no more?”

Zephyr smiled. “I’ll always protect you, Nuffink. I’m not going anywhere.”

Nuffink sniffed. “Promise?”



Hiccup gently squeezed Astrid’s hand, combing his fingers through her sweaty hair. “Just keep breathing. You’re doing great, Ast.”

“Do you think… The kids… Are okay?” She spoke between panted breaths.

Hiccup chuckled. “I think we need to focus on this one right now. Zephyr and Nuffink are fine.”

Astrid cried out before clenching her teeth together. “Hiccup! Where’s Tuffnut? Or Valka?” she groaned.

“Do you need to push?” Hiccup asked, jumping to his feet.

“No! Not without help!”

“Astrid… I don’t think this baby is going to let you wait-”

“I can’t, Hiccup, I can’t! What if-” Her argument was cut off by another contraction that took her breath away. “What if something goes wrong?” She continued as it slowed. “Like when Nuffink…”

“It won’t,” Hiccup said firmly, leaning over his wife.

“You don’t know that!” Astrid cried, tears flowing freely down her face.

“Astrid, hey, look at me. Ast, look at me!” Hiccup gently cupped his hands around her face to pull her attention to him. She grimaced through another strong contraction before she was able to settle her eyes on his. “We can do this,” he started, keeping his voice level and calm. “You can do this. You haven’t had a single problem this whole pregnancy, and you’re zipping through this birth like a Timberjack clearing a forest.” He leaned in closer, his forehead touching her’s. “I am right here. I won’t let anything happen to you. We can’t stop it. We know what to do. It’s going to be okay. Okay?”

Astrid locked eyes with Hiccup, seeing nothing but determination and resolve. She took a few deep breaths and nodded her head.

“Okay.” Hiccup firmly grabbed Astrid’s hand and kneeled on the bed at her side.

Not 4 pushes later, Hiccup scrambled to catch his newest child and bring him (another boy!) to Astrid’s chest as she gasped in shock. Her arms immediately wrapped around the child, eyes wide and pouring tears as she looked between his face and her husband’s.

Astrid and Hiccup pulled Astrid’s open tunic around the small boy, as Astrid noted that he wasn’t near as small as Nuffink was. Hiccup immediately began rubbing his back. “Come on, little guy, show Momma how you can breath…”

Astrid didn’t even have time to worry that something was wrong before the babe sputtered and coughed, followed shortly by a strong cry ringing through the room. His face bloomed red and his arms and legs scrunched strongly against the new cold surroundings.

When Hiccup lifted his eyes, bright with a prideful smile, back to his wife, he found her own eyes to be wide, frightened, and overwhelmed. Grabbing a damp cloth nearby, he gently patted the sweat from her face as she sputtered nonsense, focus shifting frantically from her new son to her husband and back again.

“Astrid,” Hiccup chuckled, holding her face steady in his palm.

She slowed for a moment and allowed her gaze to settle on her husband.

With a soft smile, he whispered, “You did it, love.”

Astrid sniffed, followed by an incredulous laugh. “Don’t say it,” she breathed with a tears and a growing smile of her own.

Hiccup chuckled. “I wasn’t going to.”

Astrid looked down at the new babe in her arms, happily suckling away already on his first meal.

Hiccup kissed her forehead as he reached over to stroke the baby’s head. “Nuff was just a fluke. Just like me.”

Astrid scoffed playfully. “A fluke that changed the world.”

Hiccup shook his head and smiled wider. “We should be afraid of what Nuffink will do, then.” They shared a quiet laugh until both their gazes fell lovingly back to their boy.

After a stretch of silence, Astrid whispered, “Maybe you’re right, though.”

Hiccup sat next to her on the bed and wrapped her up in his arms. She gladly snuggled into his chest, keeping their child secure to her own. “What do you mean?” he asked quietly.

She paused for a moment. “Maybe… Maybe I just needed someone to…” She laughed to herself. “I don’t know, bring back my hope, or something.”

Hiccup smiled to himself, admiring his son over Astrid’s shoulder. “Tu renovas nostra spes.”

Astrid’s brows furrowed in confusion. “What’s that?”

He chuckled at himself. “Rough Latin. I’ve been trying to learn it for the last year from some of Fishlegs’ books.”

She shifted slightly to look at him better. “Well, what does that mean?”

“You renew our hope,” Hiccup translated, stroking their son’s cheek with his finger.

19 notes · See All

The Maps Between Us- Chapter 21

The Isle of Jersey pulsed with energy. A carnival of tents lined the road leading inland from the docks, a sea of colour and mud on fields Astrid guessed were normally lush and green. People had camped wherever there was room, crammed between trees and next to lampposts. Bunting hung from every available nook. The air vibrated with music and hung heavy with the heady scent of honeysuckle. Summer on the Channel Islands was beautiful, and the Biennial Island Games promised to be spectacular.

“When will we see Grandma and Grandpa?” Asked Nuffink, tugging at Astrid’s sleeve. He was wearing a Sark flag around his shoulders and had the Berk crest painted on his cheek.

“Soon.” Said Astrid. “The game field’s just up ahead.”

They fought their way through the crowds, Zephyr clinging determinedly to the dangling strap of Hiccup’s rucksack so she didn’t get lost. “Pappa!” She called, “Pappa I cant see!”

“There’s nothing to see yet, Zeph.” Said Hiccup. “Well, nothing but Snotlout making his usual charming impression.” He added dryly, too quietly for anyone except Astrid to hear over the hubbub of the crowd.

Astrid followed his sight line to a boulder in the near distance. Snotlout was stood atop it, shirtless and posing. “Ugh. I guess he’s representing Sark.”

“Lucky us. I wonder which sport.” Muttered Hiccup.

“Social incompetence?” Astrid suggested. “Did I tell you he tried to seduce me with a dead rabbit last week when I was collecting the food delivery?”

“Eww!” Squealed Nuffink. “Why would you want a dead rabbit?”

“Really?” Piped up Zephyr. “How’d he kill it?” Hiccup and Astrid laughed.

By the time they reached the game field the kids were exhausted. Astrid carried Nuffink on her shoulders and he began scanning the crowd for his grandparents. “I’m playing ‘Spot Grandpa Stoick’!” He told Zephyr happily.

“Well that shouldn’t be hard.” Said Hiccup. “He’s not exactly hard to see.”

“That better not be another crack about my weight.” Said a deep voice from behind them.

“Dad!” Hiccup spun around and was embraced by his father. “Ugh! Lungs!” He gasped, “Can’t- breathe!”

Stoick laughed loud enough to compete with the Morris dancing music blasting from a nearby tent. He slapped Hiccup on the back. “Oh, it’s good to see you, son! It’s been too long.” He yelled merrily.

“Yeah, my bruised ribs and I are glad to see you too.” Said Hiccup as he regained his balance.

Zephyr had flung herself at Valka and was talking in full flow about her friends at school. “…and Billy Brighouse stamped on the Viking hat I made so Fanta taught me how to punch him. Just like this!” She drew her arm back and made to swing it.

Hiccup grabbed Zephyr’s hand before she could wallop her grandmother. “Ah! Zephyr-”

Valka just laughed. “I see she takes after her mother.”

Astrid chuckled. “I have… no idea what your talking about.” She said.

Valka smiled at Astrid. “It’s so lovely to see you, dear. Now, who wants to come and have a go on the coconut shy before I have to get ready for the judo tournament?”

“Me! Me!” Cried Nuffink, wriggling for Astrid to let him down from her shoulders.

“Grandma, do you really do judo for Berk?” Asked Zephyr, hand in hand with Valka.

“Oh yes.” Said Valka. “You’d think they’d have found someone younger to replace me by now, but here I am.”

“Every bit as fierce a fighter as you’ve always been, my dear.” Said Stoick.

Valka chuckled. “Ooh, I don’t know. Berk’s so small anyway, and all the young ones are leaving.”

“Sark has the same problem.” Said Hiccup. “The island communities aren’t going to last forever.”

“Of course they will, ‘iccup.” Said Stoick. “That’s why we have games like these. All the island folk from around the world, meeting up to compete with each other. Keeps the spirit alive.”

The children didn’t manage to hit anything at the coconut shy, but they had great fun seeing who could throw the farthest (Zephyr won). “Mamma’s turn now!” Said Nuffink. “Mamma can win!”

Astrid laughed and picked up a ball, raising her arm to aim at the nearest coconut. Suddenly a familiar voice said, “Ha! You throw like a girl!”. Astrid spun around to see Snotlout smirking at her.

“You wish you could throw as well as Mamma!” Shouted Zephyr before Astrid could say anything.

Snotlout scoffed. “You think you can beat me?”

Astrid smiled grimly. “Oh, I know I can.” She threw a perfect shot and knocked a coconut to the floor. The children cheered.

Snotlout laughed. “Not bad. For a woman.” He launched his ball with such force that it missed the coconuts and punctured a hole in the backdrop. “I Err… I meant to do that.” He said quickly.

Zephyr was stood with her hands on her hips. “Yeah, right.”

“Our Mamma is better than you!” Shouted Nuffink.

Snotlout laughed nervously. “I can beat her. Best of three?”


After Astrid had annihilated Snotlout at the coconut shy, Nuffink and Zephyr lead the adults behind the large crafts marquee. The sound of the games was muted there, and the ground much less muddy.

“We’ve got a surprise.” Said Zephyr proudly to her grandparents. “Mamma and Pappa helped us.” Astrid got the children’s Atali and Wingnut costumes out of her bag. It had been Nuffink’s idea to perform their play for Stoick and Valka; and, with the omission of the huge fairy-come-dragon wings, the outfits hadn’t been hard to carry to Jersey. Good job, too, because Zephyr had insisted they couldn’t perform in their festival clothes.

By the time Astrid and Hiccup had helped the children pull on their costumes- a challenge given how anxious Zephyr was about smudging her face paint- Stoick had fetched small chairs from the marquee. He was perched on a stool that was groaning under his weight.

“We’re starting now.” Said Zephyr to Astrid. “You and Pappa stand with Grandma and Grandpa.”

With the colourful jumble of music drifting over from the games field, the children’s play took on a magical quality. Their performance shone with energy, and their jokes came alive. By the time Zephyr and Nuffink took their closing bows, Valka was chuckling and Stoick was doubled over in side splitting laughter.

“Oh! Oh that was-!” He slapped his knee as he struggled to breath through his hysterics. “Oh! That was wonderful! My Thor, Hiccup, you’ve raised good kids!”

Zephyr ran to Stoick and Nuffink climbed onto his lap. “Grandpa, let’s play dragon warriors!” Shouted Nuffink. Stoick stood up, hoisting Zephyr and Nuffink under each arm, and span them around.

“Who are my little Vikings?” He cried.

“We are! Me!” Shouted Nuffink. “Me! I’m a Viking!”

“I’m a dragon!” Yelled Zephyr. She flailed her arms and let out a ferocious dragon roar. Her lunge for Nuffink’s leg unbalanced Stoick, and the three of them collapsed in a heap on the floor, shrieking with laughter. Astrid watched them, grinning from ear to ear. Then Stoick spoke.

“Oh, Odín,” he muttered, wiping tears from his eyes. “Seriously, Hiccup, have you thought about having any more?” He ruffled Zephyr’s hair. “These grandchildren are the light of my life.”

Astrid saw the world in slow motion. Blood thundered in her ears. She turned, stalking away before she could say something she’d regret; before the rage boiled over in front of her children. She headed back to the game field and the crowd parted around her; fury clearing a path through people who didn’t understand. She reached the coconut shy, picked up a ball and lobbed it hard. One by one the coconuts fell, and the backboard was littered with bulletwounds, and Astrid did not feel better. She was about to throw another ball when Valka appeared. She stood next to Astrid and for a few moments said nothing. The silence bubbled up between them, and Astrid wondered why Valka had followed her at all.

“Astrid,” she said eventually, “will you walk with me?” Astrid looked up. Valka was watching her intently with a look of gentle understanding. Astrid wanted to snap, to scream at her mother-in-law for treating her like- Astrid glanced at the ball in her hand and the punctured coconut shy, and suddenly felt childish. She set the ball down and nodded at Valka.

They walked around the perimeter of the field, past a raucous game of football between Bermuda and the Faroe Islands, and into the woods. Valka said nothing until they reached a clearing. In the middle were five horses grazing on overgrown grass.

“These are Matilda’s.” Said Valka. She reached out to one of the horses and it allowed her to stroke its nose. “They normally graze on the game field.”

“Matilda is Jersey’s judo competitor, right?” Said Astrid. She was feeling calmer now, and able to speak without the risk of bursting into flames.

“Yes. We met at the island games years ago.” Valka chuckled. “I’ve never had a penpal who writes such long letters.”

Astrid nodded. She swallowed and stroked the mane of a chestnut mare that was nuzzling her coat, exploring for treats.

Valka was watching Astrid again. Astrid wished she’d stop. She was about to say something when Valka spoke.

“The pain will never go away, Astrid. But nothing will make you love your baby less.”

Astrid nodded. “I know.” She breathed. “I know. I shouldn’t have let Stoick get to me. But it’s still raw.”

Valka smiled ruefully. “It’ll feel raw for the rest of your life.”

I know, thought Astrid. She bit her tongue and looked at Valka. Valka was absorbed in the horses again and seemed unaware of Astrid’s staring. “That sounds like experience talking.” Said Astrid eventually.

“Hmm.” Valka offered a carrot from a nearby bucket to one of the horses. “I lost three babes.” She said after a pause.

“I’m sorry.” Said Astrid. “I didn’t know.” Her throat felt tight.

“Two early, and then a little girl at eight months. A few years before Hiccup was born. Oh, she was beautiful. Perfect, like a porcelain doll.”

Astrid felt an irrational stab of jealously that Valka had spent eight months with her baby growing inside her. “Did you get to hold her?” Astrid asked. Dappled sunlight was falling through the tree canopy and casting golden shadows over Valka’s face. The silence was both comfortable and heart-crushingly heavy at the same time. Astrid wondered if this was what other people’s pain looked like.

“Oh, Aye.” Said Valka without looking up from the horse. Her thin fingers were deftly weaving its mane into a plait. “She was beautiful.”

“What did she look like?” Astrid asked, her voice softer than hoof beats on grass.

“Like Zephyr. She looked like Zephyr when she was a newborn babe.” Valka finally lifted her gaze to look at Astrid. Her face was creased with the sadness and strength of a lifetime of grief. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when Zephyr was born. My first grandchild.”

Astrid nodded. “I’m sorry.” It felt so hollow. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Valka chuckled and waved her hand. “Oh, you didn’t need me talking about dead babies at the birth of your daughter. What good would that have done?”

It would have helped, Astrid wanted to say. Instead, she picked up an apple from the bucket by the fence and held it out to a small palomino. She breathed slowly as the pony snuffled the fruit from her hand. “Why didn’t you tell me when I had the first miscarriage?”

“The first miscarriage?”

“Hiccup didn’t tell you?”

Astrid and Valka looked at each other for a moment. “No.” Said Valka quietly. “No. I recognised your grief, and I knew. But no, Hiccup didn’t tell me.”

Astrid’s first thought was I’m going to kill him, replaced immediately by concern. She’d assumed he’d at least had support from his parents. It broke her heart that he’d suffered in silence, and for what? She hoped to the Gods he wasn’t trying to protect her privacy.

“You know how hard it is to speak out.” Said Valka, as if reading Astrid’s mind. “Sometimes it’s impossible to find the words.”

Astrid nodded. The palomino was nuzzling her cheek now, and Astrid buried her face in the horse’s neck. She didn’t cry. There were no tears, so she didn’t cry. There were no words, either, so when Valka put her arm around Astrid’s shoulder, they stood in silence.

“Thank you.” Said Astrid, an eternity later when she looked up. Valka’s cheeks were wet.

“Thank you, Astrid.” She said quietly. “I haven’t talked about my daughter for a long time.”

Astrid gazed at Valka, stood in the quiet of the clearing with the strength of a woman who had seen life and death; who had decided the world was okay and gone on living.

“Your babies will always be with you.” Said Valka.

“I know.” Whispered Astrid. “I know.”

Index with disclaimer and links to other chapters

13 notes · See All

The Maps Between Us- Chapter 20

TW: vomit, miscarriage, panic attack

Astrid slept right through the evening and into the night. Hiccup put the kids to bed and lay beside her, attempting to read a book about Viking longboats. He couldn’t really concentrate. He couldn’t sleep, either, despite exhaustion making his head feel fuzzy.

Astrid began to stir. Hiccup put his book aside and turned to her. “It’s okay, Astrid. Go back to sleep.” He whispered.

Astrid groaned. She coiled up on her side, her arms around her stomach. In the glow from his bedside lamp, Hiccup could see she was pale. She groaned again. Hiccup picked up her sick bowl from the nightstand and waited, debating whether to wake her. She kicked her legs out and curled her knees up to her chest. “I know. I know.” Soothed Hiccup, rubbing her back. “It’s okay.” She seemed to settle down and he was about to switch the lamp off when Astrid jolted awake. For a split second she and Hiccup looked at each other. Then Astrid gagged. Hiccup pulled her upright and held her sick bowl for her whilst she threw up.

“Ugh!” Astrid spat into the plastic container. “Bathroom!”

“Astrid, it’s okay. Just wait it out here and then-”

“Bathroom.” She said. She clambered up from the bed and almost doubled over, still retching into the bowl.

“Alright.” Hiccup said. He slipped his hand under her armpit and held her up. The trip down the hall was short and laboured, with a brief intermission on the landing for Astrid to heave desperately. Hiccup spoke to her in soothing tones the entire time. He tried, without success, to encourage her to kneel down. Trust Astrid to prefer to stand with her body collapsing in agony. Eventually she dragged herself to the bathroom and rested her head on the toilet seat.

The bathroom door creaked open. Hiccup turned to see Nuffink watching them, his eyes wide. “Mamma?”

“She’s okay, Bud. She’s just feeling a little bit poorly, that’s all.”

“Mamma!” Nuffink ran into the room and threw himself at Astrid’s lap, reaching up to wrap his arms around her neck and hug her. “Mamma!”

“I’m okay, Baby.” Astrid said. She ran her fingers through Nuffink’s hair. “I’m alright. Oh Gods.” She muttered into her hand and pushed Nuffink aside. Nuffink patted her head whilst she was sick again.

“C’mere, Nuffink,” said Hiccup, “give Mamma some space.”

“No!” Said Nuffink, clinging to Astrid’s back.

“Let’s go to bed, Bud. I’ll read you a story.”

“No! I want Mamma to read to me!”

“Mamma’s busy right now.” Hiccup said.

Astrid sat up and wiped her eyes on the back of her hand. “It’s okay, Hiccup. I think it’s over now, anyway.”

Hiccup touched her shoulder. “You, stay.” He said firmly. He picked up Nuffink and left the bathroom.

“No fair, Hiccup.” She called after him, but she didn’t follow.

Hiccup took Nuffink back to his bedroom. “Okay, Buddy, what book should I read?”

Nuffink looked at Hiccup. “Will Mamma be better tomorrow?”

“Maybe not tomorrow. But in a few days. I’ll take care of her.”

Nuffink nodded solemnly. Then his face broke into a grin. “Can we have pancakes for breakfast?”

Hiccup laughed and ruffled Nuffink’s hair. “No promises. Come on, choose a story.”

He picked a book from the precarious pile on the floor. Hiccup hurried through the pages of Hookfang and the Flying Sheep, listening out for Astrid. All was quiet. The Gods must have been looking down on Hiccup, because Nuffink was already falling asleep, his pirate blanket clutched in his fist. Hiccup kissed his forehead and left the room.

Astrid was still sat over the toilet. “Hey.” She said, looking up as Hiccup came in.

Hiccup sat down next to her. “Hey, my love.” She was trembling. The bags under her eyes made her face look hollow. “I’m so sorry you’re sick.” He whispered, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

Astrid chuckled. “Don’t be sorry.”

“Why shouldn’t I be sorry, Astrid? This is-”

“A blessing in disguise.” Said Astrid. She shifted the weight on her legs slightly.

“What? Astrid, call me a muttonhead, but I fail to see how anything about this is at all positive.”

Astrid lay her hand on his knee. “Hiccup, I think you’re missing the point. Don’t you see? I got pregnant. My ovary released an egg and it got fertilised! I’ll get pregnant again one day; now we know it’s possible.”

“Yeah,” said Hiccup, covering her hand with his own, “you were pregnant. And now you’re extremely ill.”

“I’m not that ill.” Said Astrid. She leant forward and vomited.

“Yes, you are.” Hiccup stroked her hair back from her face and kissed her cheek. “Are you sure you want to try for another baby? Astrid, we’ve got two gorgeous children. I can’t bear the thought of them losing their mother. I can’t bear the thought of being without you.”

“I know you can’t.” Said Astrid. “Sorry,” she swallowed. “this must be really hard for you.” She reached out and touched Hiccup’s face with a shaking hand. “We don’t need to make any decisions now. Let’s just get through the next few days.”

“Alright.” Hiccup pressed a kiss to Astrid’s forehead. “How are you feeling?”

“Gross. I’m gonna jump in the shower. Could you make me some peppermint tea?”

Hiccup spent a long time in the kitchen staring at the steam rising from the kettle. He thought over what Astrid had said. He knew her well enough to recognise a brave face when he saw one. It was so typically Astrid to try to convince him- and herself- that she was okay. No amount of looking for positives would ever make losing a baby less agonising.

By the time he took Astrid’s tea upstairs she was out of the shower. He went into the bedroom and stopped short. Astrid was sat on the bed wrapped in a towel, her whole body wracked with sobs. Hiccup crossed the room in a heart beat. Placing the mug on the bedside table, he sat next to her.

Astrid took a deep, choking breath. Her legs were shaking.

“Alright, Astrid. It’s okay.” Hiccup murmured. He had seen panic attacks before: he’d had a couple himself when his leg was amputated. He knew better than to touch Astrid, though his first instinct was to wrap her in his arms and tell her she was safe.

They sat together on the bed for an eternity. Hiccup spoke to Astrid, reassuring her that the feeling would pass. He wanted to tell her everything was okay, but he couldn’t, because it wasn’t. Their baby was gone before it had even really existed, and no amount of brave faces would ever change that. Astrid was distraught, and Hiccup’s heart was breaking.

“Hiccup!” Astrid reached out to her husband, and Hiccup held her. She was still crying, but her breathing was more controlled now, her gasping less frenzied. She buried her face in Hiccup’s shoulder and he pressed on her back, whispering encouragement to take slow, deep breaths. Astrid fought hard to gain control of her mind and body. Within a few minutes she had stopped crying. She swallowed and wiped her eyes, her fingernails digging so deep into the back of Hiccup’s hand he was sure she’d drawn blood.

“Okay.” Breathed Hiccup. “Okay. You’re doing really well, Astrid.”

Astrid took several shuddering, oxygen-starved breaths. She looked at Hiccup , her eyes wild and cheeks tear-stained. “I need to know.” She gasped. “Hiccup. I need to know.”

“What do you need to know?” He brushed a stray hair back from her eyes, and said a silent prayer that she was going to ask a question he could answer.

“I need to know- oh Gods- I need to know if the baby was a boy or a girl.”

Hiccup looked at her, trembling and sick and with the dressing on her middle peeking out through a gap in the towel. “Oh Astrid. I don’t know.”

“I’m going to ring the hospital.” Said Astrid. “Tomorrow.” She took a deep breath and spoke frantically, stumbling over her words. “I need to know. When I think about the baby I don’t know whether to think ‘he’ or ‘she’- and- and,” she groaned and pressed a fist to her eyes. “My baby isn’t an ‘it’. I don’t want to think “it”.”

“Of course not, Astrid. We’ll ring the-”

“And I’m going to ask for help- for pregnancy loss support or bereavement counselling or therapy or whatever.” Her teeth were chattering. “I never got over the first miscarriage. And now we’ve lost another one.”

“I think that’s a really good idea. I’ll support you. We’ll face this together, okay?”

“Okay.” Astrid nodded and her breath hitched. “Did you see the photos?”

“The photos?” Asked Hiccup.

“Of the ultrasound. Did they show you photos of the ultrasound?”

It hadn’t even occurred to Hiccup that the doctors might have taken images during the pre-op scan. “No.” He said.

“I’m going to ask. Tomorrow, when I ring them. I’ll ask.”

Hiccup nodded. He wasn’t sure whether the hospital would have answers to any of Astrid’s questions, but he knew support for mothers of miscarried babies had come a long way in recent years. And support for fathers too, he supposed. “Okay, Astrid.” He pressed his lips to her forehead. “We’ll speak to them tomorrow.”

Astrid nodded. Her breathing was still off kilter. “I need to get dressed.” She looked around the room like a woman possessed. “I need to get dressed.” She repeated, her voice panicked. Hiccup passed her some clean pyjamas from the dresser and she tried to put them on. Her shaking hands fumbled with the buttons on the nightshirt.

“Here,” Hiccup said, “let me help. You’re gonna feel awful for a few hours.” To his relief Astrid allowed him to button her shirt for her.

Astrid looked at Hiccup. “I don’t want to be in this room anymore.”

“Okay, Astrid. Shall we go lie on the sofa?”

Astrid nodded. She stood up and took Hiccup’s hand. She squeezed. “Thank you.”

“I love you.” He said by way of reply. Astrid just nodded.

They curled up together on the sofa. Hiccup wrapped Astrid in a blanket and rubbed her arms. Normally she hated being fussed over, but tonight she seemed to want to be looked after. “Can you talk to me?” She asked.

“Of course. What would you like me to talk about?”

“Anything. I just- I just need to hear your voice.”

“Okay, Astrid. Okay.” Hiccup began to tell Astrid one of the bedtime stories he told the kids, about Dagur the Deranged of the Berserker tribe. He kept having to stop to swallow back tears. If Astrid noticed, she didn’t mention it. She shivered in Hiccup’s arms despite the blankets and his body heat, and eventually fell asleep. She looked truly drained. Hiccup continued talking to her until the story was finished. Then he rested his chin on the top of her head and watched the sunrise out the living room window.

Outside the door, a stair creaked. Hiccup looked up. “Nuffink?” He called.

The living room door crept open and Zephyr’s head appeared. “Hi Pappa.” She said. “I was listening to your story.” She crossed the room and climbed onto the sofa, nestling herself between Astrid and the blankets.

“You could have come and listened with me and Mamma.” Said Hiccup.

“I know.” Zephyr rested her head against Hiccup’s shoulder. “Mamma’s sick, isn’t she?”

“Yes, honey.” The kids knew Astrid had been in hospital, and that the doctors were trying to make her better.

“Is she having a baby?”

Hiccup’s heart dropped. He wrapped his arm around Zephyr and chose his words carefully. “No, Zeph.” Zephyr turned and looked at him, surprised. “She was pregnant,” continued Hiccup quietly, “but she’s not pregnant anymore. Mamma was very poorly and the baby died.”

Zephyr studied his face, her eyes unblinking. “Why did the baby die?”

“You remember Mamma telling you that babies grow in wombs?” Zephyr nodded. “Well,” Hiccup swallowed. This was possibly the hardest conversation he’d ever had. “The baby wasn’t growing in Mamma’s womb. It was in the wrong part of her body, and that’s why it died.”

“Couldn’t the doctors put the baby into Mamma’s womb?”

“No, honey. No. It’s harder than that.”

Zephyr nodded. She started to cry, huge teardrops rolling down her cheeks. Hiccup cuddled her. In her sleep, Astrid groaned slightly.

“It’s okay, Zephyr.” Hiccup whispered. “It’s okay to cry.”

“You were crying earlier.” Said Zephyr, wiping her nose on the sleeve of her pink pyjamas.

“Yeah, I was. I was sad about the baby.”

“Me too. Will Mamma have another baby?”

“I don’t know, Zeph. It’s complicated. Having another baby wouldn’t mean we’d miss this baby less.”

Zephyr nodded. She pulled Astrid’s blanket over herself. “Can I sleep here with you and Mamma tonight?”

“Of course, baby.” The sofa was too small for the three of them, really, but Hiccup wouldn’t have sent Zephyr back upstairs for all the blessings in Valhalla.

Disclaimer and links to other chapters

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The Maps Between Us- Chapter 19

Astrid was discharged after one night in hospital. She was sent home with painkillers, a follow up appointment with the community nurse and strict instructions to rest. Hiccup wasn’t sure what was harder: putting on a brave face for the children or trying to persuade Astrid to stay in bed. He took the day one moment at a time, focusing all his energy on whatever pointless task he was attempting.

Washing the dishes.

Making lunch.

Trying to encourage Astrid to take her pain medication.

Zephyr almost caught him crying into the laundry cupboard, but he was able to play that off as allergies. Thank goodness neither he nor Astrid had gotten around to dusting recently. He spent as much time as possible with Astrid. They didn’t talk. There was nothing to say, so they sat in silence, swallowed by emptiness. It helped that they had each other.

Just after four o’clock Zephyr poked her head around the bedroom door. “Mamma? We’ve got a surprise for you!”

“A surprise?” Said Astrid, shuffling upright in bed. Her face betrayed no pain but Hiccup, sat with his arms around her, felt her wince.

“We’re putting on a play!” Shouted Nuffink from the hallway.

“Wonderful.” Said Hiccup. “I can’t wait to-”

“Quiet, Pappa!” Hissed Zephyr. “We’re starting!” Astrid laughed and rested her head against Hiccup’s shoulder. The children traipsed into the room. Zephyr was wearing a Viking warrior outfit over her pyjamas and Nuffink was dressed from head to toe in grey, Zephyr’s old fairy wings hanging off his shoulders. “Long ago,” said Zephyr, sweeping her arm around the room dramatically, “there was an island of Wingmaidens who protected the Razorwhip dragon-”

“That’s me!” Nuffink whisper-shouted.

“Shhh, Nuff! -protected the Razorwhip dragons from hunters. One day, Atali and her Razorwhip Wingnut…”

The children were acting out one of Hiccup’s bedtime stories. He listened closely, delighted that they liked the tale enough to bring it to life. The children were talented performers, and their amateur dramatics had some genuinely funny moments. By the end of the play, Zephyr and Nuffink were rosy-cheeked and out of breath.

“That was amazing!” Said Astrid. Her voice was strangely high pitched, but the children didn’t seem to notice. Thank Thor for the Haddock children and their obliviousness.

“Thank you.” Said Zephyr. Nuffink took a bow and the comically long sleeves of the jumper he was wearing flapped in the air.

Astrid stifled a yawn. “Can you and Nuffink practise another play for me?”

“I want to be a Berserker this time!” Shouted Nuffink.

“Oh! Pappa, can I paint Nuffink’s face?” Said Zephyr, practically bouncing off the walls with excitement.

“Go on.” Said Hiccup. “I’ll get the face paints out for you in a minute. Why don’t you go and look for your costumes whilst I talk to Mamma?” The children squealed and ran from the room. Hiccup could hear them next door rifling through Zephyr’s wardrobe. He turned to look at Astrid. “How are you doing, milady?”

“I’m okay.” Said Astrid. “You can stop worrying about me now.”

“I always worry about you. You look shattered.”

“Yeah. I think I’m going to try to get some sleep. Keep the kids occupied for me?”

“Of course.” Hiccup kissed Astrid’s cheek and then went to the window to pull the curtains shut. He turned back to Astrid. “Promise you’ll text me if you need anything?”

Astrid was snuggled amongst the pillows. “Promise.” She said. “Now will you please leave so I can sleep, Mr. ‘You should be listening to your body and resting as much as possible’?”

Hiccup chuckled and pulled the bedroom door shut behind him.


Index with disclaimer and links to other chapters

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Httyd fandom, hear me out

Zephyr is around twenty now. Zephyr, Nuffink and co (the other rider’s teenage kids) want to find the hidden world they’ve heard so much about. They steal a ship and sneak off New Berk. Of course, they don’t know where it is, so they zig-zag through the archipelago. First, they visit Berserker island, where Heather gives the gang her old vest and tells them to find her razorwhip in the hidden world and give it to her. Then, they sail to the Defenders of the Wing, where Dagur and Mala’s eldest child decides to come with them to meet the great protector. After that, they sail to the Edge, which is now a ruin. There the kids become even more determined to find the hidden world. With dragons, humans could do so much!


Meanwhile on New Berk the parents want to find their kids and set sail too. They come past Heather and Dagur and Mala, and arrive at the Edge. Too late, their kids have left again, but a recent fire shows them their kids have been there. The rider’s spirits fall when they see the old Edge. They’re stopping their children from finding the dragons, but no one would rather see the dragons than the rider’s themselves. They board their ship again, to find the hidden world themselves.


The kids find the entrance to the hidden world and their ship falls in, splintering it to pieces. A dragon saves them before they hit the ground. It’s a gronckle, that sniffs Ruff and Fish’s child and recognizes their smell immediately. It’s Meatlug, the kids now realize! They follow her to Alpha Toothless, who greets Zephyr and Nuffink with great happiness. To both Haddock’s surprise, the Night Lights have grown up to be as big as their father. While the kids meet with Toothless, the riders arrive at the hidden world and sneak in, with all their dragon knowledge. They scratch a few nadders under their chins to knock them out and enter the area where Toothless is still greeting the kids. A few seconds pass before the night fury’s eyes light up and he tackles Hiccup to the ground, licking him over. The light fury pulls them apart and urges the humans to follow her.


They all follow her, while the parents tell the kids never to run away like that again. They’re all silenced, though, when they enter a hall full of sick dragons. Coughing, grunting and whining. Quickly, Fishlegs assesses that an illness is spreading through the hidden world. An area full of regularly placed rocks seems to resemble a dragon graveyard. Meatlug and Stormfly enter and greet their riders with joy, but when Snotlout looks around, he sees Hookfang lying among the sick dragons. Shocked, he runs to greet his nightmare. The twins look around and ask Toothless where Barf and Belch are. The Alpha remains silent and bows his head. Meatlug and Stormfly do the same. Ruffnut stumbles back. ‘No…’ she whispers. The light fury pats a stone in the graveyard. Tuffnut sinks to the ground before it, tears on his cheeks. Hiccup ushers everyone to leave and the twins are left alone to grieve their fallen zippleback.


They walk through the hidden world, marveling at its beauty. How sad, Zephyr says, one illness can destroy all that beauty. A razorwhip shows up and sniffs her bag, which contains Heather’s verst. This dragon must be Windshear! They spend some longer in this world, bonding with dragons and listening to the stories their parents tell. Until, at some point, Hiccup tells everyone it’s time to leave.


The kids plead no! We want to stay! The parents say the same. Even Astrid tells Hiccup they can’t leave the dragons to die. They have to find a cure for the illness. Zephyr steps up. She proposes a scenario in which the teens stay in the hidden world, with the dragons they’ve now bonded with. They’ll attempt to find a cure. The parents have to return to New Berk to lead. And so it happens: the last convulsion of dragon riders lives halfway on New Berk and halfway in the hidden world. They search their known world for a cure. Maybe one day, they’ll find it.

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Baby Zephyr

Baby Nuffink

And 3rd Baby…


I would really love Hiccup and Astrid to have a third child! My Headcanon is that it would be a girl but a tomboy and she will have a very independant spirit.


Hope you’ll like these pictures of Pregstrid till I finish her in her Epilogue and Homecoming Outfit!

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Hey everyone, @astrid-foreverythingelse here! So this drabble is actually for a request we received on our AO3 account (hence no ask to answer) but we still wanted to be able to share it with you in case it was something you guys were interested in.  Hope you enjoy!


Modern AU Hiccup and Astrid take Zephyr and Nuffink to the Berk Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary for “Bring Your Kid To Work Day”. They introduce them to their most well-known inhabitants; Toothless, a black jaguar and Luna, an albino leopard, Stormfly, a Newfoundland white wolf/Florida black wolf hybrid, Hookfang, a tigon (a hybrid born from a tiger and a lioness), Meatlug, a Syrian Brown Bear, Barf and Belch, a two-headed King cobra, Cloudjumper, a great gray owl, (Strix nebulosa lapponica), Skullcrusher, a northern white rhino, Grump, a Bornean sun bear, Windshear, an Iberian lynx, and Sharpshot, a vervet monkey and the sanctuary’s mascot.

I absolutely loved the challenge this prompt was so thank you so much for submitting it, and I hope its at least somewhat like what you had in mind! It’s quite a long one so it’s coming in at least 3 parts. Enjoy, Parts 2 and 3 to come soon!

Wild Life

“Alright, now do we remember all the rules?”  Astrid looked down at her two children vibrating in place with excitement.

Her husband chuckled behind her.  “I don’t think they’re listening anymore.”

Keep reading

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Nuffink: *is afraid of the dark*

Hiccup: That’s okay. I’ll get you a Night Light.

Hiccup: *brings Pouncer (the white Night Light) into Nuffink’s room the next night*

Nuffink: Daddy, I thought I was getting a Night Light.

Hiccup: This is a Night Light.

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