Nightfall (no, not that one) is a How to Train Your Dragon fanfic which sets out to answer one simple question: what would have happened had Cloudjumper also taken Hiccup, and not just Valka, on that one fateful night?
The answer, as it turns out, is a lot of things.
Twenty years after Hiccup's disappearance, the dragon raids continue unabated on Berk. And then, Berk's vikings manage to shoot down a Night Fury - along with a feral young man who seems strangely familiar...
Tropes featured in Nightfall:
- Body Language: Being Raised By Dragons, Hiccup communicates as much through body language as with words, and can read people without verbal communication. This is how he knows Astrid isn't lying to him about being human rather than dragon as he'd believed.
- Dragon Rider: Hiccup.
- Feral Child: Hiccup grew up as one.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Hiccup retains much of his talent in this area, despite of his upbringing.
- In Spite of a Nail: Hiccup and Toothless still end up together prior to the fic's events. Plus, Toothless still ends up being named "Toothless". But other than that...well.
- I Am What I Am: How Hiccup ultimately reconciles with his humanity. Sure, he may be physically human, but in his heart he will forever be a dragon.
- Interspecies Adoption: Toothless to Hiccup
- Painting the Medium: A minor example - all alpha dragons have their speech written in bold
- Platonic Life-Partners: Hiccup and Toothless, even more so than in canon. They've been together since Hiccup was six months old and Toothless was a hatchling, refer to each other as halves of the same whole, and regard danger or distress to one as the same as to both.
- Posthumous Character: Valka
- Raised By Dragons: Hiccup has lived with dragons since he was about six months old. It shows.
- True Companions: Hiccup and Toothless - even more so than in canon.
- Technically a Smile: Whenever Hiccup tries to smile, owing to his time with the dragons.
- Xenofiction: A big draw of the fic. The dragons, though very much intelligent, are very much nonhuman in the ways they think and speak. This contrasts a great deal with most other fics on the topic.
- What Have I Become?: Hiccup really doesn't take it well when he realizes he's human. His only experience with humans up to this point, aside from his barely remembered mother, have been with various dragon hunters who killed his mother and have tried to kill him and Toothless, so the realization shatters his understanding of self to the core.