Author: ka has moved PM
The day before America's Christmas party, Norway searches the forest to find a proper gift. He runs into a few unsavory faeries along the way. Drabbley oneshot; one of many.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural - Norway - Words: 1,253 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 4 - Published: 12-27-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7679676
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N Written for the HetaChallenge community Advent Lightning Challenge. Link to table of original fill in my profile; prompt was "Ornament". This one was the hardest so far.
It's an acorn.
Norway purses his lips and takes it out of the small creature's hand. He holds it up to the light, examining the color and precise markings. It's a wonderful find; perfectly symmetrical and a sort of golden-brown you just don't see in a small seed like this. Of course using magic he can have absolutely any kind of acorn he wants (Denmark asked for one that looked and tasted like beer once, which Norway didn't see the point in that and so ignored him), but... it's just not the same when you find it and pick it up off the ground.
He scratches the little squirrel behind the ear. "It's beautiful," he says. "But this is America. He's going to want something with a little more 'pizazz'."
The rodent sniffs, chatters disdainfully, and runs off. Norway sighs and pockets the acorn. It certainly isn't his fault he can't take it; it's entirely America's doing that Christmas has become commercial and nobody understands exactly what it's supposed to be about anymore.
He begins walking again. If it were up to him, he would bring a food dish and be done with it. That's usually what he does, anyway - no one ever dares try it and so he has plenty of leftovers for himself. Even when he gets together with England and Romania it's never this big a deal.
But he can't do that, unfortunately. The butter crisis (Sweden had rolled his eyes, Denmark had laughed. "You're out of butter? You're never out of butter! You put butter in everything!")
("Well, it's true!")
Norway kicks at the snow. It's nice and white, the sort of snow you never get at America's house. He wishes he could do something about that, something to make it feel more natural. More like... like...
He can almost smile when he sees a family's nisse walking by in a hurry, carrying some firewood and shielding it from the windy snow with his coat. He's so small, like a six- or- seven-year-old boy, that he's having trouble with the load.
"Hey!" Norway calls.
The nisse almost trips, and spills the logs everywhere. Norway jogs over and helps him pick them up.
"What was that for?" the nisse demands.
"My apologies." He could make a snarky remark, but it's never a good idea to piss off the fey, as England calls them. "I just wanted your attention."
"I've got a family t' get back to," the nisse retorts. "I don' have time to be talking with random people on the road."
Norway hands him the rest of the logs. "I'm not a random person."
"I know exactly who you are," the nisse says, "and I don't care. Like I said, I have my own family."
Norway does have to smile at that. The little guy is certainly loyal; he likes that in a person. "Can I ask your advice, though?"
"No!" the nisse yells, and runs off. Norway is left standing in the middle of the snowy forest, wondering what he's supposed to do now.
He turns and sees a man, not much older than him, leaning against a tree. His hair is blonde and shaggy, bits of stubble growing on his face and piercing, narrow blue eyes. He grins mischievously. "Long time no see," he says in Old Norse.
Norway rolls his eyes. "What do you want?"
Loki looks hurt. "Just to know why you're putting up with that creature. It's rude to give me the same greeting you gave him."
"Poor Loki," Norway says emotionlessly. "How sad he must feel at being treated exactly how he deserves." Loki, in his opinion, is just as bad as Romania when it comes to pulling pranks and tricking others into believing in something that doesn't exist. He is, as Iceland or Hong Kong would say, an extremely obnoxious troll.
(It's odd to describe him like that. Norway defines a troll as something much different from what's on the internet these days, though it wouldn't surprise him if trolls invaded there, too.)
"I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas," Loki says. "And to tell you that I'm still one of your gods."
"You're not a god," Norway says, turning away and walking off. "Not anymore."
"Just remember that if you need something interesting to happen, a good war works well!" Loki's voice fades as he gets further away.
There's a small tug at his sleeve. He turns and sees a figure only a little taller than the nisse, twisted and black and gnarled, much like a dead tree root, yet it has an ugly sort of natural beauty he remembers from his younger days. "What advice are you looking for?"
It's a svartalf, that's the name. Norway sighs and says, "I need something, an inexpensive but still classy something that America won't take offense at getting. Preferably something shiny."
The svartalf narrows its eyes (he's never been able to tell if when they're male or female) and reaches into the pouch at its waist. "How much will you give me for it?"
Norway keeps his poker face; this'll be difficult. He doesn't know if acorns are fair trades with svartalfs; they tend to work well with their lighter-hearted counterparts, but the svartalf race largely prefers the underground mines of old. "Depends on what it is," he says.
The svartalf glances left, then right, then pulls out a thin ring about ten centimeters in diameter, with words carved around the edge. It looks suspiciously like Andvaranaut, the ring said to attract gold like a magnet. "It's an ornament," he says. "Goes around a candle. Two hundred years old, very expensive."
"What does it say?"
The svartelf wiggles a finger. "Payment first."
Norway rolls his eyes, but pulls out the acorn and a small bottle of liquor that he bartered from a troll earlier. The svartalf's eyes widen at the sight; it snatches at both, examines both, and tosses away the acorn. Then he thrusts the ring into Norway's hand. "Good business," he says, and runs off into the forest.
Norway looks down at the ring and examines it, then chuckles to himself.
In Old Norse, it reads, "Imitation only. Does not actually attract gold."
Nisse - very similar to JK Rowling's house elves, and what we call brownies here in the States. I don't know if England calls them the same thing, but he's got them too.
Loki - Norse god of mischief. Because he's not part of widespread religion anymore, he's become significantly less powerful and goes around pranking people. I think he and Prussia would get along.
Svartalf - Literally, "Dark Elf". Very much like a dwarf, but whether or not they're one and the same depends on the translator. Think "goblin" and you'll be okay.
Andvaranaut - Goes by a few names; this is the one in my mythology dictionary. Literally attracts gold like a magnet; said to make the owner rich as Hades. ^^ /lame pun