Loki released his grip and let himself fall. Thor's screams of anguish rang in his ears, yet Odin's silence was somehow ten times more deafening. As he turned towards the blue vortex below him, he felt his eyes began to water.
That was only because the light was too bright, of course. Not because of the fact that this was the end for him. It also wasn't because of Odin's disappointment. No, he cared about Odin as much as Odin cared about him: not at all. Or a bit less than that, perhaps.
He wasn't exactly sure how it was possible to care for someone less than not at all, but he was good at beating impossible odds. Except when he wasn't. Like now, for example, as he found himself failing in his plan to destroy Jotunheim. Then again, those odds hadn't exactly been impossible.
The chance of surviving this, however, was impossibly low. Logic dictated that Loki would, therefore, survive.
Loki smiled as the swirling abyss of oblivion enveloped him.
If he had been conscious, Loki would have been screaming—if the pain hadn't already torn his mind apart, that was. In fact, more than that was happening now. Splinters of his very being were lashed off by the power assaulting him. Each shard of Loki was sent in a different direction, and subsequently destroyed by corporeal and spiritual energies alike.
All but one.
A fragment of Loki, slightly bigger than the rest managed to cling to its former body until the very last moment. Any physical part of it was destroyed as it re-entered the universe, but the spirit–the soul, the tiny piece of one, at least–remained. The energies of the broken Bifrost picked it up like a tornado and sent it spinning through space and time, and in a matter of massive coincidence, it happened to land on Midgard.
The fragment was a being of animalistic instinct, and all animals desired to eat. This entity needed to feed upon magic–not much, but it would need to latch itself to a source. In its extremely weak state, the source would need to be vulnerable. It scanned across the Earth, omnipresent and yet without form, looking for something to consume.
And there it was. A being much like it. An entity that was less than a hundredth of a human's soul that had connected itself to a host in an attempt at survival. Unfortunately for the said piece of human soul, a hundredth of an Asgardian soul was far more powerful than even a whole human soul—and it most certainly was not a full human skull.
Whilst the fragment of Loki was far too small to measure, it had little trouble ripping the despicable creature into shreds and banishing it from its host's mind so that he could replace it.
If the six-year-old Harry Potter had been awake, he would have seen a cloud of writhing blackness burst from his scar, letting out an eldritch screech before a bright white light consumed it and forced its own way in. In fact, he did awake at this point, but by this time the light show had vanished.
With a small frown, he attributed the light he had seen to his imagination–there were no windows in his cupboard, after all–and went back to sleep.
For what seemed like an eternity to him, Loki could do naught but observe and think. Thinking. He had certainly been doing a lot of that. The first matter he had decided to contemplate was the simple subject of whether or not he was actually Loki. He had retained partial memory of his time as an untethered spirit, his supernatural intelligence the only thing that stopped his mind from being driven insane as he perceived the concept of nigh-on omnipresence.
He knew that he had been a part of Loki, and that with the fact that the "real" Loki was most likely dead, he decided that he was now Loki–even if he didn't have a physical form and was confined to the mind of a child. How he had fallen.
Whilst he had never paid much attention to the affairs of the great majority of mortal kind, he had occasionally interfered with wizards, spreading chaos among them and teaching them spells that would further their strife between themselves. He happened to now inhabit the mind of one of them, and an apparently powerful one if his estimations were correct. Well, not powerful now seeing as though he was a six-year-old, but he would be when he was an adult—if he managed to make it to adulthood.
Loki would have been happier with the power levels of his host if not for the fact he couldn't figure out how to take over the boy's mind. For mortal months he had recharged his strength, leeching off the boy's soul until he was once again full. By all logic, he should have been able to dominate the child's mind with the slightest effort. Unfortunately, logic had abandoned him.
He supposed the reason he was not able to was that he was essentially composed of the boy's magic, having fed off of it to reconstruct his mind. Being a master of magic, Loki of all people knew that some types of magic refused to strike against itself. It was just his luck that he managed to come up against it in this child.
For what must've been the hundredth time, Loki found himself wishing that he had ended up in the mind of an adult. For one, they would be a lot more powerful. There was also that Loki was not exactly a patient god, and although he had fathered–and mothered–children of his own, he did not think he had the kindness to cooperate with a child's immaturity.
He sighed. Yes, an adult would be much easier to cooperate with. As evidenced by the fact that Loki had been a mother, he was not adverse to changing forms to obtain his goals—well, he hadn't been back then when he hadn't known how badly it would damage his mind—and an adult or a hormonal teenager was considerably easier to seduce.
What would lure a bloody six-year-old into doing his bidding?! Candy?! Loki himself had not been a child for centuries upon centuries, so he didn't have much recollection of his own childhood other than sadness at never being good enough to make his father proud.
On that note, he had noticed that there were many similarities between him and the boy, Harry, whose name he had only learnt when the boy's guardians had finally decided to call him something over than "boy."
They were both orphans, though the circumstances were slightly different, Loki having killed his biological father whilst Harry's had been murdered, or at least that's what he assumed from the flashes of green light that plagued the boy's dreams. Those flashes were easily recognisable as those of the Killing Curse, which Loki was quite impressed the humans had managed to learn.
Perhaps not all humans were hairless apes, just the vast majority.
They had also both been adopted by people who cared more for their other child, though the Dursleys were slightly more blatant in showing this, what with their locking in a cupboard, rather than just disapprovingly glaring at him with one eye.
Both of them were outcasts.
All of these combined with their slightly similar appearance would probably make it easier for Loki to manipulate Harry into seeing him as a father or elder brother figure.
If he had been in his physical form, Loki would have frowned. What exactly was his objective anyway? To return to Asgard? World domination? To rule Asgard? Universal domination?
For now, he would just have to wait for the boy to grow more powerful, an easier task than he had first expected. Loki could already feel his soul having an extremely slight impact upon the boy, his personality and physiology alike. He supposed that one day, with a bit of influence from him, Harry would be completely Asgardian, or–gods forbid–Jotun instead of human. This was if Loki's soul continued to change and warp him for years, and Loki hoped it would have a similar effect upon his personality. It wouldn't do to share a body with someone squeamish about killing.
He supposed he would have to start changing the boy at an early age, just as soon as he had enough power to actually talk to him.
Harry let out a growl of annoyance as a yell filtered through his cupboard door, awakening him from a sleep for once uninterrupted by nightmares. Nevertheless, he still opened the door of his cupboard and moved towards the kitchen, preparing to cook breakfast for his relatives.
He despised them, but what else could he really do? From what they had told him, this was better than an orphanage, but then again, they could be lying. Still, he was fairly sure that if anyone found him they would just call the police and send him back here. That would only make Vernon even more angry than usual, and that was not a situation Harry wanted to be in.
School was the only way to get away from Vernon and Petunia, and even there they would know everything he did, and Dudley made sure to always impart their wrath upon him for when they couldn't. Finishing his breakfast, Harry sighed as he made his way towards the garden, preparing to begin a weekend of chores.
"I guess I'll be here forever," he murmured as he exited the backdoor.
"Or perhaps not, Harry," an unfamiliar voice said in response and he shot around, looking for the source.
He was greeted by the sight of a tall, slim, and undeniably handsome man with black hair and green eyes slightly similar to his own. What drew his attention, however, was not the man's face. It was his rather odd choice in clothing. He appeared to be wearing golden armour with a flowing green cape.
Being a six-year-old, Harry blurted out the first question to come to mind. "Are you my dad?"
For a moment, the man looked stunned, but then his expression transitioned into annoyance. "No! What would prompt you to think that?!" the man asked incredulously, any traces of his previous coolness gone.
Harry frowned. "Well, we look kind of similar, and the Dursleys always said my parents were weird..."
"Weird?!" the man demanded. "I am not weird!"
"Well," Harry sniggered. "You're wearing a cape..."
The man looked appalled to the point where Harry had to stop himself from bursting out laughing. "This is no mere cape; it is the pinnacle of Asgardian finery!"
Harry's brow wrinkled in confusion. "Pinnacle? Asgardian?"
As if he was going to explain, the man opened his mouth before abruptly closing it again and sighing. "Your education can come later, for now, I must explain more crucial matters to you." He paused dramatically. "I am Loki Odinson, god of mischief, among other things."
Whilst there were other titles the mortals had bestowed upon him, he didn't exactly know which ones were correct, and were from actual oracles rather than false ones. He had thought the mortals to be wrong about everything, but with his recent realisation that he was, in fact, a son of Laufey and that they had known this millennia before he himself had, he didn't know what to think anymore.
Harry blinked. "A god? Then why are you here?"
Loki had been expecting slightly more surprise than that, but decided to go with it anyway. "To be perfectly honest, I fell from the Bifrost—"
"Bifrost?" Harry interrupted.
Loki sighed again; explaining things to this boy was already annoying him. "A big rainbow bridge," he simplified. "Anyway, as I was saying before I was interrupted"–he looked pointedly at Harry–"I fell from the Bifrost and found myself stripped of my physical form. As a spirit, I, of course, needed a host if I sought to remain tethered to the physical world. Luckily for me, I happened to find a mortal with a spirit – one weaker than me – inhabiting their head. You."
Harry gaped in horror. "There was something in my head?!"
"There is no need to thank me for ridding you of it. I now reside within you instead, and you are the only one who can see and communicate with me, thus why I am talking to you."
"There's a god living inside my head?" asked Harry, not looking any less horrified.
Loki frowned, slightly offended. Whilst that was greatly overly-simplified, it was essentially the truth. "Yes. Oh, you also happen to be a wizard."
"Magic is real?!"
Loki raised a single eyebrow. "You so easily believe in the gods, yet magic is infeasible to you?"
"Well, Vernon and Petunia say—" began Harry, but he was promptly interrupted.
"Vernon and Petunia? The same aunt and uncle who hate you?" Loki said, and Harry recoiled in surprise. "I live inside your head, Harry, I see the world through your eyes, and I know hatred when I see it. I have faced it many a time before."
Harry frowned. "But you're a god."
Loki's expression saddened an almost unperceivable amount. "Even gods have families, Harry." His eyes glinted as a smirk broke upon his face. "On that note, you must soon begin to learn magic if we are to leave this place, and I think your family would make simply excellent test subjects."