After two and a bit years, I decided to come back to this story and properly finish it, or at least continue it because I would like to explore these characters a little more. Also, Thor Ragnarok, Homecoming, and Infinity War were... incredibly made and re-inspired my obsession with the marvel universe (civil war, age of ultron, both thor movies, antman, etc. were all kind of a bore).
This is a short teaser of what is to come. Very little dialogue, but it does hint at a perilous future. Future chapters will, however, still retain the humour displayed in the characters so far. In two years my style has changed a lot, so I hope that doesn't deter you too much from continuing to enjoy this story.
This story also requires a LOT of editing: Harry's power levels just... seem very inconsistent: he seems as powerful as Thanos in one chapter, and in the next almost as powerful as Peter Pettigrew. I'll be making changes to past chapters, but this shouldn't affect the overall plot until now, so those of you who do not want to reread the story, worry not :)
The Quintet still had a way to go to the Stark Tower, where it was assumed that the portal would be created by Erik Selvig, who was still under the control of the Tesseract, so Harry promised the little group of 'superheroes' that he'd meet them there and in the meanwhile, would get Loki to see some sense (not that the Captain actually seemed to believe him).
So when Harry waltzed back into the barn where he and Loki had crash-landed, he was relieved to find the Asgardian still nestled in a pile of hay; not that he'd been skeptical at all, no certainly not.
"Midgardian!" Loki exclaimed upon seeing him.
"The name's Harry, remember?"
"Ah, yes quite. My memory is beginning to slip again," he murmured. Harry's eyebrows furrowed as he glanced down at the owl amulet hanging from Loki's neck. The little wooden figurine should've been able to counteract the Tesseract's power for at least a few hours. That or he had massively underestimated the Tesseract's power.
"Is the Tesseract beginning to take over again?" Harry asked, bewildered. Loki made a move to take off the amulet. "No no, keep it on," said the midgardian wizard. "You don't know how much of an effect it's still having."
Indeed, it was rapidly gaining a hold on Loki; his stark green eyes were fading and a brilliant, inhuman, blue hue was quickly taking over, even covering the pupil.
"You… were… trained in the mind arts?" Loki was gasping out, evidently it was now costing him physical strain to keep whatever was manipulating him at bay. Harry nodded once.
"I give you permission, H-Harry Potter. Delve into my mind."
Harry's eyes widened. Between people who utilised the mind arts, giving someone permission to enter their mind unrestricted, was an immeasurable show of trust. It shocked him that the trickster god would give him such an opportunity; maybe he really was that desperate.
Without saying a word, Harry sat down across him and took a deep calming breath. He raised his wand and pointed it directly Loki's eyes. He had a fleeting flashback to the time he had done this very same action to Severus Snape. Another deep breath; he cast the spell.
For a second, it almost felt like apparition: his mind was being compressed through a tight tube or some sort of vortex, and then the next instant, he was in Loki's mindscape. There was evidence, Harry realised, that this brain had once been mightily organised, with everything in its proper place so that it could be recalled at a moment's notice. But whatever the Tesseract was, it had caused havoc in Loki's mind.
Different people had a very different interpretation of their own minds: some depicted it metaphysically, with some religious aspects to it, some had no physical aspects at all, and some had it all mapped out in a parody of their real world. Much like what Sherlock Holmes had once proposed with his attic of a mind.
Loki's mind was curious, in the sense that it combined both. Even though broken and covered in rubble, his mind manifested itself in what Harry supposed was Asgard and as he walked through the various streets, memories played out in front of him in the places where they had taken place. Harry supposed that if he were to travel to Earth, in Loki's mind, as the Asgardians travelled between realms, he would encounter the memories that Loki had of Earth. It was an ingenious way to sort one's memories, he decided.
Near him, he could see a child-Loki pickpocketing passer-by's, and not far, there was another, teenage-Loki running away from what he could perceive as bully's. The young men following him were stocky and physically powerful, something that was true of all the inhabitants of Asgard. These memories, though, had a distinct happy tone to them, the ones that depicted Loki as an adult, less so.
The Tesseract had left a trail of collateral damage behind it. Anywhere Harry looked, he saw rubble and smoking houses; his vision was covered with a blueish-tinged filter. Noticing a hotspot in the mind, that mirrored this sort of power, Harry decided to follow it. The air around him became hotter and hotter as he neared it and he felt his hair beginning to singe: that was a clue that his own mind was beginning to take a toll, if his spiritual self in Loki's mind was feeling physical differences.
And there he was: Loki sat on a throne in the middle of a palace made of a material that resembled a mixture of rhodium or gold, but that probably had more value than even that. The Asgardian god was clutching a cubic object in his hands: Harry instantly knew that this was the Tesseract.
Loki was clutching it with such strength, that his knuckles had gone white. His hair was flowing madly behind him as though electrified and yet not completely standing on end. And as Harry neared him, he realised he himself, was becoming lighter and his very body was beginning to float a little every time he took a step.
Loki was transfixed, stating at the Tesseract with a reverent, adoring gaze as though his very existence only had worth because of it. Harry was reminded of the Resurrection stone: he had obsessively held on to it for a while too after he had found out that he could see his dead family when he clutched it his hands.
"Hey… Loki?" No reaction.
"Here's Johnny!" Harry shouted, but Loki showed no sign of recognition or acknowledgement of his presence. "Ok, I get it, you probably haven't seen the Shining."
Harry reached out with his arm and found an invisible barrier holding him back, about ten centimetres away from the other man's body… Harry's gaze fell on the object in his hands: maybe he could grab it?
Just as he was about to do just that, something stopped him: perhaps it wouldn't be so great if the Tesseract gained a mental hold on him too. One sorcerer under its control was enough, thank you very much.
He was about to try and physically jerk Loki out of his entranced state, when he was magically thrown out of the throne room: some sort of force picked him up like a current in the air and suddenly he was spiralling over Asgard, gazing down at the magnificent city partially with awe, partially with horror at his own predicament. This force he recognised as Loki's magic and he realised that the Asgardian god was attempting to show him a memory before he fully succumbed to the Tesseract's power. He fell in a heap a few planets away.
"The Tesseract has awakened. It is on little world. A human world. They would wield its power…" A clothed and armoured figure, sitting on a throne was saying. Loki's mind supplied him with his name: the Other.
It was dark and Harry couldn't quite make out anything around him, except Loki, who was being handed a sceptre: the very same that Harry had seen in the lab at the Helicarrier.
"But our ally knows its workings as they never will. He is ready to lead. And our force, our Chitauri, will follow," the Other continued monologuing to Loki. What was with villains and monologuing, anyway?
There was a massive roar and peeking over the edge of a cliff, Harry gasped. Before him, stood thousands of these Chitauri soldiers in a seething mass of rows: they stamped their feet in approval of their new leader: Loki.
"The world will be his. The universe yours. And the humans, what can they do but burn?"
The memory ended, and a brilliant surge of power expelled Harry from Loki's mind. When he finally came to, Loki was gone. The Tesseract had gained control once more: and the memory had been a cry of desperate help.