1) This fic is a canon-divergent AU for both verses. Some elements from the canon storylines will still have taken place/be present, others will not.
2) May contain themes such as, but not limited to, smut, violence, and possessive behavior.
3) Please understand updates to my fics are sporadic. This is because while, admittedly, I do have a lot of fanfictions, I am a published author irl & currently need to divide what time I am able to devote to writing between fanfictions & original fiction works.
4) Do not be wary of the number of new fics I'm starting. There is no intention of leaving any of my fics, or of any new fics interfering with already posted ones. However, as I am updating sporadically as it is, it's more fair to put the opening chapters of all waiting fics out for readers to sample, so that you can decide which stories merit the investment of waiting for updates, and which you simply are not interested in reading any further.
This should be filed under "reasons to not let Freya watch Marvel trailers."
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or Marvel Cinematic Universe, or any affiliated characters.
*Pathios is a planet I previously created for use in my other MCU/HP crossover Bewitched by You. For those reading that fic, please be advised this is an alternate version of that world.
The Stolen Witch
Being Hermione Granger had never been a cakewalk. There was the Second Wizarding War—losing the Second Wizarding War—sending her parents away with no memory of her, watching her best friends perish or turn Dark, and, of course, the whole Mudblood thing, which had never done her any favors.
Hiding out, licking her wounds, running again. It had become a bit of a rut, until she realized no one even knew she was still alive.
Though strangely humbling, it was also a freeing notion. There was nothing left to fight for, anymore. Which made her wonder what use she could be to anyone, now. A one-woman rebellion would only get her killed.
After months of running and hiding, Hermione had finally peeked out her head to see what had become of the world. And . . . .
Much, and yet nothing at all, had changed. All other known Muggle-borns had gone into hiding, or sought asylum in other Wizarding communities, leaving Wizarding Britain to the pure and half-bloods who supported Voldemort's machinations.
She realized she, too, should leave. There was nothing for her there. She, too, could have peace and a purpose, again, if she could make her way out of the British Isles in one piece.
Though she got as close to the border as she could by Apparation, she still had to go the rest of the way on foot. Through dense forest. At night. Alone. But then, she was Hermione Granger, and she'd already faced so much. A simple journey through a forest—on Muggle lands—should be nothing.
And, yet—presumably because she had the worst luck of any witch, ever—she found herself running.
She could still hear them, their heavy footfalls pounding the forest floor behind her. Why me? She lowered her head and powered on, pushing herself to run faster, despite feeling like her legs were ready to give out from under her.
Flinging curses and hexes at them had not worked—some sort of enchantment shielded them, she thought, because the magical effects seemed to bounce right off of nothingness—and even Apparating herself to the edge of her eye-line didn't seem to shake them. Any other place she could think to Apparate to without worry that the distance could injure her would only put her right back where she did not want to be.
Her lungs burned and the chill of the night air bit at her face.
Just . . . happening along, minding her own business and these creatures, these things that were human-but-not, came out of seemingly nowhere and started after her. And they did not appear to tire, but perhaps that was only her imagination, after all, when was the last time she had a hard run like this?
She did not like it. More than thinking she might die running from them, she felt like prey. And it was this sensation, alone, that pushed her to keep moving even as she felt like her heart might explode from the prolonged exertion.
Then, the steps at her back slowed. They didn't stop, though, despite their gradual deceleration.
Sooner than she could feel relief, even as she forced herself to keep going, Hermione understood that their continual slowing served a purpose . . . . They hadn't wanted her to notice they were easing back from their pursuit.
She was being corralled.
She skittered to a stop, pivoting on her heel to change direction. Her realizations came too late. One of the creatures appeared before her, and she barreled right into him.
Powerful arms locked round her, pinning her wand to her side and wrenching her clear off the ground.
"Put me down! Put me down this minute!"
As she struggled and shrieked, she felt her wand plucked from her fingers.
Hermione fought harder at the loss, even as she stopped screaming. Looking to the source to find who'd taken her weapon, she spotted another of the creatures, with their bizarre, mottled skin coloring—all different shades and hues blending into one another—examining her wand.
This one appeared taller than the others, as those who'd been chasing her finally drew closer, and his garments finer. Probably their leader, though she got the feeling he was more specifically some sort of general.
The creature—flicking his unsettling, fiery-eyed gaze at her for only a moment—snapped the wood in two.
Hermione felt it, as though the sound hit her square in the chest. "No!"
He was disturbingly calm, a serene grin curving his lips as he watched her continue to fight. His bare brows drew upward, giving her the impression that he was surprised she still had any energy left with which to struggle.
"Who are you? What do you want with me?!"
"You may call me Beilor, sorceress."
Hermione opened her mouth to protest the title, but he cut her off with a sharp tutting sound. Damn her logical mind that the first thing she wanted to do—well, besides get away, admonish him for getting witches and sorceresses confused, ask if witches and sorceresses were the same thing to his people, explaining the misnomer—was inquire about how it was that the creature spoke English, as she got the overwhelming impression that they were not from around here.
Beilor retrieved a small metal device from a pouch at his waist and stepped closer to her. "I suggest you save your strength. Whoever wins you might desire to use you right away."
She did not like the sound of that, at all, and renewed her efforts, going so far as to swing her legs out in an attempt to kick at him.
He only continued with that disconcertingly calm demeanor, even as he reached toward her to clamp an unforgiving hand around her throat.
The last thing Hermione recalled was a sharp sting in the side of her neck.
The jet-haired man rolled his eyes, but just as quickly stifled the irritated expression as he turned to face the familiar voice bellowing his name. "Thor! What an unexpected pleasure to see you here."
Thor, in all his lumbering, blond, Asgardian glory, made his way through the coliseum's antechamber to stand before his so-called brother. "If you keep popping up in places where I happen to be, it is going to be that much more difficult for me to pretend I do not know where you are."
Loki's perfectly arched brows shot up. "Oh, is that what we are doing? Pretending as though you have not been hunting me like a common criminal?"
"The words you are looking for are 'searching for you to bring you home,' and there has never been anything about you which anyone in their right mind would call common."
"You flatter me, Brother," Loki said, unable to help a sly grin. "What are you doing here?"
Thor was rather certain Loki already knew the answer to that question, but he replied, anyway. "I am here for the prize."
"Are not we all?"
Biting back a frown, Thor made a low, rumbling sound of anger in the back of his throat. So, Loki was here for the witch.
Loki only seemed amused by the displeased utterance. "Such games are hardly your style," he said, his tone syrupy. "What is it you mean to do with her?"
"I will do nothing with her. I mean to see her safely back to Midgard, where she belongs." From the moment word had reached him about this despicable competition, Thor had known what he would have to do—holding a revered creature such as a witch as a prize to be won was unthinkable. He knew he would have to find his way here and win to ensure her safety; he had not expected to find his brother here.
Though, the question did disturb him. "I dread to ask what you mean to do with her?"
Putting on his widest, most charming grin, Loki shook his head. "I have no wish to harm her, if that is your concern."
Thor's brows inched upward—there was no way the other man's intentions could be as innocuous as they sounded. He had a sadly not-entirely-facetious mental image of his brother hanging the poor woman over a cauldron and draining the magical energy from her.
"Then you mean to . . . ?"
Loki pressed a hand to his chest and affected his most innocent look. "I mean to grant the witch her heart's desires, whatever those might be."
Thor waited, folding his arms across his chest.
"Provided she uses her power to serve me faithfully for the rest of her days."
Frowning hard, Thor nodded. "And there it is."
Before he could offer any admonishment—or warning, as he had no intention of holding back, even if this event pitted them against one another—Thor's words were preempted by a blaring announcement that the first of the battles would begin shortly.
On the wall between the enormous doors that led out into the pit of the coliseum, a holographic projection appeared. The brothers both came to a rather unpleasant realization in the same moment. They were each slotted to battle from the very start.
Either because they were the strongest competitors, or because Pathios had something against Asgard . . . .
Loki nodded, scowling as he started making calculations, already, based on what he knew of the other entrants. "If either of us means to claim that witch—"
"We will have to defeat every other participant."
"I knew I hated this planet," Loki said with a sigh.
Hermione awoke to the sound of a roaring crowd. Before she even opened her eyes, there was the unpleasant notion in her head that she was in the middle—that she was the thing they were so raucous about.
But then, from beneath that cheering, the clang of metal against metal and thud of heavy impact met her ears.
Forcing her eyes open, she immediately winced at the unexpected wash of sunlight in her face. Her surroundings drifted into focus and Hermione could not help but gasp at the scene before her.
"Gladiators?" she asked no one at all in a strained whisper.
Like something straight out of an historically-based action film, she found herself staring into the pit of a coliseum. To her right, Beilor and someone even grander-seeming watched in an apparent state of blasé.
A glance down at herself told her something horrible had happened while she'd been unconscious. Where she was, who these people were, and what was actually happening here were all questions that would have to wait.
Someone had put their hands on her to strip her of her clothing and redress her in a mass of purple fabric! She was sure the dress probably looked lovely under normal circumstances, but the sense of violation—and of knowing the color was likely specifically selected to make her stand out to the competitors down below—was rage inducing.
Her wild, golden-brown locks were no longer loose about her shoulders and down her back, no, no. Touching her hand to the back of her head, she found her hair had been twisted and tucked. She jerked her fingers away as the continued blind examination of her hair brought her to find a small band of spikes, adoring the top of her head.
Frowning, she stuck a bleeding fingertip between her lips. That was when she heard the other sound. The dragging and clanging much closer to her.
Swallowing hard, she looked down at herself, once more. A manacle circled the wrist of her other arm, but the thick chain that dangled from it fell down to disappear beneath the length of her dress. She tugged the hem out of the way to see another manacle around one of her ankles. The chains joined into one and led off.
She did not need to follow the line of metal links with her gaze to know that Beilor held the other end of them.
Frowning, she turned her attention to the manacle around her wrist. Ignoring the sounds of combat from below, she tried to examine it, though with the entirety of the commotion around her, the concentration to perform any wandless charms in an effort to unlock it was not likely to be achieved.
And, more immediately, even if she could manage to unlock them, she did not imagine she would get very far before her absence was discovered and she was dragged right back to her captor.
A horrible, discordant sound rent the air—somewhere between a gong and the blare of a trumpet—and she found herself pulled from her seat.
With an utterly vicious expression twisting her features, she looked toward Beilor. He and the resplendent creature beside him had climbed to their feet, and, of course, he'd yanked her chains to force her to stand, as well.
"I give you our victor for this round, Thor of Asgard!" he bellowed, raising his arms—and unfortunately tugging a reluctant Hermione a few steps closer to him.
The words were jarring, and she looked out into the pit. There, sure enough, stood a rather impressively-built blond man—certainly in line with every depiction she'd ever seen of the Thor.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when the man turned, meeting her gaze across the distance. He looked . . . sad? Perhaps she was imagining that—so desperate for a sympathetic face just now that she assigned the emotion to him.
Regardless of who he really was, or what he might be feeling, he was all bloodied and banged up, and Beilor had just said he was the winner of this round. Surely they would allow him to rest?
"The prize has awakened," her captor shouted, only chuckling when she glared at him. "She must have sensed our grand melee is drawing to its conclusion!"
Hermione winced, covering her ears at the deafening cries that roared back from the crowd.
Beilor waited for the audience to simmer down before he went on. "Let us welcome back our final competitor, Thor's own brother, Loki!"
Again, cacophonous cheering erupted, but this time, she dropped her hands to her sides. Had . . . had he just said Thor's brother, Loki?
The doors to the pit opened, and out strolled a man who was probably the same height as Thor, but lanky, with long, jet hair and fair skin. He appeared rather battered, as well, but as he looked up, meeting her gaze as Thor had a moment earlier, a mischievous smirk curved his lips.
Mischief . . . Loki . . . . Well, that certainly fit. Fat lot of good it did for what remained of her sanity.
Even as Beilor and whoever-that-was with him reclaimed their seats while they waited for the first strike to fly, Hermione found she could not sit down. Lingering there at the edge of their platform, she watched the combatants circle each other. They appeared to carry on some muted conversation as they moved.
She could hardly believe what she'd just heard. Was it really possible those were two gods down there? No, of course it wasn't! That was utterly ridiculous!
Then, a sound like a crack of thunder cut the bated silence of the coliseum, and Loki went flying back. Thor stood, a war hammer unlike anything she'd ever seen in his hand as he watched his brother go sailing through the air.
A gasp tore out of her and she gripped her fingers into the platform's railing before her. Without meaning to, she was leaning over a bit, watching in horror as Loki's body hit the ground.
Everything fell strangely, terrifyingly silent and she felt tears gather in her eyes. That man just killed his own brother! How could he have the strength to do what she'd just witnessed?
But then Loki sat up. Hermione jumped in place, her hands shooting up to cover her mouth.
Turning his head this way and that—as though he was doing no more than working a kink from his neck—Loki climbed out of the dent the impact of his body had left in the ground. He drew a heavy sigh, letting it out slow before he shook his head and started back toward the other man.
She thought her heart would stop. There was no way for a human to throw a man the way this Thor had just flung Loki. There was no way for a human to survive that fall and shake it off, as this Loki had done.
Hermione held her hands harder against her mouth, muffling a scream of utter disbelief at the entire thing. Logic had never failed her before, yet relying on it now was no comfort.
From what she'd heard Beilor say, from what she'd witnessed those two do . . . . Logic dictated that those were two gods down there.
Two gods, fighting over ownership of her.