I've read so many great short stories about soulmates/soulmarks that I decided that I wanted to write a few of my own. To make that happen I've accepted a few requests, asking who out there in the fandom jungle is meant to be with Harry Potter.

Fandom: MCU
Character: Loki
Year (when on the timeline do they meet?): 2013 (post the Dark World pre the Winter Soldier)
Adjective/adverb: Insanely
Noun: Fountain
Requested by: Kefalion or well, I, the author came up with this myself to get this series started, though now that's redundant as I've already posted one story.

—WARNING: spoilers for Thor Ragnarok.

Four Golden Lines

Chapter ONE
Words: 6 020

It had been a thousand years without his mark heating up, a thousand years of waiting and imagining. A thousand years is a long time, even to the Aesir, and the Jotuns, though no longer than expected regarding soulmarks. Some wait far longer than that. Some die still waiting. His parents, no, not his parents, just Odin and Frigga, had been aware of each other but had not sought each other out until one had lived for near three millennia and the other had seen well over two. Proximity did not guarantee a meeting, and independence, individuality, realising oneself while separate were the basis for successful coexistence once two became one.

Loki had been content to wait and dream. The fantasy was more precious to him than the vague prospects of reality. Fantasy was ideal. Reality could never be. Although it was supposed to be all that and more. The soulmate that awaited him was supposed to complement his essence and make him greater than he could hope to be alone. It was said that it was impossible to not love one's soulmate once you knew them. The universe brought people together because they fit like halves making a whole.

However, like Odin and Frigga before him, Loki had wanted to be great on his own first.

It was therefore ironic that it was during his quest for greatness that his mark had awakened. As he'd gone to discourage the fallen Thor, landing in a Midgardian desert, Loki had felt the two golden lines that traversed the inside of his left wrist warm near imperceptibly. He'd ignored it then. It hadn't been the right time. And the thought of a Midgardian as the one connected to his essence had not been any more appealing then than it was now.

He'd felt the mark again when he arrived in front of the Tesseract. It had grown almost hot when he was in Germany, only to diminish as his conquest brought him back to the United States of America. It had blazed briefly before he was brought back to Asgard in chains. His soulmate had tried to find him, had come close, but had been too late. It was just as well. He wouldn't have wanted to appear before his soulmate gagged and shackled.

All of that was in the past. He'd been defeated twice, but now he had won. He had achieved greatness of his own. Odin was lost under a spell, left among the elderly on Earth, harmless and cared for. Thor had renounced the throne and was off playing hero, disinterested in the proceedings of their home. Loki was King, and he'd managed it by playing to his strengths: subtlety, subterfuge, slyness. He had achieved all he had wanted.

In bringing Odin to the retirement home in New York, his mark had warmed once more, reminding him that someone was waiting for him, someone who wanted to meet him. Now was the time to find his soulmate. He had come to accept that he was connected to a mortal, accept it as much as he could. His soulmate was represented by a golden mark. It must mean something good despite the miserable planet his soulmate could be found on. Loki had also had time to think of what else having what was likely a human soulmate meant. Now might be his only chance. A Midgardian's life was short. If he wished for the completion promised by the combination of their essences, he would have to act. And if he wasn't pleased by his soulmate, he could return to Asgard and never think of it again.

He used the warming of the mark as a homing beacon, travelling across the planet, choosing where to go based on the lines heating from just perceivable, to warm, to hot. Scorching was the final stage, not reached until they touched. Europe. Germany. North across the sea to England, and then to the city of London. There he waited.

Standing by a small fountain in an abandoned corner of a park, shielded from the weak autumn sun by tall evergreens, the mark on the inside of his wrist grew hotter until it blazed.

The gravel on the ground crunched, and someone spoke.

"Well. Damn."

Loki turned to see who'd approached him.

It was a man. He was on the taller side, his body slim, and his face narrow. He had dark hair. Ugly glasses hid green eyes. He was dressed in loose-fitting, black clothes. He had two scars on his face that stood out, one on his forehead and one on his cheekbone. The blemishes and questionable sense of fashion aside, the man was not hard on the eyes.

"I figured it would be you, but to actually see it and feel it." The man grabbed his own right wrist, rubbing it with his thumb. There were two lines there, perpendicular to blue veins. Both lines were gleaming like metal. Gold. Just a different shade to the lines on his own wrist. Paler. So, that was what represented him. Gold. It was fitting. The King of Asgard had a golden soulmark.

The man shook his head, his eyes never leaving Loki's, and he continued to speak. "Until a few years ago, I just thought my soulmate hadn't been born or that maybe they'd already died. That would be my luck. But with my mark getting warm and then cold like it did, when it did… Let's just say that quite a few of my friends thought it funny that Thor might be my soulmate. They thought the match perfect."

Loki swallowed around an angry lump in his throat. It appeared nothing in his life could go untainted by Thor.

"But then there was the Convergence two weeks ago," the man continued. "Thor was running around the city and my mark stayed cool. So, that meant that it was probably you. Only I'd never know because according to him, you were dead."

"I'm not," Loki said.

"So I see." The man breathed out through his nose, the rush of air audible. "I can't say I'm too happy about this. There's a reason my friends thought of Thor as perfect for me. I work to protect people. I've been stopping people like you since I was a child."

"People like me?" Loki sneered, not nearly as amused as the last time someone had said something similar to him. He should leave. He should forget that this man existed, this Thor lover. His mark would cool and life would go on. In a few years time, this human would be dead, and he'd never have to think of it again. He had been alone so far. He could live without that changing.

"You've tried to advance yourself at the expense of others. You've killed innocents. I cannot stand for that."

Loki let out a small chuckle, startled by the audacity. "You cannot stand for it? And what will you do? What do you think you can do?"

"I will arrest you."

"You can try." Loki summoned his daggers to his hands, unwilling to let the threat stand even if it were made by an unremarkable mortal with no chance of besting him.

A beam of energy shot out from a stick of wood brandished by the man. Loki's eyes grew large as he dodged it. It was magic.

"What are you?" he asked, sidestepping more energy barrages.

"Not what you thought," said the man. "Not harmless or defenceless."

Loki observed how the man fought. He stayed at a distance, using magic, not moving his body much, feet planted to the ground. Hand to hand combat might mean an advantage. Loki moved closer. He dodged again, and again, never letting the luminous energy touch him. He had to use all of his agility and speed to avoid the magic, but avoid it he did, and he got right up to the man, grabbing his hand before he could twist around or use more magic.

They both groaned, huffing out air. Their soul marks burned at the skin to skin contact. Hot. Too hot. It spread over their entire bodies. They burned. For a second, Loki saw through the man's eyes, saw his own wide-eyed, sweaty face. Then the marks settled into comfortable warmth, a warmth that would remain until one of them was dead.

The fight went on, hand to hand now as Loki had wanted. The man was inexplicably stronger than a normal human. Against his own wishes, against the anger that stemmed from being challenged and having Thor's shadow cast over him once more, Loki found that he enjoyed it. His soulmate wasn't a pathetic, normal human like he'd expected. He was special. He was not tied to someone weak and utterly insignificant. The golden mark should have clued him into that, but learning of his soulmate's Midgardian origin had lead to him drawing unfavourable conclusions. Though they were fighting, enemies for the time being, he was glad that he was fighting someone who could keep up with him if only for a while. Because it wouldn't last much longer. The man was slower than Loki, and he seemed to realise it too.

The man muttered a word, and bright light exploding from his weapon. Loki was blinded. In the moment he needed to shield his eyes, the man pulled a small flask from a pocket and drank its contents. It changed him instantaneously. He moved faster now, able to keep up with Loki's punches and jabs.

The man blocked a hit to the face, evaded a hit towards the neck, accepted a punch to the sternum to buy a strike at Loki's side. The man followed the force of a kick, borrowing its momentum to land a kick of his own. And always, the man was expelling more strange energies, forcing Loki to defend or risk exposure to their effects.

Time to change tactics.

He disengaged.

"Impressive," Loki said, adding an overly breathless quality to his words.

"I thought so." The man's lips twisted in the beginnings of a smirk. Loki didn't remain still as to find out.

"Not impressive enough," he said into the man's ear, pressing up behind him, one dagger at his throat, the other pressing against the hand holding the stick, cutting the skin there, drawing forth a few drops of blood.

Loki had done what he always did. An illusion for distraction, leaving him free to strike from behind.

"You will not be arresting anyone," he said. "We're done here."

"Yeah, no," said the man, and although Loki couldn't see his face, he knew that there was a smirk on it now. "A little help!"

It happened too quickly for Loki to react. There had only been him and the man there, but now, three more people were surrounding them, their arrival accompanied by loud cracks. All of them were carrying weapons of the same sort as the man. Magical energy hit him from three directions, forcing unconsciousness upon him.

- Four Golden Lines -

Harry twisted around to hold Loki's weight as the stunners made him go limp. The daggers he'd been holding fell from slack hands, landing on the gravel. Harry flicked his wand, leaving Loki floating in the air. Not that carrying him was a problem. Although he was heavier than a normal human, Harry's system was jacked up on strengthening potion, making the burden light. Still, Harry wanted his hands free. He switched his wand to his left hand and inelegantly double tapped it in the air over the cut on his wrist. He would not have his soulmark mangled by a scar.

That healed, he regarded his soulmate's face. It was relaxed and emotionless now. For a being that was something like a thousand years old, Loki looked awfully young, and for someone who had been leading an alien invasion, Loki didn't look evil.

"You can't be all bad," Harry muttered. "You're my soulmate, so you can't be all bad." He looked at the two golden lines on the inside of Loki's left wrist. They were a mirror to his own mark, and if Harry wasn't mistaken, they were the same golden tone as Polyjuice became when his hair was added to it. Maybe soul marks were like that. The same colour as Polyjuice. The lines representing Loki were as golden as the ones representing Harry. It had to mean something, had to mean that there was good in him, that they were alike.

"Why'd you wait so long to call for backup?" Ron asked him. He, Hermione, and George had approached Harry and Loki from where they had apparated in.

"Yes!" Hermione glared. "You should have called for backup rather than take another quickness potion. You'd already taken a full dose. It's not advisable to overdose or to mix different ones. Never mind that you've done it before."

"It worked, didn't it? And I'm fine. And I wanted to see what he would do. How far he'd go."

"Well, he wasn't very friendly, was he?" said George. He picked up the daggers, testing their weights. "These are nice."

"Can't blame a man for defending himself. And he didn't hurt me."

"Suppose not," said Ron. "And we did expect things to turn sour. Sourer. What now?"

Harry sighed. He wished things could have been easier. He wished that his soulmate wasn't a millennia-old alien criminal who was supposed to be dead. He also wished the man wasn't so easy on the eyes. It would have helped if the man wasn't attractive. He was already conflicted about it all.

"Now I subvert half a dozen rules and bring him to a holding cell at the Ministry. Then I send a letter to Thor and hope that he's still in the country so an owl can find him."

- Four Golden Lines -

Darcy yelped, coffee spilling over the rim of her mug. "There's an owl at the window."

Jane turned to see it, lifting her eyes from her computer screen. On the railing of the balcony outside her kitchen window, there was indeed an owl. It was large, grey, tawny, and brown speckled, and had huge orange eyes as well two black tufts sticking up from its head, not unlike ears or particularly large and bushy eyebrows.

"Oh," she said.

It was midday. The sun was shining, an unusual occurrence in London in the fall. No owls should be out and about.

The owl stabbed its beak against the window, the tapping making a loud sound. It stared at them, unblinkingly, imploringly.

"What do we do?" Darcy asked.

"Nothing," said Jane. "It's not doing any harm."

"Nothing? I'm at least gonna Instagram this." True to her words, Darcy pulled up her phone and began to film.

The owl tapped the glass again.

"This is very odd owl behaviour," said Jane.

"You're telling me. This is the weirdest shit that's happened this week. This month too, though that's only because we've just entered November and all the other weird stuff happened in October."

"Is something wrong?" Thor, who was still with them, asked, entering the room.

"Owl." Darcy, pointed at it with her free hand, and as if on cue, the owl tapped its beak against the glass again, more insistently.

Thor approached it slowly, giving it time to escape if it desired. It didn't fly away. It tilted its head up and looked at him, opening its beak and letting out a hoot, the sound piercing through the glass. It stretched out a leg. There was a paper tied to it.

Thor, while not familiar with owls as message deliverers, knew that birds could be used to send letters. His father favoured ravens.

"I believe it has a message," he said, opening the balcony door.

"A message?" said Jane.

"Yes." He held out his hand, allowing the animal to approach him. It jumped up unhesitantly, flapped its wings once, and landed on his offered arm.

"I can't believe this," said Darcy, eyes flicking between watching things go down in real life and through the screen of her phone.

Thor untied the paper. It was a small scroll which expanded as he rolled it out. He frowned at it, accepting the unexpected occurrence.

"Did that just?" Jane asked.

"It did." He nodded.

Having delivered its burden, the owl flew off on large, silent wings, and Thor turned his attention to the letter.

To Thor Odinson

Loki is not dead. I know because he's my soulmate. He sought me out. I went to meet him. I arrested him, and am detaining him. Please retrieve him at your earliest convenience. Find the telephone box on Edel Street in London. Dial 62442 and state that you're there to see Harry Potter. I'll come and meet you and take you to him. Please come alone.

Harry Potter
Head of the Auror Office
British Ministry for M

The note crumbled in Thor's hand as he clenched it. It was impossible. Only, of course, it wasn't. Loki had tricked him again. Had tricked them all to escape returning to prison. Thor didn't know why he was surprised. But he had believed the lie. He'd believe what his senses told him. That the blade had pierced Loki. That he'd turned cold and pale, some of the magic that hid Loki's origin fading, making his skin ashy. Thor had believed the breathlessness of Loki's last words. The sincerity with which they were said, and the sad, heartwarming contents of them. He'd been a sentimental fool.

"What is it?" Jane asked.

"Loki," said Thor through clenched teeth.

She frowned. "What about him?"

"The sender of this letter claims that my brother isn't dead. That he's here in London. That he has arrested him. That they met because Loki's his soul mate."

"Oh," said Jane. Her hand went to the mark on her shoulder. The incomplete triangle that was printed there did not match the blindingly white wave on Thor's bicep.

"I have to go."

"Do you want me to—"

"I was asked to go alone, but if you could direct me to," he unclenched his hand to read the address again, and stared as the paper smoothed itself out, "to Edel Street, I'd be grateful."

"Yeah, sure." Getting back to the computer, Jane pulled up a map and searched for the address, showing Thor where it was in relation to her home.

"I have to deal with this. I may be gone for some time, but I will return." He took her hand, pulled her to his side, and pressed a kiss to first her brow, and then her lips.

"Okay," she said as he pulled away. "Go do what you have to do."

Rather than summoning Mjolnir, and having it take the fastest route to his hand, going through the walls of Jane's flat, Thor went to retrieve it from the hanger by the front door. He then went out onto the balcony once more, willed his clothes to change into armour, swung the hammer and was off.

He flew over London, the view similar to the map Jane had produced. Streets and buildings a patchwork far below him. It made it easy to locate the street he was going to, and within minutes he had landed in a small alley, finding the red telephone box. He squeezed his way inside and dialled the number as instructed.

"Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business." The woman's voice was disembodied, much like Stark's Jarvis. Thor frowned at it. Magic. Earth had magic. It had to be. If it were all technology, he'd have encountered it before with SHIELD, and it made sense that if Loki had a soulmate on Earth, it would be a practitioner of the same arts his brother favoured.

"Thor Odinson. Here to meet Harry Potter."

"Thank you. Visitor please take the badge and attach it to the front of your robes."

A badge came rattling out of the dialling apparatus. It was silver and said the words Thor had spoken. He picked it up, peering at it and wondering how he was supposed to stick it to the front of his armour. Would attaching it to his cape do?

"Visitor to the Ministry, you are required to submit to a search and present your wand for registration at the security desk which is located at the far end of the atrium."

The floor of the telephone box lowered, and Thor descended down below ground.

- Four Golden Lines -

A fake sickle in Harry's pocket heated. It meant that Thor had stated his name at the visitor's entrance. He'd spelled the coin to alert him. Harry looked at Loki. He was still out cold. Though that was only possible because he'd taken four more stunners.

"Keep stunning him as needed," Harry told Gillian Arland, one of the junior Aurors. He'd chosen to ask for her assistance because she was Muggle-born and had kept up with the news out in the big wide world. She knew who Loki was. It made explaining why Harry had arrested him easier.

"But he's already taken seven stunners. Won't anymore—"

"You know he's not human. He can take it."

She nodded with a grimace. "All right, sir."

"Good. I'll be right back." Harry turned on the spot, apparating down to the atrium. Being able to do that was one of the perks of being Head of the Auror Office. There were quite a few perks, though most of them weren't as much perks as they were things necessary to do the job well.

He landed close to the end of the Atrium where the visitor's lift deposited people and did not have to wait long for it to come whirring down.

And there he was, the man he'd been expecting to be his soulmate for over a year. Harry felt a flutter in his stomach because of those expectations, but he willed it to go away. It didn't matter that Thor was an impressive sight, tall and broad, or that he was handsome with sky blue eyes framed in long lashes, that he had a square jaw, and blond hair partially bound at the back of his head. He had no claim on Thor. Unbidden, Harry's eyes found Thor's soulmark. It was hard to miss. It almost glowed, being bright, unerringly white, and sitting on the man's exposed bicep. It was quite far removed from two thin, parallel lines.

Thor stepped out of the lift and Harry approached him, reaching out his hand to shake.

"I'm Harry Potter. Thank you for coming."

Thor shuffled a bit, moving his hammer and the visitor's badge he carried to one hand, leaving his right hand free. He looked down at Harry's hand. Seeing the lines of his soulmark there, Thor nodded a little before grabbing Harry's hand, grip firm.

"Thor, son of Odin. Thank you for letting me know my brother lives."

"It was the right thing to do."

"It can't have been an easy choice for you. It speaks well of you that you still made it. I am sure you understand that I will need to take him back to Asgard. It is possible that you'll never see him again."

"I do understand that, but after what he has done, nothing about this is easy."

"No, I suppose it isn't. I wish you could have known him before. It might have made a difference."

"Perhaps, but we have no way of knowing."

"True." Thor fidgeted with his name badge. "Should I?"

Harry grinned. "Don't worry about that. You don't need it." Harry reached out and took it, pocketing it. "And you don't need to go through with a search either. S'not like you have a wand in the first place."

Thor inclined his head. "What is this place?"

Harry shrugged. "The less you know about it the better, but it's the Ministry of Magic."

"You use magic?"

"We do."

"And you are hidden from the rest of Midgard?"

"From the rest of Earth? Yeah, we are. You picked that up quickly, and I'm sure you understand that it must remain secret."

"Very well, you may keep your secrets. I shall not spread what I've learned of this place. Now, where is Loki?"

"A few floors up. We can take the long way, or I can take us directly. I have to warn you though, it's unpleasant. Most people throw up their first time."

"Take us there."

Harry could appreciate the recklessness. "Okay. Hold on." He grabbed Thor's wrist and apparated them back up to the holding cell where Loki was kept.

Arland jumped and painted her wand at them.

"Relax," Harry told her.

"Sorry, sir."

"Nothing to apologise for. Did you have to stun him again?"

"No. He's not moved."

"Good. Thank you. You can return to your regular duties now. I'll let you know if I need you for anything further."

She bobbed her head and left.

While they were speaking, Thor, who showed no sign of ill effects from the side-along apparition, had approached Loki, though not before placing his hammer down on a pile of paper on the desk in the room. He sat on the edge of the cot, touching Loki, fingers at his neck, looking for a pulse.

"Alive," Thor whispered. His voice was rough.

Harry gave him a moment, trying to imagine what something like this would be like. He'd never been tricked like that, had never experienced what it was like to think that someone he cared for was dead only to learn that they were alive and had hidden it from him. He's been on the other end of that. He snorted internally. Maybe he had a few things in common with Loki.

"Will you take him back to Asgard directly?"

"I would prefer if he were awake."

"Really? The stunner will wear off on its own, and if you need to interrogate him, I'm sure you can do it over there."

"Can you wake him?"

"Yeah, I can, but if he does anything, I'll hold you responsible, and I'll also put him back under."

"Acceptable. I will control my brother."

"Because that has gone so well in the past."

Thor glowered.

"Fine, fine. On your head be the consequences. Enervate!" Harry pointed his wand at Loki, who moved as soon as the spell roused him.

He groaned, twitching on the cot. He opened his eyes, saw Thor and went utterly still. No one moved for a moment, then a large, insincere grin bloomed across Loki's face. "Surprise!"

"Why? Why do you keep doing this?" Thor demanded, shaking his brother and bribing him upright in one go.

Loki's eyebrows climbed up his forehead, one eyebrow rising higher than the other. "Really? You can't figure that out for yourself?"

"I'd hardly begun grieving over Mother and then you died too."

Loki's face twisted from wry disbelief to something pained.

Harry hadn't known that their Mother had died. He could sympathise.

"Where have you been?" Thor asked.

"Oh, around."


"I can tell you that he hasn't been on Earth ever since the Convergence. He was here shortly after it ended, disappearing and then returning only yesterday," said Harry.

For the information, Loki rewarded Harry with a seething glare.

"Anyway, he's awake now. Are you ready to leave?"

"Are you so eager to be rid of me?" Loki said.

"Yeah, well, happy to be a disappointment in return. Thor, if you leave soon, I can keep this whole thing from having to be recorded officially, which would be for the best." Harry looked at the pile of parchment on the desk, pushed the hammer out of the way and took up the top sheet.

The feeling in the room changed. The silence took on a heavier quality. Harry looked up, finding two Asgardians gaping at him.


The silence lasted for a moment before Loki began to chuckle, shaking his head. "Your friends were right. You two would have been perfect for each other. The fates did us all a disservice."

Thor worked his mouth but seemed incapable of speech.

Glancing between the two brothers, Harry put the parchment back down. "Now I know I've missed something."

Rolling his eyes, Loki answered. "The Hammer. You have to be worthy to lift it. To my knowledge only two people are capable, my questionably worthy brother here, and Odin. "

"I didn't lift it," Harry said.

Loki mouthed something Harry thought might have been: I'm surrounded by morons. "Moving it is equally impossible for the unworthy."

Harry grabbed the Hammer's handle, lifting it easily. "It's not all that heavy."

Thor made a keening noise at the back of his throat, face having gone rather pale.

Loki glanced up at him, grinning. "Oh, this almost makes this ordeal worth it. Not happy about the competition?"

Thor clenched his jaw, silencing himself.

Not wanting things to go any further off track, Harry pushed the hammer at Thor. "There. No harm done. If you could just take him and leave now, we can all forget any of this happened. I'll go pretend that my soulmate died before I was born, and you," he looked at Loki, "you can pretend that yours hasn't been born." Harry ignored the warmth of the mark. That wouldn't go away, but as he'd said, they could pretend.

"No," Thor said, having rediscovered his voice, "I will not be able to forget this. You are a friend of Asgard, Harry Potter. I am in your debt. You had proven your worth in my eyes already. This is only further evidence of your good character. If ever you have need of that friendship, I will answer. Asgard will answer."

Infinitely glad that he had put in the effort to learn a bit more about standing on ceremony, Harry clasped Thor's extended hand. "Thank you. The sentiment is returned. Should the day come when this office can be of service to you, and I retain the power to use it, we will be your allies. Now, let's get you up to ground-level so you can leave."

"Can you take us both at the same time?"

Harry shook his head. "It'll have to be one at a time."

"Hmm." Thor contemplated the obvious issue. Leaving Loki unsupervised either on a London street or in the cell without stunning him again was not advisable. With a satisfied nod, Thor placed the hammer on Loki's chest, forcing him to lie down.

"Really?" Loki wheezed.

Thor didn't pay him any mind. "Take me first, and then bring Loki and Mjolnir."

"Right. Hold on then."

They sidealonged to the alley with the red telephone box. Harry didn't stay. He turned right around again, apparating back to the holding cell.

"So, this is how it ends," Loki said. "The great love story of our lives. We forget about each other. We pretend this never happened. Is that what you truly wish? You do not have to hand me over to Thor. You hold the power to keep me contained yourself. You could keep me around and discover why the fates brought us together."

"This is how it will have to be. At least for now," Harry said.

Loki craned his head, holding it at a strained angle to better see Harry. "What do you mean?"

"Are you sentenced for life?" Harry asked, leaning against the desk and crossing his ankles.

Loki gave a light snort. "I'm sentenced for long enough that you'll be dust before I am a free man again."

"That would be a very long time. I have reason to believe that I'm no more mortal than you. Death and I have a particular relationship. Perhaps, in the future, things can be different between us. I have to believe that there is more to you than what I've seen, but I can only act on what I know. Show me something more. Give me an explanation for why your mark on my arm is golden. Give me a reason to act as if you're more than a criminal that I have to keep from usurping my home planet."

Harry didn't give Loki a chance to answer. He grabbed Mjolnir and Loki, apparating, and disposing of both to Thor.

"Safe travels," he said. And before he could say anything more he should probably keep to himself, before the feeling of rightness at touching Loki could become too much, before his charming smile and honeyed words could seep further into his mind, Harry apparated back inside the Ministry, and marched up to the first unfortunate Auror he saw, demanding a progress report, determined not to think any more of the day's events. Overthinking things now that the mark was permanently warm would only lead to regrets.

He had done the right thing. He didn't need someone like Loki in his life, but the problem that he kept coming back to, even as he actively tried not to think of it, was that he had made a mistake. It wasn't about what he needed or wanted. Not now. It was about what Loki might need. Better together than apart. That was the point of soulmates. A connection that could give both fulfillment and help them grow. Perhaps Harry was meant to make Loki better.

- Four Golden Lines -

Prison was even worse this time around. It was the same cell. The same comforts were in place. He didn't lack for food, well-tailored clothes or elegant furniture. He had access to all fiction he could ever wish to read, and quite a selection of non-fiction too, though nothing he truly wanted to read, nothing about magic, illusions, or the arcane. What made matters worse was the lack of visits from Frigga. His feelings about her remained conflicted, but speaking with her, knowing that someone cared for him, had a kind thought for him, had made a difference. Now, he would never have that again.

After they'd retrieved Odin, Loki removing the spell cast over the Allfather's mind that had made him forget who and what he was, Thor had returned to Earth and his Mortal Lady Love. Loki didn't disdain Thor as much for it any longer. His opinion on that relationship being doomed to fail because of what she was and their lack of soul connection had taken a turn because of the experience of his own failed soul connection. As he was no longer on Asgard, Thor could not visit him, and he likely would not have bothered had he been close by. Odin hadn't been to see him either. Loki was isolated. The guards said a few words to him every few days. It wasn't solitary confinement, but it was not far from it. He was locked away with only his thoughts for company, and his thoughts were dark.

He'd failed. He was back in the lowest position he'd ever been, and the reason for it wasn't something he could have calculated for. That made him all the angrier. Somehow he should have known that finding his soulmate would bring problems. Somehow he should have prepared for it. Midgard was different than it had been several hundred years ago. The Avengers weren't alone. There were more people out there like them. How was he to know that his own soulmate would be one of their ilk, though? Was that his complement? Was a human Thor what he was stuck with? And would he be stuck for the rest of his life?

Harry Potter, and it chafed that he'd learned his soulmate's name from Thor's lips, had implied that he wouldn't be dead within a century, had implied that he did want something from Loki other than forgetting him. Well, Harry Potter would have to settle for disappointment. If he managed to get out of prison again, and he would, he would not change his tune. His agenda had always been and would remain to serve himself. He would have his due.

End Chapter ONE

A/N 21st December 2017

I have a definite thing for Harry being able to wield Mjolnir. I don't think teenage Harry is rounded enough to be worthy, but this thirty-year-old Auror who can put aside his own potential happiness to keep the rest of the world safe, he's worthy in my eyes. I also like MoD!Harry. It makes dealing with long-lived characters all that much easier.

I also have a thing for keeping things "realistic" and that means that someone who doesn't have a history with Loki, who doesn't already love him and care for him, someone who only knows what he did in 2012 wouldn't really be capable of accepting him right away. It would take time and willingness to look under the surface, and it would take some effort on Loki's part too, all of which I'll try to make happen in this story.

The dialogue said by the cool female voice in the telephone box is, of course, taken directly from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix chapter 7.

[Edited 3rd August 2018]