Author's note: Do not own Harry Potter or Marvel
First i must thank all of you who have read, and even more t he comments. the overwhelming, positive responsense is truely an honor. This will never be abandoned!
If i ever take to long. feel free to spam my pm, there are times rhat i dont realize the gap.
I Had some problems with my eight year old laptop it finally died. Then I decided to re-write some of it, much happier, and my mom had a double bi pass, she's doing good. Followed by upload problems. This chapter just did NOT want to come out in a timely fashion. that was even before Corona! It's up now though! Keep an eye on my page for the one shot. "The nature of Tricksters." It's the one shot that goes with this story. The competition between our two favorite tricksters, and surprise guests.
*PS* I know the books mentioned are not ninties but I had issues finding suitable ones. So for the sake of this fic just pretend that they are.
*PSS* I hope everyone is doing ok with this pandemic keeping ya'll selves safe.
To the one who left the review of the grammer/punctuation making things a bit clinky. I am trying to find a beta. I found one for the first chapter but. I havn't heard from her in a while, she hadn't gotten around to the others.
Song choice! i tokuni by evor! ch eck it out.. the english version is called into the mist. both gorgoeus ven though i dont sp eak the native. i love it more. i feel theres somthing a tad lost in the translation. whatever the reason i like the original. Video is stunning! i think the language is faoese but not sure.
Friend, friend can you see me?
Walking here in the mist
Have you wandered as i have?
In the silence deep as death
Things could, Loki found get worse. For not yet a half hour after arriving did he get summoned to the kings throne room. Worse, not only were his parents and brother there, but half the nobles as well.
"So, we are making an example of this are we?"
"Loki, my son. Why had you gone off for a week without word or warning? Without consulting me?"
Loki clenched his jaw. Thor did so all the time yet got a slap on the wrist.
"Curious, Midgard has been ignored for centuries. I was wondering what was going on." He lied easily.
"Is that so? I have heard very differently." His voice got stern and he stood up, one of the ravens. -Huginn- perched on top.
"Why was I not informed, one of my sons. Is acting like a Midgardians lap dog?!" His voice boomed over the court.
"With all do respect Father, this is something that does not require your permission, nor even your acceptance. "
"LOKI!" Odin boomed
Loki schooled himself.
"Must we do this with theatrics?" He sighed.
"Explain yourself my son, why did you leave Asgard and why were you following a mortal of all creatures."
Loki felt a flash of anger and his jaw clenched again. The room was dead silent.
"Simple, it's my duty, it should also be yours is Midgard not one of the nine realms?."
"You will not lecture me about the responsibilities of a king. You will stop this, I forbid you to leave Asgard for Midgard. Your duty is here, with our people. Not a fragile midgardian"
"You can not do that." Loki uttered, his voice low and Icy a tone he never took to his father, had never even dared. The things she made him do. The room erupted in whispers.
Frigga stepped up beside her husband. Resting a delicate hand on his bicep.
"Dear, we should at least hear our son out."
Odin gave a grunt.
"Speak, Why can I not do so? Am I not your Father and King?"
"You are, but even you do not have the power to make me break a blood oath, a blood oath that was also sworn to the very Norns and whispered in the ancient tongue. I can't break my oath,To do so would take my life, you know this."
"Nor do I want to."
"Father, please be rational I rather not go through the trouble of sneaking out of Asgard."
"A blood oath? To a Midgardian? What prosessed you to do such a stupid thing. Their lives are short, a primative race. Not worth the oath of an Asgardian, Prince no less.
"There was no higher honour than to do so, a life for a life." Loki didn't expect his father to understand. It was frustrating to make him see.
"What exactly did you swear to do?
" I swore to protect this Midgardian. Though I wouldn't call her that. "
"What would you call her?" Odin sat down in defeat. To those who knew him, he seemed worn down and tired, he hoped he wouldn't fall into another Odin sleep. The court watched intently, the Alllfather to them just looked like a King, a parent exasperated with his child."
Loki allowed his true nature to slip in with a smirk.
"A sorceress, enchantress, witch. "
Odin sat up, appearing more interested. His mothers eyes sparkled with mischief as she walked down the dias to put her hands on his shoulders, radiating love and support.
"We have raised our son to be honorable have we not? A daughter of Freya. Blessed with her gift. That itself is honorable enough.
Frigga smiled, a wave of emotions going through her. Pride that her sisters blessings were still strong. Sadness that she could not wirness it.
"Tell me more about these...sorcerers and witches." Odin peered down at him. tensing a bit at the mention of Frigga's deceased sister whom she loved more than anything, apart from her children, he had softened his tone.
"They I find are hard to locate. Hiding themselves well enough that their community is separate and unknown to the non users. I have been observing them. They are taught like any other realm's children gifted in magic, They have their own government and hierarchy that is separate but works in the shadows of the non magical Midgardians we are all familiar with. I have not had to much time to study further.
Odin studied him for a good tense moment, the Allfather closed his one eye.
"I Shall grant this, to not do so would dishonor the recipient and the creator of an oath. As well as our people, I will not risk one of my sons being an oath-breaker"
"Of course you'd gloss over the fact that I would die."
The whispers started up again louder. Angrily. In his defense -Surprising him by taking his side a rare thing.- To be an oath breaker was to be lower then the deceased the serpent ate. Loki may be a trickster with a silver tongue. false promises and lies were his nature, but he like everyone else with any form of honor didn't make oaths lightly. never did he back away to what he swore too. He may not be the favorite of the court, but they knew and respected him just enough to know that oath-breaking was not one of his "faults".
"Silence!" He slammed his staff down.
"We will talk no more of this, I will have words with you later. Go."
Loki gave a bow before standing and leaving the hall as fast as he could without looking suspicious. Rolling his eyes at the stares and whispers that followed him. He was grateful that his father, though harsh and unforgiving , was also fair respected their laws. It was his job to uphold them all. oaths -which were no trifle thing.- Especially. He was just annoyed at him of all people swearing to a Midgardian.
Once he was out of sight, he rubbed his temples. That was not how he wished his father to find out, he detested those ravens.
Wanting to get this over with, knowing his father would not be done with his kingly duties until sunset. So he made his way to his father's rooms, a dark figure amongst golden columns the light starting to fade and give way to stars. That was until a voice interrupted him from his goal.
"Well, isn't it our prince. Or should I say lap dog?"
Well, this is getting better and better.
"Engil." He looked over to him, where he was casually leant against a pillar. Forever a thorn in his side, Loki often thought of him as a poisonous weed that needed tending too.
One day he'd prove that he was no good, but for now he'd lie low and wait for an opportunity.
"I would say more of a guard dog. I do have teeth." He grinned and the illusion of him faded, the real him stepped up behind Engil pressing a knife against his throat. He felt the other male stiffen.
"A dog is a dog, you have fallen so far haven't you? A mortal really? So easily... breakable."
Loki didn't like that tone, almost a threat. Engil thought he'd found a weakness.
"You would be very surprised." He pulled the dagger closer, the tiniest cut causing a red line to form as blood rushed to the wound. He removed his dagger.
Engil stepped away quickly and rubbed a hand over his throat, glaring at Loki with such hate he was sure if he could he'd be surrounded by the lava of Muselheim by now.
"Don't you have something better to do?"
"Call me curious." Engil appeared calm suddenly but Loki knew better, he felt the tremors, and they called him a coward for using magic? One of their own couldn't even handle a confrontation. Loki knew that Engil was not good at upfront battle preferring to fight in other ways. Behind the scenes creating turmoil, that Loki always fixed. For he was the god of chaos creating turmoil and stopping it were his specialty. Really. Loki thought Engil's arrogance often made him forget just who he was trying to deceive Engil was good, Loki was better, he would let him play his games, for now. Eventually he would slip up and show how he fit into the equation, Loki knew for a fact he had something to do with Musleheim he just had to be patient.
"You seem agitated my prince, hit a nerve?"
"It's none of your concern." Loki moved away from the scheming snake.
"Don't give me a reason to take care of you, Engil."
Loki left the scowling lord behind with those parting words.
Loki took a walk around his fathers part of the royal wings. Pondering everything. He'd have to find Dahl, he needed details on the Alfheim ambassadors death. When a respectable time had past, Loki found himself infront of his fathers room, The two Einherja watching him closely.
"I have business with my father. He will be expecting me."
They studied him a moment, and opened the doors.
Loki strode in confidently. Waving his hand so the doors closed.
His fathers room was rather large, a room to have private meetings in the front where you first walked in. It was decorated in gold and red the detail in the stone near the balcony was like spiders webs with red crystals if one was inclined to look more carefully.
A painting of Yggdrasill covered the arched ceiling. There were furs littered throught the room, proof of old hunting conquests. There were also a variety of wepons along the wall, and scrolls scattered about a desk. A fireplace took the whole right side of the room. Where two wolves bathed in the warmth of the fire. His parents did not share rooms as was custom so it lacked a feminin touch. Loki would prefer to keep his queen close another key difference between him and his family, even Thor would follow this tradition. He most certainly wouldn't.
Loki took a seat on one of the chairs, across from a red couch. Putting his hands together thinking.
The wolves Geri and Freki yawned, lounged on a pelt of fur in front of the fire, showing brief look at pearly white fangs, tongues curling before shutting again. Blinking sleepily.
Freki had lifted his head and removed himself to greet Loki, who scratched him behind the ear. The more calm of the two. Freki was a grey wolf with white patch up his snout and between the eyes. They were big about waist high, not nearly as big as Fenir. but large in t heir way. Freki seeed to decide he was far more interesting and rested his head on his leg.
Loki let out a chuckle, he really did have a way with Canines. They liked very few people outside of Odin. Himself, his mother, one of Frigga's handmaidens who his mother had never been without, not even when in Vanaheim, and the attendant who snuck them extra treats.
Geri took this opportunity to take up the whole center of the pelt. Geri was pitch black his fur sleek the more dominant of the two. His tongue lolled as he panted from the heat, but refusing to move regardless of being uncomfortable.
Loki watched the fire crackle, his fingers dug into Freki's soft fur. A tug at the back of his mind told him that Hermione was very happy about something. Least she was ok.
Loki rubbed the soft part of Freki's ear who let out a happy growl.
"I think you'd both like her."
Freki licked his cold wet nose in answer. Geri opened one eye. They were smarter than most gave them credit for. He could tell by the twitch of Geri's tail that he was very much interested in who they wouldn't try to eat was.
Loki did not know how long he waited watching the fire and petting Freki. -Whos head was still on his knee.- very much asleep. Before he heard his father.
Loki leaned back on the chair, just as his father threw the doors open. Neither wolf startled quite used to his moods. The doors closing firmly shut behind him.
Loki waved a hand and a flaggen of mead appeared on the table, his father who had calmed down somewhat after their altercation. Took the mug and a seat across from his son. The firelight dancing over their features the only light in the room, yet both men were semi obscured in shadow.
Odin peered sternly at him with his one eye.
"You said a life for a life. Care to enlighten me what that means?"
So his father had been listening.
He grew pensive running his hand down Freki's back. Pondering on what and how much to tell him.
Father, do you remember my first assignment on my own?
Odin took a drink studying him. The two of them circling each other treading carefully.
"I remember, there was a conflict on Vanheim at the time. I sent you to scout and report any news on what was going on. You did rather well If memory serves."
Loki saw the moment Odin put two and two together.
"Is what you're about to tell me, the reason why we did not see or hear from you for over two months? One of our soldiers had reported that you had gone further in; and to have more with you as you spied would be dangerous. That isn't what happened is it?" Odin looked tired his ire gone for now, showing a rare moment of his paternal side.
"No, that's not what happened at all. I did go deeper into the old territories amongst the ruins. I was attempting to root out the source of the fighting. The group on the offensive that were thought to have been wanting to expand their own territory was in fact warning not to get close to their own with the expansion the main tribes were doing. They were protecting not expanding, pushing back not forward. Hogun was the first to figure that out."
"I took general Bjarke with me when I went to investigate, the reasoning behind this. Discovering they were the protectors of the sacred lands. I felt that something was off when we arrived, and the further we went the more that feeling intensified. Upon reaching the center of the city. His demeanor started to change. I wanted to examine the main temple that was the heart of the ancient city, instead of going there, I lead us both to one of the other temples scattered before it.
Odin sat up straight.
I sensed the change in him when we entered, though he did not act until we had arrived at the alter. I don't think he realized we were not in the main temple, Bjarke wanted something. He stabbed me in the back.
"Coward! Only the weak and dishonorable attack an opponent from behind."
I was able to take him out with my daggers easily enough, I had sensed the attack coming, I was young then I didn't recognize that his knife was coated in a rare poison, scoraphyn.
I don't know what happened after that, but I found myself on Midgard. A woman saved me, i sensed a bit of magic inside her; a bit of the sight, very weak almost unreliable, alls it really did her was give her excellent reflexes and uncanny ability to know without realizing. she saw a child, Hermione the girl i'm guarding now would be gifted with strong magic. She saw darkness but being as weak as she was she was unable to give specifics. and i swore i'd protect her when she was born. That is exactly what i'm doing . She saved my life, i'll gaurd her and her bloodline. You will not be able to change my mind on this.
The room became quite only the sound of Freki's occasional yawn broke the silence, Loki scratching behind his ear's each time.
Loki finished his drink during the silence..
"I must take my leave Father, the hour is late, and we both had long days."
Loki could tell when he was no longer needed. Freki whined as Loki stood up, having lost his pillow and forced out of his comfortable spot. Only quieting once Loki assured him that he would visit.
Freki gave his hand a lick, and with a shake of his thick fur he trotted back to the fire. Ignoring Greki, Freki found a prime spot in front of the fire.
Ignoring Greki's warning growl. Plopping his rear end beside his head. Scooting close so that Greki was forced to move from his spot. Begrudgengly and with a chuffing his irritation. He faced away from his brother. "Accedently" hitting him with his tail.
Seeing the two like this, no one would guess they were vicious wolves of war.
Taking his leave he left his father alone with his thoughts.
At first, he wanted to seek out Dagney and Einar. It truely was late so he thought better of it. It could wsit till the morn.. He had a rough fourty-eight hours anyway. A whole week really. He hadnt slept. Not that he needed to often. He rarely got tired. Between Hermione, Hus responsibilities, using quite a lot of his energy. He needed to regain his strength.
Utterly rewarding and freeing as it all was. He looked forward to his rest.
He made his way through the halls, using a few secret passage ways to make they journey faster. He knew when he reached it.
Loki kept the hallway to his room darker than the other halls. The sconces barley lit. Flames small barely flickering and cating shadows. Just enough to see the ground, which he could walk blind.
Loki kept it like this for three major reasons. First and biggest reason was conserve oil. They got theirs from Nidavillier. whoes prices wrnt up to compensate for the inflated prices of Alpheim imports, thanks to the damage caused by muslepheim increases before the stand off.
They all felt it.
There was not a shortage yet, there would be if things continued as they were why waste it.
He could see in the dark anyway,with the right amount of sider to his eyes. he could see just fine. Only Brother and mother visited him, and they both were able to see fine enough. If they visited at night, which was rare.w
The second reason was at the end of the hall in the form of two glowing yello w pinpricks. Low to the ground. When he made it to the half way point. They lifted up, almost reaching the vast ceiling.
With a Blink and whispered spell, Fenir came into focuse. Gave him an element of surprise.
The proud wolfs sharp white teeth bared. One would think withot knowing him that it was a threatening gesture. In reality.
It was nothing more than a toothy grin.
With a shake of his fur he laid down again. His breath came out of his nose in a strong burst of wind making lokis hair breifly blow behind him.
The third. Loki liked it this way.
"Hello to you as well Fenir."
Loki took the last steps over to him, reaching up to run his fingers through the soft dar k fur. Seeing somthing from the corner of his eye, he turned to it raising an eyebrow.
"I had know idea your loyalty could be bought." He waved a hand in the direction of mostly eaten pile o f unknown meat. Chuckling lowley.
Fenirs only reply was a lazy flick of his tail, and a growl of mock offense.
"Lets see who you let in that has thought this late hour, was the perfect time to meet.
Fenir rolled onto his side, stretching out. Unconcerned, his master had finally returned home. He could bask under the shinning stars in a well earned break.
Loki gave one last stroke and pat on his side. He unconcernedly opend the door too his chamber. Fenir wouldn 't just let anyone in, bribe or not. With a twirl on his fingers and a flick of his wrist, the large golden doors shut and locked themselves.
A snap and the fire place roared to life, casting a warm red glow in the room.
Loki went and sat on one of the two chairs, a chess board on the table between the two chairs. The one across was his uninvited guess.
"What do I owe for this unexpected pleasure?"
Dagney sat across from him, leaning on the left arm of the chair ;her legs tucked under her. One of his books open in one hand.
Loki had never seen the woman like this before all relaxed and casual. Her long, dark and starstreaked hair was loose falling about her shoulders, long enough to reach her waist. It was no wonder she kept it up. It accented her strong featues whilst at the same time softening them.
Dagney was also without her usual armor, instead wearing a familiar royal blue gown he reconized as one of his mothers. (Why on earth did women share cloths?) As her oldest freind and ex sheild maiden. Dagney was allowed the privalage.
At first she said nothing, instead pulling out a concealed hair pin to mark the page she had finished reading; Setting it upon the table.
Loki said nothing.
"Straight to the point then. Let me start by saying welcome back my Prince. "
"Your second reason?" He chuckled with amusment.
" I want to discuss with you the trajity on Vanaheim. To fill you in on what I disvovered not covered in the reports. "
"Yes, my brother informed me of the death of the Ambassador. I had the intentions to seek you and your husbands council in the morn. Only to find you had similair thoughts."
" Like minded people think alike"
"What do you have to share?" he asked, summoning a glass of water for her. This would be a long talk.
She took a greatful sip.
"What did your brother inform you?"
"Only that he was found with no physical trauma, no health problems, and no signs of poision."
" Yes, all thats true. The door was locked from the inside, to high up for anyone to get in the window, to visible someone would have spotted their climb. I have an old freind that oversee's Investigation. He has been known to work, special cases. "
She hummed taking another drink.
"There was no signs of seidr, so they are not focusing on it. My freind was not the least bit conveinced of this. He checked on the ambassador himself. "
"Did he find anything of interest?"
" If it is seidr, it is unlike any we have ever seen or heard of. Which is why no one picked up on it. "
"What do you mean?"
" His report to me told of an energy, so low that if he was not looking for anything unusual. He would have never detected it. "
Loki became thoughtful.
"Either its a weapon infused with seidr at a low frequency, or one powerful mage that can alter the footprint, which is unlikley. They would have masked it completly; if that were the case."
" Loki, do you know of any poisons that could do this? "
"There are very few substances seidr born, three to be exact. a few others that can be infused if you know enough alchemy. A few powders as well. All that i know are rare, or take centuries of study. Did your freind notice anything else suspicious?"
" A blue film over the eyes and around the mouth. Eight hours after he was found. "
"Slow acting..so he could of been poisoned or enchanted els were. The killer may have never set foot on Vanaheim. Making it even harder to track them down . I have a few of my own contacts in the realms. I will consult with them, I will also see what i can uncover in the archives. There may be a clue on what exactly killed him. Or at the very least where to start our search."
Dagney gave a nod and a hum.
" I will talk to Eir, her intellegence o n healing is unrivled. She may know of somthing. "
"She would be a good lead."
Dagny finished her glass and Loki vanished it.
" I should take my leave, we now know where to begin. You are also exhausted.I can see it in your eyes, and body language"
"I am fine woman."
She narrowed her eyes.
" You will rest. "
"Ordering a Prince around?" he smirked
" No, I am ordering you as your godmother. You have that young girl to watch over. You will be no help to anyone as exhausted as you are. Trust me when I say children are a handful. " she gave him a pointed look.
She didn't have to tell him twice.
"I dont know what you mean i assure you. I was perfectly well behaved."
" I can't beleive you just said that with a straight face mistcheif. "
Loki just smirked.
"Just means i am prepared."
Dagny patted his shoulder on her way out.
"Try to humor me, and I am borrowing this book."
Loki waved her off.
" Go ahead, give my greetings to your dear husband. "
Loki waited for the doors to open and shut again, when he was sure he was alone he sank into his chair sighing. She was right, he needed rest and recooperation. Muttering about nagging women he whent to his room.
He would get some sleep, he had much to do tomorrow.
Hermione woke up the next morning the sun higher in the sky than it was her usual wake up time. She didn't feel remotely rested, she was still exhausted. She actually wished it was Saturday and she could have a lie in.
With a tired sigh, and a not so slight wince and hiss as her raw palms scraped against the fabric of the sheets. in her effort to push herself out. She yawned making it to a sitting position and rubbing her very tangled and messy curls padded into the bathrooms.
"Morning Lavender." She stifled another yawn, she needed tea, something strong with a high caffeine content sounded nice, or maybe she'd try her hand at some coffee.
Lavender looked up at the mirror, watching Hermione's expression and making eye contact as she worked on her curly blond hair.
"Morning, you're up later than usual, you are usually up, dressed and in the great Hall before I even start my routine."
"I had a bit of a rare lie in." Hermione yawned at the end of her sentence. Yes coffee she would try some coffee this morning.
"It isn't that late, only seven in the morning." Lavender informed her. Finishing of her hair with her signature ribbon, a silky blue today.
Hermione just gave a hum. Starting her own morning routine, she was just drying her hair when Fae Dunbar shuffled in. Looking like the living dead that had a fight with her pillow, and lost.
"Morning." Hermione casually said as she left the bathroom. Fae just mumbled something incoherent that Hermione could only assume was a good morning. For it sounded like troll language.
Hermione quickly double checked her bag, making sure she had everything she needed for the day. Even though she had checked before bed. Satisfied that everything was perfectly in order. she walked down to breakfast.
When Hermione reached the great hall she had been hoping to spot her feathered companion since he was not in the dorm, feeling oddly disappointed that he was not there. She hoped he'd come back soon, from wherever or whatever he was doing. Plopping down in her usual spot, her bag making a thud when it hit the floor and piled her plate with eggs and toast with marmalade and poured herself some coffee. Putting cream and sugar in it like her Grandmother used to make hers. Both her parents liked it black, she knew it to be bitter and Hermione was not a fan of bitter or sour things.
Grabbing a book she opened it up beside her plate loosing herself in it and her breakfast. She was half way through both when the boys made their way to the table, Hermione gave them a scowl but other wise ignored them, Pointedly for they sat infront of her, do to the lack of other avalible spaces. They seemed to be ignorning her as well, not saying anythig as they proceeded with their breakfast. Ron tucked into his with a gusto that she had never yet witnessed.
Hermione had noticed after some observations that out of the four Weasleys' currently attending Hogwarts he had the worst table manners. She rolled her eyes and got back to her book.
By the time mail arrived there was still no sign of loki, However the beautiful snow white owl Headwig decided to grace them with her presence. Landing elegantly next to Harry's bowl of oatmeal.
Once she was settled she started to use her beak to preen herself. smoothing out, any out of place feathers. Once she deemed herself presentable she took a bit of toast Harry offered, and nibbled his finger. Hermione thought ideally if owls had royalty she would most definitely be their Queen.
She gave one of her half smiles at Headwig, wishing not for the first time she had her own familiar. Hermione supposed at the moment Loki was, if he was an actual Raven, However it was the closest thing to a familiar she had at the present moment. Her parents thought she wasn't ready for a companion. She would adore an owl of her own one day.
With a last sip of the surprisingly delicious coffee and a bookmark to mark her place. -A torn piece of parchment today.- Having no idea where she had left her bookmark this time, she sometimes wondered why she even had one, she rarely used it. Always using whatever was lying around. A very rememberable autumn leaf once.
Still exhausted from last nights events and hardly any sleep, she was a bit more awake now. Ignoring Harry and Ron entirely as she exited the great hall and quickly making a beeline for Herbology to get an early start. So by the time the rest of the Gryffindor's and Slytherins arrived all her equipment was out and prepped accordingly.
Hermione continued to give her silent treatment as Harry and Ron ended up sitting on the right of her on the bench. It was a tight fit with nine Gryffindors sharing a bench, like a can of sardines actually, alive squirming sardines. As a result Harry's arm kept bumping into hers. She sharply turned her head fixing him with a stare that would set him on fire if it could. Only to receive an eyroll in return.
"Not like I can help it, I'm squished between you and Ron."
Ron snorted in amusement when Hermione's only reply was an "Accidental" Elbow to the ribs and knocking him sideways into Ron instead. Smirking on the inside as Harry rubbed around his ribs, wincing.
"Blimey Hermione what are you a boxer?"
Ron looked confused while dean whom had been listening, tried to hide a laugh with a not so discreet cough. Hiding his smile behind his hand as Professor Sprout glanced their way.
"It's a muggle sport, where they hit each other and try to knock them down or out."
Hermione shook her head as immediately all the Gryffindor boy's erupted in laughter at Harry's expense. She did not see what was so humorous about it. She chalked it up to one of the things, she Hermione Jean Granger would never know or understand about boys.
Her eyes caught Lavender and Parvati by the eyes the other two mouthing
Hermione couldn't agree more.
Everyone had barely settled down when a flush faced Neville came running in; just as the clock chimed.
Seamus scooted over enough so Neville could sit between himself and Hermione. Luckily, Neville like Hermione was pretending their previous night. Never happened.
Hermione gave him a bright smile and helped Neville prepare for class.
They had just completed that task when Professor Sprout cleared her throat, signaling the start of class.
Hermione was a bit shocked to see a complete change in Neville. He suddenly sat up straighter and gave their Professor his upmost attention.
She couldn't resist giving one of her half smiles, it didn't take a genius to notice just how much Neville enjoyed this subject. In fact it was the only class he didn't have trouble with. After their first class, when she came up from dinner she caught Neville on one of the tables. Deep in the herbology book and writing notes so fast Ink smudged his hands. Hermione had never seen him like that for any of their other classes thus far.
"Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses" She hummed quietly under her breath.
Hermione Followed Neville's example looking ever the picture of an eager student. In the process of sitting up properly Hermione noticed for the first time that several Slytherins were looking at her in various stages of curiosity. As if they were trying to figure out a puzzle piece that didn't quite fit. Unerving her, ever since their first Potion's class she noticed the occasional looks. Which did not bode well in her mind, that house had a reputation for a dislike of those like her. Muggle borns. "Mudbloods" as she read in a book, a nasty name for those new to magic. Though she knew that not all of them were like that. They didn't stop the prejudice either. House unity or some such nonsense.
She refused to show her unease. The house was also known for being cunning some of the best strategists came from that house. Including Merlin himself! among other such powerful wizards and witches both good and bad. There had been powerful witches and wizards from all houses. Slytherin just had a higher statistic. Whatever they were thinking or planning couldn't be good for her.
At being caught Malfoy just gave a sneer and turned his attention back to the Professor, or pretending too. He wasn't jotting down notes. His lacky's looked to stumped to notice what the others were doing.
The one with the mixed eyes of brown and green raised an eyebrow. Not caring at all and gave a smirk that sent chills down her spine. Nott if she remembered right. Usually quite there was something about him she couldn't put her finger on.
But, neither boy's attention was worse nor as chilling than the dark one, Blaise Zabini. Whenever she caught him, or even didnt' cach him. If he was around his gaze almost burned. Worse he never flinched or turn. He didn't sneer or give her a dirty look, just a slightly predetory smile that gave off the air that he Knew something about her. His head would tilt the slightest as if he was seeing through her, or around her. She felt exposed like he was gazing at something he should not be.
It was just down right creepy, the lot of them.
He broke contact first. Eyes blinking just once and traveld to the spot she so carefully kept her amulet. She resisted the urge to look down and see if it wasnt tucked in. She knew it was. Could feel the cool metal against her skin.
Zabini turned his attention to Professor sprout. Unlike the rest of his house he was actually taking notes.
Her own house hadnt noticed the breif stare off or the tension.
Hermione shook her head, trying unsucsessfully to smooth her hair as it hit her cheek. Putting the moment behind her, she decided to just ignore the m not worth her time.
She swatted Harry again as Ron nudged him for space. Which just knocked him into her. Her attention once again on Proffessor Sprout.
"Now as you aought to remember, we left off at the important uses of the most common herbs, yo u will be using through out you're live s. They could very well save you one day. "
"How they are used, and why every witch or wizard should keep them readily availble.
"Today, we will be discussing roots. Particularly the ones found in Dark and damp places. Because they are often hard to see. So you will be orepared if you have an unfourtunate luck of stumbling a cross one.
Hermione's hand flew over her parchment. Right where last lesson ended. Writting neat, quick, and rather small. Not missing a single beat.
"Turn your pages to Ninety-Three."
Hermione was surprised, and happily amused as Neville had the book open to the correct page first, hermione noticed an awful lot of creases even some notes on his pages.
She turned back to her own book. Like many pages in Herbology, There was a sketch on the page.
The sketch, in great detail, vines thick and twisted deceivengly like roots. It could easily squeaze a human to death to become its fertalizer. A image she could of lived without thank you very much.
"Devils snare" Professor sprout continued . Unaware of the disturbing thoughts running around a busy haired students head.
"They like the dark and the all who are unlucky enough to stumble upon it."She clea red her throat, interuping Fae's terrified squeak.
"Now this is important that you do not struggl e or panic. It will only tighten further and quicker. Relax and remember.
Devils snare devils snare its lots of fun! but will sulk in the sun!
"A good strong fire or light charm will do the trick!"
" Now for your assignment. I want you to read and take notes of this chapter. I also want twelve inches of parchment; stating the uses of devils snare and other rooted plants, their properties, and the most common uses. Extra points if you can name the strongest potion they make and its prooerties due next friday. "
Hermione wrote the homework down in her color coded list of homework assigments and week reveiw scheduel.
The boys noticed the organizer, looked at each other, rolling their eyes at the same time shaking their heads.
Sprout waited for everyone to write that down.
"Now, take out your shovel and shears, we will be harvesting some of these roots for madame pomphrey, be careful these sting."
The class groaned and got to work.
By the end of it, Hermione and the rest of the class left dirty, sweaty and in much need of showers dispite their gardening robes.
Hermione though also felt acomplished, even if she was dirty. She had the most clear smooth cutted roots within diameters.
She had dirt smudged across her cheeks and forhead for her effort.
The rest didn't look any better.
Seamus who was to eager of a digger , looked like a volcanoe erupted and covered him in dirt instead. His face and hair caked with it. He had somehow managed to make the dirt expode, not even using magic! He did n't even appear bothered.
he must be used to it by now.
Dean had the least bit of damage from the lot. With only the lightest smudge on his cheek from swiping it during the task.
Ron was so covered in so much soot, one couldn 't make out his freckles.
Harry's hair an untidy whirl wind was sticking up in even odder angles, glasses smudged. If she were not still absolutly furious with them shed laugh.
Only Neville of the boys seemed content and happy. Practically bouncing to the castle talking about their lesson to no particular person.
Her fellow Lionesses were far less accepting of getting dirty. Except for Fae and Grace who talked about their gardens at home, exchanging advice and notes.
Parvarti stood elegantly, non to pleased that she only got some of the dirt off.
"Padma is better at gardening than I am" she admitted to Lavender. Who was having a fit about her hair and how it would take ages for it to dry. Lavender had not yet got the drying spell down. mumbling about mastering it after thi s episode.
Parvati rubbed her freinds shoulder encourangingly.
"I much prefer inside. I have know idea where Padma gets her patience for it."
As Hermione watched her house mates get farther ahead, she was struck with Envy. She felt alone yet surrounded and it was opressing. They found it so ea sy for them to connect and exist together. Hermione felt like an outsider looking in at her own house.
It stung her emotionally. Even here she was struggling to connect. She watched everyone talking, laughing and joking together. Even Neville got along with the others.
She hugged her books to her chest with some meloncolly. The familiar hot feeling that she wasn 't good enough threatened to drown her.
Hermione suddenly stopped. Shaking her head to rid hersrlf of her feelings and thoughts. Picking up the pace. Focusing her mind on other things.
If she could make it to the showers quickly, Hermione would have time to go to her favorite spot in the libra ry . In the back corner next to the window over looking the lake. Get a headstart on her homework before defence.
With those comforting thoughts she broke into a near run.
Hermione was able to get done and ready with time to kill. allowing her to make it to the library with fourty-five minutes to spare.
Halfway through her assignment, Hermione felt like herself again. Her mind when focused on knowledge, reminded of more important matters. Maybe she was cacooning herself. Knowledge was always there.
Around Noon she stretched and let out a quite sigh. Turning to gaze out of the window she scanned her Horizon, hoping to see her feathered companion. Frowning when she had no luck. Not a black speck in site.
Puffing her hair out of her face, she tapped the parchment so ink dried and rolled itself up. Hermione hurridly stuffed her bag. Sprinting out of the library to make it to Defence on time.
Over the next few days, between spying, listening to his informants, putting out feelers about the nine realms, endless arguments with the council who were still doing nothing. Irritated with his father who had the power to end this but chose not to. Long nighttime talks with Dagny and Einar. He was sleep deprived, , and just looking for a reason to bury his daggers into Einar's body in a very painful place.
About the only things keeping him sane was lunch with his mother that she insisted on, and his link to Hermione, A reminder that there was a reason to get away from Asgard on occasion. He checked in on her frequently through their ever strengthening connection and daily visits with Heimdell who was finding her quite charming. He never seen the god smile. However loki had no need for that for he could tell his emotion's with his expressive eyes. the corner of his eyes would twitch His replies the same.
"She's in the Library studying."
Or variations there of.
He found himself quite glad when the day arrived for him to meet with Demitri. Curious and excited to see the result of dwarf magic and ingenuity, unprecedented combination of their metal and scabrite.
Though Loki would gladly take any excuse to get five minutes to himself. He was a solitary creature by nature and his tolerance for others were thinning.
Loki stepped through his portal appearing in front of the mountain entrance once again and knocked.
"Right on time." Tooth grinned appearing in the doorway.
"You expected otherwise?"
"Three heavens no, actually we had all hoped you would be a bit early. "
"Why is that?" Loki asked interestedly.
" I do not know what you comissioned but, our King is most excited, the Elders even came out of their holes! A new discovery they are saying. "
Loki fought to keep a satisfied grin. He thought somthing like that might happen, after all they were the two strongest metals in all the realms. Both with unique properties. He looked forward to seeing the end resault.
Tooth lead him inside and they walked in compananable silence.
When they arrived at the main Forge, Loki understood the excitment.
In the middle of the room, on one of the many stone tables, sat a ring. A warm dome like glow protected it, Demitri and about five other aged dwarves were studying it. They all had long white beards and hair, tucked into their belts.
"Loki! Glad you came. This is most exciting. "Demitri beconed him over.
Loki took a spot on his left, watching diffrent colored sparks come from the ring. Where the sparks landed, fire or one of the five elements would appear breifly on the table.
Loki s eyes widened in shock. the stone amplified magic, but it was taking the properties of the metals and air around it, to enhance the natural energy giving it physical form.
" That is not all my is just the stone. The metals..it would be best just to show you. "
Demitri took a few bottles filled with poison. Loki was confused at first, until he saw what happend when it was brought in close. The ring glowed, the red scabrite heated turning an angry red, it didnt get to hot. Enough he was sure to get the wereres attention of danger. The silver metal glowed a light blue and suddenly. The glass. Shattered.
"They are sensitive,almost sentient. We speculate that the properties in both combind makes it, aware so to speak of unseen danger. Its not infalable, but still rather useful. "
Demitri pointed to a pile of broken weapons.
"Nothing we have found can even scratch the thing. Not even a scratch. There are probably many properties of the stone, metals and the combination of the thre e. I would love to hear of any new discoveries for future projects if we can get more and our archives ."
Loki picked up the ring, letting his magic mingle around the ring. showing his intent. It sparked a few times, then went out appearing like any ring.
"You did an unpresidented difficult job; better than i could of ever hoped for. I will keep you informed of any new developments. "
Demitri slapped him on the back.
"My finest non weapon work. I can die feeling acomplished."
" Don 't be so dramatic. "
"Future generations will benifit, thats the best a cheif can hope for."
Loki looked at the ring. Letting the dwarves talk excitedly amongst themsel what secrets and uses could his witch in training discover.
Loki could not wait to find out.
When a tired, determined Loki returned to midgard. Nothing major had occurred since he left; he arrived on the eighteenth evening of Midgardians "September". After Hermione Granger had fallen asleep. Quickly turning into a Raven he flew toward the castle and the tower window that lead to the girls dorm. Double checking the time counter of hers, the eighteenth was crossed out, so that meant in the morning his witch would be twelve rotations old. Loki dissolved into his natural form. Without even the slightest sound of rustling fabric he quietly walked around the bed and to her nightstand. Loki took one last glance at the witch, making sure she was truly asleep. Assured that she would not be waking any time soon. With a flourish of his hand Elinors scalloped shell appeared in his palm. Running a thumb over the ridged shell one last time he set it down next to her quill and ink.. Helping himself he took a piece of her parchment paper; Dipped the quill in the ink and started to write.
" A challenge for you little dove. I may be small, but my vines do keep an emotion that lies so deep. What was mine is now only yours. With my crown a responsibility I do take. The more I am given the stronger I grow. I have something you can use but I can not say. I am more than I am and more than is known."
Loki signed the letter in an elegant flourished L
Loki was about to leave when an idea struck him. Reaching within his space he pulled out an Asgardian rune stone. He placed it on top the note keeping it in place as another clue.
"Let the game begin Hermione Granger." He whispered. Turning his back he felt tension wash out of him. He closed his eyes breathing in slowly. Feeling lighter than he had in a thousand years. Loki shifted into the raven, cawing and flying out of the window.
Hermione woke with a start. Sun shining in her eyes. She covered her eyes with an arm against the offending brightness. Remembering what day it was she smiled, excited. Sitting up. Since it was a Saturday she decided to have a bit of a lie in. She was somewhat surprised when her eyes landed at the foot of her bed. Three gifts wrapped in paper rested there.
Hermione wondered how it was possible. Magic. A warmth filled her heart. Regardless it was a welcome surprise. She opened the gifts carefully.
It came as no surprise that they were books.
Ancient Egypt Secrets Explained!: The Influences Behind Egyptian History, Mythology & The Impact On World Civilization (Egyptian Gods, Pharaohs, Pyramids, History, Anubis, Religion). By Jeffrey Houston.
She smiled seeing the next one. She had requested something like it. Her Mother's choice. Hermione was developing an unhealthy obsession. She requested some non magical books. To see what the muggle world had to say about them.
Norse Mythology: Tales of Norse Myth, Gods, Goddesses, Giants, Rituals and Viking beliefs By kory Aumont.
The third was again interesting. Something her Grandmother would have picked out. It would make a nice light read when she wasn't researching.
History of the Vikings: A Captivating Guide to the Viking Age and Feared Norse Seafarers Such as Ragnar Lothbrok, Ivar the Boneless, Egil Skallagrimsson, and More by captivating History.
Hermione turned to put them on her bedside table for later perusal. Stopping short seeing there was something already there that did not belong.
A single scalloped shell, a stone, and a most curious note.
Hermione picked up the stone, it was unlike anything she'd ever seen before. It was smooth, heavy, a rune mark she did not know upon it. It was also blue and shimmered like the sky reflecting on a river. It pulsed in her hand. She turned it all around. Fingers tracing the rune.
"Curious.." She hummed to herself. Putting it aside. She opened the scalloped shell slowly. It looked old. Off white, with brown rings at the bottom. She gasped and clasped her hand to her mouth.
Inside was the most beautiful ring Hermione had ever seen. It was of a durable silvery steel like metal that had a milky appearance she couldn't name. with leaves of black and red like fire. wrapped around it, just like her wand; and in the center lay a small red stone. With a tiny white rose in it's center, that glittered when she put it in certain light. It was simple yet gorgeous. She ran her fingers over the silver band. Then to her pendant. It was the same cool metal. Hermione knew this was probably not the best Idea, but she had the urge to put it on. She slipped it on her right ring finger. A warm sensation made her relax, She now could feel a magical energy. She twisted it gently, studying it in curiosity. She ached to know what exactly it was.
Hermione suddenly remembered the note. Causing her to stop, her ache to know more over powering. She unfurled it.
" A challenge for you little dove. I may be small, but my vines do keep an emotion that lies so deep. What was mine is now only yours. With my crown a responsibility I do take. The more I am given the stronger I grow. I am more than I am and more than is known." L.
"Loki" She chuckled shaking her head everything lead to him. So why the hell was he not revealing himself? It was quite annoying. Perhaps he just enjoyed watching her slowly go insane. She had plenty of evidence. Her mind flashed to the man she had seen her first night at Hogwarts. That had to be him. Who else would wear cloths like that now a days. Yet they also felt modern in a way. She groaned in frustration. The vision, the pendant, the suspicious Raven, the wolf. Not to mention what she had been reading in the library. The energy. No,the magic she felt consistently around her. It made her want to stamp her feet and growl in frustration. To demand he stop his tricks. Well at least this one. To ask a trickster god to stop being who he was. Didn't sit well in her stomach. Didn't mean she wouldn't tear into him when she got the chance.
"Why won't you show yourself already!" as Hermione expected. There was no answer. She puffed her cheeks out and fell on her back, on the bed her hair around her. Re-reading the note. She held in the air. If she ever did meet him. She was going to give him a piece of her mind.
She read over it slowly.
"A challenge for you little dove" She hummed.
"obviously he's challenging me. A riddle?"
She glanced upon the ring she still had on her finger. That she had no intension of removing. Usually she'd be concerned about things from unkown people. Only this person wasn't unkown. Not really. Maybe she was going bonkers to trust a possible god without even meeting or knowing him. Since he was the god of Chaos and lies. After all.
"I may be small but my vines do keep, an emotion that lies so deep." Hermione frowned bringing the ring up to eye level. The leaves were wrapped around the red jewel cradling it. The rose twinkling at her. Wait. The vines were around her finger. Was she the emotion? That seemed odd. A person wasn't an emotion.
"Do I represent the emotion? or does something else?"
"What was once mine is now only yours" She whispered. This wasn't a hard one. Something about this ring held something personal, something he had kept close until he deemed it fit to give it to her. Which part she'd have to figure out.
"The more I take the stronger I grow." She chewed her lip, twisting the ring around her finger, studying it, feeling it out. The corner of her eye caught the sight of her vine wand. Like.. the ring..
What does the wand do? She thought to herself, a small smile forming. It channeled her magic.
"Maybe if I just..." She hummed grabbing her wand and with a flick of her wrist she pointed it at the shell and a blue light later the shell looked brand new the yellow gone. While doing so she paid attention to the ring, barely noticible, she wouldn't have if she wasn't paying attention there was a tingle on her finger and the spell worked better than it usually would. Instead of the grime, ages seemed to melt over it, like it had just washed up for the first time. Hermione put her hand to her mouth, and did the same thing to the old curtains a dark red suddenly bright.
Kicking her legs excitedly she hopped off her bed and got out a fresh roll of parchment and multi colored inks. She rolled the scroll out on the bed and started making lists, notes of what she had noted thus far, and ways she could experiment, and a yes or no section where she wrote questions out and an area for thoughts.
Hermione had just finished half the scroll when she was interrupted by a rather large growl coming from her stomach. Hermione stretched out rolling up her parchment and hid it within her trunk, neatly putting the inks away and grabbing cloths she made a beeline for breakfast. Though upon arrival she got the best surprise yet.
"Loki!" Hermione's smile grew seeing the familiar green-eyed Raven Sitting on the table on where her usual spot was. Perfectly Happy and Contented now that Loki was back, she wouldn't be alone today. She petted his beak and plopped down.
"I'll figure it out you know. "
She got a blank stare.
"Thank you...for the gift"
Another stare and a tilt of his head . Hermione huffed blowing a stray curl out of her face.
"Fine, be that way. I have so much to tell you.!"
Hermione barely sat down before she launched into filling him in all that he missed, rather animatedly. Hand gestures included. The Raven if one looked closely looked rather alarmed and hi head tilted and feathers ruffled as he tried to keep up with the rather excited twelve year old...
The rest of the month flew by for Loki apart from the dog nothing dangerous or unaturally strange had occurred. He however did not lower his guard for a moment. He spent most of his time on Midgard with occasional visits to Asgard for his informants updates, his princely duties, council meetings, and secret discussions with Dagney and Einar, he was pleasantly surprised how many eyes and ears they themselves had. Things were quiet at the present moment in both realms, and Loki was nervous, he had over a dozen strategies and theories on standby and he kept a close eye on the traitor.
Loki was concerned about his people and his witch, whom he always made time for. She wasn't all that hard to be around, always studying and talking at him about her own ideas and theories on whatever she was working on. She was making progress with her riddle, experimenting with the ring. So far she had figured out it was amplifying but, she had not used it enough yet to notice the improvement of her focus and control. it would be a while before it would be. Hermione had several scrolls detailing her exprments and what she had figured out, observations that she had. All that and the most surprising thing?
She still had time for light reading.
In other words Loki felt more alive than he had in centuries, he had purpose, and the enemies were finally coming out to play after mostly peaceful centuries. Well as peaceful as the nine realms could ever really be anyway.
When not with Hermione, exploring , researching, and bantering with Peeves. Loki found great enjoyment of tormenting the head scholar. Son of Dumbledore. He let the old wizard close briefly and would take off or make a decoy. Toying with him while at the same time studying his character, he was patient and rather intelligent though a bit odd. His robes were rather outrageous and cooky if you asked for his opinion. However as the end of the month grew near, he grew bored. He did have a few questions for the son of Dumbledore he would like to know the answers too.
Which brought him where he was at the end of the second month sitting in one of the high windows of the clock tower, one leg dangling the other bent as he took a bite of an apple he had stolen from the table at lunch. Waiting for Hermione Granger to get out of class. The air was chilly and there was a feeling and scent in the air that was unique to Midgard. Autumn if he remembered right. The leaves were changing, bright oranges, reds and golds. Resembling flames and falling to the ground where they became brown. There was a beauty in death, he mused. For they shed the leaves now and they would return in the spring. Rising like a Phoenix he had read about in the Library, he was learning a lot about the magical world of Midgard. The information was endless. Even fascinating.
It was the last day of the Midgardians "October". As he understood it there was a holiday called Halloween. Being celebrated this day. Loki didn't quite understand what exactly they were celebrating. He made a mental note to study their Holidays. This one seemed as he understood it to be very much like their celebration of winternights that was going on now in Asgard. Combined with some of their Walpurgis. Again Asgard never changed. however they still had their own yearly celebrations. Mother always liked this one best. She often said that her powers of Galdr were at its pinnacle. In fact. Today was the day she went out amongst their people, to give advice and some direction. Very rarely but sometimes she felt inclined to give a full prophecy or reading. As well as always giving him a secret smirk. Like she knew something, but refused to let him in on it. It irritated him. When he was younger he'd ask but she just always say
"You will understand one day."
Eventually he stopped asking.
It also appeared to be the end of their harvest as well.
Hermione aside, there was another reason Loki had chosen this spot to wait. He had a good view of the courtyard where she'd enter upon leaving charms. He had also decided this to be the spot to end the game he had been playing with the head scholar. The "Headmaster" they called him. It was time to talk. So it came as no surprise as the elder came to stand beside him looking out at the forest like he was.
"Splendid day isn't it? I always did like watching the seasons change." He spoke with a voice wizend in age, Loki saw deep wisdom in his blue eyes, as well as dark secrets. He hid a past. The elder Aeisr had that same look. The look one requires when they had seen to much, done to much, been through to much. The weight of the past. Makes its mark. One just had to now how to spot them. The past really could make slaves of them all. Which was why he never dealt with such things. Eleanor being the exception, but he found it didn't hurt to much now when he remembered her. Ever since Hermione's birthday.
"Would you care for a lemon drop?" He asked with a hum.
Of all the things Loki was expecting to happen. This hadn't been one of them.
"What on Midgard is a Lemon drop?" Loki found himself asking.
"A muggle sweet." the wizard popped said sweet into his mouth.
"Not really no." Loki continued to study him, he was the weirdest man he had ever met; and they had barely said anything to each other.
"I'm not interested in playing your games. What I want to know is why you have something so dangerous on the third floor. Protecting something."
"Thestrals are very interesting creatures." He hummed avoiding the question.
"What are you talking about." Loki bit out completely annoyed.
"I'm sorry, I have not introduced myself. My name is Albus Dumbledore."
"Albus. What in norns name are you babbling about."
"Thetrals." Albus Dumbledore hummed motioning above the trees. Drawing attention to those creatures he often enjoyed watching. He hadn't found out what they were yet. His curiosity got the best of him. Momentarily.
"What are they? They look similar to the horses I have seen in Niffleheim."
"Thestrals, are fundamentally gentle creatures. They have a high dangerous rating. Do to the fear of them, They are invisible to most people and misunderstood."
"Invisible. I doubt that for I'm looking at one right now."
"They can only be seen by those who have witnessed death."
Loki watched a fowl next to it's mother as they dug into something dead the half-giant often left for them at the edge. Or sometimes deeper. It made sense. In many worlds and realms. They often feared what they did not understand. Even going as far as hating the source. Loki found them even more enchanting. He had seen many deaths; Many by his own hand. Through centuries of war. They truly were like the creatures of Nifleheim. He wondered if they had come here during the last convergence. Suddenly remembering why they were here. He turned his gaze back at Albus Dumbledore.
"What are you hiding?"
"Death has always scared people, particularly those who seek power. They tend to find ways to cheat death."
"It's been in my experience. Hela does not appreciate such means." Loki studied the wizard. He was getting at something. He tilted his head. His mind racing. There were not very many things capable of escaping Hela. There were a few that could delay. Fewer still that could succeed in cheating her.
"He is no danger to students as long as they avoid the third floor."
"Well, your guard dog nearly killed four first years. One of them is my responsibility. I do not appreciate that; it's fairly easy to get into. Just a simple spell."
"That may be so, I cannot remove the protections. No harm will come to Hermione Granger. She is a very intelligent young witch. I am sure she will not find herself back to the third floor."
"What is he guarding that's so important you'd risk hiding it here? Endangering your young scholars. If it's important to hide. Someone will come to try to retrieve it. They will have no qualms killing any that got in their way. I don't know what your up to yet. I assure you I will find out."
"There are those that would wish to cheat death." Albus Dumbledore repeated.
Loki didn't say anything else. Thinking. Did Midgardian's sorcerers have such a means? If they did. What object would achieve such a feat? Loki vowed to pay the goddess a visit. He just hoped she'd be in a welcoming mood.
The two of them remained silent. Loki with distrust. Albus calm a knowing gleam in his eyes; that Loki did not like. Looking out over the students that did not have classes. Others starting to get out of class. flooding the courtyard.
Albus Dumbledore said something to break the silence. What he said he did not know. For just as he opened his mouth Loki got distracted by a strong hit of Hermione's sadness. Her loneliness and deep hurt. Reverberating through the bond . Shifting into the Raven and flew toward where he saw her running, A group of boys stood frozen watching her leave. Sons of Potter and Finngan. looked unsure of what to do about it, the Seamus Finnigan boy's face looked like he exploded a spell again. Ron Weasley looked guilty. Harry Potter looked like he wanted to do something, but boys his age. Loki knew were no match for a girls tears, even as adults it was hard for Men to deal with a woman crying.
Loki had seen tears in Hermione's eyes before she disappeared. He instantly knew Ronald Weasley was the cause. As he flew over head of them to follow Hermione Granger. He summoned his magic so Ronald's cloak flipped over his head and was jerked back. Kids laughing as he was dragged to the other side of the courtyard by an invisible force. Where he came to a stop under a tree, whos leaves suddenly fell on top of him burying him in the foliage.
Loki didn't stay to appreciate what he caused; instead he continued to follow Hermione to the first floor girls bathroom. It wasn't the cleanest he thought as he swooped In from the open window , perching on a carved pumpkin. Called a "Jack-o-Lantern" His feathers ruffled as he heard the unmistakable sound of Hermione trying to muffle her sobs. She was hurting and badly. What in the nine realms had that boy say to her?!
Loki was debating on his next course of action when two girls ran into the bathroom. Panting, from the run. Loki recognized them as Hermione's sister witches. Parvarti Patil the color of mocha with straight black hair and dark almost black eyes. A look of concern on her face, was the first to knock on the door.
"Hermione? Hermione are you ok? "
"Go away!" She sniffled. Her voice cracking like she was trying not to show just how upset she was even though it was obvious.
"Don't listen to the git." Lavender Brown spoke softly. Lavender was a small girl with wild curly blond hair , a red and gold headband on her head. She gave a lot of thought into her appearances. Loki would know; she was always the last of the girls to arrive at breakfast. She also always spoke her mind.
"You're a little bit of a know-it-all Granger. You're a kind person. You'll click with someone. Just give it more time." Lavender tried to reassure her.
Hermione just cried harder, Loki could see that she was on the ground of the stall now, her head most likely buried on her knees.
"Hermione." Parvarti tried a different tactic.
"He was lashing out, hurting you in response to feeling shown up, jealous. That's all it is. He's jealous and embarrassed"
"He's right though. Everything he said.." Hermione choked and Loki itched to talk to her. It was a while before he got his chance. The girls didn't leave until after trying and failing for twenty minutes to calm Hermione Granger down, and coax her out of the stall.
It wasn't exactly how he wanted to introduce himself; however there wasn't much Loki could do as a raven. A shadow of a Raven against the wall illuminated by the moon and lantern. Slowly the wings retreated, twisting and turning until the shadow became a man. Loki with silent careful steps Walked over to one of the sinks, cleaning it with a wave of his hand. He leaned against it, getting himself comfortable. His eyes on the stall where the girl was. Bracing himself for any possible negative reaction she may have. He wasn't used to comforting people. He was just as uncomfortable as Harry Potter looked. The only difference was he at least knew how to confront things that didn't exactly appeal to him.
"Won't you come out little dove?"
Loki smiled a bit, hearing her sniffling quieten and her scrambling up off the floor. It was several heartbeats before the stall opened slowly and she stepped out timidly. Her lion's mane she called hair was mussed like she'd been clutching it and strands stuck to her wet cheek. Her eyes red and swollen.
"You know this is the girls bathroom, boys."She cleared her throat. "
"Men" she clarified,
"Are not supposed to be in here." she admonished with no real heat in her voice.
Loki smirked. Her first thing to ask was not who are you? Nor was it a scream or fear; but the fact that he was breaking the rules. He really needed to teach her that rules were meant to be ignored, broken, or bent.
"Who are you?" was her next question.
"You know who I am Hermione Granger. You've known for quite some time now."
"You're Loki aren't you? You're the Raven that's been following me around since my first day."
Hermione sniffed, feeling self conscious that he was seeing her at one of her weaker moments. She felt inadequate comparing them. She knew she looked a mess. She tried to dry her tears with her robe subtly and smoothed out her hair a bit and straightened her robes. Trying to put herself together, but even then it didn't help she was being entirely undignified.
The man smirked. Crap he noticed.
"Right on target Lady Hermione Granger." Loki's green eyes sparkled with laughter.
Loki was wearing dark clothing with some sort of light armor made with an unfamiliar leather and metal. His posture was perfect. He leant against the sink and still managed to look regal as if the bathroom was some sort of throne room. His dark hair pushed back curling slightly at the neck, possibly layered. His green eyes burned with a fire and intelligence. While his skin was pale and cold as winter. Everything about him was contradictory.
His presence filled the bathroom. His aura intimidating, one of power. He was relaxed and his chuckle filled the room at her silence.
"What's that Midgardian saying? Dog got your tongue?"
Hermione opened her mouth. She was planning on just asking one question. "Why?" followed by the correction that the saying was. "Cat got your tongue" But that wasn't what left her mouth.
"You BIT me!" she glared remembering the harsh bite on that first day of flying
Loki laughed, his smile ear to ear.
"Yes, I bit you. I fail to see how that is relevant presently. "
Loki gave a one shoulder shrug somehow making it appear otherworldly.
"How else was I supposed to get you to eat? Flying on an empty stomach makes things worse. More so when one is uneasy with being in the air."
Hermione had a hard time fighting that logic, but she was still prepared to argue how that was a bit much. Opening her mouth to tell him so. Instead twenty questions erupted like a firehydrant"
"Are you really Loki? "
"Why are you watching out for me."
"Is this Amulet real?"
"How did it get to be in our family?"
"Are the other realms real?"
"Can you travel to other planets?"
"How does your magic work. Are you an Animagus? Or can you change your form to anything at will?"
"Care to tell me why you have not shown yourself before now? If you knew that I had known?"
Loki gave a deep chuckle of amusement,, she didn't know if he was laughing at her or her questions. She folded her arms defensively.
"So inquisitive, Fine I shall indulge you on one condition." Loki held up one finger.
" You tell me what Son of Weasley said to you, to make you cry so. He's unworthy of your tears."
Hermione sniffed a bit and hid a shy smile in her sleeve, almost giggling at his speech but held back. He was not of this realm so he would have what they'd consider now an old fashioned way of speaking but it suited him. Surprisingly it made her feel better.
"Its nothing important.." She lied, fidgeting with the ring, she now knew he had given her. She had expected as much. Hermione didn't want to seem weak in front of him that a simple insult that her intelligence was the reason she had no friends. She had just been trying to help.
Loki shifted from the sinks and walked over to her. Crouching to her height. He was tall far away. Up close he was even taller. Hermione would guess about six feet. She tried to shift away, but he had already taken her chin, gentle but forceful enough that made her look up directly into those eyes of his. He brushed a thumb over her still wet cheek.
"This is not nothing my little witch."
"It doesn't matter. It doesn't change things..Ron's right.." Hermione tried to tear away from his gaze it felt like he could see all her secrets, like nothing was hidden. The feeling was unnerving.
"Don't try to lie to the God of lies little witch. I will always be able to tell. Clearly it's important enough to hurt you. Now tell me Hermione Granger. What did he say?" Loki's voice had lowered slightly, It dawned at her that he was angry..
Hermione bit her lip, then thought of how she always told him what was on her mind as a raven. How was this any different? Other than clearly he was talking back now. Hermione didn't avert her gaze. She was ashamed enough she had broken down the first time.
"He said I was a nightmare, that I have no friends. Mocking how I was trying to correct and teach him how to do a spell. He's right I don't have any friends. I never had. I didn't fit in when in muggle schools. I was different but didn't understand it. A know it all. I'm different here too. I don't know about this world. I have to study really hard to understand it and how I fit in. Everything's so new. Magic, school, a whole new world. It's... I feel alone. I study hard to learn and master as much magic as I can. I was hoping it would help me make some friend. To prove I'm capable. It hasn't gone so well; and he just pointed it out. However indirectly its still true." Hermione rambled trying to rush out her feelings. Her cheeks going pink. It sounded stupid saying it out loud.
"All this is exciting and scary all at once."
Loki searched her face as she spoke. He pulled out a green cloth handing it to her so she could wipe her eyes and cheeks. Letting her chin go and speaking as she cleaned up feeling a bit lighter now.
"You are not alone, I am never to far little dove. It can be frightening being different. Use your unique position to your advantage. Never be ashamed of pursuing knowledge and using it. He may not be a friend yet, but you have Neville Longbottom's respect. He doesn't say much. He doesn't get annoyed when you sit by him like I've seen some others do. He has that potential."
"What advantage?" She peaked at him curiously now dry but she knew her eyes were still red.
"You are part of two worlds Daughter of Granger. You have an unique point of view. Your eyes are not clouded by either side. Seeing things clearly is a strength. Remember that."
Loki gave her a lot to ponder.
"Do you know worlds other than mine and yours?"
"Many, I studied them. Learned their culture, habits, how they view things. It makes creating alliances easier. I am speaking out of experience. Now I believe I owe you some answers to your questions."
"Yes, I am Loki Prince of Asgard, Silvertongue, lie smith. I go by many names. I am not sure what you mean by Animagus, but I can change into any animal I wish. Preferably a Raven, Wolf, or snake. They are the three that come the easiest to me. I watch over you because I owe your family an unpayable debt. I have sworn an oath in blood. To watch over the descendant blessed with magic. Of course the Amulet is real, do you truly have any doubts about that?"
"No. Not really but it is nice to have facts confirmed."
"I gave it to your ancestor to protect your family quite a long time ago" Loki's voice changed lowering with each word till it was a near whisper and he adverted his eyes. He wanted to speak no more of it.
Loki gently took the amulet in his hand. Muttering in a language she didn't understand. Hermione assumed it was his native tongue. She itched to learn it. It was beautiful and strange. Maybe if she asked for him to teach it to her he'd indulge her.
"In case you have any lingering doubts.' Loki smirked , just as one of the snakes moved, off the amulet into his hand, it grew and wrapped around his arm and over his shoulder resting its head on the other one.
Hermione gasped and reached out to gently touch the soft golden scales of the snakes head. It's tongue flicked against her wrist. It rose up to peer down at her with green eyes.
"Her name is Jórunnr. She and her mate Agmundr that remains on the amulet are my familiars. Added protection. I bound them to this amulet, if there's ever severe danger they can and will revert to their full size or this size. Their full size would not fit in this bathroom."
"What's their full size?" She breathed still enchanted by Jórunnr. Tracing her scales, since the snake had moved so her head was under Loki's chin now hissing softly. It looked to Hermione that she had missed her master.
"Around the size of the castles highest tower."
By now Hermione had completely forgotten that she had been upset.
"They sound bigger than a Dragon."
"Depends on the breed of Dragon."
"As for why I have not shown myself before now. Is for a very simple reason. Knowing is one thing. Seeing is quite another thing intirely. If I just came out of no where. You would not be reacting as you are now, trust me.
Hermione watched Loki, she had a distinct feeling this next question would be a sore spot after all he had been very vague on debt and blood oath. Something heavy happened. She was determined to get it out of him.
"Why did you give something so important as this." Hemione held the pendant and held out her hand surprised that Agmundr slid into her palm then grew slowly tell he was wrapped around her arm. Tongue flicking at her.
"To us? Your magic is deeply imbedded in this. I can feel it now that I know what it is I've been feeling since my second week here it's growing somehow. You also put your familiars on here. There is a special bond between a magic user and their familiar. Or familiars in this case. You wouldn't have just given this to a random stranger."
Loki looked irritated at this, yep sore spot.
"I've been feeding it my magic, that is a tale I'm not yet ready to tell. The events are not pleasent. Things a girl your age shouldn't be exposed to.
Hermione steeled herself.
"I do not care what you think,. Loki. I can handle it I assure you. I"m aware that things happen in our society that is not pleasant. Do not underestimate what I am and am not ready for. I am not sheltered. History isn't always nice. Things happen that are not pleasant. You will have to tell me sooner or later, I won't let this drop tell I know everything. You've been watching me. You should know by now that I will dig until I find the answers. I will forever bug you and be the bane of your existence till you tell me so I can understand."
Loki seemed to heasitate but there was something brief in his eyes. Pride? Followed by humor, unease, before finally resting on angry. His eyes flaring. He was definitely angry. Hermione didn't care she stared him down unblinking and unflinching. He would tell her if she had to spend a lifetime trying to get it out of him.
They stood there staring at each other, daring the other.
"Alright, fine you want to know so badly little girl.." He hissed.
"You will regret this."Loki moved closer and put two fingers on her temples they glowed green and he rested his forehead against hers."
"Don't say I didn't warn you my little witch." His voice softened slightly. It gave Hermione whip lash . He went from seething angry to something almost affectionate in a space of mere moments.
Hermione wrinkled her nose having the urge to say childishly that she wasn't "Little." But was unable to. Upon the warm touch of his forehead to hers. There was a bright light that surrounded her and she felt her eyes closing and the sensation of being pulled inward. When she opened her eyes again she gasped. She was no longer in the girls lavatory.
Sorry Another author's note.
I do NOT hate Dumbledore NOR Ron. In fact I love Ron. But he has his moments of gitness. Especially at the beginning. He softens as we all know. He's . well he's Ron :) His actions often being emotionally driven and usually without real thought. I loved writing her reactions to his eating habbits, having shown displeasure a few times where that's concerned. And Dumbledore as much as I adore him. Is manipulative. Even if his intentions are good, Which Loki would obviously see right through. Their relationship will be tense. Doesn't mean I hate him. Saying this now because I know someone's going to comment. " I will not be bashing.
Warning: Next chapter is making me change. the Rating from T to M , For violence/Gore Language If you are Squamish to violence. PM or Review and ask for a Clean summary. Other wise. I hope you all enjoy Finally learning about how this all started. I hope I do ok. OC's are not easy for me to write.