To Protect

Prologue: In the Beginning

It is named 'wind' with the Humans.

But 'waverer' with the gods.

the awe-rulers call it 'neigher'.

The Jötnar 'shrieker'.

The Álfar 'whistler'.

In Hel, call it 'squall'.

-Alvíssmál 20

Father. My father. Looking out the window atop her lone citadel, Hel, Guardian of the Underworld, contemplates, while the misty world around her sleeps. Events replay in her mind repeatedly; those she remembered strongly were sharp, every detail firmly etched in her mind like sharp pieces of glass embedded in flesh.

Father. My father. Does he still remember me, his lonesome daughter? In this tower, I think of him still, even where the sun does not arise, and dawn never breaks. Does he still recall me? It is hard to smile in a world such as this.

I grow weary from guarding this world and keeping my balance. The mortal world entices, yet Hel I am, and here I stay. Is he happy there? The underworld suffocates, reeking with the stinging stench of the waiting dead; I neither live nor die. My duty lies here. Bound, Guardian of the dead I still am, yet I look heavenward, towards a sky which he sees sprinkled with countless stars, infinitesimal, and in the darkness, I see nothing but the darkness.

I have lost count of how much time I have spent here, while the sands of time trickle away and the hourglass is turned another full round. How long more must I keep vigil of the spirits completing their homecoming journey? The dead are reunited, but I remain separated from my kin.

My father, does he think of me, does he miss me? The mortal world is vast, wide enough to hide the fleeting footsteps and shadows of one soul from the All-Seeing One. Though sometimes I yearn to depart from my post and join him, I cannot.

Jormungand is with him, I hear. My heart ignites with a spark of jealously against my will. It's not fair, father, that he remains by your side as a companion, while I wait here alone. It's not fair that my company isn't required of you, but yet while you slumber in your bed tonight, I continue to watch this woeful, changing world.

In desolation, nothing grows, nothing changes.

My tears blur my vision so badly that I cannot see…where his footsteps lead, and where I want to follow. But I still walk on, filled with the hope of his return.

No, I shall go and look for him with my own eyes. Waiting is futile. Make haste, Hel! I will not wait for him to come carry me home at the break of dawn. I shall go in search of him myself. And if I kill him myself, then he will stay with me.

We shall be together, never apart.

We shall be together.

--

Hel, Guardian of the Underworld, turns from the window and slips out of sight.

Author's Note: Hello. Thank you very much for reading the prologue of this fanfic. It is my first one so pardon me if I sound very excited. Just for a short introduction, this will be based on the manga instead of the anime (I find it easier to follow), and this is mainly a collection of the proceeding events which Hel appeared in during the manga. The prologue is mainly my opinion of what she thought of before taking her first trip to the human world (if I'm not mistaken, it happened in the 5th book). Once again thanks for reading, and reviews and suggestions are greatly appreciated.