Today is January 18 2015 and I am starting to rewrite this story! At first it will seem similar to the original, but things will change as we move forward. Welcome and enjoy. PM me if you can no longer leave reviews because of being a previous readers :D
Disclaimer: I own nothing but Halios (Pronounced Hail-e-us)
"Fan you cannot be serious!" Halios said in outrage, her arms crossed defiantly in front of her as she stared judgingly at her friend, notes of apprehension clear in her worried face.
"I have but no option left, besides most of my friends have known about you for a long while now. After all, it was getting more difficult to lie about my sudden disappearances around meals or training." Fandral remarked while brushing his goatee thoughtfully. He never was one to panic prematurely, and her clear fright was baffling to him.
They sat outdoors in Halios' garden behind her stone house, situated on the corner of a small village. The stacked chimney was puffing smoke from the log still lit inside the dwelling, much like a careless old man and his long pipe. The lush grass blew around them in waves as the wind teased like kisses on the sweet blades. Fandral looked to his petite friend surrounded by her abundant flowers, with devotion and sincerity. Her honey blonde hair was wild, much like the fair girl's spirit, though without much money to properly groom and maintain it, it was often an eyesore. Her eyes were two pools of water, clear as the sea that lied to the east, and they held tender care for even the most despicable of adversaries. She was a lesser Goddess of mercy and fertility, and had been his long friend through many hardships in his personal life away from being a warrior. Currently she was sitting amongst her bushes, fuming silently as her button nose scrunched in irritation. She was never one to unleash her anger, perhaps too frightened or naive to do so. Fandral grinned in spite of her, while trying to ease her comforts about the news.
"I promise my friends will adore you much as I have come to in these past years," He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, noting their difference in attire. While she was all dressed in eggshell white, he was adorned in dark's, from his tight black cotton trousers, to the dark brown tunic with the bronze border. His golden hair remained perfectly coiffed against all weather conditions, and it was perhaps his most dazzling feature, especially thought by the loose women of Asgard, if it wasn't too bold to say. There was always one mistress or another who wished to card her fingers through his hair, but his dear Halios was never one of them, and he appreciated her air of pureness the most. "You are rather endearing, would you not agree?"
"I do not pay compliments to myself," She seemed to chew on her own thoughts a moment before continuing. "You are a part of the Warriors Three, and share relations with the two Princes; I doubt the welcome wagon will be forthcoming." Her eyes casted downward as she shrugged his grip off. Her soft cotton dress, which reminded him of the colour of snow hare in the winters pass, spread around her form as she sat in the centre of her green garden. She could not afford better, but it was not unflattering in the least, not with the brand of charm she carried. The bodice was tight fitting and strapless with only a brown leather belt tied around her waist. Her bad habit of never wearing shoes around her home persisted, and once when he had asked about it, she sheepishly replied that they felt only like a prison for her feet. His response was she would not feel that way once she pierced her foot on a thistle, but she was more insulted that he dared think her garden was one to ever sprout a weed.
"Nonsense my dear girl. The Lady Sif would be most warm to you, as would any of the warriors. And do not be so quick to judge on the royals, they are my two dearest friends," She frowned with a raised brow in question. "Next to you of course." He added hastily.
She thought back again in the silence that stretched, and he could see her resolve weakening. "Well . . . what have you told them about me?"
"Only your name and of your kind heart. Please, oh please accept this offer!" He beseeched. He got down on both of his knees before her, grass stains now marring his trousers while he clasped his hands together in prayer.
One look in his eyes and it was over for her. She was too easy to sway, and sometimes he was with fear for her because of that. "What day would suit them best?" She said in defeat, as her olive tanned shoulders sank low in surrender.
"Yes! I knew you'd agree, so I told them this day come the noon hour."
"YOU DID WHAT!" She shrieked in panic, standing abruptly, stumbling a little from her frenetic movement.
He rose to console her as she strode back and forth in a nervous manner. Surely she would leave a trail in her garden from the frantic pacing she was doing, and he knew she would come to regret that later. Fandral reached out and grabbed both of her shoulders gently to halt her fretting before anymore damage could be made. "Do not worry so. They've looked forward to this day almost as much as I have." His eyes look at her reassuringly, and she inhaled a sharp, long breath.
"Just . . . let me straighten myself before we go. I look a mess, and I shall need to put on shoes for the walk." She stepped away from him and back through the stone path to her back door. Her home was shaped like a clay dome that was every bit as cozy on the inside as it was inviting from the exterior. Fandral had lost count to how many days he had spent wasting away with their chatter, and eating her delicious pastries. Halios was something of a baker, among the other little things she wasted away doing. Her love of nature and of plants that grew tall, like the many sweet pea vines that ensconced the back of her tiny hovel. She was too frail to ever be considered a warrior, but she also practiced her brand of magic's in her time alone. Most of the spells Fandral had seen her use in discreet fashion were of nurturing incantations for her plants. He couldn't imagine her ever using a harmful spell, but she had shyly replied once, after being inquired by him, that she did know of more than one to use from books she had procured in secret, though she lacked the sufficient power and skill to conjure them.
He followed back inside behind her to give her space so she might come to her own means of comfort about the impending visit he had brought upon her. In his heart he was certain all of his friends would adore Halios. Thor was every bit as charming as himself, and thus welcomed any new stranger with open arms. Volstagg would of course take to her cooking so fast that she'd have to beat him away with a frying pan. Hogun and Loki were both difficult to read, but could also be somewhat friendly when the time asked it of them. Maybe he should warn her not to use magic around Loki; or even mention it for that matter. It wasn't uncommon for the dark haired Prince to be abrasive, or ridicule ones less talented than himself. Magic was his domain, a place where Fandral's female companion did not belong.
"Halios, one thing before we leave." He spoke aloud while listening to her rummage through her chambers. It was common courtesy for a man to never enter a maiden's chamber unless invited, or if it was that of ones wife, and Halios obviously was not.
"Of course, speak your mind Fan." He smiled at the nickname she had given him since the start of their long friendship.
"Do refrain from talking about your magic while we're there. Prince Loki, as you are well aware, is the master of magic's and I don't rightfully know how he'd take to learning a female is trying to master the same art to which he belongs."
"Is it because I am female, or is it because I am not a noble female?" She asked, poking her head around the doorjamb, her face serious.
Fandral rubbed the back of his neck bashfully. At the most unpredictable of times she could call him out on his distinct ways of hiding the truth, and it made him feel worse than a Frost Giant. He risked stealing a gaze at her, only to find her smiling in front of him. "You have not offended my honor; I know of what I am, and of my stature in society."
"Thank the All-Father, because I really detest your anger, as rare as it rears its head." He breathed out in relief, and she quipped her lips in inquiry.
"Oh, and what is wrong with me being angry?"
His eyes widened in alarm, "No, no…oh by the Gods, I've stuck my foot in my own mouth."
She laughed a melodious giggle, no animosity behind her eyes. "Don't worry, I'll spare you of my wrath, but next time I will not be quick to stall. Now come, let us visit with flirty Fandral's friends."
She glided with small grace to the door, her dress leaving a haunting vision for him to follow. "I am not full-heartedly flirty, just half halfheartedly." He explained with innocent humor.
"Okay halfheartedly it is." She chuckled after speaking with a disbelieving tone.
Fandral followed her through the front door, and past the small front gate of her home. Her village was north from the Palace, and down a lower stretch of trail that led into a gorge. They traveled down the valley roads, passing small townhouses, and clay domiciles alike. Vines with juicy honeysuckles tangled up the sides of brick storehouses; the yellow looking vibrant against the stark burgundy red of brick and mortar. Little wooden picket fences lined down the neighborhood, grass growing tall between the weathered wooden rows. Halios kept a warm smile on her face, only pausing to pluck a small flower that she placed delicately in her hair behind her ear. Small songbirds were drawn to her cheer, and would land in her hand as she would whistle a sweet tune before sending them back into the sky. Fandral always felt his inner peace come to life when he was with her in her tiny village, a little corner of Asgard that very few up at the Palace would ever care to set foot in. The sheer innocence of her company always had him coming back, and he prayed death came quickly to the one who were to ever rupture her kindred spirit.
"What is the Palace like?" She wondered aloud suddenly.
Fandral was taken aback by the question. Never had he been asked to describe the Palace before, as familiar a place as it was to him, he never did stop to consider its magnificence often. "Tis a most glorious place. The Great Hall is grand, even on an empty day, but when the room is filled with life during meals and festivals, it is at it's best. The music and the laughter there is full of joy, that the evil of our enemies could never touch. And the food too!" He said exasperatedly.
"Better than mine?" She asked incredulously.
"Well maybe not the desserts, after all, your cherry's jubilee could melt away the most prudent woman's willpower."
"Perhaps I should have made some to take to your friends." She said, a look of worry clouding her face.
"They will like you without having to bribe them with a gift, besides Volstagg would not be quick to let you leave if he was to taste such a divine creation."
"He sounds like a pleasant enough fellow, and I truly want to be excited, but my nerves seem to be winning out the battle." Her hand dusted across the front of her gown, picking away at an imaginary thread as her eyes fell to other things.
"Well we're only going to sit in a glade today, so there will be no pressure to act a certain way," He assured. "Behave as you always have during our visits."
She nodded without words. "Just promise me that you will warn me ahead of time if I ever have to meet the All-father. I think I would die of a stopped heart if I was to be forced into that situation."
"Be still your frantic beating little heart, I will always give fair warning." He placed a hand over his own chest dramatically, and she stifled a small laugh with her hand, even as her eyes lit with merriment.
"We are close now, nearly there." He noted, the cheer still present in his voice. Hers had long since left her back at her home, along with the log that would be smothered in her hearth when she returned. Her tiny hands clench in and out of fists at her side as she practiced at keeping her ragged breathing at a normal rate. Would these famous artisan's really be gleeful in welcoming an outsider to their cluster? She looked fair enough from her short primping before they had made their leave. Her skin was a nice toasty bronze from her days spent outdoors, and her face was clean. Surely her hair could do with some attention, but her skin was clear of noticeable blemishes, and she wore an appropriate dress for her straight waist. Her clothing would be outdated to dance in the halls of the Palace, and she would not be making her way to a ball in the near future, but Fandral had said they were only going to a glade which helped ease her trepidation's. It wasn't as if she was about to pop out from the seams, or something unsightly of the sort. She looked up from her leather sandals to see the stone steps of the Palace coming into view. Her heart rate sped up at the sight of five figures waiting up and down the cold marble, their faces silhouettes with the way the angle of the sun struck them.
"Relax, they are going to greet you with open arms." Fandral promised with a squeeze to her hand from her side, but she had grown so numb, that she hardly felt a thing.
Just a heads up, I will likely delete the second and third of this series because those two stories I want to vastly change, so read and save them now if you will miss them when they are gone.