Epilogue

I am Haakon, all my life I have lived with the Avengers. Eventually they even accepted me into their ranks. I help them fight the evils that attack Earth, but this time I shall tell you about they helped me. They have often told me stories of my mother and my true family, even if I still consider the Avengers to be my family. I have wished to rescue my mother ever since I first heard of what became of him.

But a few days ago my uncle finally gave us a chance to do so. Thor showed up on our door step in the cover of darkness. It had been nearly twenty years since his last visit, the day of my birth. He brought tale of signs of Ragnarok coming to Asgard. Within the confusion he hoped there may be a chance of freeing my mother.

"What about the legends? Doesn't Loki's release bring about Ragnarok?" Steve had inquired. Time had been gentle to him, barely touching him.

"Damn Odin and Asgard! I would rejoice to see it brought down in fire. U gave been unable to look on her the same with what has been accepted as just punishment." Thor's fury was bare upon his face. This being the first time I had ever met him, I stayed towards the back of the gathered Avengers, scared to meet his fury. But Thor caught my gaze, his hard expression instantly melting to surprise then a bitter sweet smile. He waved aside Captain America and came to look me in the eye. In nearly twenty years time I had reached a size where I could look my uncle in the eyes without straining my neck.

I could see Thor was appraising my appearance; my scales glittering, preened to perfection save the occasional battle scar. "Loki would be proud. You have grown into quite the adolescent dragon, and a fighter at that if I can tell by your scars and your place among the Avengers. Of all his children, you are the jewel." My heart soared at the praise my uncle had given me.

"Thank you, Uncle. Your words mean a lot to me. But, pleas take no offense, I would rather hear them from his own mouth. I heard you had plans to release him?"

"Yes, it is treason, but I can no longer sit idly by as the All-father tortures Loki. I shall gain us all entrance to Asgard, where we shall free Loki and likely incite Ragnarok."

"Then we should not keep them waiting." The Avengers surrounding the pair shouted their agreement. Thor clapped me on my shoulder as he lead us out of the building where the gate was opened for us.

Asgard appeared before us on the other side. A once golden city, falling to pieces as its inhabitants prepared for the war that would end all that they knew. The sight brought tears to my eyes as I saw other beasts chained to the battlements along side the catapults and other armaments. Thor nodded upon seeing my tears, confirming my fears. These beasts were the other children of Loki, who Odin had enslaved in his fight against Ragnarok. I could feel myself drawn to them, but even from a distance I knew that not one of them had ever been treated as any more than a beast and would only act as such. If necessary I knew I would deal with them later, but my mother was the most important objective at the current moment.

Turning away I followed Thor into the palace. We had left the Avengers outside the gates both for our own privacy and an easier chance at sneaking into the palace. We met no resistance as every servant or guard was busy making preparations. "Odin is out overseeing this himself, so we should not have a problem getting into his chambers."

"Why is my mother being kept in his chambers?"

"Odin is more sick minded than you think. He enjoys watching these tortures." I remained silent with Thor's answer, but it gave me more drive than ever to find him. I watched the servants run by, occasionally throwing a surprised glance my way, but they continued on seeing Thor at my side.

There were no guards at Odin's chambers which allowed us quick entry, but we were met inside by four guards who blocked the way to a side chamber. Thor threw Mjolnir at one before they had a chance to attack. He was felled instantly, and two of his comrades were brought down by my fire as Thor retrieved Mjolnir. The last guard, trained to not surrender, made a swing at my neck which Thor blocked. He shortly joined the others by the combined efforts of my claws and Thor's hammer. At last we broke the lock on the door, pushing it open.

The room inside was a large arena with only one occupant, my mother. He was chained to a stake in the middle like a dog. We rushed to him, our fighting outside the door had apparently woken him as he was still laying in the sand, but alert at our arrival.

"Thor, what are you doing here?"

"What does it look like? We are breaking you out of this prison." Thor picked up the chain attaching Loki to the post and held them to me, "Here use your fire to break these." It was then that my mother finally took notice of my presence. I saw recognition flash in his eyes as I broke the chains.

"Is that you? Haakon, the son I left on Midgard?" His eyes showed fear, disbelief, but most of all hope.

"It is I, Mother. I have come here with the Avengers and my Uncle to free you." He jumped up to grasp me around my neck. I could feel the wetness of his tears as they fell to my scales. After a few moments my mother released me, smiling. He turned to Thor and said, "You have brought me a greater blessing than I could have ever thought, for this I thank you, brother." Thor clasped his arms around his brother.

"Our work is not yet done here brother." Thor started, "Ragnarok is neigh upon Asgard."

"Well we should not keep it waiting then." I saw for the first time the flash of mischief in my mother's eyes that earned him his title. With his shackles removed Loki's magic was unleashed as he demonstrated upon our exit from the room. Fire appeared in his hands and all around the room, catching it on fire. The palace burned in our wake.

We met the Avengers outside the gate, they looked on in awe as the fire consumed the palace. It was not long before Odin ran up to us, fury apparent in his eyes. "You would commit this treason upon Asgard? You released Ragnarok upon us?"

"No, father, you are the one who sowed these seeds. The only thing we released was Loki, from an unjust punishment. What you are experiencing now is only the fury you have instilled in him." Sleipnir reared, bucking Odin from his back before cantering over to Loki, who stroked his snout. His gentleness with Sleipnir belied his anger.

"You have taken too man a child from me Odin. Your foolishness will be repaid in fire." The street around us burst into flames followed by the deafening crack of chains. "Do you hear that sound, All-father? Do you hear the sound of my children's chains breaking?" Odin looked upon Loki with fear from where he lay upon the ground. I walked protectively beside my mother as we walked to the Bifrost. His hands resting upon Sleipnir and me. Thor and the Avengers fought around us, not once letting a warrior get past their guard.

Heimdal, ever watchful, knelt to us as we reached the Bifrost. Turning around one last time we saw Asgard in flames, a great serpent churning in the surrounding waters.

W returned to Midgard, where the destruction of Ragnarok would not reach. The Avengers returned to the tower, leaving our little family to our own peace. My mother's calm demeanor finally faded as he collapsed next to Sleipnir and me. Thor joined us in our relief and exhaustion, putting his arm around Loki's shoulders. Not one of us said a word as we each sought comfort in each other.

Loki joined the Avengers after that day in thanks. He still causes mischief, but there is only so much one could ask of a god. Sleipnir and I are the only ones of his children he keeps by his side. But even so, he now smiles more than not. I could not speak for him, but I think he has at last found a place where he is appreciated and loved.