A/N: A new story! Yay! This fic will go from Thor and Herja's (OC) coming of age, to the end of the Avengers Assemble (if all goes to plan!) So...yeah, I hope you enjoy it! I've done an obscene amount of research on Norse mythology, and more specifically valkyrie, so everything should make sense when transferred to the film verse.
Chapter One - The Angel of Asgard
Ever since she could remember, Herja had been praised simply for what she was.
Valkyrie existed in the dozens on Asgard due to their long life span, but they weren't born very often. So when everyone realised she was a valkyrie, she was showered with admiration and expectation. Herja had been told of the glorious, honourable job she would be doing when she came of age; working for Odin to bring the fallen to the hall of Valhalla and care for them there until they were needed again in the dark days of Ragnarök.
Three days before she came of age and began working for Odin, Herja was beginning to feel a little anxious about the pressure on her. Unable to keep it to herself, she decided to share her worries with one of her closest friends when he called upon her to give him some advice about clothing.
"You do not wish to do your duties?" Thor asked her, apprehension as he strode around his chambers, picking up items of clothing and looking baffled as to what they were.
"It is not the duties that I am concerned with. It is the way I am expected to do them. Your father has said that I should carry myself with such decorum and grace but I feel like I am not graceful at all. What if I am simply not right for a position as a valkyrie?"
Thor laughed, sitting down next to her on his bed. "Do not be foolish, Herja! Of course you are meant to be a valkyrie, otherwise why else would have been born one? And you are the most graceful person I know!"
Herja forced a smile, trying not to let her anxieties spoil the excitement Thor and their other friends were feeling about their coming of age. Thor flashed her a winning smile before jumping up again and pulling two tunics out of a wooden drawer. He held them up to her.
"Which tunic should I wear for the dance?"
Herja squinted at them and sighed. "What colour is Mehanwn's gown?"
Thor frowned. "I do not know. I think she may have said that she would be wearing blue but I cannot be certain."
Herja rolled her eyes and pointed at the tunic with blue embroidery. "Then wear the blue tunic! Try to match her where you can or you shall clash."
He nodded, set the blue tunic aside and placed the red one back in the drawer. "You still do not have an escort?" He asked her.
She shook her head. "No I do not. And I am not sorry for that. I do not feel any desire to spend the eve with any of the males our age. I find them all too tiresome." Thor raised his eyebrows and she grinned. "Yes that does include you." Thor laughed heartily and she continued, "I am not sorry to be going alone. I would rather spend the evening in my own company when presented with the company of an obnoxious companion."
"You make a strong case, friend." Thor said, closing the door to his wardrobe. "And I cannot argue with it. But should you need me, you know that I shall be there for you to talk with."
Herja snorted. "I doubt that. I should think that you will be too captivated by Mehanwn to notice anyone else."
Thor smirked at the idea before shaking himself. "But I shall be there nonetheless. And I cannot perform any mischief with my parents there also."
"Oh, yes. That had quite slipped my mind. Will they be by your side all night? And is your brother coming also?" Herja asked, fiddling with the end of her golden braid as Thor tried, and failed, to neatly fold his clothes for the dance.
"I believe he is. As you can imagine, Loki is loud in his protests but father insists that he should come. And I believe mother and father will be socialising rather than suffocating me all night."
"Thor?" Thor's retort to his friend stopped before it could exit his mouth and he turned to listen to his mother's voice. "Dinner is about to be served!"
"May Herja stay?" Thor called back, making Herja grin.
"Of course! We already have guests so I am sure one more cannot hurt." Frigga responded without hesitation.
Herja knew the way through the palace well, having visited here at least once a week since she was fourteen. But she still followed behind Thor through the long corridors with their grand bronze decor until they reached a large dining room which already contained far more dinner guests than even Thor was used to. He stopped in the doorway, not knowing where he should sit or who he should speak to. But before he could say anything, one of the guests saw them in the doorway and said,
"Now there is a beautiful thing to behold."
He was looking past Thor and right at Herja who immediately felt uncomfortable as the man's eyes roved over her frame and her pure white wings folded neatly behind her. Thor put his arm around her shoulders and guided her into the room where everyone could see her. Herja ignored the part of her that bristled at being called a thing and smiled meekly like she'd been taught to.
"She isn't a thing." A voice growled from the end of the table in shadow. Herja felt herself relax when all eyes shifted from her and onto the source of the irritated comment. The man who had been looking at her was silent for a moment before laughing and saying,
"Quite right. Young Loki is quite right." He looked at Herja again. "Forgive me, valkyrie."
Herja bowed her head. "Thank you, sir."
Frigga glided into the room, bustling Thor and Herja towards the darker end of the table where Loki was sat. "Take your places here."
Loki sat at the head of the table in the darkness and Thor and Herja took the seats next to him on each side so they were sat opposite each other. Odin arrived and sat at the other head, surrounded by candles and talking friends. As she sat, Herja flashed Loki a smile as a way of thanking him but he just looked at her, not welcoming, not defensive. Herja had such trouble reading him and found it hard to gauge whether they were friends or not. By rights, they should be as they had known each other for over a decade but Loki was a difficult person to understand. She found it bizarre that she could find one brother so easy to be with and the other so challenging.
"I see you have joined us, Herja." Odin said from the other end of the table once everyone was seated and had been brought drinks.
She smiled at the old man, bowing her head in respect. "Yes, sir. I hope this does not inconvenience you too greatly, sir."
"Not in the slightest. I always feel joy when those I work with become my friends. You are prepared to begin your life's work are you not? Ensuring our chosen dead are comfortable and cared for."
Herja tried not to let a flicker of doubt cross her face as she nodded and said, "Of course, sir. I am eager to start doing my duty."
Odin smiled and raised his goblet to her. "That I am glad to hear. I drink to your honour and your grace, Herja."
Everyone around the table followed suit, smiling and drinking except Loki who raised his goblet but did not drink. Instead, he gave her a dark look over his cup and Herja felt shivers shoot up her spine and ruffle the feathers of her wings.
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter...chapter two will cover the coming of age ball and, fear not, they'll be more Loki!
Please leave a review...I love them!