This is for Psychotic Sprite, JustAnotherParallelDimenson, and Hidders at FFNet for helping me out A YEAR ago with a question I had… but… still, thanks!
I think I turned him into a super!Harry, but I didn't mean to? Blame the Deathly Hallows… Also, my old Englishese is crap, so pretend everyone has proper grammar and pronunciation in ye old Asgard, none of this "doth mother know you weareth her drapes?" crap…!
I completely changed all the dates around, and I'm using the traditional spellings for the Norse names, hence the "r" after some of the words. Also, another thing to keep in mind, before "Thor (the movie)" Thor is a brash, cruel, arrogant little shit. He loves his brother, but love doesn't stop people from being selfish and cruel, nor from wanting what you can't have even at another's expense. Also, most everyone blames Loki's actions in the movie on learning he was a frost giant, but he ruined Thor's coronation by allowing Jötuns to attack Asgard out of jealousy over the throne alone. He attacked Jötunheimr to prove he wasn't really one of them and to prove himself better than Thor to their father. Loki was jealous of more than just the throne: Mjölnir, their father's favouritism, his inability to fit in… the love of Harry, perhaps? You see where I'm going with this?
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is property of JK Rowling, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros, et all. Thor, Loki, etc belong to Marvel, Stan Lee, et co. I make no money from this and own nothing, don't sue.
Summary: [Loki/HP] Having mastered the ability to travel between worlds without the use of the Bifrost, Loki stumbles upon Harry Potter and decides to keep him, for all kings need a consort. Unfortunately, Thor has the same idea, when Loki brings Harry home to meet the family.
Warnings: Slash. Loki/HP. One-sided Thor/HP. Pre-Thor (the film). Ignores Avengers Assemble (the film). Violence. Language. AU. Typos. Mpreg. Character death. Creepiness. Arsehole-ary. Eventual happy ending. Attempted forced abortion?
A/N: I put runes into their bag, and drew them, and the one that was chosen became the name of this story. Despite Ansuz and Thurisaz being the ones commonly associated with Loki. Berkana is the rune of the Norse god Tiw, whose name survives in the modern word, Tuesday. It signifies victory in battle, or the presence of a guiding star or planet.
Loki might not have been as strong, or as brave, or as bold as his brother, but there was no denying he was smarter. That had been proved – well, perhaps not proved, since no one had yet to conclusively prove that Loki was at fault – when the All Father's favourite stallion was found one morning with an eight-legged foal that Loki himself had given birth to. He had slipped beneath Heimdallr's notice, escaped the man's famous inescapable sight, and he had fooled them all. He had not needed the bifrost. He had not needed Heimdallr to travel back and forth, not like his brother or father did. Perhaps he would never tell them the truth about Sleipnir's appearance or conception, but Loki would always know that he, himself, was smarter than them all.
Those who had looked down on him; those that had laughed at his magic tricks and his jokes and accused him of telling lies; those that wished he were more like Thor Odinson, rather than Loki Odinson; those that wished ill of him: he was smarter than them all. Trickier. Cleverer. There was none that could beat him in a battle of wits, or of chess, or in magic. Much like none could beat Thor and his Mjölnir in battle.
With the births of Hel and Fenrir and Jörmungandr, Loki tricked Heimdallr's sight again and again, for he had had to sneak to Jötunheimr all of three times to sire them upon the giantess he had seduced to his bed. And while Odin thought, as he always did, that Loki was behind the mischief, he could never prove it because no one had seen Loki leave Asgard, nor leave Jötunheimr.
Perhaps Odin hoped to stall Loki's mischief-making, to somehow calm his youngest son's adventurous nature somewhat, Odin betrothed him to Sigyn. It was a fortunate match, a good match for Loki, who despite being an Odinson, was not looked favourably upon by the majority of the Asgardians.
"Why father?" Loki had asked, weeks ago, after first learning of the betrothal.
Odin had looked at him, one eye gone long ago, an eye patch covering the wound, and the other narrowed in exhaustion. "Because," he had said after a long silence, having glanced several times at his own wife and mother of his sons, "all Kings need a consort worthy of their King, my son."
It was that which had first sparked the idea within Loki's mind. He had always known that only one of them could be king, only one of the two brothers could lead Asgard and preserve the peace between the Nine Realms, but to have been betrothed and given Ithis/I as a reason, while Thor was still allowed to run wild, starting fights and seducing the servants? Was it not as good as the spoken word that Loki would one day be king?
Loki would be king, and not Thor.
Loki had then decided his father was right, he had agreed that he would need a consort to sit beside him. But he had begged for the right to choose his own bride, to be allowed to make that decision, the one he would need to live with for the rest of his life, and choose for himself the one he would sire a child upon. Odin had flinched at the request, fists clenching at his side, but he had conceded after another moment of silence. Loki did not know that Sigyn was barren and that was why she had been chosen for his bride. Odin did not want more of Loki's monsters running wild within the Nine Realms, for though he couldn't prove they were Loki's, he knew they were, just as he knew that no one else on Asgard would willingly marry Loki Silvertongue without Odin's insistence. An insistence Odin would not make, for Loki would marry Sigyn, and no child would come from their union, and that would be that. But for appearances sake, Odin allowed his son a year to search out his own consort, and Loki accepted that time frame graciously.
Unknown to Odin, Loki did not search for a consort on Asgard. Loki went to earth.
It was not his first time within the world of humans. After Sleipnir's birth, earth was the next place Loki had tried to travel to without being noticed. Heimdallr had not noticed him, until, of course, Loki had been unable to figure out a way home and had been forced to reveal himself so that his father could retrieve him. Returning had become his priority then, and he had requested permission to travel the worlds, as an emissary of Asgard, for meetings and banquets and peace talks, and hoped to make his way home unnoticed, always responding to "how did you get back?" with "did you not see me arrive with Thor?" Heimdallr was too prideful to ever admit that he had not, and once more, Loki proved himself smarter than the others. Once he had proven it to himself enough times, he ventured once more to earth. And again. And again, until he felt he had learnt all he needed to know about the humans, about the ones who had once believed him to be a god.
They had magic users of their own, he had learnt, stumbling across a group of them battling with branches of Yew and Holly, Ash and Oak. He might have been the only sorcerer on his world, but here there appeared to be plenty. Though, when he returned to that spot a second and third time, years after, no one used magic, no one spoke of magic, and no one duelled with colourful lights that killed instantly. But Loki had searched. He had done his research, finding out what he could and tricking what he needed to know from those who knew it, and now, now that he needed a consort, Loki believed he knew exactly where to find one.
March 31st 1999. Midgard.
Harry Potter was eighteen years old.
When he was younger, and he had thought this far into his future, he had always imagined he would have graduated by now. Maybe he would have even had a girlfriend, and they could have gotten married young like his parents had, could have had their first child that year or the year after. He might have even gotten a job, or gone to university perhaps. His thoughts had changed depending on his mood at the time he imagined his future. But one thing was always certain. He would have graduated before he was an adult.
Unfortunately, he hadn't.
Voldemort's rise to power hadn't exactly allowed for a well-rounded final year, and Harry, Hermione and Ron had been too busy chasing Horcruxes across the country to worry about failing their NEWT year. But, with Voldemort dead by Harry's wand, and the Death Eaters rounded up, and the Ministry in some sort of order again, Harry and Ron had just assumed that they would be given an automatic spot on the upcoming Auror training programme. Hermione, while wanting to go back to school, had figured that she'd be rewarded with a position in the Ministry, helping to sort out the mess Voldemort had made. Hell, half of Hogwarts thought Harry should be voted Minister for Magic then and there on the spot, on the battlefield that used to be Hogwarts' grounds.
However, after being thanked and having their hands shaken and being awarded an Order of Merlin, First Class, each, all three teenagers were told to go back to Hogwarts with the other repeating seventh years and enjoy the rest of their childhood. Harry had snorted and rolled his eyes. Enjoy the rest of his childhood? Like he had even had a childhood to enjoy in the first place, he mused bitterly.
Professor Flitwick was talking about some charm or other that could be made to freeze someone in place, like Petrificus Totalus, except the person would stay in the position they were in before the spell hit and not simply fall to the floor like Neville had done in their first year. Harry tuned him out. It seemed like such a simple, childish charm in comparison to the one Hermione had shown him while they were on the run, the one that actually turned a person to ice in a moment flat. That seemed like a more useful way to 'freeze' someone, he thought, smiling behind his textbook.
When Ron had left them, that Yule, abandoned in the forest and terrified for their deserting friend and themselves, Hermione and Harry had tried to cheer themselves up with gifts. They couldn't buy gifts, not as the fugitives they were, nor did they really have time to make any. But Hermione had given Harry a book she had brought with her, on rune magic, because the rune Sowelu was scarred into his forehead and she thought it might interest him. Harry had taught her to cast some of the spells from the book, because they worked for him on his first attempt, after Hermione had corrected his pronunciation, but she had needed Harry to talk her through it a few times before they would work for her. They had considered it to be a fair trade and the spells had come in handy at the Battle for Hogwarts, and while Ron had always asked when and why they learnt them, neither had told him for fear of him becoming jealous. So instead, they offered to teach him.
Using the Elder Wand, for the first time since Voldemort's death, Harry cast Isa at a tree and watched it turn to ice. Ron, who had failed spectacularly at his attempts, had been the first to notice the black mark that spread across the palm of Harry's right hand, where the wand would have been pressed against it as the spell was cast.
It was long, black and thin, pointed at the joint of his middle finger and a little fatter in the crease of his palm, where the wrist began to bend. The rune Isa, Hermione had informed him, the rune that symbolised the Death Stick or Elder Wand as it was also called: the wand that Harry had mastered; swore never to use but used regardless. As the summer passed, and the scar on his forehead grew fainter, the mark of Isa darkened. With each new rune he successfully mastered, another mark appeared upon his skin.
Berkana inked itself upon the skin of his left ankle the first time he used it to change water into wine. He had only done so because Seamus still hadn't managed it, and had bet Harry five galleons that he couldn't do it either. Harry had not only conjured the wine, but Neville's potted plant, his extra credit project for Herbology, had suddenly produced grapes.
Ansuz was upon his throat, and when Harry touched the tip of his wand to it his appearance changed, disguising himself as a brown-eyed, red-haired boy who could have replaced Fred Weasley from his looks alone. No longer would Harry have to use Polyjuice to pass as Ron's cousin at family weddings!
Kano now marked his inner left thigh, burning him with its appearance just as his spell burnt its way through the Room of Requirements like Fiendfyre, but easier to control.
Hagalaz had conjured wind and hail the first time Harry had tried to cast it. He and Hermione had been trying to teach Ron more rune magic in the Forbidden Forest back in October, and while Hermione tried to teach Ron, Harry attempted to learn more for himself. He had cast the rune, drawing it into the air with his wand, and as the wind picked up, the mark, like a lopsided H appeared on his right hip. Isa had burnt on his palm, stinging until it caught his attention and Harry rubbed at it to ease the burn. The moment he touched it, hail fell, and ice crawled along the ground at his feet, travelling out and out and out until every tree within five miles was frozen solid and Hermione and Ron were huddled together under several warming charms hugging each other in terror as a storm began in the sky. Afterwards, when the magic had dissipated, and Loki who had been watching from Asgard had turned his attentions elsewhere, Harry had looked around at the destruction he had caused, and trembled. The magic had felt amazing, rushing through him wild and forceful, making him feel like he was floating. But the fear in his friends' eyes was enough to bring him back down to earth, and though Hagalaz remained seared into his skin, Harry hadn't used the rune again since that night in October.
But there were so many other spells that he could be learning, so many other runes that he could master. There were words of power to learn, Norse runes, Frisian runes, hieroglyphics and Armanen runes. So many different magics to explore, so much knowledge to gain, and Harry couldn't help but resent Hogwarts for not teaching it to him, and resent himself for in his youth he had not been so interested in learning. But, the more he learnt of the runes, the more he believed they were important to him. Perhaps it was because he had mastered the Hallows, and death, but, he felt, that the importance of these learnings had yet to reveal itself or in fact enter his life. But it would soon, he felt, having cast Odin's Rune for a glimpse of his future. Professor Trelawney had only wanted to hear how he would die a horrid death soon, but Harry, while not having seen a thing, had felt something building, like a storm gathering force, and he knew that somehow he would be in the eye of it.
And yet, it could be something as simple as a future career choice. Harry didn't particularly want to be an Auror anymore, and he was glad that he hadn't gone straight into the training programme. He still didn't want to be in school, but at least Headmistress McGonagall had let him pick up Ancient Runes, and sit the exam as long as he appeared to be sufficiently competent during classes and finished all of the sixth year material as well. He felt now that he had discovered them that he needed to work with runes somehow. A ward-maker perhaps, or a curse-breaker, or a rune-master, but not a soothsayer, because he was still pants at Divination. Maybe, Harry mused to himself, lost in his thoughts as the rest of the class packed up their belongings, he would work as an unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries. He could use runes and the Veil and find a way to cross between worlds and universes and resurrect the dead.
The Resurrection Stone combined with Sowelu and his powers over Death would be a force to be reckoned with, but it wasn't a spell that Harry would attempt without a rune-master to assist him. There were consequences to circumventing death, but if he had someone to help him perhaps he could circumvent the consequences as well?
Loki Odinson had first heard of Harry Potter the day he had first stumbled across magic users on earth. The ones wearing shirts or t-shirts were chanting his name, proclaiming him as the defeater of You-Know-Who, while the ones in dark cloaks and masks attacked them or ran away. There had been no reference to Harry Potter in any of his texts back home, nor had any other Asgardian heard of him, but when Loki travelled to earth in search of magic users the second time, Harry Potter was mentioned in every book that included 'greatest' in its title.
So Loki had watched him as he grew. He used runes and sorcery to see the human on earth in the way Heimdallr saw those who crossed the bifrost.
The boy intrigued him. To have so much raw magical talent, but to be uninspired to prove his greatness, was not something that many on Asgard could boast of. They all sought to prove themselves, to the All Father and to each other, while Loki only proved his brilliance to himself. But this boy, marked with a letter from a God's language, this human Wizard neither sought to be great nor to be noticed. Instead, he was brave and honourable in a way Thor could never be, tricky and manipulative in a way that made Loki proud, smart and capable and self-sacrificing, though he took his wounds with mettle and dignity and pride. Foolish, perhaps, but resilient.
This boy was who Loki had chosen. From the moment Odin had used the word 'worthy', Loki had known that this boy was the only one who would ever be worth his while. He might have sired children upon a Jötun, and borne Sleipnir himself just to see what might happen from such a mating, but being worthy meant that this boy would be the only one allowed to bear him an heir. His legitimate children would be sired upon this boy, whom they would raise together on Asgard or earth until Loki succeeded the throne and brought his family back to his home where they would rule together. Loki would be a king. Harry Potter would be his consort, a consort worthy of a king. And all of Asgard would know that Loki was better than them, smarter, wiser, and that despite each of their achievements and strengths, none would ever be better than the human mother of his children in his eyes.
Just as none would ever be better than Thor where Odin was concerned.
All that was required of Loki now was to talk Harry Potter into wanting this future as well. With his talents, having earned him the nickname of Silvertongue, Loki was sure it wouldn't be too difficult. What would be hard, however, would be cornering Harry without his two sidekicks present, but he supposed he had a year to convince the boy to marry him. What were a few days more to allow them their friendship in comparison with that?
November 12th 1999. Midgard.
Grimmauld Place was as dreary as it always was. Harry had tried to clean it up a little, especially since Teddy and Andromeda lived there with him now, but he didn't think there was much more he could do for the place short of tearing it down to the foundations. But as dull, dank and wretched as it was, it had been Sirius' home, and it was the only home Harry had actually wanted to call his and so he tolerated every dust bunny, every scream Walburga let out when it suited her, and every cursed object they had to hide from Teddy's curious reach.
But the best thing about Grimmauld Place was that the Fidelius was still in place. Harry had had to shift it to a new secret keeper, but that was simpler than having to reward the house and recast the spell. Teddy was the secret keeper now, and the only way the one-year-old could share the secret was if Harry wrote it out and smeared a drop of Teddy's blood across the words. Understandably it was cruel to cut the boy's finger every time someone wanted to visit, and it gave Harry a perfectly reasonable excuse not to let Ginny into his home. He hadn't outright told her, back when they broke up before the war, that they would get back together, and he had never gave her any idea that he wanted to get back together during his repeated seventh year, but now that they had both graduated Ginny had assumed it meant they would be moving in together and getting married. Her parents had been of the same assumption, though when Harry had told them otherwise they had backed off. Ginny, however, had proposed to Harry in Diagon Alley… in front of his boyfriend.
He had never given much thought to his sexuality. The Dursleys would have preferred Harry to be asexual and never breed, and they would have beat him for his unnaturalness if they had ever decided he might be gay, so he couldn't really win either way. But in school he had kissed Cho and Ginny, though Ginny reminded him of Bill, willowy with long red hair, and Cho had kissed Cedric who Harry had never gotten to kiss for himself, but he had also kissed Ginny because she was Ginny. He supposed he could be a bit of both sexualities, though he still hadn't admitted to himself that he fancied men until March, on a particular day in the Forbidden Forest, while attempting to use Kano to summon fire without burning the forest down, and a walking stereotype had appeared out of the flames.
The man was tall, dark and handsome, cloaked in green velvet and gold armour, with slick black hair and eyes as green as Harry's own. He had smirked at the teenager, teeth bared in a way that made Harry shiver from fear as well as desire, and had said over the crackling of the flames, "I can teach you so much more than this."
His voice was like honey, dripping in his ears, but rough at the same time, like one hand stroking his cheek and the other pulling at his hair as Ginny did when they kissed. Harry couldn't decide what he wanted more, the seductive promise in the man's voice, or the promise of danger that he represented, the pain or the pleasure, knowledge and power with consequences or neither without? He had watched and waited, and Loki had moved closer to him, the sleeves of his robe smoking lightly and the golden helmet with its two gigantic horns melting away from his head like an illusion lifting. Their mouths had met, unexpectedly, unhesitantly nonetheless, and Harry stayed still and pliant as Loki pulled him against his chest, mouth parting under the pressure of Loki's tongue, and hands moving to grasp a bicep or shoulder or a palm full of hair, whatever was within reach. Their mouths moved together, lips and teeth and tongue, and Harry ground his hips up, his groin pressing against the answering hardness the other man sported. Loki's fingers dug into Harry's waist, nails biting into skin. Long, pale fingers brushed across Hagalaz on his hip, and the rune burned sharply for a second and Harry moaned deeply into Loki's mouth, never noticing how the wind picked up around them. Lightening crashed through the sky, the power of the rune summoning a storm outside of Thor's control, and Loki and Harry remained pressed together until the rain began to fall, turning to fat pellets of ice just before they hit the ground.
Loki glanced down at the exposed tattoo of the lopsided H, and then up at the storm that he had witnessed one other time, back in October when he had first decided that an adult Harry was worthy of his time.
Lips pressed lightly against Harry's cheek, and then against the mark of Ansuz (Loki's own rune) upon his neck before he bit down lightly on it. Sparks raced over Harry's skin, his back arching, pushing him closer to Loki, as he gasped in pleasure.
"I can teach you so much more than this, Harry," Loki had breathed against his lips, green eyes intense and full of things that Harry hadn't understood then, but recognized now. Desire.
That had been back in April. In the months since Harry had met him, since that impromptu kiss that neither could have regretted regardless, he knew he had fallen in love with Loki. Loki was the only one who knew where Harry lived, who had been let through the Fidelius. It was Loki who held Harry's hand under the table while Ginny embarrassed them both in Diagon Alley that day, who kept Harry from saying anything to her that he would regret even though rage burned in Loki's eyes and heart as well. It was Loki with whom he shared his hopes and desires with, his wants for the future and the things he'd wish to never suffer through again, mistakes and fears and people he'd avoid if he could. It was Loki to whom he gave his virginity, in the Forest, in a glade Loki had led him to in early June just before his NEWTs began, surrounded by birch trees and swallows and larks and the occasional unicorn that stopped by to watch them writhe beneath the full moon.
It was Harry who Loki whispered "I love you" to, and Harry who curled against his chest at night, secure within the circle of his arms. Harry who loved him in return, though for a lesser amount of time than Loki had loved him, watching him from afar and discovering more and more of Harry that appealed to him, that interested him. Loki told Harry all of his secrets in return, of Asgard and the All Father and his brother, Thor, who would not be king now that he had found Harry, his consort. Harry had laughed at first, before realising Loki was serious, and then he had laughed because when Harry had first spoke of Loki to his friends Hermione had insisted the man was a vampire or werewolf on the run from the Ministry, when in actuality, he was a god, so much more dangerous than any rouge Death Eater, but not so to Harry.
And it was Loki who had taken Harry out for his nineteenth birthday, who had magicked them to Paris and its Eiffel Tower; to Rome and her Coliseums; to the Druidic relics of Ireland; to see the likenesses of gods in Norway, of Loki and Thor and Odin, all of which apparently looked nothing like them or so Loki said. Loki whose arm stayed around Harry's waist, fingertips brushing against Hagalaz every now and then so that Harry would moan lightly from the feeling of magic dancing across his skin where Loki had touched him. Loki who held him as he collapsed outside of Number 12 Grimmauld Place the following morning. Loki who had spoken to the police and firemen and emergency response team while Harry had sobbed desperately over the still bodies of his godson and Andromeda Tonks.
Just because the Fidelius protected the house from notice apparently didn't mean that house was protected from harm, when a fire broke out in Number 11 and spread the whole way down to Number 14. Five people died: three Muggles and the last two members of what had been Harry's family.
Loki had comforted him, when all of his friends had kept their distance from him at the funeral; angry gazes pinned on the Asgardian as if it were his fault, and then later on Harry when the teenager had blamed Muggle stupidity for the tragedy. Apparently, someone had fallen asleep smoking, and the cigarette had set fire to the carpet and the oil heater, which had then exploded.
Who smoked beside an oil heater anyway, Harry had asked angrily, kicking over a chair later that night in the hotel room Loki had paid for. His friends had all gone back to their homes, none of them having really been affected by the loss like Harry had. Hermione and Ron had each other and were engaged. Ginny hated him for rejecting her proposal, Molly was angry that he had embarrassed her daughter, Arthur didn't want to get into the middle of it. Bill and Fleur had moved to France when they realised she was pregnant. Charlie was back with his dragons in Romania, and George had gone with him. Percy had never even met Andromeda or Teddy, and he was too happily immersed in Ministry politics once more to have recognized Harry's anger at the Muggles for what it was.
Anger at himself.
But Loki had. The Asgardian had held Harry close as he cried, clinging to Loki's neck and sobbing desperately because it was all his fault. If he hadn't of been so selfish he would have been home, and he could have saved them.
"You could have died," Loki had whispered in response. "If you had been there you could have died. I cannot lose you." Hands squeezed lightly around Harry's hip and shoulder, one on either side, pressing them closer together, so that even death could not fit between them.
"I could have saved them." Harry whispered.
Loki didn't know about the Hallows, Harry realised after he had calmed down and the elder man had fallen asleep. Loki didn't know that Harry could not technically die, more like stay dead for prolonged periods of time, but it was the same thing really. The point was he wouldn't have died for good, and a temporary death would have been worth at least attempting to save his family from the fire. But he hadn't been there. He had been in Paris when the fire started and Rome when the fire spread, and Ireland as his family burnt to death. They had been in Norway, laughing at statues and painting and stupid things like runes on pendants and gift-shop helmets with wings stuck to the sides, when the firemen had pulled the charred bodies from the remains of Harry's godfather's house. And Loki had been with him through all of it, while his friends had ignored his grief and focused only on his anger and his lover and the lifestyle choices that they couldn't agree with.
So, when Loki offered him a family of his own, a child together and a new home, and Loki's family as Harry had tried to share his with Loki, Harry thought about it.
He thought about it for almost two months. He considered leaving earth. He thought of Amanda Grayson and Sarek on Vulcan, and how horribly she and Spock had been treated, and he thought of how Sarek at least had loved them. He compared that thought to the one of how Loki loved him. Harry considered everything, Thor, Odin, all those who hated Loki and would probably hate him just for being mortal. But he wasn't really mortal, was he, because mortals die and Harry couldn't. He thought of how Loki had told him that he was capable of taking on a female form and carrying children, and of the conversation that followed when Harry casually mentioned that he could carry children in his male form, and of how Loki was adorable when he was confused and curious, with his hands tracing reverently over Harry's flat stomach.
Every time they made love Harry wondered what a child of theirs would look like.
It was two days ago that Harry finally made his decision.
He slipped out of the Healer's office, in St. Mungos, having found out what he came for. His wand touched off of Ansuz, on his throat, and his hair changed from red to black and his eyes from brown to green, and Harry pulled his hood over his head to hide his face from curious patients and staff alike. Healer Robards had told him that Isa Rollier was five weeks pregnant.
No one but Loki needed to know that Harry Potter was too.
November 19th 1992. Midgard.
"Will they like me?" Harry asked for what must have been the tenth time since Loki had informed him that they were ready to leave. What few possessions Harry deemed important had been packed into the moleskin pouch that Hagrid had given him and Hermione had charmed for him. It was his very own Merry Poppins' bag, never running out of space, and Harry had made a quick stop over at Flourish and Blotts to add some books on pregnancy and childcare to his small collection of sentimentally valuable items. Everything else had been brought to Gringotts and stored inside of his trust vault, safe and secure, but no longer needed in use.
Loki didn't have anything important in his possession, except for Harry. He could easily conjure anything he wanted, or borrow from his lover, or simply sneak back into Asgard to take his own possessions from his room. And so once Harry was ready to go, Loki was too.
"Yes." Loki's voice was soft and warm, his breath sweet against Harry's lips as he gave him the same answer he had given nine other times before. "They will love you as I do, my little magiker."1
Harry smiled softly at the pet name. He came into the circle of Loki's arms, his face pressed to the pale throat before him. "Then I'm ready," Harry whispered, lips ghosting over skin and making Loki shudder. He closed his eyes. Harry kept his face pressed to Loki's neck, and wrapped his arms tightly around the man's waist.
The Asgardian closed his eyes too, his hands holding tightly to Harry's waist and shoulder, and thought of home. His magic rose up inside of him, strong and dangerous, and he focused it on himself and his lover, on his home, his bedroom, and his bed of mahogany and velvet. Unlike Apparition, there was no sound, and no warning. Nothing squeezed in Harry's stomach; there was no imaginary fist clenching at his insides as he moved through space and time. But they disappeared from Midgard together, wrapped in each other's' arms. When Harry opened his eyes he smiled softly first up at Loki, who didn't release him immediately, instead held him closer, until Harry moved to glance around the room with wide eyes. They pulled away from each other then, and Loki moved to sit on the edge of the bed, content to simply watch.
"It's beautiful," Harry whispered, leaning out of the window to glance at this new world laid out before him. Golden towers rose in the distance, from as far as the eye could see leading all the way back to where they were, in the largest tower of them all. Smaller buildings dotted the landscape, tall and magnificent, but silver or bronze or copper. Nothing seemed to be made out of wood or brick or mortar here. Everything shinned beneath the light of the setting sun, and Harry took it all in eagerly. When he had finished looking, from a distance at least, he turned back to Loki, and blushed at the look the elder man was giving him.
Green eyes were pinned on his face, wide and loving, and pale lips smirked over at him when he blushed red. There was a look of such hunger on Loki's face that Harry trembled in desire at the sight alone, no words were needed to arouse him, no actions; simply the knowledge that Loki wanted him. There was love too, devotion and obsession in equal parts, and those eyes softened as Harry moved closer to him, eventually peering up shyly from beneath dark eyelashes as Harry came to rest between Loki's spread legs. He was so strong and powerful, so dangerous and strange, and yet vulnerable and wary at times, when he thought Harry might think better of this and leave, or when he did something his father might have punished him for and he warily waited for Harry's admonitions and rejections to follow as his father's would have followed. But Harry only ever smiled warmly at him, no matter how angry or wary he might have been feeling, and whispered "I love you," every time, because his anger was nothing compared to the thought that he held so much power over Loki's heart that one cruel word could destroy the man and what they had forever.
"You're beautiful," Harry whispered, pressing his forehead against Loki's own. The man was the one to blush this time, the faintest hints of pink blooming above his cheekbone, and he reached out to enfold Harry in his arms, pulling the boy onto his lap so that Harry was straddling him and their bodies were pressed tightly together. The first time Harry had said it, Loki had stared at him for minutes on end, searching the boy's expression for even the slightest hint of a lie, one he never found. Now, he was used to such sentiment, he relished in it in fact, and perhaps a small part of him was beginning to believe it too.
"I love you," Loki said in return. Their lips met softly, mere brushes of flesh against flesh, and when they pulled apart, Harry thought about telling Loki of his pregnancy. The child would be something he'd delight in, Harry knew. The knowledge that while now pregnant Harry would not leave him without the child, nor leave the child without a father, would go a way to comforting Loki's insecurities. But they were unmarried, and Loki had been firm about their future marriage coming before any children. Harry's children, Loki had told him, one night after they had made love in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, had to be legitimate. Harry had assumed it was some Asgardian tradition, unknowing that it was simply a vow Loki had made to himself, not to disrespect Harry the way he had that Jötun woman and the father of Odin's war horse, Svadilfari, and himself by association. And in his assumption that it was a tradition, Harry decided to wait and see if they could get married first, because there was only four months left until the year since Loki had come to earth expired, and the child wasn't due until June.
If they couldn't marry fast enough, Harry told himself silently, before Loki pulled him into a hungry kiss, being three months pregnant would make for a wonderful Yule gift.
"We'll stay in here till the morning. They are used to my comings and goings, but they probably won't expect me back for good until March. Tomorrow, we'll go break fast together, and I'll introduce you to my family." Loki whispered to him sometime later, sweaty and naked with his hands carding through Harry's hair.
Harry pressed soft kisses to the Asgardian's chest, a soft chuckle escaping him. His back hurt, and his arse burning, but he pulled himself up despite the stinging, and glared down at his lover. "So, if I walk in unannounced and surprise them all, and they attack me and I die," he told Loki, trying not to smile and failing, "just know that I'll haunt you forever."
"You will be announced, and they will not hurt you. They will not get the chance, I swear it." Loki's voice was cold and angry, and his fists clenched around Harry's hips, nails biting into skin.
Harry reached down, closing his own hands over Loki's and pulling them off of his sides. Hagalaz on his right hip had a streak of blood smeared across it and outside of the window the wind began to howl. "I know. I was only joking, beloved." Their mouths met again. But this time there was no passion or hunger or sweetness behind it. Nor when Loki pushed him roughly until he lay upon his back with his legs spread. There was only desperation, and fear, and Harry held tight to the elder man, whispering "I love you" over and over, from the moment a cock nudged at his loosened hole, with every forceful thrust that made his back ache and made him see stars, until the moment Loki came within him, mouth fused over his own to muffle Harry's screams of pleasure and Loki's own sobbed whimpers. Harry's ejaculate dotted his stomach and chest, his cock soft but sticky as Loki pulled out of him, whispering apologises for the bruises that had yet to form. Harry turned onto his side, pulling Loki closer so that they could slot beside one another, face to face, with their legs entangled and Loki's seed running down his thighs.
"I am never leaving you," Harry whispered gently. "Never." As quiet as his voice was, it was also forceful, and at the words Loki closed his eyes and gritted his teeth before he pressed his forehead to Harry's with a sigh.
"Thank you." It was sighed out softly, mouth hovering over mouth with their eyes closed. Harry let it pass without a reply, but he raised his hand to run through Loki's hair until the man fell asleep.
Harry stayed awake more than two hours longer, lying safe and sated in Loki's arms, come dried and sticky on his skin but welcomed for what it represented and what it had done to him. As Loki slept, Harry pressed one hand to his flat stomach, the one with Isa marked into the palm, and he smiled as he said, "I love you both."
"Loki has returned, father."
The man who spoke was broad and blonde. He was dressed in armour of silver and a cape of red, which was rolled up and flung over the arm of his chair out of the way. He sat at a table that was almost the length of the large dining room, and at least seventy other people were sat in various seats around him. At the head of the table a very old man was seated, dressed similarly to his son, but with a helmet of gold, that covered one eye completely, upon his head. In fact, nearly all of the men at the table were dressed that way. The handful of women present, though the one sitting beside the man who had spoken wore armour as well and her hair in a neat ponytail, wore long flowing dresses of gossamer and silk and satin, with their hair flowing free or woven with flowers and pearls and ribbons. It was like something out of a painting, or a cross between a renaissance fair and a Viking invasion, but it was familiar to Loki who had worn armour and velvet and a horned helmet the day he had first met Harry in person.
"Oh?" Odin asked, looking surprised. "I had presumed he would avoid the engagement for as long as possible. Are you sure it was him?"
Odin honesty believed that no one on Asgard would marry Loki the trickster. Heimdallr had assured both Odin and Thor on many separate occasions that Loki had not used the bifrost, and the only place they believed he could travel to without the use of the bifrost was to Jötunheimr (as evidenced by the three monstrous children he had sired there) and no Jötun woman would marry an Asgardian. So, Odin had assumed that Loki had merely hidden himself away somewhere out of spite and stubbornness, refusing to be seen to be returning home until he absolutely had to. But their yearlong agreement did not end until March, and it was still November on Midgard.5
"As did I father." Thor paused for a moment, to glance up and down the table, but when no one seemed to be paying them much attention, Thor spoke again. He kept his voice low so that only his mother opposite and father beside him could hear, though he supposed Sif, seated on his right, could hear him too, but she was actually friendly with Loki and wouldn't repeat anything offensive at least. "I didn't see him," Thor admitted, a pink stain on his cheeks, "But I heard him last night. And I believe you should inform Sigyn that the engagement is over."
"You heard him?" His mother asked. Thor looked at Frigga, trying not to snicker at the look of confusion she shot him. His father understood though, for the one eyebrow uncovered by his helmet, the left one, rose and his lips tightened in annoyance. "It could have been a servant," Odin murmured, "There's no reason to suspect anything will come of it, or that they are even a suitable match for one of the House of Odin."
"I heard Loki say I love you several times, merely in the space of time it took me to understand what was happening behind the door and continue walking passed. I feel it is serious, at least for my brother." The blonde bit his bottom lip, feeling slightly awkward but he forced himself to ask anyway. "Why does it matter if this woman is suitable or not? Loki won't be inheriting the throne, will he? Should it not be I that marries well, father?"
Odin and Frigga traded glances. Frigga seemed sad, and Odin merely disappointed, but they simultaneously turned to smile at their eldest son who watched them with narrowed blue eyes.
"No, he won't be." And he wouldn't be, because in Loki's absence preparations had already been made for Thor's upcoming coronation. It was due to be held a little over a year from now. Odin had hoped to marry Loki to Sigyn, despite their union being doomed to be a barren one, for Thor could always have a son to inherit from his uncle. But the idea of Loki inheriting the throne of Asgard hinged ultimately on whether or not the Jötun Laufey was willing to recognize the son he abandoned at birth as his heir. Loki Laufeyson, married to an Asgardian woman of good breeding from a rich and well-liked family, on the throne of Asgard would have resulted in a union more certain and long-lasting than any peace treaty between Odin and Laufey. Peace talks ended, Odin or Laufey could die and end peace with their deaths, but a child of both worlds, of both races ruling both worlds as one could never be undone.
Unfortunately, Laufey wanted nothing to do with the runt his wife had borne him. He had left Loki out in the ice to die all those years ago, and despite the promise that Loki would rule Asgard, Laufey would not regret it nor recede his disownment. Without the backing of such a union to fuel his decision, Odin couldn't in good conscience take away Thor's birth right and pass it onto his brother. Loki, though not biologically his, was still his son, and Odin was certain that after some time to think about it, and with Sigyn to distract him, Loki would understand and support his brother in this endeavour as he had always done in all others.
"He won't be," Odin repeated, silently steeling himself to explain that fact to Loki after the boy joined them for the morning meal. "But that does not mean he can shame the House of Odin in his marriage, as he has done before with his choice of bed partners." He was, Thor knew, referring to Angrboða, the giantess who bore three monsters for Loki, each of which Odin had banished from the nine realms.
It was, of course, at that moment the doors to the dining hall opened. The attendant who had been standing guard outside entered first, one hand holding the door open and the other squeezing tightly around his spear, with his eyebrows drawn down together. "Introducing," he said with a clear voice, "his majesty, Loki of House Odin." As Odin stood up to greet his son all others at the table rose with him, though Volstagg continued to eat even while standing.
Odin held out his arms to Loki, but the sorcerer remained in the doorway.
"And," the sentry continued, beginning to sound as flustered as he looked, "his Omgás,3 Harry James of Houses-" here there was a small pause, where the sentry stuck his head back out of the door and whispered something to Harry, who waited out of sight. Harry murmured something back, and then the sentry stood up straight again and continued loudly, "Potter and Black, of Midgard."
It was chaos. Sudden and loud and terribly brilliant.
Chaos was usually something Loki revelled in, the panic, the anger, fear and accusations, but this time was different and he could not take pleasure from it. The people began shouting over one another, words like 'mortal' and 'Midgard' being the most prominent complaints offered forward, along with 'Skjøge',4 which was most decidedly an insult if the clenching of Loki's teeth was anything to go by. Frigga held her hand to her chest, and Thor rose so fast from his chair that it toppled backwards, and Odin sank back down into his with shock. Loki turned and ignored them all in favour of beckoning Harry forward. The boy was still in the corridor, pale faced with shaking hands, and he kept himself hidden half behind the sentry who had announced him.
"They seem very angry," he whispered to Loki, glancing warily into the room. Loki's father, at least, seemed to be having a heart attack; he mother looked like she might faint at first, but now she was starting to perk up, leaning forward in her seat to stare avidly at the empty doorway. "Perhaps this was a bad idea?"
Loki reached his hand out, a smile playing at the corners of pale pink lips. "They will love you as I do, Veiviser, because they will not be able to help themselves."2
The sentry stared, open mouthed at the scene before him. Loki was known as a liesmith and a seducer, a regular player if you will, but to see him be so loving, so gentle to anyone other than his mother, and in such a different, romantic, way was unheard of. When he had been asked to introduce Harry as such, the sentry had thought it to be a trick, just another trick by the god of tricks and lies, but as he watched now, he understood that there was nothing truer in the world than the love Loki felt for this human.
Harry's hand hesitantly placed itself within Loki's, and the man's long fingers curled tightly around the appendage. Hand in hand, Loki led his lover into the banquet hall. Odin rose swiftly to his feet, startled once more by the sight of the creature Loki was presenting to him. Harry was a male, short even for a human, with tanned skin, and eyes and hair like Loki had. It figured that the god would fall for the reflection of himself, narcissist that he was, but when the human boy spoke to introduce himself, he was a different person. Loki was like honey and vinegar rolled into one, seduction followed by sedition, pleasure then pain and trickery. But this boy sounded honest and true and his voice shook from nerves, but he offered each of Loki's family wide, though hesitant, smiles and held his hand out for them to shake.
"Hello sir, my name is Harry Potter. It's an honour to meet you. Loki spoke of you all often." The hand trembled, the air around it tense and thick enough to cut with a knife. Harry cast his eyes over towards Loki, who was watching his father with an unreadable expression on his face. When Harry glanced back around, Frigga was standing in front of him.
"Hello, Harry Potterson," she whispered, her right hand rising to gently lie against his cheek, thumb caressing the skin softly. "The honour is all ours."
She drew him to her chest, and Harry allowed one arm to wrap around her neck as he hugged her back. The other hand remained in Loki's grasp, with his thumb rubbing circles into the back of his hand. "Told you they'd love you," he mouthed over his mother's shoulder. Harry offered him a lopsided smile, before he pulled away from Frigga and turned back to face Odin.
The man held his own hand out this time, and Harry accepted it immediately. He smiled, half-wary, before letting out a shocked gasp as Odin, instead of simply shaking his hand, used it to pull Harry into a tight, but brief, hug. "Let me look at you, son!"
As Odin looked him over, those sitting close enough did too.
Thor especially paid close attention to the one his brother intended to marry. As children, he and Loki had been very close, they had snuck into each other's' bedrooms at night after nightmares or when they were too excited to sleep and held each other or talked softly until they dozed off. They played together, at least until they were old enough to start warrior training and it became clear that while Thor excelled, Loki was very lacking in that area. And then his brother had discovered his magic. He had been a prankster and a manipulator even as a child, but after puberty his magic had hit him hard and he had, in order to compete with Thor, spent all of his time learning in order to excel at that, rather than nothing. They had drifted apart then, Thor realised, though they went on adventures together still, Loki was usually the one attempting to talk them out of it, Thor and his friends. They sat together at night, though not in the year Loki was apparently on Midgard, talking of their future, though usually Thor talked and Loki listened, for he had long ago learnt that his secrets would be used against him, though inadvertently by Thor, rather than intentionally as by everyone else.
One of the only things Loki had ever spoken, really, honestly, of was his desire to marry for love and companionship. He had wanted someone who accepted all parts of himself, every last bit, and didn't want to change a thing about him. Odin, who wished Loki was more like Thor, Thor, who wished Loki was more adventurous, Frigga, who wished Loki would not get into as much trouble, and then there were those that wished him dead. But Loki wanted someone who wanted him, and him the way he was, no tricks, no lies. Just Loki.
He had promised Thor and himself that he would not settle for less.
Loki appeared, Thor mused, eyeing the short human in interest, to have found that person he had always dreamed of. And it was a pity, Thor thought silently to himself, hoping that Loki had not seen the desire upon his face, for Harry was beautiful and shy and kind hearted and loyal, and he would have made Asgard a wonderful queen.
It was a pity that he could never be Loki's queen, for Loki could never be king.
Deep down, in the darkest parts of him, where he was selfish and cruel, Thor told himself lies. But they were lies that could be made truth with the right persuasion, with the proper approach, to the right person. From Odin, Thor always got what he wanted one way or another, and what he wanted right now would be unattainable without the help of Odin, for his brother never had liked to give up his possessions without some force. Thor told himself, silently, hopefully, that Harry could be his queen, and not Loki's.
December 20th 1999. Asgard.
"I love my brother!" Thor insisted, with his hands clenched angrily at his sides. "But he will ruin that boy. The boy came here to marry a king, to be a king. He did not come here to be my brother's whore, which is what he will become once Loki realised he does not need to take a spouse and produce an heir. Father, you know this to be true!"
Harry had been on Asgard but a month and Yule was fast approaching on Midgard, and they were yet to be married. Loki spent all of his time with Harry, showing him the sights and introducing him to important people whose presence Loki actually couldn't stand and Thor continued daily to begin the same argument with his father, over and over again.
"Loki will be outraged! He will be uncontrollable. The chaos he will cause, father, from your slight of him will be unprecedented and Harry will be injured in the crossfire."
"Harry, is it?" Odin asked softly, the first thing he had said since Thor had burst into his throne room twenty minutes before and begun ranting. "Is this truly about Loki's wrath affecting Harry, or about Harry affecting you my son?"
Thor stopped speaking mid-word, his mouth snapping shut. A red flush spread across his face, and he turned his face away in equal parts embarrassment and rage. "How dare you insinuate-!"
Odin raised one hand between them, and Thor fell silent immediately. "Loki will understand."
It was a naive thought, most certainly, but Odin was confident that Harry would help Loki understand. Harry had a power over his youngest son that no one could boast, not even Frigga for all of their closeness and affection for one another. He closed his eyes, calm in the face of Thor's fury, and thought back to the last day of the first week of Harry's arrival. Sigyn, who had not been at the banquet that morning, nor any other morning that week, had entered the room to find Loki seated at his mother's side, and the seat that should have been reserved for her having been taken by a petit dark haired young man. She had demanded he move, arrogant and resolute, and Loki had jeered at her demands, laughed at the flush of embarrassment on her cheeks, and leant over to purposely ravish the boy's mouth, drowning out her shrieks. She had slapped Harry once the kiss was ended, and Loki had turned back to his food, his eyes for once not fixed on the younger man's person. Her hand connected with Harry's cheek, open palmed and harder than she would have meant to had she known he was mortal, and made of lesser mettle than Asgardians were. Harry's head snapped backwards viciously and he seemed to slump bonelessly in his seat.
Thor and Loki both were on their feet in an instant, Thor with his hands on Mjölnir and Loki with a sceptre pointed at Sigyn's heart. "How dare you strike my Omgás!" Loki's voice was colder than ice, his eyes narrowed into slits, and he daren't look down at Harry for fear of seeing the pain on his face or blood or bruises.
"Omgás! Omgás?" Sigyn hissed, obviously not threatened by either of the brothers' defensive stances. She still believed herself to be engaged to Loki, still believed herself above his form of punishment, and surely Thor would not hurt his brother's wife-to-be? "More like your Skjøge! I demand you be rid of him, husband!"
Loki laughed, harsh and loud, his head thrown back as he raised his sceptre to prod at the base of her throat. "He is to be my husband and I am to be his. Never yours. You are lucky I did not kill you where you stood the moment you raised your hand to him. If he is injured in any way that is not repairable, nothing will stop me from having your head." He turned to look down at Harry then, hands shaking as he reached out to brush a dark fringe off of a pale, slack face.
Odin feared for a moment that the boy was dead, his neck broken, but then he took a deep gasp of air and he seemed to spring forward in the chair, hands slapping down hard on the table before him as he coughed harshly. But he could not have been dead, for neither people, nor gods, rose from the dead, Odin knew. He took relief from the fact that Sigyn had not killed this boy, not while Loki was so infatuated with him, and so defensive, and Thor as well, for both of their wraths together would be untameable.
"Are you injured? I will bring you to the healing room!" Loki reached to pull Harry from the chair. Harry allowed it, rising to his feet but he reached up afterwards, laughing softly, and took hold of both of Loki's hands.
The resurrection stone burned on his finger and on his forehead the mark of Sowelu grew darker. It was no longer simply an old scar now; instead it was like the marks of the other runes, deep black ink painted into his skin, marking a successful mastering of its powers. Harry grinned widely up at Loki, who reached out to touch the mark with reverence, fingertips cool against heated skin.
"I am fine," Harry whispered to him, and Loki pulled him tightly into his arms.
Harry stood still, pressed to Loki's chest, with his face against his neck, muffling a cry as Loki bit down on the mark of Ansuz, as fingers dug into his waist.
"What has you so uptight?" Harry asked as they pulled apart. Loki had stood stiff and unyielding in Harry's arms and as Harry kissed him, though his grip was possessive and his glances were desperate, there was something that kept him from giving in completely.
Loki glanced along the table, to where Sigyn had shuffled down to sit between two warriors more than double her girth, hiding between them from him, Loki knew.
"She said some things." Loki said at last. He stood behind Harry's chair, refusing to take his own and be unable to guard Harry from anyone else who would wish to hurt him.
"Insulting things?" Harry guessed easily, ignoring the stares of curiosity and awe that he was receiving from not only surviving a slap from a god, but for surviving unscathed. There was not a mark on his cheek, nor any bruise or blemish, no blood dripped from his nose, and nothing ached, but within the sleeve of his robe, the tip touching the end of Isa's mark, the elder wand trembled. "What did she say?"
Loki growled, hands curling like claws over Harry's shoulders, and he leant over the boy until his chin was upon Harry's head and he was curled over him completely, protecting him completely. "It does not bear repeating the things she said."
Harry chuckled warmly at that, reaching up to grab Loki's hand. He tugged him over to his seat. "If it's not worth repeating, it's not worth reacting to. Don't give her the pleasure."
Loki allowed himself to slip back into his own chair. He continued to eat calmly, as if nothing had happened, though his left hand remained firmly in the grasp of Harry's right as they ate, and long after they had left the room together.
"Harry will help Loki understand," Odin said after a long silence. He believed truly that his son loved this boy, and that they would make each other happy. It was a bonus that it was indeed a boy Loki had chosen, and as such could never conceive for him, for there were enough monsters in the nine realms without his son siring another.
December 25th 1999. Jötunheimr.
"Happy Yule, Loki," Harry whispered.
Loki turned his head, slowly becoming accustomed to wakefulness. He lay sprawled out upon a bed of snow and ice, his magic having come into play at some point to turn it into the warmest, softest bed they had ever lain in, and he was naked for he had never much been affected by the cold. Harry on the other hand was bundled up warmly, despite the heating charms he had cast upon himself. He didn't want to cast too strong a charm in case the ice melted, because they were supposed to be a hiding, and melting polar ice caps, or the alien equivalent, would be a rather blatant sign pointing right to them.
"Merry met my love." Loki smiled softly at him, where he was crouched down beside a small fire of conjured twigs and peat, the tip of his nose pink and his ears flushed from the cold. Harry rose to his feet and moved towards the bed, sitting down beside his lover and pressing their lips together.
"Do you not wish to spend this day with your family?" Harry asked softly, both hands cupping Loki's cheeks to keep him from turning away, from ignoring the question.
Two days ago, Odin had finally worked up the courage to confess to Loki that he would never be king. He blamed the truce with Laufey, which was partly true, but he did not once mention Loki's part in that truce, nor his true father's second rejection of him. Harry stood silently by the wall as they spoke, as Odin gave excuses and half-truths that Loki could never see behind for this was the All Father and he was beyond Loki's powers, and as Loki raged and shouted accusations, destroying everything within reach.
Thor stood beside Harry, not really listening to the conversation, for if he had been he would have questioned when and why his father had dared to promise his throne away, to offer it to his brother upon the condition of marriage without even informing Thor first. Instead, he stared at Harry's profile, the sharp jaw, the proud nose with the tiniest uplift to the tip, the angle of the one cheekbone he could see, and the green, green eyes that darted curiously in his direction every now and then. The back of Thor's hand brushed the back of Harry's every time the god shifted, feigning boredom and agitation, sighing loudly after every movement, so that Harry would look at him and quirk his lips up in silent agreement as Loki and Odin continued to fight. Really though, Thor was moving purposely, leaning closer to Harry, touching their hands harder, breathing deeper, but the boy didn't seem to notice it as anything other than innocent contact, unmeant, unintentional, unthreatening, and his eyes hardly if ever left Loki, who was magnificent in his anger.
As Odin predicted, Harry was the one who calmed Loki down, hands raised in front of himself as if Loki might strike him, though of course he never did. The moment Harry raised his hands, Loki dropped his sceptre and his anger vanished, eyes wide at the thought that he might hurt Harry if he continued on. They spoke, softly, cheeks pressed together as Loki crushed Harry against his larger form, and there were tears on Loki's cheeks that Odin graciously ignored when his son turned back to him at last.
"Very well, father. Once more I have been passed over in favour of Thor, the best of us all," Loki snorted lightly, rolling his eyes in his brother's direction before a squeeze of Harry's hand upon his bicep drew his attention back again. "Despite no longer having the need, now, for a worthy consort, I will be marrying Harry at your earliest convenience. He is the only one worthy of me." Loki hissed the last few words out, his eyes narrowed into slits and his mouth drawn down into a tight line. His hands gripped Harry tightly, and before Odin could respond, the two of them disappeared together, like ghosts or apparitions or illusions fading into nothing.
Odin thought little of it, for Loki had not gone by the bifrost, and Laufey swore no one had trespassed in Jötunheimr lately, and Heimdallr could not see them upon earth. But Thor was convinced that Loki had stolen Harry away to punish him, to defile him in unmentionable ways, but Odin, who understood enough of Loki, at least, to know that when he loved he loved fiercely, pushed Thor's concerns to the back of his mind. Instead, he added planning a wedding to the list of things to do along with planning Thor's coronation.
Still, Loki had in fact brought Harry to Jötunheimr. But he travelled by the shadow ways, and it was easy enough to conceal himself from the Jötuns around him. Several had passed by their cave over the last two days, and not one had yet to discover them. Loki would be happy to hide here forever, with his Harry, and lick his wounds, to stew in Harry's reasons and understanding of his father's words, to indulge himself in the love of the only one to put him before Thor, of whispered words and gentle kisses and desperate passions that made his heart clench for this, all of this, for eternity.
"You are my family," Loki told him finally, pulling Harry down so that they lay side by side, in the ice wastes of Jötunheimr, hidden by magic in a cave. Despite the loss of his promised throne, Loki was content. He felt cheated, yes, angry and jealous, yes, but if his father had not promised in the first place then Loki would not have gone for Harry, so it was, he told himself, better to have had and lost than to never have had at all, but perhaps he was misquoting.
"How would you like to extend your family?" Harry asked with a coy smile on his lips. Loki merely looked confused, his eyebrows drew down together and crow's feet appeared at the corners of his eyes as he squinted in deep thought. Harry took pity on him after five minutes of silence. Laughing, he said, "I was going to wait until we were married because you seemed so set about marrying first, but we're not married still, and I sort of assumed you'd be the sort to rush through it so there was no chance anyone could change their minds."
Loki interrupted him with a scowl. "I would have wed you the first day you were brought to Asgard, but for Thor. He insists this is some trick I am playing upon you and demands I let you return to Midgard or at least waste time proving the affections I hold for you to him when proof to you is all that matters. Accepting my proposal is all that is required to know that I have proved myself to you!"
Harry took his hands, thumbs rubbing circles lightly to calm him. "I told myself that if we weren't married by Yule, I'd tell you then because it would make a nice gift. But, well, when you decide to go back to Asgard-"
"If," Loki interrupted, his jaw clenched in stubbornness.
"When," Harry repeated, for he and Loki both knew well that Loki would miss his home eventually, though he mightn't miss the people he had left behind, "you go back to Asgard, you can tell Thor from me that we'll be married before June or it'll be his fault his nephew is a bastard."
Harry didn't particularly like that word, but it was the word Purebloods used to describe children born outside of marriage, and if Loki's reasons for wanting to be married first was for the same traditions the Purebloods had, bastard was probably the same word they used as well. Loki glanced at him, eyes narrowed, searching his face for a lie. Harry stared back at him, both of his hands pressed to his stomach.
"Finite," he whispered. Ansuz burned upon his neck for a moment, as the glamour across his stomach dissipated. Where it had once been flat and tight, Harry's stomach was now hard to touch with the smallest of curves to it. Being only eleven-weeks pregnant meant that there wasn't much to look at yet, but Harry knew that now he had stopped hiding it, Loki would notice the changes immediately.
"You are with child," he whispered. There was something in his voice that made Harry's heart ache, a longing so profound that Harry wished the child had been born already so he could hand him over to Loki to hold and worship.
The Asgardian reached forward tentatively to press both hands over Harry's on the boy's stomach. He pressed against something, stretching the skin taunt, though it was only a small stretch at the moment. But it would grow, Loki knew. His own stomach had been rather big before he birthed Sleipnir and Angrboða had grown large with their three children as well. Loki had no idea that the child would be half-Jötun from his side of the family, having previously blamed Angrboða for their children's monstrous sizes and appearances. He had no idea how dangerous the pregnancy would be for Harry, or that the boy would die in labour, only to survive by the mercy of Death and his Hallows, and as he did not know, he was glad for the pregnancy, for the child that Odin could not take away.
He had thought he'd be angry if Harry were to become pregnant, back when he had first met the boy, when he had told him that their children must be legitimate. He would have thought he'd be disappointed in himself for breaking his own vow, for dishonouring the one he loved in such a blatant way, for the shame was growing within his stomach and though magic could hide it nothing would hide the end result. But instead Loki was pleased, with himself for impregnating his lover without even having to try, with Harry for being pleased with the pregnancy enough to consider it a 'gift' to him, and with this child solely for existing. As the child of his consort, of his husband, there was no reason for Odin to take him away. There was no prophecy marking this child and it's mother was human, not Jötun, and Loki had performed no magic for the conception to occur, and the child would be normal, well, half-human and half-god, but normal enough to appease Odin's fears of Loki reproducing. Or at least, Loki thought so.
"I want many, many more," Loki whispered, his mouth moving against Harry's stomach, lips peppering kisses everywhere he could reach, fingers pressing down gently against the firmness, imaging their child beneath them, within Harry, just waiting to meet them. "I love you," Loki murmured against tanned skin, "I love you both so much."
"We love you too."
Loki brought them back to Asgard two hours later, after making love to Harry twice more in the snow and cleaning them up. He was happy and content and excited and in love, but terrified at the same time because he was going to be a father again and this time he would be allowed to keep the child and he hadn't the first clue what to do with it, but he was happy. Until he made the mistake of telling his father exactly why it was that he wanted to get married then and there.
"There's no time for you to plan a wedding, father!" Loki had insisted, glancing back at Harry with misty eyes. Harry stood behind him, his hands behind his back, and the glamour on his stomach cancelled. "We must be married before May at the latest, for Harry is due in June and children have the inconvenient habit of arriving early and ruining well laid out plans. This child, Harry's child, will be legitimate."
Frigga had hugged them, excited for them, congratulating them as her hands pressed against Harry's stomach and the treasure that grew within. Thor glanced between harry and his stomach with shock on his face. There was jealousy there, that the child was not his, that Harry was not his, but the obvious pleasure on his brother's face was enough to dispel that jealousy. He was uneasy still, but he pulled Loki into an exuberant hug, congratulating the father-to-be and reaching out to place his own hands upon his unborn nephew.
Odin stood, all the while, ignored by the celebrating family. His remaining eye slipped closed and he saw behind it images that haunted him still. Of Laufey, who sired Loki. In turn, Loki had sired Fenrir, the wolf who would devour the gods during Ragnarök, and Hel the giantess who ruled over Niflheimr and Jörmungandr the world serpent who would one day swallow Midgard whole. And now this child, Odin thought, feeling suddenly bone weary. What sort of a monster would this child be, he wondered, sired by the god of chaos, the son of a god, who was also a Frost Giant, and a mortal who would likely die before the child reached full term. Would it not be kinder to kill the child now, Odin wondered, sighing deeply.
What kind of a monster would Odin be if he allowed Loki's love for this child to kill an innocent mortal?
If the mortal wanted children badly enough, the All Father told himself in a poor attempt at making the situation seem better than it was and to lessen the guilt he knew he would feel later on, Thor would be capable of giving him some.
"No!" Odin bellowed, and around him his family fell silent. "No," he said again. He did not explain what it was he was denying, but no one dared to question him for it was obvious the man was enraged by something. He left the room, still angry, and they watched him leave. Thor smiled softly to himself, knowing that he was about to get what he wanted, even if Harry did now come part and parcel with a nephew he had not been expecting.
Frigga turned to each of them, looking nervous and confused, before she left the room in search of her husband. She knew he did not like the idea of Loki having more children, but surely the child of a mortal could not be dangerous?
Harry glanced at Loki, who was staring angrily in the direction his father had disappeared. Loki, sensing his gaze upon him, turned to face Harry, who offered him a small smile in return for the shrug of confusion Loki gave him.
"Maybe we should elope?" Harry suggested, only half joking.
Loki smiled, but not understanding the meaning of the word, let it pass without response. He choose instead to pull Harry into his arms, Harry's back to his chest, so that his chin rested on his lover's head and his hands covered their unborn child completely.
"I will speak to him in the morning," Loki promised softly, "but it is well passed time for the two of you to be in bed. I will carry you." Without giving Harry a chance to respond, Loki swept the Wizard into his arms, bridal style. They left the room like that, Loki walking, and Harry curled against him, head on a broad shoulder and arms wrapped around a pale throat as his lips pressed kisses to the hollow of Loki's throat. Thor watched them leave, half tempted to throw Mjölnir at his brother's head, if not for the fact that Harry would be injured as well, and so he restrained himself. He settled, instead, for glaring holes in Loki's retreating form, comforting himself with the knowledge that soon enough Harry would be in his arms instead.
January 8th 2000. Asgard.
When he had explained it to Frigga, she had cried, horrible heaving sobs of despair. When he had told Thor of his decision the boy had offered him a tight smile and a concerned sigh, but no amount of acting could hide the desire that lit up his blue eyes. It had made more sense as Odin practised this speech in front of a mirror, telling his reflection that this was for the best, that this was necessary and that Loki would understand eventually. In time, once the mortal was dead and gone and their never-would-be child long forgotten, Thor and Loki would look back on this period of their ever-long lives and laugh over it, reminding themselves of that one time a human almost came between them, had almost ruined them, but didn't, because Odin had done what was best for them all.
But now that he was seated before Loki and Harry, Thor and Frigga, all at once, he suddenly wasn't so sure this was a good idea. No, he still did not want this child to exist, never a child of Loki's could be born and raised upon Asgard, nor should they be suffered to live yet he had not had the heart to murder the others, merely banished them. And where could he banish this child? The half-human who would not survive on Niflheimr or Alfheimr or Jötunheimr, only on earth or Asgard, both within Loki's reach, both within reach of the prophecy, and Odin had kept the peace for far too long to allow this child to bring about Ragnarök while he was still seated upon the throne of Asgard.
Frigga was still crying, softly this time at least. Fat tears slid down her cheeks, and she kept her face turned to the floor, too ashamed to look upon either of her son's, because Odin had her so afraid of this child that she hadn't even attempted to dissuade him.
Thor watched in silence, half-shocked at Loki's audacity as he actually attempted to attack the king. Guards pulled him back, one restraining either arm, but the sorcerer spat and hissed at his father, screaming profanities in a language that Harry could not understand, but with such anger that he flinched at every shout anyway.
Odin looked tired, exhausted in fact, but he remained resolute. If Harry married Thor, he could remain in Asgard and Loki would be permitted to see him whenever he wished and vice versa. It wasn't as if Odin was forcing them to exist at opposite ends of the earth, nor was he refusing to allow them their relations. If Thor was willing to share his new husband with his brother, then that was Thor's choice, Loki could fuck Harry as many times as he liked, in as many ways and places, in front of an audience for all Odin cared for that. But, by becoming Thor's spouse, the only children he would be permitted to bare, were his husbands. Never his lover's. Never Loki's. There were potions that could be rid of this child, before Harry got too attached to it, and they were painless and easy to prepare, and the servant women kept some on hand so they needn't wait too long at any rate.
Harry would no longer be pregnant by Loki, but he would be there, with Loki. Married to Thor. If the boy really wanted to carry a child, Thor would oblige him, Odin was sure. Judging from the looks his eldest son was casting the mortal's way, Thor would enjoy the practise at least.
"No!" Harry whispered suddenly. It was the first word he had said since entering the room, and despite it being whispered so softly, it had the effect of silencing every other person in the room immediately. Thor stopped trying to calm his brother, Loki stopped screaming abuse at his father, Frigga stopped crying though her cheeks remained wet, and the guards stopped demanding Loki apologise to the king.
They all turned to look at the shorter male. He was small, face extremely pale as he swayed on his feet from shock and disgust and terror, but his spine was straight and his stomach was a little bigger than it was two weeks ago, and his hands closed over the bump carefully as he glared Odin down.
"I spent my whole life being told what to do because someone thought they knew better than me what was best for me. And I left." He glanced around the room, throwing glares at everyone but Loki, whose eyes had closed in grief, fully expecting Harry to be taken from him. "If you think for one second that you can order me to marry someone I don't want to marry and don't love, or do anything to hurt my baby, or try to tell me it's 'for the greater good' again and think you'll get away with it, you have another thing coming!" Odin opened his mouth, but Harry merely raised a hand to silence him. The guards gasped, for never had anyone been so disrespectful to their king. And even Odin looked taken aback, but he remained silent, more out of shock than any respect for Harry's wishes.
"If you interrupt me again I will curse you, and it will fucking hurt, so don't test me, old man! I am hormonal and pissed off and you upset Loki and my back hurts and I got sick this morning, so just fuck you in my opinion. You will not come near my baby. You will not interfere with mine and Loki's relationship, and unless Loki wants me to leave, because he wants me to and not because you told him to make me leave, then I'm staying right here, with him, marrying him, and we are having this baby and you will butt out. Or I'll go back to earth and keep my baby there and I promise you, you won't find either of us if I choose to hide from you."
"And I'll go with them, if they will have me?" Loki whispered, breaking the desperate silence that had settled over the room once Harry stopped shouting.
Harry walked to Loki, the guards falling away from the sorcerer without prompting. The younger man offered a soft smile, green eyes bright, and tilted his chin up for a kiss, accepting Loki without words with that action, by simply smiling at him. Loki kissed him, dragging Harry forward by the biceps until the boy was pressed tightly against him, his stomach a now familiar pressure against his own as they stood with no room between them, mouths moving together, hands grasping, and tongues tasting. Harry smiled widely, his lips moving against Loki's, who paused in his kisses to offer a wider smile of his own, one that made his whole face light up.
"Thank you," he breathed against Harry's mouth. "No one has ever stood up for me that way before."
"Get used to it," Harry told him, offering another smile and a light squeeze of his hand on Loki's arm in comfort. He knew what it was like to grow up being second best, to feel unwanted and unloved, though he actually was and at the time Loki wasn't. "Are we done here?" Harry asked Odin, without even turning around to face him.
"There is a prophecy-" The king began.
The moment the word left his mouth Loki went stiff in his arms, body tense and battle ready, even as his heart lodged in his throat. He had always thought the prophecy regarded the mother he had chosen for those children, but now, now it appeared the prophecy was all about his children regardless of who bore them. For they were his, and therein lay the problem.
"Bullshit." Harry hissed, snapping around on his heels to stalk towards the king again. "My life was ruined by a prophecy once, and you know why? Because some meddling old man, like you, thought he knew what was best. Shall I tell you the best thing about prophecies? If you ignore them, they go away." Loki reached forward to pull Harry backwards, to draw him back into his arms and away from Odin's reach. "So don't give me that rubbish and expect me to believe it just because you think it's true. You are not always right Odin Kronosson, All Father," Harry spat the word like an insult, anger boiling in his chest, and his magic surging beneath his skin.
Instinct demanded that he defend his child, and pride insisted he defend his lover and his choice of lover. Loyalty expected the same, but there was the tiniest part of him, deep within, that cocked an ear and listened, considered, because while he might not believe in Ragnarök or a prophecy, it didn't mean that someone else wouldn't accidently set it into motion. But no, because this was still his child, his first real flesh and blood family member since he was fifteen-months-old, and Loki had been so breathless when he had been told, so reverent and honoured, and Harry wanted this child for himself who so wanted a family and for Loki who had been so denied one. Prophecy or no prophecy, he would defend this child until his last breath, and Odin seemed to realise that, for he suddenly changed tactics.
Harry was half-way to the door, hand in hand once more with Loki, when Odin spoke again. "The child will kill you."
It was so… certain, the way he said it, not even a hint of doubt in the words, whereas he had doubted himself as he spoke of replacing this child with one of Thor's.
"What?" Loki asked, turning to face his father. There was fear in his eyes, and desperation on his face, and it made Harry's heart ache to see him succumb to his father's lies so easily simply because they played on all of Loki's fears.
"No he won't." Harry said, just as certain. He grasped Loki's face between both hands, thumbs circling his cheeks, soft and comforting, the way he did when ever Loki lost his temper and needed a moment to calm himself before speaking. "He won't kill me, I promise you."
"The child won't, no, I suppose. But the pregnancy will." And because Odin could still not bring himself to admit that Loki was a Frost Giant, a Jötun, and not an Asgardian, because as far as Odin was concerned he was his son and his race did not matter, he thought up the next best excuse. "Why do you think there are no other half-mortal, half-Asgardian children in existence, my son?" He said to Loki, standing from his throne at last to make his way towards them, to pull Loki from Harry's arms and shake him lightly as if to make him see sense. "His body will not be able to handle the pregnancy; it will kill him, my child."
Thor's eyes were wide with horror at the thought. He had been willing to allow Harry to keep Loki's child, to birth and raise it after their own marriage, and to never begrudge his brother that bond with Thor's husband, but his father had been adamant that the child must die before its birth. He had never said why, exactly, though his mother had mumbled something about a prophecy before she started to cry again, the week before, and his father had insisted that Thor could replace the child with one of his own.
"Is this true, father?" Thor asked, hand clenching around Mjölnir's handle. "You said I could sire upon him, would that child not kill him also?"
Odin had hoped Thor would stay silent, had hoped he would let this all pass without comment, but of course he did not. Thor simply had to insist upon making the conversation about him, of turning what would have been a simple lie into an extravagant one, and though they were not biologically related one could assume that Loki had inherit the talent from his father before him. Liesmith, indeed.
"Yes. I had hoped to speak with Harry afterwards, to allow him to be the one to dissuade you from the idea. Loki, when you brought back a man I thought it a blessing, but whatever magic you have cast upon him, you must uncast before he marries your brother. A child, any child, will kill him." Odin tried to reason with them again. He caught the obstinate look upon Harry's face, and wondered for a moment if the boy would agree to a termination if Odin told him that the father of that child was capable of becoming a seven foot tall ice giant (still short compared to the rest of his race) but large enough that the child within him would not be a comfortable size and that its size alone would be enough to crush most of his internal organs before the labour could even begin. The labour itself, if magic had indeed caused this pregnancy, would be natural, and birthing a child even the size of a small giant would tear the boy apart. There was no healing from some injuries, and Odin's involvement now should be taken as a blessing, Harry should be grateful for it and his interference, and perhaps he would be if he could catch Harry alone to explain this to him. Spitting out Loki's true parentage here and now would only do more harm than good, and so he continued to keep the secret tight to his chest, with both hands, unwilling to let it go.
"The child will not kill me." Harry repeated again, mostly to himself as no one else really seemed to be paying him much attention.
"Yes it will." Odin whispered back, turning away from an angry Thor and avoiding the haunted eyes of Loki.
"Like you though Sigyn's slap had killed me? Don't deny it, I could tell by the look upon your face that you thought she'd broken my neck." She had, actually, but Odin didn't need to know that, and neither did Loki. Loki knew rune magic had healed him and protected him from injury, but he didn't know that the Deathly Hallows had returned him to life once more, continuing to fulfil its duty to the master over death. "The fact is that it didn't kill me, and if this is your only argument against this child, because all of those others were crap, then I'm having this baby and you can see your grandson or you cannot. It's your choice. Just like this pregnancy is my choice, not yours."
He resolved to make himself a Portkey, if it was possible, to bring him to Hogwarts or Gringotts, in case Odin ever tried to do anything to the baby and Loki wasn't there to back him up. There had to be some way of emulating the way Loki travelled between worlds and trapping it into magic familiar to Harry so that he could harness it as well. There needed to be.
Harry snapped himself from his thoughts and turned to Loki again then, silently holding out his hand. Loki took it, and though his face was calm, his eyes burned with grief and terror and Harry hated seeing it upon him.
I'm fine, Harry's smile told him just as his words had done earlier.
I'll be fine, he said with his kisses, before allowing Loki to lead him from the throne room in silence.
He wouldn't be fine, Harry realised, not completely. The Hallows wouldn't allow him to die, and the runes would heal blood, bruises and broken bones, but the pregnancy was going to be a hard one the further along it progressed. Unless Harry was having twins, which he doubted, the child was going to be huge. He had seen pregnant people before, and normally he wouldn't have been able to tell, even while staring at them that they were with child until they were at least four months pregnant, never mind barely three months! But you could see the swell of Harry's stomach already, small as it was it was big enough to set off warning bells in Harry's subconscious. He didn't regret his child, and he'd never resent it or any pain it caused him. Something was off about it though, and either the rate at which it was growing or the size it was growing to, but even if the child did kill him, it would have been worth every moment he remained dead and every injury the child inflicted upon him, to eventually hold the child in his arms.
Loki didn't need to be there for the birth.
He'd go to madam Pomfrey, he supposed, lost in thought as he slid into bed beside his fiancé, because she knew what he was capable of and had already experienced some of the weirdness in his life. She could remove the child magically, which hopefully wouldn't injure him all that much at all. Even if the child did cause him injury, Loki could remain outside of the room, away from the pain and bloodshed and tears, away from the death, and all of Loki's memories of the birth would be of their child in Harry's arms waiting to meet him, and not of Harry pale, still and bloody, or pale, screaming and bloody.
"Harry?" Loki whispered, watching his lover lie on his back with both hands pressed to his stomach. Harry stared up at the ceiling, thinking deep thoughts, but he turned his head at the sound of Loki's voice and gazed into matching green eyes. "Everything will be fine." He said it more for his sake than for Harry's, and the young man knew it.
Harry laughed softly, low and throaty and rolled onto his side making the bulge of his stomach that much more pronounced. "I know," he said. And that was that.
The next morning, Harry explained what elopement was, and Loki took him in secret to Las Vegas, first, and then later to London where Harry showed him into the Ministry of Magic, conscious of the pointed fingers and loud gasps of surprise as their Saviour moved among the Wizards. Loki followed Harry first to a man dressed in a white polyester one piece and a bad wig and then to an elderly Wizard in deep burgundy robes, and they were married twice, once in the eyes of Muggles and once for Wizardkind, and then all that was left was to announce the union to Asgard, to consummate it (though they had done that several times before the marriage already, not that they weren't willing to do so again), then if the desire arose profess themselves before Frigga and ask for her blessing. Though, judging from her silent support of Odin the evening before, Loki doubted an Asgardian ceremony would be occurring any time soon.
But he had Harry, before the eyes of the human God and the pagan ones, and his family would know of what they had done. The other Norse gods did not matter, for Loki was, to Harry, the only important one there was. And Loki was the one Harry had just married.
March 21st 2000. Asgard.
At just over six months pregnant Harry was much bigger than the Asgardians had expected him to be, except Odin and Frigga who knew the truth about the child he carried, and Harry himself who had long-ago guessed that the baby was bigger than a normal child. It was hard for Loki to hold Harry close enough to bring him to earth for appointments with the human healer in Hogwarts, so they had resorted to using the bifrost, which Heimdallr had kept closed to them the first time until Harry had lost his temper, accidentally knocked the man unconscious, and Loki never one to miss an opportunity opened the bifrost himself. Earth did not explode, so Heimdallr must have woken up soon enough and closed the bifrost in time. He had ended up with a headache that wouldn't quit for days and a strong aversion to be anywhere near a pregnant Harry Potter, and so the bifrost was open to them whenever Harry had need of it.
Sex was impossible unless Harry lay on his side and Loki took him from behind, which wasn't his favourite position, but he was horny all of the time and that was the only position he was getting anything from Loki in, so he would learn to love it for the next month and a half until sex was off the table completely.
Harry's back hurt all the time, and his ankles as well, and his ribs and hips, and every time the child kicked within him Harry had to bite back a scream because he wouldn't give Odin the satisfaction of knowing he had been right. The child was killing him from the inside, beating at his kidneys and bladder and pushing up his lungs and stomach, and it was agony. With every movement the child made lately, something within him tore, and though magic healed him immediately, the elder wand working without a command, the pain lingered in every joint and muscle, and then the child would shift again and it would begin anew. Over and over, and Loki would watch him with a tortured expression on his face, wanting to help but unable to because he didn't know why Harry was in so much pain, or why the child was so big, and Odin still would not tell him.
Loki had considered that Odin was correct, and that this child was a monster, but all of earth's ultra sounds had shown him a normal human baby: ten fingers, ten toes, one head, two legs with a tiny penis between them, two arms, and a heartbeat. A baby, not a snake, or a wolf, or an eight-legged horse, or a girl who was more corpse than girl. Just a baby. One that was killing Harry a little more each day.
But Harry would smile at him through the pain, would laugh when someone asked if he needed to go to the healing room and wave them off, because by the time they brought him there he wouldn't need healing anymore thanks to magic, and every one believed that Loki was the one healing him. And how selfish he was, Loki, to allow his husband to suffer such pain, to mask it all beneath his magic and trickery, while forcing the poor mortal to give Loki what he wanted with no compensation. Harry would smile at them all, and tell Loki to ignore the comments, while holding one hand to his back and the other cupped under his distended stomach, because the child was heavy and large and touching him made the baby stay still for minutes at a time at least. He would announce then, loudly, that Loki would need to compensate him, to appease his people, and would demand that the god bring him back to their rooms and make love to him until Harry was satisfied and compensated and all was well.
Loki had looked startled the first time Harry had done it, along with everyone else around them, many of whom also looked scandalised. But now he merely grinned in Harry's direction, all teeth like a shark and the glint of mischief in his eyes. He would sigh resignedly as he swept Harry off of his feet, exclaiming all the while that there would need to be an army of lovers to satisfy Harry's appetite of lust. Loki would carry Harry from the room, or the hallway, or the banquet hall, or gardens if that was where they were, and behind them would trail ten illusions, all copies of Loki, each smirking or laughing or chuckling, glancing around wildly in excitement, or staring at Harry with lust, or shooting Thor smug looks that the real Loki kept hidden in Harry's hair.
Harry laughed softly against Loki's throat each time, ignoring the pain in his stomach, because he knew that the moment Loki was within him the child would be happy. He wouldn't move, and he wouldn't hurt, and he wouldn't injure. It was as if he knew that his father was there with them, within Harry alongside the child, a part of them both, and it made the baby happy. When they had finished making love, despite the horribly uncomfortable position, Harry would insist on falling asleep with Loki still within him, and the moment Loki pulled out and separated their bodies and attempted to clean them up, Harry would gasp his way to wakefulness, clutching at his stomach as agony rippled through him.
If he knew what was wrong, why this was happening, he could find magic to fix it. But he didn't know, and Loki didn't know, and despite attempting to awkwardly seduce the answer out of Thor months ago, the future king of Asgard did not know either. Odin knew, and Harry was convinced the man kept it to himself out of spite, perhaps hoping that the child would die in labour when Harry did. But Harry wouldn't let that happen. He had reconciled with Hermione the first time he had travelled to Midgard to see Madam Pomfrey, and while they were not as close as they used to be, she was excited for him and his baby and his marriage and sad that she had missed so much of it all. But she had promised to assist, and she scored through book after book on Norse mythology to find anything that might help him. She had found one word that hinted at something greater, some deeper meaning behind what was happening to Harry, but she had yet to tell him yet about it.
'Adopted' didn't mean much unless she could figure out where Loki had been adopted from.
May 20th 2000. Asgard.
The child was old enough to survive independently of its mother now. Or at least that was what Madam Pomfrey had told him. It would be safe to perform a caesarean and remove the child. The baby would survive, at Hogwarts, surrounded by magic, and Harry wouldn't have to suffer horrific internal injuries for another month and a half.
He carried the Portkey he had convinced Loki to help him create on his person everywhere he went now. It would be easy enough to send him into an early labour, if Odin was still so desperate to be rid of the baby, and kill the child without anyone being the wiser of his foul play. It would be played off as a natural death, one of a child too small to be born yet, too early, an unfair death. On Asgard, there was a higher infant mortality rate than what Harry would have attributed to a race of gods, but then, Loki was one of a very few who could perform magic successfully, the others were only any good for hunting or killing. It was like living in the middle ages, and Harry was increasingly glad that he had convinced Loki to bring him to Midgard for the birth of their child, assuming that nothing happened between now and the end of June, where there would be magic and sonographs and painkillers, real painkillers, not just stupid leaves that the healer told him to press against his tongue which did jack shit for him.
Harry made his way through the courtyard, with his arm around Sif's shoulders and hers around his waist. Sif was the only one of Thor's friends who considered Loki a friend too. The others put up with him because he was Thor's brother, but Sif genuinely liked him, even if he had cut her hair off that one time as a prank, but he had gotten it back to its former splendour and he had paid the price without complaint for his trickery. He had lost Mjölnir to his brother and he had been held down while his lips were sewn shut, and Loki had never once held her to blame for it, despite it being her idea to trick the dwarves into making him weapons while they retrieved her hair. Where Thor wanted Harry because he thought he loved him, and yes Thor was possessive and protective and he flinched with every cry of pain Harry produced, he could never love the boy as Loki did. It made Sif happy to see Loki so happy, to see him with more than just her and Thor for company, more than a brother and the brother's friend to call his friend. And she showed her pleasure at the situation by accompanying Harry to the healing room for those useless leaves that were supposed to dull pain but that Harry seemed to be immune to, and allowing him to lean on her as he tried to walk through the castle, though they never strayed too far from a guard or Loki's rooms, and Harry's Portkey was always there if he needed it.
"Thanks," Harry said for the second time since Sif had knocked on Loki's bed chamber door to collect him.
"You are welcome, Harry Lokislove," she told him with a smile. That was her nickname for him, and it made Harry smile, because for once it was a nickname that he liked and that he was proud of. He responded by tugging lightly on her ponytail, offering her a half-smile as they continued to walk across the courtyard.
It was slow going, because Harry couldn't move very fast, or even a little fast for that matter, but Sif never complained. In fact, she was the only one other than Loki and Frigga and Thor to make Harry feel welcomed. Thor sort of creeped him out, considering the man wanted to marry him and make his own babies with Harry, apparently whether he was willing or not, and Harry didn't trust Frigga since the day Odin had tried to separate him and Loki. He knew she hadn't wanted to go against her husband, because every fight Harry and Ron had had since he and Hermione got together meant that it was automatically a fight between the three of them with Hermione on Ron's side, and he supposed the same thing went for him when anyone started on Loki: Harry defended his lover, like Frigga supported her husband, whether she agreed with his decision didn't matter. He still didn't want to be alone with her though. But Sif had never done anything but congratulate him and offer him some mead once instead of those leaves to dull the pain.
Harry had declined, but thanked her politely.
He heard them arguing before he saw them, Thor and Loki in the centre of the courtyard, squaring off against one another. Thor had his hammer and Loki his sceptre and each of them were scowling, looking darker than any storm Harry had ever seen. Not that he had seen one in a long while, mind you, because his rune magic hadn't worked, with the exception of Ansuz to glamour his body and the slow fading bruises on his stomach that healed on the inside but not the outside and Sowelu which kept him from dying, since he hit his second trimester. He hadn't told Loki though, not wanting the man to worry about the lack of Harry's magic as well as the physical injuries. He still had the elder wand, though he only used it when necessary, because it made him stick out among the Asgardians whose only magic stemmed from runes or potions or whatever the hell Loki could do, though Harry was starting to think that it wasn't Asgardian either.
Odin stood to one side, frowning and having given up on trying to get between them. He saw Harry before either of his sons did, and because he honestly didn't want to hurt the mortal (just the child within him) he held up a hand to warn him to stay away.
The hammer met the sceptre with a loud crash, following by the screech of metal as Loki swept the sceptre upwards and hit Thor in the face. From the looks of them both, they appeared to have been at it for a while already. It was purely coincidence that the moment Harry was within striking distance, Loki knocked Thor off of his feet, and Thor happened to lose his grip on the mighty Mjölnir. It flew through the air, and Sif who had dropped into a deep bow at the sight of Odin tried to push Harry aside. But she was on one knee, and she unbalanced before she managed to unbalance Harry, though fortunately for Loki's son her attempt to save him had the effect of making him stumble forward just before the hammer hit him. Mjölnir would have hit him straight in the stomach, except as he wobbled from Sif's shove, he had leant forward, bending slightly over his belly and the hammer hit him in the head instead.
It was instant. It was painless. And it happened in less than the time it took for Loki to scream.
Harry crumbled to the floor like a puppet whose strings had been cut, and Mjölnir hit the ground behind him so hard it drilled through the concrete. There wasn't much of the left side of Harry's head remaining. Sowelu was dark above Harry's right eye, and his left eye was missing, along with most of his jaw, and blood spread out upon the ground around where he lay like a halo as Loki screamed and desperately tried to shake him awake.
When Harry didn't wake, as he had done when Sigyn had snapped his neck, Loki turned on his brother. His teeth were bared and his fingers curled into claws as nails sharpened and grew and the skin around his narrowed eyes turned a translucent blue. "I'll kill you!" He snarled as he launched himself at Thor. It took Sif and four other guards to drag Loki off of Thor, who had stayed still and silent as Loki beat him bloody with his bare fists. Thor's eyes stayed fixed on what remained of Harry, and the guilt in them was unbearable to look at, and Sif couldn't deny that Thor had loved him, just not as much as Loki had.
Odin closed his eyes tightly, as he clasped both hands together in front of his chest and murmured a soft prayer for the mortal and the child, both of whom had passed on. His intention when he had allowed his son's to fight in the place that he knew Harry always passed by once at day just before the midday meal had not been to harm him. Odin had merely hoped the shock of watching them fight, as they had never fought around him before with more than sharp words, would frighten him into leaving, or shock him into labour, and if the child was born here he would be vulnerable and if it were born a monster on Midgard the humans would be quick to kill it regardless.
And yet, it had gotten out of hand, had gone in a direction Odin had neither intended it to nor foreseen, and now he had to live with the consequences of his actions and his decisions, and he felt sick as he watched Thor sink to his knees in grief, crawling across the ground to reach Harry, touching what was left of his face with shaking hands. Loki had already been dragged back in the direction of the castle; he would have to be sedated or chained until the anger passed, and then Odin knew he would sink into melancholy and depression, fall back into his old habit of causing others misery in order to hide his own, and the smile that Odin had grown used to seeing again since Harry had come into his life would likely never make another appearance. The thought that he had caused this, the agony of both of his sons, made Odin sink to his knees, one hand clutching his chest.
That night, he fell into the Odinsleep.
When Odin was brought inside, Thor continued to sit by Harry's corpse, though he had not touched him again, not since his hand had slipped in the blood and he had ended up with his palm dipping into, and through, what should have been Harry's cheek. Three guards came to the courtyard ten minutes later, having given Thor his time to say goodbye, but they waited until he was out of sight before they reached down to collect the body and the child still within him. The moment the first set of hands touched Harry's bare skin, his one eye snapped open and while he could not gasp Harry made a horrible rattling noise low in his throat. His right hand flapped frantically, searching for the ring that Loki had given him which he wore on a cord around his neck, and there it was, there, and Harry was squeezing it, and trying to make his voice work, but no sound would escape his ruined mouth.
The guards were shouting between each other, screaming at anyone who could hear them to fetch a healer quickly, and one of them took off running in Thor's direction, because Harry was alive and Thor would want to know.
The Elder wand burned against his arm, and Sowelu burned upon his head. Nauthiz, a slanted crucifix, drew itself upon his stomach, and its magic glowed faintly for a moment, and then a moment more, and within him the baby began to kick furiously, running out of time. Harry squeezed the Portkey harder, until the gem of the ring was cutting into the mark of Isa, and as his blood touched it, Harry disappeared with a 'pop'.
Harry arrived in his designated bed at Hogwarts in the infirmary. Poppy joined him less than half a minute later, before promptly screaming at the sight of his face. When she raised her wand to try and fix the damage, Harry waved his hand at his stomach, gurgling something unintelligible, but she understood, because she pointed her wand away from his head and towards his baby. The first incantation numbed the area, and the second cut it open. The third spell lifted his child out from inside of him, whence it began to shriek and wail as the cold air struck his sensitive skin. The baby changed then, in Madam Pomfrey's arms, until his face and arms and legs and belly were blue, every single inch of his skin, and there were these strange markings across his face, like grooves that you would probably see scratched into a rock face.
"Jötun," Harry managed to rasp after Madam Pomfrey had cleaned the blood off his face, stomach and chest and closed the incision and somehow managed to regrow his jaw. His eye had grown back under its own powers, much like the vertebrae in his neck had reattached themselves and his spinal cord had unsnapped the last time he had died.
He held his hands out for his child, who cried until Harry had him pressed against his chest. He was big. Premature but almost fourteen pounds and he was strong and resilient, and as Harry fed him for the first time, Hermione finally figured out who Loki had been adopted from and what race that made his child.
When Odin awoke a week later, Loki was still being sedated because he kept attacking anyone who was too close to him as he woke up, instinctively wanting to inflict pain thinking that it must be Thor beside him, because Thor was the last one to touch him, last one for him to hit, before he couldn't remember anything.
Thor, on the other hand, had rushed straight to Odin's bedside and exclaimed, "Harry is alive!"
Frigga had explained to Odin, of how Harry had apparently woken up, and then disappeared as the guard who had fetched Thor was returning to the scene. Heimdallr wouldn't let anyone use the bifrost without Odin's permission, and Thor had begged for a chance to search Midgard for Harry, to bring him and the child home.
Loki woke again then, and Thor went to share the good news with his brother, for he had been kept away from Loki's rooms until Odin woke. But no longer would he keep away, now that his father knew they would be let use the bifrost, and they could go together to find Harry, and Loki could no longer be angry for the accident and Thor might be able to sleep at night again. But Loki had been sedated again by the time Thor arrived, and in his absence Odin summoned all of the guards who had been called to tend to Harry's body to his chambers and all but one returned to their duties minutes later.
The one who had told Thor of Harry's resurrection wasn't ever seen again.
The others were sadly, but firmly, instructed to inform Thor that their comrade had gone mad at the sight of Harry's body and the unnecessary death of a child, of an heir to Asgard, and had tricked his mind into believing the boy still lived. Odin, who had finally climbed out of bed, teamed up with Heimdallr to first find Harry, though it was difficult, and they only succeeded because Harry had yet to place a new Fidelius over his new home because he was hoping that Loki would hear him screaming for him. Odin cloaked his presence, so that not even Loki, who could apparently sneak between Midgard and Asgard, would find him.
Thor, despite the guards words and promises and apologises, refused to believe them until Heimdallr lied straight to his face and simply said, "He no longer exists within the universe. I am sorry, Thor."
And so, when Loki finally woke and was calm, Thor had nothing to tell him, because his good news was worthless now that Heimdallr had proved it false, and there were no apologises enough that could ever make his actions forgivable, accidental though they were.
Instead, Thor pressed his forehead to the outside of Loki's door the first night his brother was allowed to fall into sleep without the help of potions and magic, and listened to Loki sob heartbrokenly. Every cry was a penance, every wail like a whip against his back, and every time Loki choked out the words "I love you" through his tears Thor closed his eyes and whispered them back, both to Loki and to Harry, and he remembered everything about that night because this was his burden to bear now. This was his gift to Loki, though the man would never know it. This was the way he would punish himself, for no one else on Asgard would dare to punish him for the heinous crime he had committed.
April 18th 2001. Midgard.
The year had passed swifter than Harry would have liked. In a month's time, his son Aric would be one-years-old, and that day would mark the anniversary of the last time he had seen his husband.
He missed Loki fiercely, and Harry didn't understand why the god hadn't come to find him, because surely one of the guards had told Thor or Loki or Odin that he had woken up before he disappeared? And what did they think had happened to his body, other than he got up and walked away, if the Asgardians had not been the ones to move him? Harry had purposely not placed himself under the Fidelius Charm, even though that meant that some mornings he woke up to reporters sitting on his doorstep, because it made it easier for Loki to track him. Some nights, he would fall asleep, especially those first few nights at Hogwarts, and he could hear Loki screaming for him, sobbing and wailing, and Harry would scream back but Loki never came for him. Aric would cry too, startled by his mother's screams, but Loki never came at their son's yells either. It was a week after the birth that Loki's shouts became quieter, almost indistinctive, so that Harry barely heard him anymore, and in his sleep he was no longer able to walk into Loki's dreams the way he had used to after Loki had shown him how.
It was then, when the bond between them was stretch so thin that sometimes it hurt his heart and burned the soul within him, that Harry understood that Loki would have come if he could. Something was keeping him trapped on Asgard or keeping Harry from Loki's sight. Hurt, and afraid, and lonely, Harry lay curled in his bed holding Aric to his chest and wondered if Loki even knew he was alive, if their son had lived, or if Odin had lied to him about that as he did about Loki's parentage? For surely if the sorcerer had known their child was half-giant he would have told Harry to spare him the hardships of the pregnancy? A little magic could have made his body sturdier, the pregnancy less painful, and Wizard Space would have given his half-giant son enough room to grow within him without rupturing a different organ of Harry's every week.
He missed Loki every day, every morning he woke up alone hurt him. He lived in hope for the day that Loki would appear on his doorstep, and Harry could throw his arms around him, hold him tight and never let him go. But though Harry didn't have Loki, he had their son.
And their son was beautiful. Taller than average, but only by a little bit, a few inches at most. After how hard his pregnancy was, Harry had expected the child to be huge, but Hermione had insisted that most first time parents said the same thing, and the damage done during Harry's pregnancy was because of the child's strength and not his height. Loki was shorter than the average giant, after all, just like Hagrid was. Still, he wouldn't consider having a baby Hagrid's size, because the man was still larger than Loki, broader and probably a little stronger physically. Babies grew fast though, and his baby was half-human as well so he probably won't grow to be more than seven foot at the tallest as an adult, which would make him a little taller than Loki, and a hell of a lot taller than Harry.
Aric was long and thin, though he had a little pot belly, that Hermione had also promised was normal and not a result of Harry over feeding him. Puppy fat, she said, he'll grow out of it. He was blue sometimes, like his father should have been, with deep groves across his face and hands, lines on rock or scars on skin, depending on how you thought about it. The first time since the day of his birth that Aric had turned blue was the day he had been introduced to Ron, who was now Hermione's fiancé, and George who lived with them, in their own little house because he couldn't bear to live in the house he used to share with his twin.
George had held him as he changed, hissing slightly from the sudden cold. Ron had screamed, and red eyes gazed curiously up from a blue face for a moment before turning back to the red head man who was running curious fingers through the wisps of Aric's black hair.
"How did he do that?" George asked, sounding intrigued and excited. Ron looked a little horrified, or perhaps he was fighting the urge to get sick, because all he could think of while looking at the baby's red eyes was Voldemort and the thought of Voldemort reproducing. Which, admittedly, was a rather sickening thought, Harry agreed later on after Ron had explained why he had reacted like that.
"His father could do it too," Harry told them, sounding wistful. "I never got to see it though, but he was a Jötun, a Frost Giant, I mean, but he used to glamour himself unconsciously. I've seen pictures of adult Jötuns though, while I was living with Loki."
"What kind of a name is Loki anyway?" Ron mumbled, glancing warily down at the child who had once more turned his skin to peaches and cream.
"Norse trickster god, right?" George asked, "Is he named after him?"
"He is him," Hermione had told him matter of factly, glancing at Harry when George's mouth dropped open in shock and only the fact that he was carrying a defenceless, breakable baby stopped him from fainting dead away. After he had gotten over his shock, George had announced that regardless of the fact that Ron had known Harry first and been through more shit with Harry than anyone should ever experience, George was going to be the baby's godfather.
"Well, he has a trickster for a father," George had offered, shouting to be heard over Ron's indignant sputters. "In his father's absence, Aric needs a trickster for a godfather and who better than me?" They were silent for a second, before George spoke up again. "You're right, of course. There is no one better than me! Hey baby, guess you're my godbaby now, huh? So turn blue again for me, cause that was neat!" Aric had cooed at the attention, and his skin had tinged blue and his eyes had turned red, but Loki's hair, inky black with the barest hint of a wave to it, remained unchanged upon his head.
And that was how Aric got himself a godfather. Of course Hermione was his godmother, because despite how they had grown apart and he hadn't seen her in a year almost, she had happily welcomed him back into her life and was as willing as ever to help him research and protect his family. But Ron was the child's uncle, because he was Harry's brother, despite their fights and the long-distance aspect to their relationship lately, and Bill and Fleur who had their own child by then had welcomed Harry and the baby into their lives with open arms, just as Molly and Arthur had.
No one had seen Charlie for ages, he had been told; the most they got from the eldest Weasley were letters and the occasional gift from Egypt or Brazil, or wherever the hell he was that week.
Percy was back at the Ministry, and back to his old self, tailing the Minister like a shadow and refusing to listen to anyone else's opinions. Harry thought it best to keep Aric away from Percy until the skin-changing toned itself down, because he had no desire for his son to end up in the Unspeakables' grasps.
Ginny was the only one who hadn't taken his return well. Teddy's death, apparently, had been a good thing in her eyes, because it meant that there was no one tying Harry down, no children who weren't her own with him to hold Harry's love and affection, and the loss of the child would mean Harry would want to replace him soon. That wasn't how it had happened at all, because Aric wasn't a replacement for Teddy, and Harry loved them both equally, but separately at the same time, because one was there and the other Harry had failed. Ginny had taken his return to mean that Harry was finally ready for children and she had not reacted well to the knowledge that Harry already had had a son with his husband. She had been surprised and angry and offended that he would lie to her and lead her on. His marriage had been public knowledge, and he and Loki had been hand-fasted in the Ministry of Magic and they had even posed outside for photographs for the 'Daily Prophet', so Harry wasn't sure how this could be considered a surprise. His son maybe, but his marriage, no.
Harry had ignored all questions and insults' relating to him leading her on, because as far as he was concerned, the day she had proposed to him in Diagon Alley and he had rejected her was clearly indicative of the extent of their relationship. Even then, he had been wearing a ring of Loki's on his wedding finger, a symbol of possession and ownership before marriage had united them, and Loki had held his hand above the table as Ginny screamed at him, making sure the ring was on show.
Harry had been glad after that meeting that it had been held at the Burrow, and not his own home. Ginny didn't know where he lived, and she hadn't been let through the wards, so he could sleep easy without threat from her at least.
Hermione had been a great help in reconstructing Godric's Hollow. She had helped him buy back the deeds to the property, which had automatically transferred to the Ministry after the property had become a national landmark. It was Hermione who had argued that the property had been Harry's first, and it would have been his parents' wish for Harry to raise his family there like they had planned to raise him there, rather than to have strangers trespassing when it suited them. After throwing enough money around, and wasn't that just the way the world worked, Harry had gotten his way. He had his house back, though he didn't remember a thing of it, aside from the nursery lit up in green like in his nightmares, and the gate that creaked ominously as a disguised Nagini led them passed and into Bathilda Bagshot's home.
He had put up wards, of course; Bill had helped with those. But he refrained from hiding the property completely. He still lived in hope that one day Loki would stumble across him, or that Odin would tell the truth (for all that his son was meant to be the liesmith, not him, he was awfully good at telling lies). Or, maybe Thor would finally anger his father enough to warrant a temporary banishment, the likes of which Loki had whispered excitedly about in Harry's ear on days that Thor's desire for him made his husband angrier than usual, and they had sat and planned exactly how it would happen and how it could be made worse for Thor, because it calmed Loki down. Instead of landing in a desert, as they had planned, Harry imagined Thor landing outside of his front door. Thor would call for Loki, or Heimdallr, and because he wasn't the one being hidden they would see him, and in turn, they would find Harry and bring him home. Because while Godric's Hollow was his and Aric's house now, it wasn't quite his home without Loki there to complete it.
Loki might not have been as strong, or as brave, or as bold as his brother, but there was no denying he was smarter. And he was smarter than his not-father too, and for that matter his real father as well. They were so easy to trick and to manipulate and humiliate.
They were, all of them, beneath him, so stupid and sentimental. They had believed him when he had whispered "I forgive you" to Thor, though he would never, could never forgive his not-brother for his part in Harry's death. He would never forgive his not-father, for Odin would have had to have known Harry would be there that day and Odin could have stopped their fight any time he liked but he'd chosen not to. His not-father had apologized as well; of course he had, and naïvely had murmured he thought Loki would have understood now that he knew of his true parentage why Odin couldn't allow the child to live. And yes, if Loki had known then that he was Jötun and that Harry had been carrying a Jötun child, he probably would have agreed the pregnancy was too dangerous and despite his own desires would have begged Harry to abort the baby to save his life.
But the fact of the matter was that Loki had been lied to, manipulated, though when he did the same he was looked down upon and sneered at, but Odin did the same and was thought wise. Harry had died from Odin's manipulations, and from Loki's foolishness; how foolish he was to have ever believed he belonged there, that he was wanted there or loved. The only one who had ever loved him was Harry, the only one who ever stood up for him or protected him was Harry, and he had killed Harry with his own hands, for wasn't it him who knocked Thor's hammer through the air and into his husband's head?
Thor had not thrown the hammer at Harry. Thor wouldn't have hurt Harry, for he believed himself in love with Loki's husband. And he, who really was in love with his husband, had been the one to strike the killing blow. That made him more of a monster than being Jötun ever could, but he lied, and acted more horrified of being Jötun than he should have been (because all he could think of was Harry now, and not of himself), and when Odin cast Thor out, Loki pretended to be upset and outraged. But inside he was laughing.
"Not worthy," his not-father had said. "You are not worthy of your name, not worthy of your powers, not worthy of the friends you have betrayed and endangered," Odin had angrily told him, summoning Mjölnir to his own hand, before stripping Thor of his powers and sending him to earth.
Loki watched his not-brother fall. He watched with wide green eyes, excited and justified and Ivindicated/I because Thor was finally being punished for his part in Harry's death, even if he didn't know it, even though he thought this was Odin's idea, punishment for starting a war with Jötunheimr. But it wasn't. This had been Loki's idea, the payoff of over a year's worth of scheming and planning, of biding his time and pretending to forgive his not-family, of pretending to get over Harry, to pay attention to Sigyn the way Odin wanted him to. Thor was finally being made to suffer, the way Loki suffered every moment of every day without Harry by his side.
Soon Odin would suffer too, he would pay his own penance, and so would Laufey. One father who hadn't wanted him and another who had wanted him to be someone else. One he could not please and one who hadn't given him the chance. But both would pay, both would die at his hands one way or the other, and when he was finished, when all of his plans had come to fruition, he would be the true leader of Asgard and Odin would be in his debt, at his mercy. And Loki would show him none.
Odin mumbled to himself, his hands shaking at his sides, and Mjölnir thrown to earth. "You were not worthy," he said softly, before turning to gaze at his youngest son, unaware of the tortures Loki acted out upon him within his mind.
Loki listened to his not-father. He tried to plead with him, beg him to change his mind and let Thor come home, but inside of his head he agreed with his father. But rather than care about the name Odinson, or about Fandral or Volstagg or Hogun, he thought to himself, "you are not worthy of Harry."
But if he was basing that conclusion upon the fact that Thor had hurt Harry, then, neither was he.
It wasn't supposed to happen like this, Loki reflected. He had killed Laufey, in front of his mother, publically saving Odin's life. He had even announced his allegiances for all to hear: "And you were killed by the son of Odin!"
The son of Odin, Loki thought with a half-smile, keeping a white knuckled grip on the handle of his sceptre. Thor held the other end, and Odin had grabbed onto Thor and was attempting to pull them both up, back onto the ruined bifrost, together.
"Hold on, brother!" Thor cried down at him.
And wasn't that the kicker. Even though Loki had banished him, even though Loki had sent the destroyer to kill him, and Loki had threatened this new mortal whom Thor believed himself in love with, Thor was still trying to save him.
Thor rescued him, that was what Thor did, but never once had he stepped in to prevent a punishment or such a situation, never once had Thor defended him as Harry had done before Odin. Yet, he had gone against Odin's orders, his banishment, and against Loki's orders, Loki who had been his king for a time, and Thor still came out of it golden, while Loki hung above an abyss, tarnished and broken and so very lonely. And Odin was still disappointed in him, though he owed Loki his life now. But what did that matter in the scheme of things? For Thor had ruined his scheme, had come back from Midgard where he should have stayed gone forever, and ruined everything.
Laufey was dead.
Jötunheimr should have followed, but Thor had stopped him, pinned him to the bifrost with his hammer and then destroyed the bridge. Without the bridge Thor could never go to Midgard, never see Jane again, but he had done it anyway, limited himself to save a race of monsters. And was Loki not proof enough that they were monsters? Look at all he had done, of all the harm he had caused, and know that even the Jötuns didn't want him.
And Odin didn't want him either, so Loki could not stay upon Asgard. Thor could not travel without the bifrost, but Loki could, Loki had mastered the shadow ways. But he had nowhere to go, no one he wanted to go to.
And then Odin spoke, one last ditch effort to draw his youngest son back from the brink of insanity. "Harry is alive."
For one precious moment the worlds, all nine of them, stopped spinning. Loki's breath caught in his chest, his heart sputtered to a stop before beginning anew, beating faster than before. He was about to scream at them, to demand they stop lying to him, but the look upon Thor's face was one of shock and hope, pure and un-faked. Though Odin would lie to him, he would never have led Thor on in such a matter, nor have raised his hopes so high with a lie for he could never bring himself to dash them after.
"He's alive?" Thor breathed, stunned. Loki had opened his mouth to ask the same, but his breath caught, and his mind wouldn't let him speak, wouldn't let him hope, for he had done nothing in his life to deserve such a miracle.
"He survived Mjölnir. I hid him from you both. It was my manipulations that caused that boy to almost loose his life, and I felt that while you were both fighting over him it was unfair to have him caught between you both, his life at risk. I felt as if I owed him, so I hid him from sight. He'll be able to live out the rest of his life in peace and safety." Odin pulled again, and Thor was raised up high enough to grab onto the edge of the bridge with one hand. The other hand continued to hold onto the sceptre that kept Loki from falling. "Loki, please?" Odin whispered, leaning down over the edge of the bridge and holding a hand out to Loki. Now that Thor had a grip for himself, he could pull himself up, but not until he had the use of both hands. "Swing towards me, my son. We can put all of this behind us. We can be happy again."
"I was happy," Loki whispered back. He looked up with wet green eyes. The sight of them made Odin think of a different set of eyes just as green, and he just knew without Loki having to say another word what the younger man was planning to do.
"NO!" Odin and Thor screamed together, both of their cries echoing down the bifrost and into Asgard.
And Loki fell.
May 20th 2001. Midgard.
When Loki had fallen, he had thought of Harry: Harry's laugh, Harry's smile, Harry's child who had died within him (for Odin had not mentioned the child surviving). Thoughts of Harry kept him sane, kept him alive, with nothing else but darkness to surround himself with. He fell through nothing, then through cold, and heat, and fog, he fell through silence so loud it made Loki scream, and sounds so wretched he sobbed for the silence back, and then he fell through trees, hitting every other branch on his way down. Loki landed with a groan, his back aching from the fall and his chest bruised from having Mjölnir lie upon it. He stood stiffly, carefully pulling himself to his feet using the trunk of the tree for help.
Around him were trees, just a small grove of them, but tall and wide and full of green leaves and life. He didn't know why he had fallen here, but Loki figured he might as well take a look around. He could move on again later, travel from world to world until he found where Odin had hidden Harry away from him, he would look forever if he had to, and without the bifrost there was nothing Odin could do to stop him. Loki had chosen to fall, had chosen to take the risk of dying for it meant that he would not have to go back into Asgard, cowed by Odin and Thor, his not-family, the ones who had taken Harry from him in the first place. If he had died, he had died and Harry wouldn't have known any differently. But if he had stayed and Odin had managed to find a way to keep him trapped, Loki wouldn't have been able to forgive himself for another foolish mistake.
He lost himself in thought, moving through the trees until he came to a small cemetery. It was as he drifted through the clearing, passed stones and monuments and memories of those long gone, that he spotted a name from the corner of his eyes that had him gasping. The stone read: Lily and James Potter.
Loki glanced around, at the stones beside this one, and behind and in front, until eventually he had read the names on every single marker in the cemetery. But none were Harry's final resting place, though this one was the place of his parents'.
Loki was cloaked, like he always was when he travelled without the use of the bifrost. Odin could not see him, just like Loki had not been able to see Harry whenever he searched for his husband in those first few days before being told of his death. But perhaps Odin had bared Harry to his sight once more, and that was why Loki had landed here of all places? Did Harry live nearby? Did Harry visit here sometimes?
He made his way through the kissing gate and out of the cemetery. There were a line of neat looking houses before him, and a pub at the very end of the cobbled street. It was all so quaint looking, nothing like the house on Grimmauld Place, nothing like Loki's Asgardian palace, but there was something very welcoming about one house in particular, and Loki found his feet bringing him to stand before the garden gate without his having to think about it. A banner was tied across the gate and it read, happy first birthday. Noises from inside drifted out, singing and laughing, and Loki could make out the name Aric used in the middle of the song.
Everything within him, every part of his being that made him who he was, willed him to enter the house. He needed to be inside. He needed to be a part of whatever was happening in there, just as he knew he belonged here. But he hadn't been invited and Loki doubted the party goers would welcome a strange man crashing into their home. He turned to go, stopping to cast his eyes upon the golden statue of two adults and their baby. He read the plaque dedicated to Harry Potter who had saved them all, and he read the messages people had left to the boy-hero. With a flourish of his wrist, Loki added his own message. A simple 'I love you', in cursive script, right at the very bottom of the statue so that everyone, big or small, would be able to read it and trace the words with one finger as Loki did then.
"I love you too," a voice whispered from behind him.
Loki turned slowly, with his eyes tightly closed because while they were closed he could listen to the voice and pretend that it was Harry standing there. With his eyes closed, he wouldn't have to see the truth, and he could believe his own lie, because surely it couldn't have been that easy to find his husband? He had only been on Midgard fifteen minutes at most!
Harry had been in the kitchen, along with all of Aric's guests singing along to 'happy birthday to you', when his wards had flared. There was someone his wards didn't recognize at his front gate, which is as far as anyone could come without having been invited through the wards before. Harry had wondered if maybe someone was late, or someone he hadn't invited had been thoughtful enough to buy his son a gift anyway, but there wasn't anyone he could think of off the top of his head. So he had gone to look. Loki had been walking away from the house, his shoulders slumped, and his dark hair curling at the nape of his neck, with pale hands clenching at his sides half-hidden by the sleeves of his Asgardian robes. Without having to see his face, Harry knew that that man could be no one other than his husband, and he had followed him outside unhesitantly, his feet in only socks because he hadn't wanted to waste time finding shoes just in case Loki disappeared again.
"Are you real?" Loki asked, with his eyes still closed.
Harry leant against him, his hands on Loki's shoulders, pulling the man down slightly so that they were almost the same height. "You tell me," he murmured against the sorcerer's lips, before their mouths met. At the first taste of him, something so familiar and right that Loki knew without a doubt who was within his arms, the elder man's arms came up to grab Harry's waist, drawing him even closer, squeezing the boy tight against his chest. Their legs were pressed together, one of Harry's slotting between Loki's own, and Harry's hands came up to play with the god's hair and ears.
"I've missed you so much!" Loki moaned against Harry's mouth.
"We've missed you too."
They kissed again, holding on tightly to one another, and Loki never considered who 'we' might have been, not once. All he could think about was Harry, who was back where he belonged at last, within the circle of Loki's arms, pressed against his chest, panting softly into his mouth, and mewling those delicious sounding noises that he had missed so much, intermittent with "I love you, I love you."
After they had managed to separate themselves, and their hands and their mouths, Harry led Loki back towards his house. Loki followed Harry through the garden gate, running his fingers wistfully over the birthday banner for a baby that wasn't his, and then through the wards, that let him enter inside as willingly as Harry's body always had.
"Who is the birthday child?" Loki asked, glancing around the walls from pictures of Harry in school uniform with his friends, to Harry as a baby with his parents, to him, Harry and Teddy from what seemed like eons ago, and then to new photos he had never seen before, of a blue skinned child held between Harry and a laughing red headed man with one ear. His hand was upon the picture before Harry could respond, and he stroked his fingers down a blue cheek as the child in the photo laughed at him with wide green eyes.
"Aric's. He's one today." Harry held out a hand and Loki took it willingly. He cast another look back at the photo, feeling horribly jealous of the redhead whose arm was around Harry's shoulders and whose child was in Harry's arms, though he wondered how and why they had turned the baby's skin blue.
The same redhead was at the head of a small table when Loki entered the kitchen. The baby from the photo was in his arms again, but at the sight of Harry the child began to wriggle and George placed the boy gently on the floor. Harry crouched down, crawling awkwardly so that he was a little closer to the child, and held his arms out. With what appeared to be an intense amount of concentration and effort, the baby pulled himself to his feet and waddled unsteadily to where his mother waited to catch him. Harry scooped him up, proudly exclaiming how clever he was, how brilliant, how well he had done to move six inches across the floor all on his own and Loki watched it all in awe.
"Hello," he murmured to the child who gazed up at him over Harry's shoulders. "Whose is he?" Loki asked softly. The child couldn't be his, for his son had died within Harry, and yet there was so much about this boy that reminded Loki of every dream his son had featured in from the moment he had first learnt Harry was pregnant. He was envious, but he was not angry. He had been away for a year, and Harry was entitled to move on, but to have a child so old, so soon?
"Where would I have gotten a year-old baby, Loki, if not from you?" Harry asked him in return, standing up and offering him a look that spoke of how stupid that question had been.
"My son died."
"Oh," Harry murmured, suddenly understanding. George ushered everyone out of the kitchen then, and Harry ignored them all as he kept his gaze focused on Loki. "No, no he didn't. He's here, alive and safe, and I'm here and we're all together now. Everything is ok, Loki. It's why I left Asgard. I needed to get the baby out of me to keep him alive and my healer was the only one I trusted to do that."
Loki's eyes had shut again, and he took two deep breathes before he opened them again. Red eyes peered back at him out of a blue face. The god startled, not having expected that despite seeing the photo of a blue child hanging in the hallway. Loki's fingers moved to trace the marks of Jötunheimr and Laufey that decorated the baby's forehead and the lines across his cheeks and hands. "He is my son?" The god asked, hardly daring to hope.
"Loki Odinson, meet Aric Frey Potter.7 Aric, baby, this is your father. How do we greet people we love?" The child gave a laugh, his mouth smiling widely, before he pressed his palm against it and then held the hand out giggling. "You're supposed to blow him a kiss back now."
Loki leant down, both hands upon his son's face, and pressed his mouth gently to the top of Aric's head. "I love you," he whispered to his son. The baby blew him another kiss, his skin turning the colour of cream again, and his eyes going green. Harry let Loki hold him, smiling softly as the man first appeared terrified and unsure for a moment before carefully gathering his son to his chest and holding him securely in place, his head beneath Loki's chin. The man kept tilting his head down; to press kisses to Aric's hair. Harry left him to it to go in search of his missing guests.
The party picked up where it had been interrupted, and Loki joined in with wishing his son a happy birthday as Harry helped Aric blow out the one candle upon his cake. When everyone had left, and Aric was sleeping peacefully under the watch of Kreacher, his very devoted house elf, Loki moved behind Harry to pull the boy against his chest and keep both hands on his flat stomach.
"I missed so much." He thought of the birth, as horrible as it must have been, and how he hadn't been there to comfort Harry or his son. He thought of first smiles and first steps and first words, and then of all the firsts to come that he would be there for yet. He sighed happily into Harry's hair, before leaning down to bite lightly over the mark of Ansuz upon his throat.
"You'll be there for it all the next time," Harry promised him softly. "And the time after that." Loki looked confused, and Harry glanced over his shoulder to meet his husband's eyes. "I believe you told me you wanted many, many children, did you not?"
"I am a frost giant. My children will kill you, Harry. You were incredibly lucky to survive one labour, let alone several. There will be no more children of my seed." It hurt him to say it, because he had wanted many children by his Omgás, and he had looked forward to loving each and every one and being loved in return. But his husband's life was more important than his own wants and desires, and regardless, Loki wanted Harry alive more than anything else in the world.
"Silly god," Harry said fondly. "If I had known you were a frost giant, I could have done something about the pain. Neat little spell to create Wizard Space, have you ever heard of it? It makes the inside of a small object so much bigger than it appears. All of our other children will have plenty of space to grow without injuring me in the process, I promise you."
Loki had heard of the spell. Harry had told him of Wizarding tents that looked like houses on the inside and his friend's father's flying car that could fit eight people inside at one time with room to spare. His hand caressed Harry's stomach lightly, fingers ghosting over Nauthiz, whose magic had kept their child alive until he could be born, before moving to his side to press against Hagalaz. He whispered against Ansuz, voice full of longing and promise, "then I want many, many more."
Harry turned in his arms, eyes heavy lidded as he bit lightly at his bottom lip. Loki felt fire in his crotch, his blood burned within him, and he was hard at that very first look Harry sent him. He reached out for Harry, trying to capture his mouth, but the boy dodged out of the way then held his hand out in invitation.
"What do you say we start right away?"
"Now?" Loki questioned, glancing around the house. It was big enough for another few children, and it could always be extended, but it was already home to one child he did not know yet and a husband he had missed so much of. "But I have only arrived. Surely you want to wait a while, to come to know each other again?"
"I know you. I love you. I've waited a year for you, Loki. Can you think of any other reason to wait?"
"I cannot," he admitted with a small smile, his voice low and raspy. He was aroused, Harry realised, recognizing the sound of Loki's voice once he was overcome with desire.
Loki took Harry's offered hand, following him in silent anticipation to his bedroom, their bedroom now. They undressed in silence, bar for muffled moans of desire that escaped their lips unchecked. They came to each other in a dizzying blur of passion and desperation. Harry clung to Loki's shoulders, his legs up around Loki's waist as the man moved inside of him, hunched down over Harry so that he could kiss all of the skin within reach. They rocked together, affirming their bond and their love, and with every thrust Harry cried out for more, and harder, and faster, and Loki gave him everything he asked for with pleasure. Harry came into his own hand first, from the press of Loki's cock against his prostate and Loki's teeth against Ansuz. When Loki came within him, something burned upon his back. It was an 'X', though one of its legs was wavy instead of straight, and it marked his skin upon the base of his back, dipping between the cheeks of his arse to where Loki had joined to him. Gebo, the rune of uniting and merging. Loki traced his fingers over it reverently, once he had separated their bodies and cleaned up the mess.
"It is a sign," Loki murmured softly, holding Harry against his chest. "Frigga smiles upon our union."
"Does that mean we're married now by Asgardian standards as well?" Harry asked, genuinely curious. Frigga presided over all marriages on Asgard, she blessed them with prosperity and happiness and fertility, and while Harry hadn't had need of her blessing before now, it wasn't something he'd throw back in her face either. She had seemed like a nice woman, if a little soft in allowing her husband to make all of her decisions for her.
"Yes," Loki told him happily.
"Suppose we'll have to change Aric's surname to 'Lokison' now."
"You would do that?" The pale god seemed so surprised, and a flush rose up to his cheeks as Harry laughed at him.
"We generally pass down the parent's surname on earth, but well, he's your son too. And if he's welcome in Asgard, then he should have a traditional Asgardian surname. If you want, that is."
"Yes. Please." They came together a second time then, celebrating their union under Frigga with a union of their own; of bodies, sweat and seed. After they had climaxed in each other's arms once more, Loki sweating and Harry hoarse from screaming, the Asgardian drew his husband close to his side, his hand instinctively tracing over the flat stomach in hope. "I suppose," he murmured once he was able to breathe easily again, "I should be thankful to Thor for ruining my plans. If he had not destroyed the bifrost, I would not have fallen. I would not be here."
Harry smiled softly. He thought about how he had imagined Thor being banished and landing on his doorstep and how great he had thought it would be, because Thor would have gotten Loki for him somehow. But this? Having Loki fall into his arms instead, landing practically on his doorstep, on today of all days, it was better than any of his dreams or fantasies, it was more than Harry could have dared to hope for. Thor had been a little creepy and a lot overzealous, but he was a good man who had meant well for the most part, at least where Harry was concerned. Harry didn't like how Thor thought he could take what belonged to Loki, nor how uncaring he had been of Loki's pain at Thor's attraction to Harry, but despite that, it had been Thor's actions which had led them here. So yes, Harry supposed, they owed Thor a lot.
Not that Loki would ever let Thor know, of course. He was still angry at his not-brother, and his not-father, and their lies and their plots and the pain they had caused him, but in time he would understand. Harry would help him understand why it had all been necessary, and how everything that had happened to him, to them, had made them who they are today. And what they were 'today' was together and happy and in love.
Five weeks later, Harry fell pregnant.
It would be another boy. Together Harry and Loki had decided to name him Thorer Annar,8 after Thor, whose actions had unintentionally led them back to one another. Back home.
I'm going with the original view that Loki had green eyes, rather than the movie, where Tom Hiddleston (though gorgeous and amazing) has blue eyes.
1 – Magiker: meaning Magician in Norwegian.
2 – Veiviser: meaning Wizard in Norwegian.
3 – Omgás: meaning Consort, etc.
4 – Skjøge: meaning whore.
5 – I kept writing Midgar… Final Fantasy crossovers, anyone?
6 – I was informed that babies could survive between five to fifteen minutes in the womb before suffocating if the mother has died once they've reached the stage that they could survive independently of the womb as well.
7 – Aric: eternal ruler. Frey: Lord/one who is foremost.
8 – Thorer: Thor's Warrior. Annar: the second. All of them are Norse names for boys.
That turned out to be a lot longer than I had originally anticipated, this time last year, when I thought of the idea after watching "Thor" in the cinema twice! But I enjoyed it, and I hope you all will too. Please let me know what you think, or leave a smiley face and I'll pass them onto Loki… and then get to work on my Avengers crossover!