See chapter one for warnings and summaries.
PREVIOUSLY: Loki decides to hide on Midguard, in Hogwarts, with his children. On the way of putting together the necessary provisions, Loki spies little Harry Potter getting ready for his first semester and kills DADA Professor Quirrell, by accident. He then takes Quirrell's place under the guise of Lori Aldricson, a female DADA professor. The children are then sorted at the welcoming feast. Hela to Ravenclaw, Seth to Hufflepuff, Joren to Slytherin and Fenrir to Gryffindor.
NOTE: Luna is a second-year, for this fic.
Bedtime is curiously troublesome affair.
Lori drags herself to her lonely quarters to sit brooding in a chair by the flickering fireplace. She knows she is brooding and understands that the cause of it is the absence of her children. She is not sure she will like tonight. Not after the closeness she shared with them the night before. It generally does not bother her to be in her female form, but today it seems as if it is making her more sentimental than she has the time for. At present, she dearly wishes to swap genders for the role that she has been more accustomed to during the course of her life up to the present.
It does not change the fact that she is their parent—mother, father—parent.
Pushing away such irritating thoughts, Lori attempts to focus her weary mind on things for the trying day that is sure to be ahead of her. She wishes that there was more she could do, but in the same breath, she does not wish to smother her children. She wishes them to have the freedoms that she never had and she knows that she must learn to give them the space they will need to grow into their own lives.
The very thought makes her chest ache. Isn't that what Odin and Frigga had done? Given him all the space in the world to grow up? If it hadn't been for Thor's somewhat clingy nature during their younger, formative years, she knows that she surely would have grown up to be quite alone and perhaps less inclined to think so kindly of her own offspring. There are many stories between her and Thor, stories that are happy, sad and twisted, all at the same time. No sibling should ever have to parent another, but Lori knows that she has done this for Thor and he for her, in the absence of their all-knowing parents, who were too busy to spare the time to mind their own children.
It is only because of the few heart-wrenching, stomach-twisting moments of stark injustice in her life that she simply knows. She knew enough to decide that when—not if—she had the chance to bring children into this world, she would do her absolute best to ensure that they never turned out to be such wretched, dark failures like her.
Never ever like her.
But somehow they have—except they have taken what few good traits were her own, multiplying them in such a way that she can only feel overwhelming pride. Somehow, her darkness has not tainted them.
The thoughts grow depressing enough that Lori scowls and forcefully directs herself elsewhere for the second time that night. She needs to pull herself together and by Odin—ha!—she will. Tonight is not a night for brooding.
It will not be a night for brooding. She knows her children have nightmares. Her own night terrors will last her several lifetimes over, but these are her children and she will do all that she can to give them the peace that she cannot claim herself. Last night she was careful to pull such unpleasant dreams into herself to grant them the first peaceful slumber they have had in decades.
The results were tear-worthy in the calm, relaxed manner they all had for that morning. The way they had all talked and laughed with each other, the tentative happiness in the air. All of these are signs of a well-rested night.
Tonight will be difficult in many ways.
It troubles her to the point where she reaches into one of her space-pockets to drag out her scrying bowl. She cannot be with them all tonight, but she is a god. Sleep is not required. She can surely spend a night watching over her children in the only way that she can without physically being there for them.
Hela is first, because Lori knows that she will need to check on her twice, at least. Her daughter is a prickly handful when she is cautious and sometimes it is painfully obvious. Tonight seems like it will be that kind of night.
She is also haunted by the kinds of horrors that Lori herself has no stomach to relieve. Hela is the queen of the underworld, sometimes she must review the cases that approach her. It is a thankless, necessary job and under that oath of responsibility, there are duties she must fulfill. Relieve deaths of children, innocents and poor lost souls that have wandered into her care. Pass judgment on those who need no more sorrows in this final stage of life. Destroy those who have darkened the face of humanity with their wretched existence. Yes. Many things.
Lori knows that only someone with Hela's black and white view of the world could ever review those cases so solemnly and gather them beneath her protection ever so tenderly. For with all that she is and all the horrors that she has seen and will see, Hela is fair.
Lori is proud of her only daughter, even if she knows not yet how to tell her such serious things. It pleases her to see that Hela is alright—mostly.
Watching from her bowl, Lori smiles when she sees the irritated tic at the side of Hela's left temple. That is good, because it means that her darling daughter now knows she is being watched. Of course, Lori knows how to scry without leaving an imprint, but she also knows that her children will appreciate the feeling of closeness that comes with this personal touch.
Even though Hela scowls through her Head of House's welcoming speech and the necessary introduction of their respective prefects, she does turn to a shadowed corner at some point and allows a glimmer of light to show through the single eye that her elaborate mask does not cover.
Lori cherishes that simple gesture as the silent admission it is and leaves her little princess to a semblance of privacy to completely her nightly toilette. Her sons are now objects of interest and Lori settles in to be amused.
She is not the least bit disappointed as she watches Seth be swamped by his new housemates, the girls smiling at him in pure adoration—for his good looks, of course, Lori thinks, smugly. Of course Seth is handsome, she would not have simply let any Stallion bed her and of course, it isn't as if she is about to tell anyone that the handsome stallion was an equally handsome shapeshifter. They are all welcome to think the worst. Lori's only concern is their brilliant and beautiful child, who has obviously inherited his father's talent for shapeshifting.
Lori hides her smiles as Seth blushes furiously and attempts to answer some of the questions that besiege him. She shares his relief when he is allowed to retire to his room for the night. When he reaches out to her—in mind and magic, she pushes out the softest, gentlest waves of warmth that she can, skimming it over his forehead, tidying up his mind, so he will have pleasant dreams that night.
Perhaps she will visit him in his dreams later.
She can feel the smile in his magic when he gently acknowledges her presence, then withdraws for his own nightly routine.
Lori understands and so she moves on to Fenrir.
Fenrir seems to have been adopted by three redheads, a bushy-haired witch and that lovely green-eyed waif of a child that has stolen Lori's heart. He is careful with them all as if he is more aware of the wolf inside of him than the wizard-vessel that he is now.
Lori smiles as she realizes this. Fenrir, for all his bulk and brawn, can be a tender, gentle giant. She watches as he is sorted into the appropriate dorm room and waits with him until he settles beneath the covers.
She can feel his restlessness and understands that the dorm is too small, too closed and too confined. She gently nudges him in the direction of the common room. She also tells him the necessary spell that will allow him to sneak out and sleep in front of the fireplace, away from the snores of his fellow roommates and without triggering the prickly temper of his head of house.
Fenrir thanks her with a jumble of happy, bright memories—the only happy memories he has—of when she came to visit him. She pushes her magic as deeply into him as she can, wishing him pleasant dreams and restful sleep.
Now it is Joren's turn and Lori hates to admit that she is quite curious as to how this will work out. She knows that the house of the snakes is quite different from that of the lions, the ravens and the badgers. She is very, very curious to see how this will work out.
What she's seen of the dark-haired, sour-faced wizard is bound to be amusing, if not downright entertaining. Lori also wants to know he'll be fair to her Joren. If he isn't, then the piper must be paid.
Her worries are only half-way founded, for the Slytherins have very closed ranks among them and as a first-year, Joren fits right on in with the others. He seems to have found friends or at least, he is with a trio that does not seem inclined to dislike him on principle.
Their names are Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott. Lori tucks the names away for future reference and watches as Blaise shares pieces of a snitched tart from the dinner table and Theodore makes sure that Joren has a piece.
It is a scene that warms her heart, just barely, and Lori now listens up as the intimidating form of Severus Snape lectures his newest snakes into submission. His voice is soft as velvet and dark as night, his eyes, a piercing black—demand that they listen to what he is saying and bring nothing but praise to the house of Slytherin.
Lori thinks this is quite an advanced speech for supposed eleven-year-olds, but it is not her place to say. She watches instead, as he emphatically reminds them of the importance of house unity and Slytherin loyalty. It reassures her somewhat, because Joren's appearance alone is cause enough for more than mere curiosity.
She reminds herself to keep a closer eye on her serpentine child and mentally sends him a bundle of nighttime wishes. He is happy and cheerful, beneath his stoic mask, glad to know that she has visited him before sleep will come.
Her heart aches to watch him curl into a small corner of his bed, making a nest out of the coverlet and fat pillow. She watches him settle in and casts her own protective magic atop that of the dream-magic for restful sleep. She will not see him disturbed.
By the time Lori circles back to Hela, her darling dark princess is fitfully tossing and turning, her hands tangled in sweaty sheets, her mind halfway borne back to the realm that she must rule. Lori feels the ache a bit sharper now and she steps through the scrying bowl to stand beside her daughter's bed.
She knew this would happen.
A/N: I might switch to shorter chapters so I can have more frequent updates, because my Muse is a bit stretched thin at the moment and I really don't want to wait forever between chapters. LOL. Happy Loki Day! (april fools!) XD I thought a new chapter would be a fitting present. Welcome to the new readers and lurkers. I appreciate the support for this fic. Thanks for reading and reviewing.