This is a prompt from Norsekink on Livejournal, made by theta2serpentis:
AU: Loki overhears Sif's conclusion, having stopped outside the door, and therefore after Frigga makes him King (until Daddy wakes up) Loki concludes that the friends who he might have made trusted advisors cannot fulfill that role for him and that only Loki can advise Loki.
However, he's also aware that he's having trouble with the debate and contradictory feelings and thoughts he's having, so instead of slouching on the throne sulking and making cunning plans that are bound to crash and burn, he casts a spell.
Where previously he was alone in the throne room (save for two guards) he now has a group of his clone/dopplegangers around ...only this spell is specifically meantto help resolve internal conflict by giving the different sides/aspects of the person each a voice and letting them debate in front of the person having trouble.
At first Loki thinks it should be a quick debate. Only a few of the dopplegangers don't look like him (the little blue infant crawling around the floor is obviouslyhis Jotunn nature, the female Loki is probably his parenting instinct or his intrest in magic, or both, and the little boy version of him is probably his sense of mischeif or his desire to be loved) and he has to tell the rest apart by how they behave.
...turns out Loki's a heck of a lot more internally conflicted than he thought, so it's probably a good thing that Loki forgot to send the guards away; two outside opinions weren't originally welcome, but are surprisingly helpful.
It's not a spell really. Well, it is, in the end, but the principal of it is until the application just a theory. The basic idea that one is not whole but made out of many. Once, long ago, when he first learned to make illusions, he searched for a way to make clones – representatives of himself that, for a period of time, could walk and talk and act as him – perfect copies. He found the subject to be well researched if not widely practiced. There were many possibilities – some more dangerous than others and all varied in their appliance. Most often he used a quite simple spell that allowed the clones to be just extensions of himself – under his complete control and with a direct feedback to him at all times. This meant of course that he had to split his attention somewhat and under duress it could show or break. At the same time there were ways of making his copies more sentient than that – separate and self-sustaining but also – to Loki's frustration – somewhat uncontrollable.
Today of all days, he needed these clones. Today – when he sat on the golden throne for the first time and his sight – always sharp – now perceived all of Nine Realms – he needed help. There was no one left who he could trust or so he felt. A part of him feared that he was becoming too paranoid and a part of him felt that it was most justified and that he was completely alone. But he didn't have to be, after all, Loki would always have Loki to rely on.
Everyone – every arse licker and shoe scraper – had been ordered out and he was alone at last in the throne room, save for a few guards. Them he could not dismiss, it would be noticeable. He knew them – they were Önundr and Líkbjörn – both good guards and discreet men. At the same time, what he was about to do would also set some tongues wagging if more eyes were to be seeing. But he had little choice but to keep them in the room and aware because cloaking the room not only from Heimdallr so that he would not notice but from two people inside the room as well with the clones up and running at the same time would be almost impossible.
"Önundr! Líkbjörn!" the guards straitened even more as he called them and marched forward. "Lock the doors! It would be best if no one walks in on this." He doesn't say what this is but the guards don't hesitate to obey. As they are turned Loki casts the spell.
There are six clones, this time, more splits of his personality: first is an old man – weary, paranoid and angry; second is a maiden – beautiful, flirty and clever; third is an infant – blue, tiny and scared; fourth is a warrior – tricky, proud and honourable; fifth is a mother – patient, loving and strong; the sixth is a boy – quick, trusting and mischievous; all of them liars, thieves and deceivers – all of them him. Loki is apprehensive of them – he has no control over them – they are him but they are separate and will speak their mind. Scary thought that. All together there are seven of them – a highly interesting number, magically thinking.
For a moment everyone stands still. Loki sits on the throne and looks down at them while others look up at him. Then the Infant wails – he has quite the pair of lungs – the Warrior picks him up and silently hands him over to the Mother – she takes him without question and the child quiets down to whimpering. Loki stands from the throne and walks down from the dais to sit on the lower steps, he removes the helmet – now his crown – and looks at it – the glint of metal is almost accusing to his eyes. The Old Man crumbles under his breath and sits as well, others follow. It's somewhat disturbing that the Maiden is trying to catch the Warriors eye in a suggestive manner or that the Mother is so taken with the Infant, only the Old Man trying to swat the Boy with his cane makes somewhat of a sense. With the appearance of the clones Loki feels almost empty, like the clones were carrying all his emotions and he was left blank and clean. Loki liked the feeling for it was a short reprieve.
Önundr and Líkbjörn look baffled. To them they are not clearly aspects of Loki. Two are women and two children one of which is Jötunn. They step closer cautiously but Loki ignores them. He can't explain this even to himself, he can only hope that the two guards will roll with it. He pays them no mind.
Loki clears his throat and says, "For the time being, you are to be my advisors! I can trust no one but myself." Saying it out loud makes it all the more real and he feels the cold creeping up his spine – like someone is watching and yet no one is – even Heimdallr can't see him now. He has their complete attention, even the Infant seems to be trying to look at him but Loki doesn't want to look back, doesn't want to linger on the blue or the fear.
With a sigh he continues, "Thor is gone, banished, as you know. The Warriors Three and the Lady Sif are on their way to bringing him back," he sighs, "What should I do?"
The Boy is first to speak, "Thor should come back! We don't want the throne. We love Thor." He sounds so trusting and earnest. Loki is surprised that any of that has still survived in him.
The Warrior grumbles under his breath yet still audible, "Traitors." He looks disgusted and doesn't bother to hide it.
The Old Man follows him, "Kill the lot of them!" he sounds deranged, "Kill them before they kill us!"
The Maiden, "No! They could still be useful – the dead are rarely useful."
"Shh!" the Mother silences them, the loud noise has made the Infant fussy again and for a moment they all wait for her to get him quiet again, then she says, "We are angry at them but we don't need them dead. Killing them will create more problems than it will solve, surely." She is right, Loki knows this, the rest do too and they nod. He knows that the anger in him calling for Thor's blood is irrational and uncalled for – Thor doesn't deserve death at his brother's hands – but the urge is still there and he can see it mirrored in the Old Man and the Warrior, yet they stay quiet.
The Warrior rises from his seat and paces, the rest follow him with their eyes, he says: "Heimdallr will let them pass? Then he is a traitor too. We must remove him; we need someone we can trust to be on the bridge!" Some blood will be spilled on this day.
"Heimdallr is popular, removal of him will reflect badly on me. And who do I trust in his place?" Loki knows that Heimdallr must go, fast, if he is not loyal to the throne – to Loki – then he must be replaced.
"We aren't popular regardless what we do. If his replacement can't be trustworthy then let him be stupid and politically useful," the Mother has the voice of reason and before Loki can say anything the Old Man says: "Baldr. He is as useless as he is loved."
Indeed, Baldr, Loki runs the possible scenarios through his head. Baldr is popular and no ally of Loki's, naming him will seem as a neutral move and will lessen the blow of Heimdallr's removal. And if the sight should happen to be too much for Baldr – well, isn't that just most unfortunate.
"Can we trust the Royal Guard?" the Warrior turns and suddenly addresses the two men hovering at the edge of the group. They immediately jump to salute him. Líkbjörn is the one to answer: "My Lord, the guards are loyal to the throne! We will follow King Loki to death!" He is sincere. Loki would feel the lie, like he feels every lie uttered in his presence. A weight he didn't know that was there lifts from his chest. "And you speak for all of the guard?" before either of them can answer Loki rephrases his question: "How does the majority of the guard feel about Thor's banishment and my regency?" Loki stands to face them, he doesn't pose intimidatingly as the Warrior and the rest stay seated but it is clear that he is in charge.
"The prince's banishment is still a fresh shock, so is your regency, Your Highness. That being said, the loyalty of the Royal Guard will not waver. We are yours to command!"
Not quite the answer Loki was hoping for but honest none the less.
"I will need the Guard to arrest Heimdallr." Both men snap a salute and acknowledge the order.
"They can all stay on Midgard. The Warriors Three and Sif don't possess the power to return without the Bifröst," the Maiden is right. Only Thor could return to Asgard with hardship and in possession of Mjölnir without the bridge and only if Asgard was seriously threatened, when she was calling – this will not happen.
The seven of them nod. So it shall be. Heimdallr will be replaced with Baldr, who will be under orders to keep the bridge closed. Thor will stay banished along with his friends, let them rot.
"What of the Jötunn?" Loki's question is quiet but the Infant wails and Loki feels the dread settle deep in him. All of them shift uncomfortably and look at the Infant. For a second all of them are blue and red-eyed and Loki feels like vomiting.
The Boy has shifted closer to the Warrior and the Mother, he seems scared. It's the Warrior that speaks up: "Let's be practical! Odin managed to save off open war with Thor's banishment. We can weep and cower over our own misfortune later, for now – Asgard needs us!" He sounds almost like Thor – Loki doesn't like that.
The Old Man stands up, his spine cracks, and he says: "Laufey would risk war only if he believed Asgard weak. Thor gone, Odin asleep and us on a throne could seem as the perfect timing."
"Then we need a show of strength!" The Warrior and the Old Man lock eyes, "Something clever." "Something not so subtle." "Something unmistakable." "When was the last time we had a full mobilisation?" They spit sentences between each other rapidly, Loki has no trouble following the thoughts but from the corner of his eye he sees the guards looking almost pained by trying to catch up.
"Well now boys, if there's going to be a lot of sweaty men in one place, we might as well have a tournament," the Maiden sounds almost idle, she stretches her legs and her pose is most provocative. Loki is almost disgusted with himself acting such but the thought has merit. He notices both guards running their eyes appreciatively up her body, she is fine indeed and a part of Loki is flattered, another part of him wants to smack them. His face remains impassive.
A full mobilisation would take time but would also mean that Loki is ready for battle. He would lead the army through a number of military games and manoeuvres, for some of them he will even invite foreign dignitaries and some will be open to public. Æsir ever do so love their fighting. And if the Jötunn still feel like attacking Loki will have the army at the ready.
"It would be for the best, if none discover our heritage as of yet," the Mother cradles the Infant gently but her eyes are firm, "Our own nature needs some further study."
Loki nods. Yes. Asgard heeds him, needs him to be strong and not freak out because of personal problems. The betrayal of his parents must be set aside. He will be just too busy to visit Odin.
The clones fade away. They are there when he needs them again; the spell is not dismissed, just no longer active.
Loki sits on the throne again, he picks up Gungnir and straightens up and calls forth the guards again. First he will arrest Haimdallr and by the nightfall the order for the mobilisation will be sent out. If he can hold himself together until Odin wakes up, all might even work out.