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The five of them had gathered to hear what Dumbledore would say to Odin's questioning, but Rayna, not expecting much, had asked Frigga for something to draw with and was soon drawing a picture of Voldemort, as she had promised Heimdel, listening with half a ear as she did so. She was shocked from her drawing for a moment when she heard the voice of Minister Fudge but in.
"Now see here man! I demand to talk to Rayna Potter at once! Her account is needed to discover where Black is hiding!"
"You are in no position to make demands of me, mortal." Odin said, his tone hardening and eye narrowing. "Who are you? Why should I pay you any mind while I am here to speak with the Headmaster of Hogwarts? Unless I was mistaken and you are he."
"I am Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic! As such, it is my right to know of the goings on in my country! Especially matters pertaining to dangerous psychopaths such as Sirius Black!"
"Sirius is innocent!" Rayna almost yelled, standing up and walking to stand behind Odin's shoulder so she could look into the mirror too. "It wasn't him! It was Voldemort, he's back!"
"He's not back! It's impossible. You have been confounded again Miss Potter." Fudge insisted.
"Why would he do that, and let me get away, instead of just killing me? No. Sirius is innocent. And Voldemort is back. If you don't face facts then more innocent people are going to die and the blood will be on your hands due to your ineptitude. Mass Murderers don't just confound their prisoners and let them go!"
"Then the torture has gone to your head! He's not back!"
"Oh you damned idiot!" Rayna cried out.
Frigga pulled her to one side, to get her to calm down, knowing that Odin could handle the situation easily enough. Rayna shook ever so slightly from anger as she sat back down, her grandmother beside her. She continued her drawing and when she was done, pushed it to Frigga who frowned at the sight of it. The question on her face was obvious, so Rayna quickly wrote the name 'Lord Voldemort' beneath the face she had drawn.
Frigga nodded. They didn't speak as they were still listening to Odin and Dumbledore trying to talk sense into Fudge. It looked as if Loki and Thor had a few choice words to say to the minister as well. Then, Fudge stormed from the room, if the silence followed by the sound of a slamming door was anything to go by.
"And he is the leader of your people?" Odin asked incredulously. "He cannot even acknowledge that a threat to his people exists."
"Cornelius is a peace time minister. He knows that if it comes to war, his career will come to an end. And that is something he does not want." Dumbledore said.
"It has come to my attention that my granddaughter's safety has been compromised several times while she's been under your protection. May I ask why that would be?"
"She does seem to attract more trouble than the average teenager, and it is something I regret each time it happens." Dumbledore sighed regretfully. "Unfortunately, I believe that I may hold some of the blame there. My vigilance seems to be slipping in my old age."
Odin launched into what seemed to Rayna to be a full length interrogation of the ageing headmaster. When he was done he ended the conversation and handed the mirror to Rayna. "Thank you Rayna. I believe that is all I needed to ask Professor Dumbledore. If you could return the mirror to where you hide it."
Rayna nodded. "Alright." She stood and left the room, and headed straight back for her bedroom. When she was gone, Loki broke the silence.
"Something was wrong with that mortal."
"That I noticed." Odin said. "He hid it well, but something was off in his attitude towards Rayna and the man who murdered Ingrid. What it is, however, is another matter entirely."
"Someone would have to be closer to figure out his true intentions- no. No way! She's only just come home, and there's still danger to her there!" Loki growled, realising which path Odin would take on this matter.
"I realise that." Odin said. "But the only way to get him to reveal his plans might be to place Rayna within his reach. Whatever his plans may be."
"No!" Frigga protested. "We cannot use her like this."
"Father, mother is right. Does Rayna not deserve peace after what she has been through?" Thor asked.
"I am not suggesting we send her back alone. You and Loki will accompany her, along with Lady Sif and the Warriors Three."
"I've only just started teaching her magic that does not need a wand." Loki said. "And we haven't even begun to teach her how to defend herself without magic! She isn't ready."
"Then begin teaching her how to defend herself tomorrow. And as I said, it will not be as if she will be going unprotected. And you can continue to train her on Midgard can you not? If he has any plans that could affect Rayna in any negative way, they must be found out and stopped. Even if we kept her out of his reach, he would still try something. We need to know what."
"But like you said, she is out of his, and Voldemort's, reach here. She is safe. Why do we need to worry what this mortal's plans are?" Frigga asked.
"He may be trying to commit a crime against Asgard." Odin said. "A crime against our family. I want to know what that is and why he believes he can get away with it."
This was an issue on which he wouldn't budge, they knew. So, they would have to do whatever they could in order to protect Rayna in a dangerous situation.
"Then we will begin her training tomorrow morning." Thor said. "But I do not like this."
"Neither do I." Odin said. "But it must be done. Tell her nothing of this for now. I will tell her myself in a few days."
"We know nothing of the dangers to her there. What little we do know is from what little Rayna has told us." Loki pointed out. "We cannot protect her properly if we do not know the full extent of the danger she has been under in the past."
"Then we will get her to tell us the rest of the story. I doubt that she will expect the trip to Midgard to come without a price. She trusts Dumbledore, that much is obvious. We cannot tell her what we suspect. She will not believe us. Not yet at least."
"So, we say that in exchange for letting her continue attending Hogwarts she tells us of her past? Don't you think she should be allowed to do that in her own time? When she is ready?" Frigga asked, frowning deeply.
"I do believe the mortal phrase is to 'kill two birds with one stone." Odin said.
"Mother is right. She should be able to tell us in her own time. To push her into it may have negative side effects." Loki said, and Thor nodded in agreement.
"But then we will not know the extent of the danger she's in." Odin said. "To understand those who put her in danger, and to protect her from further harm in a dangerous place, we need to know what she has been through there."
Reluctantly, they agreed and Thor and Loki left the room. Loki turned towards Rayna's room. "Loki, where are you going?"
"To tell Rayna that tomorrow she will begin her defence training so that she doesn't rely on her magic." He replied. "And then to the armoury so they can begin crafting her own armour and a weapon. I think a pair of hunting knives would be best for her. For now at least. She does not have the strength to wield a sword yet."
"Then you go inform Rayna. I will go to the armoury. It will be done quicker that way."
Loki nodded in agreement and they went their separate ways. When he reached her room, he knocked on the door. When she said for him to come in, he entered and saw her sat on the sofa reading the book on runes that he had given her. She looked exhausted, and the light from the fire only helped to accentuate the shadows under her eyes.
"You look exhausted Rayna. You won't take much in unless you sleep."
"I know." She said, closing the book and looking into the fire. "It's just… I don't want to face those dreams, but I know I have to."
"It would be easy for me to get a dreamless sleep potion from Eir for you, if you want it." He said, sitting down beside her.
She sighed and shook her head. "I need to get through these dreams. Otherwise, they'll just come back at a later time."
He nodded. At least she was accepting what was happening and trying to move on. That would help speed up the healing process. "I know you don't want to sleep, but you need to get your rest. You start your physical training in the morning."
She nodded but made no move to go into her bedroom.
"Are you sure you don't want that potion, even for just tonight?"
"If I start… I don't think I'll stop. Goodnight Loki." She quickly turned and hugged him.
"Goodnight, Rayna." He said, returning the hug.
She stood and walked into her bedroom, and he left the room and headed for his own chambers.
A/N: Please review!