Loki was a realist.

Perhaps 'realist' wasn't as accurate as possible. He was more of an accepting type of person than a realist. Because he did dream, he had aspirations and fantasies and imagined futures where he was king. He just understood his place, and rather than deciding that was his lot in life and being content with that, like a realist, he looked for ways to ascend and be more than just that.

There was once that a formal banquet was to occur, and the seats were prearranged beforehand, as formal banquets always were. Odin sat at the head, with Frigga at his left and their esteemed guests filling in the right side. Thor sat beside Frigga, and Loki beside him, as both were children and couldn't sit at their father's right hand just yet.

Loki was entering his seventh year, a lean, pale, fragile child who warranted treatment accordingly. He was quite pampered, yes, but he was also very much sheltered and coddled, to his dismay. However, for the first time at that banquet, he tested the odd sort of defense his fragility lent him.

Disgruntled at not being permitted to sit at his rightful place, his father's side, because of his youth, and further angered by being put at the end of the line after Thor, Loki stole into the banquet room barely an hour before the banquet. He made it moments after the table and chairs were set up, and had only minutes before the room would no longer be empty. Dashing in, he slid beneath the chair at Odin's right hand.

One of his small daggers was produced from within his vest, and he used it to sever select struts beneath the chair. It was an ornate, obstinately complex thing, with an odd base with many seeming 'branches' holding it up. Loki made his choice cuts thoughtfully and quickly, before emerging and leaving the room with an easy, confident smile.

He gasped and fretted with the others when the honored guest broke through his chair and landed crash on the ground, bottom-first, in a rather humiliating manner. Internally, he laughed and enjoyed that pulse of adrenaline that comes with pulling off a trick flawlessly. It was the beginning of a long career.

This prank became a bit of a tradition with him. He played it out for years- every time a banquet came, he sabotaged the chair. It became a game, more thrilling each year as precautions were taken that he had to worm his way through- the chair was replaced seconds before the guest arrived, or the seat was made of reinforced stone, or the banquet hall was heavily guarded before the banquet.

But still, that damned right-hand seat broke.

It became a large rumor- people spoke that Odin's right hand was cursed. Loki subtly intervened, changing the rumor with a masterful delicacy so it couldn't be traced back to him, or any single person. Eventually, everyone (Odin included!) believed that the right hand would only weather one of Odin's sons.

This heist was one of Loki's first and most fondly remembered.