Hi! This chapter is a bit longer than the previous ones. In the comics, Loki lives in his own tower outside the palace, so I thought to introduce it in here.
Also, Frigga is not Thor's biological mother. His mother is Jord, also known as Gaea, the Mother Earth.
They gave Loki a huge bedroom, with a large bed, a sumptuous restroom and expensive clothing. The guards and the attendants had been polite, along with the rest of the court. But they hated him. Loki could see the distrust and aversion hidden behind their soft words and smiles.
Loki's chamber was in a tower with no other rooms and two guards on the front door to protect him from any assailant. He had been told that was just temporary until the ceremony in which he would become an official member of the Odinson family, but they didn't explain what that ceremony was.
No one in Asgard approved Odin's decision to adopt him. They would never accept it, despite what the All-Father had said.
"My people may seem shaken and unwelcoming for a while, Loki" Odin told when he showed him his new chambers. "It will change. They will grow into loving you, as long as we're willing to love them."
The boy thought if the All-Father was trying to convince him or himself. Maybe he was just lying.
The one person who was voicing his true feelings about Loki was Thor, Odin's pride and joy and passionate Jotun hater. The stupid blond had moaned about Loki nonstop with the same arguments.
"He's a Jotun."
"I don't want him to be my brother."
"He's a Jotun."
"He doesn't look like us."
"He's a Jotun."
"He's the son of Asgard's enemy."
"He's a Jotun."
It took every bit of Loki's patience to ignore him, but the dumb blondie kept talking to Odin like he wasn't even there. He hated him! Hated him! Hated him! And he hated all those Asgardian idiots who kept looking at him like he was trash! Damn them all! He didn't need them! He didn't need anybody!
All alone in his new bedroom, Loki took his clothes until he was only dressed with a simple tunic, opened the big window and sat by it. He couldn't stand the heat and the breeze of the night felt really good against his skin. He really couldn't understand how these people could stand the heat. Frost Giants were repelled by heat and fire, it was their greatest weakness. It was said that if a Jotun got burned, he would melt like ice until he disappeared.
As he stared at the torch on his room, Loki moved quickly and put down the fire. Now the only light came from the full moon and the stars above him.
"I don't belong here" Loki thought, sitting by the open window and listening to the people talking outside. "I should have run. I should have stayed in Jotunheim. I don't want to be here."
In the privacy of his room, the Jotun child buried his face in his knees and cried himself to sleep.
Thor was expecting to find the Jotun eating breakfast with his parents. He wasn't going to give up until his father realized his mistake and took him back to Jotunheim, so he burst into the dining hall with a whole speech prepared. However, the Jotun wasn't there.
Odin explained that Loki didn't feel comfortable with the stares, so he had asked to eat in his chambers. The king agreed for now, but said he was going to eat with them soon. Thor almost felt disappointed. He was ready to teach that intruder a lesson, but the dumb Jotun didn't leave his bedroom all day. He was probably afraid of them, like a coward.
"I heard the rumors" one of the boys in his sword training said.
"Your father brought a baby Jotun to be your pet. That's what everyone is saying."
The blond prince pouted and swung his sword. "He's not my pet. Why would I want a Jotun pet?"
Thor and Dagur, the boy's name, continued sword fighting for a while until Dagur went on.
"Then… is the other story true?" the red-head boy asked. "That the All-Father brought the Jotun to adopt him?"
"Father doesn't know what he is doing" Thor cried out in anger.
Dagur gaped, completely baffled. Around them, more boys had stopped their sparring and listened to the story they had heard their parents argue about.
"You mean it is true?" Dagur asked. "Your father adopted a Jotun?"
"Yes… unfortunately" Thor mumbled. "But he'll come around! That Jotun is going back to Jotunheim, trust me!"
"So is it here? In Asgard?" another voice asked.
Thor recognized Kerr's bulky figure walking towards him with a solemn expression in his eyes. It took him a few seconds to remember that Kerr's father never returned from Jotunheim because he had died in battle.
"Yes" Thor answered. "Father gave him a chamber and everything."
Thor admired and envied Kerr's strength, who Hogun the Grim had called the fiercest student in his generation. The young prince was determined to beat him in battle and spend time with him and his friends, but they were all around thirteen years old and never talked to the little kids, not even the son of Odin. Until now.
"So is everything true?" Kerr asked. "The Jotun is Laufey's son?"
"Yes" Thor answered.
All the boys seemed very surprised and excited by this. All of them had heard about the battles against the Frost Giants, but they had never seen one, let alone their leader's offspring.
"He's on that tower" the blond point out to his excited classmates. "He doesn't look very powerful. Actually, Loki is really small."
"What is a Loki?" another boy asked.
"It's his name."
Kerr's eyes were fixed on the tower and though his expression was calm, his gazed was filled with hatred just imagining that the cub of the monster that killed his father was so close.
"Can you take us there, Thor?" Kerr asked. "Can you show us the Jotun?"
Thor blinked with surprise, but soon all the other boys were asking him to let them see the Jotun. The prince didn't take long to tell them yes. It wasn't everyday that they could see a real Frost Giant and, even if Loki was small, Thor knew they would be excited. Besides, they were his friends, or potential friends like Kerr, and all they wanted was to see him. What was the harm in that?
Loki was bored. He didn't have anything to do in his solitary tower, so he slept by the window most of the day. Two attendants had brought him his breakfast and his lunch and he left the empty trails outside his door.
He had been so hungry that he made a huge mess with the food. When he finished, he honestly felt ashamed for behaving like a barbarian, so he cleaned everything and swore to himself that he was going to become more civilized. He didn't want to give the Asgardians any more reasons to look down on him.
Loki didn't mind being alone. He was used to it and he liked it. The problem was that he didn't feel comfortable enough to leave the tower and explore the city. He hated the people's stares and he was sure that if they caught him alone they would kill him on the spot.
No. He was safe in his tower. That's what he was thinking when he heard footsteps and raised voices from the stairs.
Loki was about to close his door with the key, but it swung open before he could reach it. To his horror, there were several kids staring at him. They seemed surprised at first, but then they started laughing and pointing.
"Is that it? That's the Jotun?"
"It looks like a blue midget!"
"Hel! It's really ugly! Look at its dumb face!"
Loki backed up until his back slammed against the wall. The boys took this opportunity to walk into his room and surround the terrified Jotun. Most of them wanted to see him and taunt him, while others, like Kerr, had murder in their eyes.
"Is it a male or a female? I heard the females are the ugliest!"
"Then it's definitely a female! A Jotun bitch" Kerr said, grabbing Loki's tunic. "Let's check it out!"
Loki kicked and scratched, but Kerr was a lot bigger and stronger, so he slammed the Jotun against the ground and ripped off his tunic, leaving the child completely naked.
"Look! It's a male… barely! They're so small! My baby brother's are bigger!" another boy scorned, as his peers laughed at the humiliated Jotun.
Loki tried to fight back, but Kerr tossed him against the wall and he skinned his head. His blood ran down his face and mixed with his tears of shame and anger as he started sobbing.
"Kerr, I think that's enough! You're hurting him! You said you only wanted to see him."
Loki saw Thor pushing the other boys to get closer and he finally understood. Thor had brought them there to see "the Jotun", like he was some sort of animal in display.
Thor felt a shiver down his spine. It had been his fault. He had led the boys to his room, but the blond never thought they would hurt him or humiliate him like this.
"Kerr, stop!" Thor yelled, trying to reach the older boy. "Stop, this isn't right!"
"Since when battles against Jotuns are right? They're ice monsters!" Kerr yelled back, kicking Loki in his ribs.
Thor was expecting to hear a low growl from the Jotun, but he heard a high-pitched cry instead. It wasn't a growl at all; it was a very human cry… like a little kid's cry of pain.
"Look! A toilet! I bet he thinks it's to drink from it!" Dugar said, joining the fun.
Kerr grabbed Loki's neck and pulled him towards the toilet. In a moment of realization, Thor didn't see a bunch of Asgardian boys defending their honor against a Frost Giant. He saw bullies beating up a little kid.
"Stop! I told you to stop!" Thor yelled.
"What is going on in here?"
The two guards had come when they heard the commotion, prompting the boys to flee. Kerr dropped Loki on the ground and ran out of the room. The guards didn't try to stop them, focusing instead on the blood on the floor and Loki's trembling, bruised and naked body on the floor.
"Call the healers. He's been hurt" Thor ordered the guards.
The two men bowed to their prince and left the room without a word, leaving the children alone. Loki winced the pain as he stood up, trying to cover himself as much as he could.
The moment the Thor's blue eyes crossed with the Frost Giant's red ones, Loki glared at him with pure hatred, his tears and blood still running down his face as he closed the restroom's door with a bang.
Thor remained in the middle of the room, staring at the blood on the wall and the ground and Loki's ruined tunic. After what seemed like an eternity, he heard the unmistakable cries of a small child coming from the restroom.
"I cannot believe you did such a thing, Thor" Odin said. "What were you thinking?"
Thor looked down. After the healers arrived, Odin showed up and dragged Thor out of the tower into the Throne Hall. There was no one else in the room, except him, his father and his mother. It was a family meeting, or rather a Thor-scolding meeting.
"I never meant to get him hurt" the blond explained. "My friends just wanted to see him."
"And you think that is right?" Odin went on angrily. "Showing Loki like you'd show a new horse?"
"They were curious. They never saw a Jotun before!"
"So being a Jotun justifies humiliating your brother?"
Thor sulked. "He's not my brother!"
"He is now. He may not be of our blood, but he is my son as much as you are" Odin said. "What those boys did to him was unforgivable and they need to be punished. Tell me their names."
"No!" Thor cried out. "I'm not going to betray my friends."
Odin stood up, his cheeks red with anger. "So you are taking their side? You approve what they did to Loki?"
Thor gulped and felt his own cheeks blush with shame. "Of course not… What they did was wrong, but I'm sure they didn't mean to hurt him. They got carried away and made a mistake."
Odin's eye was fixed on his son for a few moments until he sigh and sat at his throne again. "I am very disappointed, Thor. What bothers me the most is that you don't even understand why."
Thor blinked, confused with his father's words. But before he could ask what he meant, the All-Father faced him again.
"Since you won't tell me the other boy's names, you shall be punished on their behalf" Odin said. "First, you will go to Loki and you will apologize. Also, from now on, you two will study together every day after your sword lessons, in his bedroom."
"What? Study with him?" Thor cried out. He would rather be spanked than being forced to study, let alone with the Jotun boy. "He hates me! How can we study together? He doesn't even know how to read."
Odin's expression was unreadable. "He might be smarter than you think. If he doesn't understand, you will be responsible for teaching him. You'll be his new guide in the Asgardian culture until the ceremony."
"That's an order, Thor!" Odin yelled. "I won't hear another word about it."
After the blond prince left the hall, fuming, Frigga turned to her husband.
"Do you think that is wise? Forcing Thor to be with Loki?" the Queen asked. "They might kill each other."
"Sometimes the strongest bonds start with a fight" Odin said. "If it were up to Thor, he would avoid Loki all his life and spend all his time with his friends. As for Loki, he must hate everyone in Asgard right now. They need to know each other if they are going to become siblings."
Frigga didn't feel very sure of her husband's idea. She still felt wary about his decision to raise the Jotun child and, she had to admit, she wasn't sure she could love the boy as his mother either. It had been easy with Thor, because he was a baby when Odin brought him to her. But Loki was another story, all she could feel was pity.
"Why did you order Thor to explain our culture?" Frigga went on. "He barely knows it. The only subject he remembers is the battles in our History. He won't be able to teach Loki anything else."
Odin actually smiled at this. "Who knows? I have got a feeling that Loki might teach Thor a few things."
Odin could easily find out who were the boys that had hurt his new son, but he decided to let things go this way. Frigga could only hope he was doing the right thing.
The next day, Thor dragged himself to Loki's tower with the biggest sulk in the Nine Realms.
His friends had been very happy because he didn't sell them out and even Kerr and his group had offered to let the prince train with them. However, Thor refused. His respect for the older boy had been severely crushed after he saw him being so cruel to Loki. Not that he liked the Jotun or anything, he just felt disappointed to see him beat up someone who was a lot weaker than him.
A true warrior wouldn't do that. It wasn't right.
Kerr didn't look pleased with Thor and left with a strange look on his face. Thor knew that he was still grieving for his father, so he tried to forgive him. He wasn't so sure about Loki though.
How was he going to apologize to him? Did Jotuns even speak their language? And how in Hel was he going to study with him? His father was growing crazy!
With several books under his arm, Thor sighed and knocked on Loki's door.
"Loki? It's me… Thor" the blond said, but there was no answer. "I'm coming in."
At first, Thor didn't see anyone in the bedroom and wondered if the Jotun boy had fled during the night. After closing the heavy door and entering the room, he found Loki sitting by the open window, glaring furiously at him. There were bandages on his head and his arms, along with bruises on his neck.
"There you are. Ah…" Thor put the books on the bed and sat in front of the younger boy, wishing to get this over with. "I… ah… I came here to apologize… for yesterday" Thor spoke slowly, hoping the Jotun could understand him. "My friends didn't mean to hurt you. They never saw a Jotun before… I am sorry."
The Jotun's glare got even angrier and he looked deep into Thor's eyes. Obviously he hadn't understood his apology, Thor thought.
"You are a Jotun and they got carried away" Thor went on. "I tried to stop them, but…"
"No you didn't! You stood there and watched them beating me up!" Loki suddenly cried out. "You're not even sorry! You're just here because the All-Father told you to and… Why are you staring at me like that?"
Thor's eyes got so wide that they seemed to be about to burst out of his head.
"You talked!" the blond yelled, his jaw dropped in complete disbelief. "You can talk!"
Loki's surprised expression was quickly replaced by anger and indignation. "Of course I can talk! What did you think I do? Growl?"
Thor looked rather embarrassed. "Well… actually, yes."
"Well, I don't. I can understand everything you say, so stop talking to me like I'm retarded!"
"Alright… Ah… I'm sorry, Loki" Thor mumbled, still in awe.
"Fine, now leave!"
"Huh? You can't tell me to leave!" Thor cried out, glaring back at the younger boy.
"Yes, I can. This is my room."
"I'm a prince, so you can't tell me what to do!"
"I'm a prince too, so I can" Loki yelled back.
"But I'm older. You have to do as I say!" Thor screamed even louder, standing up and looking down on the Jotun.
"No, I don't! I want you to go way! I hate you!"
"I hate you too!"
"I hate you more!" Loki tried to stand you too quickly and felt a stab of pain on his chest due to his bruised chest.
Thor's angry face vanished as he saw the other boy wincing with pain and sitting down with tears in his eyes.
"Are you alright?" the blond asked.
"Just go away" Loki whimpered, curling against the wall. "Go away and leave me alone!"
Thor was about to leave the room, but stopped before reaching the door. Loki was wounded because of him; he had to right to be angry.
"Father told me to apologize, but I am truly sorry" Thor said, moving towards Loki again and sitting beside him. "I knew what Kerr was doing was wrong and should have stopped him."
Loki didn't answer. Instead, he pulled his knees to his chest and buried his face in them. His wounds would heal in time, but the way those boys had humiliated him was going to hurt him for a long time.
"They called me an it, like I was an animal" Loki whimpered, without lifting his head. "They took my clothes. They made fun of me… I hate them and I hate you… I don't want to be here anymore."
Thor genuinely felt bad. Loki's words made him feel guiltier than his father's had. He realized now that he had thought of him as simply "the Jotun" and not a person, that's why he didn't think that showing him to his friends was a bad idea. He didn't think about what Loki would feel at all.
Thor did something horrible and he knew he had to make things right.
"It'll get better in time. Trust me, everybody is going to forget this" the blond said.
Since Loki still wouldn't look at him, Thor decided to pick up the books.
"Father said that you and I are going to study together every day until sunset" he explained. "He told me to explain Asgard to you, but I'm not very good at it. I guess he is forcing us to study together because I can finish a book alone. They say I get distracted because I would rather spar with my friends."
Loki finally lifted his head and looked at the books that Thor had brought. Slowly, he picked one and stared at the pretty cover, filled with colors. He knew how to read, but he had never been allowed to touch a book before.
"If you hate this, then why don't you leave?" the Jotun child mumbled with a pout. "You can go and spar with your friend, Kerr."
Thor looked angry. "The guards were ordered to keep me here. And Kerr is not my friend."
"He was your friend yesterday."
"He wasn't my friend; I just wanted him to be. I don't anymore."
Loki stared at Thor's face, expecting some trick, but the blond looked truly angry. He was too simple to lie about that.
"What is the chapter?" Loki asked.
"The chapter we need to read today" the younger boy explained. "It's almost sun-set and don't want to get into trouble."
"Chapter thirty-six" Thor said, watching Loki trying to find the right page. It was so strange to see a Jotun like this, talking like he did, with a child's voice, and reading a book quietly. It was against everything Thor had heard about the Frost Giants, or maybe Loki was just different.
"Aren't you going to read?" Loki asked.
"Yes… Yes, I am."
Later that night, when his father asked him about his studies, Thor was able to answer almost all of his questions, much to the boy's surprise and Odin's delight.
"Don't forget to thank your brother tomorrow" his father told him.
Thor didn't answer. He couldn't think of Loki as his brother and probably he never would, but he had to admit that he wasn't as horrible as he had imagined.
Here it is the beginning of Thor and Loki's relationship. Obviously Thor wouldn't accept Loki as a brother right away. Still, I hope the chapter wasn't too rushed.