An Earthborn Asgardian
This is a Harry Potter, The Avengers Crossover by Kefalion aka. Frida. This is a story with focus on Harry Potter and Loki, but also on the relation between the wizards of earth and the Asgardians. This is Loki/Harry.
As you very well know I don't own the plot or the characters that you recognize.
Part 8: The Realm
Words: 5 148
Being back in Asgard made Loki at once feel great joy, and great anger, all of it overlaid with a deafening numbness. It was strange and he would prefer not to dwell on it, doing so would only make the numbness dissipate like mist under intense sunlight and he was not prepared to face his own feelings. He had already done a fair bit of soul-searching following his decision to tell Thor about Harry and then meeting the wizard again, forced to explain to them what had happened he had also been forced to face some of his own demons, he had filled his quota. He was not satisfied with the decisions he had made or the outcome that had come from them, but as Harry had pointed out it all lay in the past and he should not focus all his energy on it, instead moving forth, and to do that he had to remember and evaluate the past. For them to believe in him again he had to be honest. He could never forget and that meant that he did not see himself forgiving anytime soon.
Loki listened to the warning Heimdall gave Harry. Its content didn't surprise him. He had not told Harry as much as he perhaps should regarding what he knew about the relations between their two peoples, focusing instead on things that were easy for him to understand as they existed in the cultures of earth, the reluctance to accept same sex relationships as being full worthy and not just a pastime warriors gave into when in the field, and then insisting on that he wanted to take things slow for Harry's sake. Becoming something completely different was not to be scoffed at. Harry had gone through great biological changes and even before that his life had been filled with one struggle after another. He deserved peace and time to adapt. Additionally to become a true Asgardian he had to learn their culture, such things takes time even with an enhanced mind compared to a human.
What he had refrained from discussing, only glossing over the subject, was what he knew about what had happened between the wizards and the Asgardians a long time ago. Not that he knew much. When he had been young the subject had interested him and he had searched for information in the vast royal library. Many hours and days of searching had left him nearly empty handed and it was Frigga who had at last told him a little about why that was, if only to keep his searching from the Allfather who she claimed would not be pleased by it.
The information was lacking because nearly every document recording said history had been destroyed and what remained besides fragments of history turned into children's stories were kept under lock and key alongside other dangerous artefacts in the vaults.
He had never been able to determine why the records had been destroyed; Frigga had been either unwilling or actually unable to tell him. However that these measures had been taken spoke of a piece of history that the ruler had wanted forgotten and he had dragged it up from obscurity in a very direct way by creating the Hallows and changing Harry's life, it would not be appreciated now that it was being found out.
During his brief time as Asgard's ruler the previous year he had taken some time to study these tomes and what little they had revealed had not pleased him. There had been a ban for all visits to Earth for several millennia in the backwash of whatever had happened, it had only been lifted during the Jotun wars out of necessity and then it had not been deemed necessary to enforce them again as their old allies could no longer be found.
Loki let go of the Tesseract and reached up to remove the muzzle. "This is a smaller welcoming committee than I had expected, I would have thought that the Allfather would want me contained," he said dryly, no one trying to stop him from speaking now. They knew and he knew that there was nothing he could do now to escape. He had had his last chance the moment before he grabbed on to the Tesseract back in New York and Harry had made the decision.
"They will be here momentarily," Heimdall answered him. Indeed as he looked out through the archway he could see a company of guards walking down the Bifrost in their direction, their pace quick.
As they waited for the guards to arrive he took to studying Harry. The wizard was frowning and had been so since Heimdall spoke to him. The warning shouldn't come as a surprise, though Loki could not fault him for his decision to come to Asgard. It was in Harry's nature to be forward, to be honourable and honest when possible. Only when lives other than his own were at stake would he be willing and able to deceive and in this case it was submitting that would keep the majority of the people he cared about safe.
"Has father been informed of the development on Midgard?" Thor asked.
"I have passed on my observations," Heimdall said in reply.
"And has he said anything about what is to happen now? Things are not all of what we had expected."
"No, The Allfather has not divulged his intentions to me, though I can venture to make an assumption."
"Your assumptions are something I trust."
"He is set in his views," Heimdall began in his normal calm and deep voice, "though the Queen is doing her best to persuade him to keep an open mind. The end result is as of yet unclear even to me. Things will depend on the word of all involved parties. All three of you should remember this. It is the best advice anyone can give you. What you chose to do now as much as what lies in the past will decide the outcome of recent events."
Loki did listen, and he did assimilate the words, he had not much hope though and had it not been for Harry he wouldn't have bothered with trying. Yet again Harry would be what other would see him using as an excuse for his actions, though only because they weren't willing to see the full truth. Harry guided his actions, but he would not hide behind that claim. He was not sorry for what he had done; he could only explain what had led him onto this path and make the people around them see that they were at fault too, for they deserved to know and share in the guilt. A villain isn't born, he is created and the creator should know to take part of the blame, to accept responsibility. If he was to learn from past events so should they, only then would it matter what he himself did.
"It is beautiful is it not?" He noticed that Thor had gone to stand next to Harry who had moved so that he had a clear view over the scenery outside of the observatory.
"Yes," Harry said simply. Loki looked out through the archway as well, trying to imagine how it was for Harry seeing the Realm Eternal for the first time. "It reminds me of the time when I first lay eyes on the first place I called a home."
Loki walked up to them and reached for Harry's hand. "While Hogwarts will still be there, we will make this into your home." He did not truly believe the words, not now with a troop headed their way, but he wished to make the words true, and will can be everything. He could yet find a way to reclaim his rightful place and then Harry wouldn't have to be afraid of anything. His words would become the truth.
"I know," the wizard answered.
The Rainbow Bridge went on towards the distance, the great city of Asgard rising over it, snow capped mountains by the horizon, a blue sky that was unable to hide stars and galaxies a giant dome above, a crystal blue sea beneath the bridge, calm with only a few rippling waves, gold and bright colours domination the imagery. It was beautiful, like nothing else Loki had ever laid his eyes on, and it stilled filled him with a lingering sense of awe, so he could very well imagine how Harry would feel. This was the world they both belonged to; he because he'd grown up there, been nurtured on this soil and despite his recent actions he had bled in the defence of this land and Harry because of his heritage.
Their reprieve was interrupted as the company of guards finished their approach. There were sixteen of them, led by a commanding officer, making seventeen in total. "Shackle the prisoner," the officer commanded. Two guards approached him, Loki allowed them to do so, knowing that resistance would give him nothing.
"Is this truly necessary?" he Thor asked, watching with a frown.
"Oh, brother, I didn't think you cared," Loki quipped.
"Loki," Harry said with a warning tone.
"Right, right," he muttered. "I'll behave."
The troop leader observed their interaction suspiciously before he answered Thor's question. "It is the Allfather's orders. He has asked that you come speak with him. He and the Queen await you in the Throne Hall. We will escort your companions."
Thor nodded. "And what of the Tesseract?"
"It is to stay here. Six of my men will stay here to guard it along with Heimdall. The King deems it unnecessary to place it in the vault now as it is to be used to repair the Bifrost."
"Very well. Take care of your actions Brother, and I shall see you soon Jameson." Thor placed the device containing the Tesseract in the waiting hands of Heimdall and proceeded to spin Mjolnir in his hand, flying through the sky towards the palace.
Meanwhile the guards had finished with adding additional chains to bind Loki. There was a new shackles around his ankles, tied together by an additional chain, with one more leading up to a chain placed around his waist with attachment coming off from it that the two guards held. There would be no escaping now had he even wanted to try anymore.
"Are we off then?" he asked lightly, smiling in a way that showed that he wasn't bothered by the situation, though the truth was a different matter. "We have a long walk ahead of us."
Thor breathed in the air of his home, smelling the cold of the snow that travelled on the wind, sensing the scent of flowers and of the sea. It felt good to be back. When his father used dark energy to send him to Midgard neither of them had known if it would work and they had been in the dark about what would happen if he got there safely. All they knew was that Loki was there, that he had stolen the Tesseract and that he was planning on using it for something which was undoubtedly sinister.
After a year of thinking that his brother was dead it had been both a blessing and a curse to find out that Loki lived. He hadn't wanted Loki to die, but knowing that he was on Midgard had troubled Thor. He knew from the words that had been spoken when they fought that Loki no longer regarded their family in the same light, that Loki had despised him for some time and that he would have no qualms about taking revenge by hurting the humans seeing it as a possible chance to harm him and show him that he was not as powerful as he wished to be. If he couldn't protect the people he cared about, that he had vowed to keep safe then his brother would have reached a goal. Or so he had thought.
Then he had arrived on Earth, crashing hard onto the ground, a crater being created from the force of the dark energy that had brought him there, but he was alive and he had been able to track down his brother. He had met a hateful creature much as he had expected and what had gone down next followed the pattern. Everything was as he thought it would be up until the point when Loki gasped out a name as the Hulk was crushing him in his fist. Harry.
The existence of this man had changed things. He had been in the picture for years without any of them realizing; shrouded in secrecy as if he was another of Loki's tricks. How any of them had gone ignorant for so long was baffling. How come none of them had noticed the times when Loki must have been absent for days at a time? How had his brother managed to keep a so important relationship from some of the most powerful beings in the cosmos? From both Heimdall with his exceptional sight and the Allfather whose very essence was part of Asgard, not to mention his family and his friends who should have been close enough to notice his absence and that he had found someone. It made Thor question how long ago his brother had stopped thinking of them as family and for how long they'd also been undeserving of that title.
There had been intense rivalry between them from the very start. He knew that he himself had been brash and rather arrogant until very recently. He had been everything expected in an heir of Asgard, following their culture's warrior ideal without ever having to try. It came effortlessly to him. To Loki none of it was easy. He was a master combatant, but not simply by nature, he had not enjoyed it in the same manner as Thor did, but despite that he had worked hard for it. Sadly it had not been enough. People around them had perhaps been able to sense that he was different and though their mother's encouragement and tutelage in the magical arts had been something good it had also come between Loki and other people, making him more different than he had already been.
Magic and trickery was not considered to be something honest and honourable warriors consorted with. It was better left for scholars and women, those not strong enough to fight with brawn. He himself had harboured the same views for so long that it was hard to turn around on that way of seeing things, but it was when Fandral had been captured by enemies of Asgard, as he was on a mission to try and extract information by infiltrating them, that things had changed. During that quest they had learned to appreciate each other and their respective abilities. They had come to realize that they were stronger together, that their different skill sets could be compatible. The rivalry had remained, but as far as Thor had been concerned it no longer had a destructive effect on them, it no longer inspired any form of hatred. The rivalry was friendly and worked so that they both strove to become better. They had gotten closer than ever before, they had gotten to know each other better and that was something they valued greatly.
Lately Thor had learnt that things had not remained that way. Jealousy had festered within his brother and it had reared its ugly head when Loki's true parentage was revealed. It had only been a year since his brother changed. That wasn't a long time for people like them. And the day since he had learnt about this new angle was even less time to come to terms with matters. Harry's existence cemented things from their childhood. Loki had been lonely and isolated and he had striven to find a way to remedy that, in that regard it didn't matter that it had only come to fruition a handful of years ago, ages after the process had been started. That Loki had felt that way was wrong and a failing on the part of his friends and family, and Thor could only be happy that someone else had been there for him over the last few years and that there was someone who would continue to be there for him now, someone who had not failed him.
It was Harry who was their hope now. From the brief interaction Thor had witnessed between the wizard and his brother he knew that Harry was the one who stood the highest chance of reaching through to Loki, he was the one who could bring his brother back and he was determined to convince his father of this, determined to make Odin give them both a fair chance.
Jameson was an interesting person whom he looked forward to getting to know better. The information the Man of Iron had been able to provide spoke of an honourable heart and Director Fury respected him. Earning his brother's trust also spoke for him, as did his willingness to come to Asgard and though Loki might not have thought him able of it he had noticed their silent communication. He had sometimes observed the same happening between Loki and their mother so he knew how to recognize the signs. In that moment the son of James had convinced his brother again that they were right to go to Asgard. He would do his best to see the man protected. If his brother was to fall in paying for his crimes against the peoples of the Nine Realms his partner should not fall with him by association.
He landed by the gates to the Throne Hall, walking down the long corridor, past the many richly decorated pillars that reached towards the ceiling high above. His father, King Odin was seated on the throne, his spear, Gugnir in his hand and his Queen Frigga standing by the bottom of the stairs leading up to the throne.
"Mother," Thor said with a smile accepting her embrace, the soft floral scent that always surrounded her soothing him and making him feel at home.
"I am glad to see that you are well," she said and pecked his cheek before standing back once more.
He nodded and faced his father next.
Odin stood and walked down the steps, touching Gugnir to each step, making an ominous echoing sound permeate through the Hall. "You've completed the mission I gave you?"
"I have. The Tesseract is with Heimdall and Loki is being brought into the city."
"That is well. Now follows new tasks. As soon as the Bifrost is repaired I shall need you to venture out into the Nine Realms with our forces to restore the peace."
"I estimate that it will be ten days until it is repaired, even with the power of the Tesseract it is delicate work."
"Good. Do you then have anything else to say or do you wish to retire?"
"What will happen to Loki?"
"He will be punished for his actions."
"And do you actually know what they are?" Thor continued before his father could interrupt with an answer. "We must rethink the situation. I have received new insight into the situation that has to be taken into consideration. There is more to why he has down these things. When the battle was finished I gave my word to the people who had stood by my side that Loki would receive a punishment fitting for his crimes and I stand by that. Before he can rightly be sentenced everything needs to be known. We should not only consider what has been done, but also his motives."
"You plead mercy for him?"
"I would not see him returned to a privileged life at the turn of a hand, but I think you should hear him out and try to see past the harsh words he will no doubt utter to you. I am beginning to understand that he was hurt by finding out about his heritage and I suspect that he was not ready for the responsibilities that came with this throne, no matter how he would claim differently. Father, do what you think is best for all. In the long run that will also mean that you need to take Loki's best into consideration. He may be willing to turn around and accept responsibility, I only ask you to allow him the opportunity to reform."
Odin did not appear to be pleased by Thor's words.
"You speak wisely," said Frigga, stepping forth and placing a hand on her son's arm, "and I am in agreement with you."
Odin sighed. "You both wish to see what is no longer there and it is clouding your judgment."
"A day ago I would have said the same, but I spoke with him, without him sneering at me, I saw a softer side and I can tell that my brother is still there."
"So you think that everything should be forgiven?"
"No, I did not say that. I only plead for you to take every angle into consideration."
"Then I shall, I shall consider the rules he have broken by dragging up the past very carefully."
"What?" Thor asked uncomprehendingly at his father's dark tone.
"The man you have brought with you should never have had anything to do with us."
"Jameson? Did you know that the wizards of Midgard still lived?" The Allfather's expression said it all. "Then why have we not kept contact? They could have been valuable allies if any of the stories are true. They are also our kin. We have an obligation towards them. Are we not the self proclaimed protectors of all of the Nine Realms?"
"What happened between our peoples was a curse to all, I would not have seen it brought back into the light," Odin said in an evading answer.
"Father, what happened?"
"This is not the time for that discussion. All that is left for us is to deal with the situation. I know that Harry Potter asked you for the right to become a citizen of Asgard, he asked to be put through a trial of passage to prove his worth. You accepted and I will not ask you to go back on your word and as what has happened to him is not his fault I agree that he is to be given this chance. Like I said, it will take ten days to restore the Bifrost, when the bridge is ready it will be up to you to lead our troops in assistance of our allies around the Nine Realms, the chaos that has erupted as a result of our absence has to be put to an end. Until then you are to observe Harry Potter. Evaluate him. Find out from him what he knows about Loki. Find out if this man is an asset or a liability, once we know that I will assess his situation. Harry Potter is being escorted to the healers for the first part of this evaluation, go there."
"Father, I don't-"
"Do as I say, you will have the opportunity to say more later. Go."
Loki kept silent as he was led along the Rainbow Bridge, two guards holding onto the chains that were attached to his waist. The only thing he saw as being good about the situation was that no chains had been put on Harry. While six guards were moving around him, only four had taken formation around the wizard, and the troop leader was at the front paying them next to no attention. It was a good thing, it meant that Harry was to be given a chance, that he for now was regarded as a guest, although it was a guest who did not have any extended freedom and was without any opportunity of leaving, not that anyone could leave easily at this time with the Bifrost still broken. He himself was not normally limited to the bridge, but Harry was as he had not yet gotten so far with implanting his knowledge to Harry as to teach the wizard about the secret pathways between the realms. He had thought that that particular knowledge could wait as he had had no desire for Harry to leave Midgard.
As they had crossed about half the Bridge Loki grew bored and Harry's tense expression bothered him, so he decided that he would just ignore the guards and act as if he and Harry were alone. Pulling at the chains he drew to the left and though he was given a few glares he could now walk next to the wizard.
"Is it what you thought it would be?"
Harry gave him a curious look, glanced around at the guards, who while displeased made no move to stop them from walking together, and answered. "It's magnificent of course. It might be a bit too soon to say more as I've not had the full experience. I am a bit surprised that we are walking all the way."
"It's an opportunity to see the sights and we wouldn't like for you to be overwhelmed," Loki said with extravagant intonation, holding his hands out in an equally excessive gesture making the chains clatter.
Harry snorted. "Of course," he said in mock agreement, "that's what this is about, it's not at all meant as a way to humiliate the two of us, as we are forced to walk though the city for everyone to gape at."
"That is part of it, yes," he conceded easily, "that does not mean we have to behave like animals led to slaughter. You told me to keep my head high and that is what we will do. This is the first time you've laid eyes on the Realm that is to be your home, that is our rightful home whatever happens. I would not have this experience diminished for you by some wrong doings on my part that Odin sees fit to punish."
"We're calling it wrong doings now?" Harry asked critically.
"Why yes," he replied lightly.
"Is that not to diminish things?" the wizard continued in a cross tone.
"Do you wish to argue about it again?" Loki asked harshly, his mood switching with the speed of lightning. He was not in the mood to talk about it unless he had to, he would already be forced to speak of it once they reached their destination, forced to defend himself when he had done the best he could with the circumstances given. He did not wish for it to darken the time he had left with Harry and having the wizard mockingly reuse his own words was not something he appreciated. He did not agree to being criticised at all. He knew what he had done and he wanted to leave it at that.
"I suppose not," Harry snapped right back, then he sighed. A moment of walking in silence later he spoke up again. "Would you be my tour guide then? Tell me about the sights?"
"Better," Loki murmured, "though lacking still. I fear I would bore you were I to narrate the history of the things we are passing. I've told you much about these sights before us, about the landmarks and their history. You recognize this bridge, the waters beneath it, the watch towers, the statues of our former Kings and the Palace that is always part of the skyline."
"That's not completely true, if you don't wish to do it then just say so."
"I'll always indulge you. Why then don't I regale you of some stories? There is still much about my life that you don't know."
"Please go ahead."
"Do you see the ship flying over the bay in the distance?"
Harry looked in the direction Loki was pointing. As a small speck by the far off shore there was a golden vessel. Though it was far both of them could make out fine details of the ship, the elegant curved prow in a design that the Viking's of Midgard had adapted and made their own and wings by the stern.
"I see it," he said.
"I think you will enjoy the chance of flying one, I am sure that you'll take to it with excellence. I myself enjoy flying in them; it is a freedom to only have the deck beneath your feet. Thor though for all that he flies around with that Hammer of his did not take as well to steering a battleship."
"Is that so?" Harry asked amusedly.
"Indeed. The first time we were to leave the class room, so to speak and actually had the opportunity to helm one of them, he managed to loose control completely. It is not a story that is told often, but I remember it well although this was before we'd even lived half a century. He placed the ship's engine in reverse, crashing into several ships that were standing on the docks, wrecking them. He then panicked trying to rectify his mistake, causing his ship to shoot off and the instructor that was onboard with him fell off."
Harry raised a quizzical eyebrow. "I find this hard to believe," he muttered.
"Nevertheless it is true, not one of his finest moments. Next he was soaring out over the sea with the ship I was on who an instructor had taken the helm of racing after him. My instructor was a far better pilot than Thor, but even he couldn't save my brother from his own stupidity. I don't know why, but he was headed towards the Bifrost and about to crash into a pillar, he must have tried to gain height and fly over it to avoid a collision, but he must have turned the rudder the wrong way, because the ship took a nose dive right into the water. It was actually right over there, I believe the wreckage is still there beneath the water. It was a whole decade before anyone could persuade him to step foot on a ship again."
Harry chuckled, and Loki noted smugly that the two guards whose faces he could see clearly were struggling against smiles, their mouth's twitching.
"Do all your stories revolve around Thor making a fool of himself?"
"No, not all of them, some are about me being a genius-"
"So modest," Harry muttered.
"-but stories about Thor doing stupid are some of my favourites," Loki continued without stopping, "and they are so very plentiful and entertaining that it would be a shame to let them fall into oblivion the way he would like."
"So there are more where that came from?"
"Oh, so many more and we have still a long way to go."
AN 23rd November 2013:
I enjoyed writing this chapter a lot. It's great finally being in Asgard. How did you like this chapter being from Loki's and Thor's point of view? How many instances can you spot where I used Thor: The Dark World as inspiration? Whatever you think I'd love to know. I hope you enjoyed the chapter and that I didn't spoil Thor the Dark World for anyone (most of you who will go see it have seen it by now, right?)