Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to the Marvel Universe, Joss Whedon, and anyone else involved with the movies or comics. I am not making any profits from this writing, it is all for the purposes of fun and creative writing.
Based off of a whole bunch of prompts I saw from Norsekink and Avengerkink, I just decided to mix and match things.
Beneath a Veil of Bitter Ice
Thor let out a weary sigh as a servant finished doing up the last clasp that would attach his signature bright red cape to his shoulders. With a soft click the servant bowed his head and stepped away, leaving Thor to gaze at himself in the standing mirror before him. He looked every bit the warrior and Prince that he was, but his face was held in a grim expression for today was not going to be a happy day. With another sigh, Thor stepped away from the mirror and headed for the marble pedestal that stood beside his king-sized bed and picked up the mighty hammer that rested atop it. Upon his touch Mjolnir buzzed to life with the low hum of electrical energy that came with Thor wrapping his large hand around the handle and lifted the Godly weapon up. Thor took Mjolnir and hung the hammer to his belt, for today it was all about ceremony and not actual warfare. With another sigh Thor turned away and headed out the door of his bedroom in the towering palace of Asgard, paying no real heed to anyone as he walked along of the sweeping flame lit corridors that led to the great hall.
Outside, ominous and unhappy looking dark gray clouds began to fill the sky, no doubt the reflection of a certain Thunderer's mood. Today was most definitely not a happy day.
Thor walked with his red cape billowing, paying very little attention to anyone he happened to walk past. A glance out through the open archways of the corridor had Thor seeing the newly repair Bifrost shimmering in the distance. At least all-seeing Heimdall, gatekeeper of Asgard finally had a gate to keep once more. But as Thor neared the massive arched doorway to the great hall, all pleasant thought fled his mind like dew evaporating under a hot Summer sun.
Thor stood before the great door and took a deep breath before he gave a nod to the two burly guards who were standing by. Both guards in turn nodded and then turned to face the doors. As one they each pushed against one of the two doors and began to open them for the Prince of Asgard. The doors groaned mightily as they were slowly parted from each other to reveal the great hall of Asgard behind them.
Said massive hall grew silent, the mass of Asgardian citizens going quiet upon the arrival of the crown prince. Thor stood up straight and held himself with the composure due his status as a prince as he made his way down the small set of stairs that led into the hall and down the long aisle that led to the throne. Flanked on either side by the golden people of Asgard, the aisle seemed to stretch for miles. Thor started walking down this aisle, not really paying much heed to the people who were watching him as he passed. Where once he was a brash and triumphant prince making his way to the throne to be crowned the new king, he now made his way to the throne with a somber expression on his face and a heaviness in his heart.
When he finally reached the daïs upon which stood the grand throne of Asgard, Thor bowed low to the imposing figure sitting on said throne as he spoke.
"I greet thee All-father."
From where he sat, Odin gave a small nod before he spoke.
" Rise my son, for I greet thee in turn."
Thor straightened and met his father's one-eyed gaze, both seeming to grow even more somber with the look they shared. Then Thor gave a small nod and turned to the other figure who was standing beside the seated All-father. Once more Thor bowed low and spoke.
" I greet thee my queen."
And if Thor felt a painful tightening of his throat, he used his will to keep it from showing in his voice as he waited for acknowledgement.
Frigga felt a burning behind her eyes as he gazed down at her oldest son and spoke.
" I greet thee my son, now come stand beside me." She said evenly as he held out her hand to Thor.
Thor stood up and made his way up the three steps of the daïs and reached out to grip his mother's offered hand and stood beside her as they both waited for that which they had both been dreading for weeks to finally begin. Thor cast a glance over his shoulder and saw that Sif and the Warriors three were standing at the very edge of the steps Thor had just climbed. The four of them all gave Thor looks of support, which Thor was grateful for as he turned back to Frigga. Mother and son turned their gazes to the All-father as Odin proceeded.
Held firmly in Odin's right hand was Gungnir, the golden spear that was a symbol of his kingship. Slowly Odin raised the spear so that its end dangled a couple of inches from the marble floor of the daïs, and then he let it fall back down. Though the impact was small, the sound of Gungnir's end hitting the floor reverberated through the entire hall and everyone in it like a clap of thunder as the All-Father spoke.
" Bring forth he who is to receive my judgement on this day." Odin ordered somberly.
Odin's voice echoed through the halls much like Gungnir, and left the air charged with anticipation for everyone from the ordinary citizens all the way to Thor himself.
All eyes went to the open doors of the golden hall as they waited for the person Odin had ordered before him. The moments seemed to go on for life-ages before finally two heavily armed guards came into view, with a third person being led in behind them. The soft rattling of thick chains filled the still air as the prisoner Odin called for made his way into the hall.
The people of Asgard were collective in their contempt as they gazed at this man, many erupting into shouts of hate while others jeered as he passed by. But this prisoner was not phased by any of this, and seemed almost to stroll behind his keepers even though his wrists were rune-ladden manacles meant to suppress his powerful magic. These were bound in thick chains that were connected to a wicked looking collar around his neck.
Though dressed in nothing but a loose emerald-green tunic, black trousers and boots, and with his raven black hair a disheveled mass of long, stringy curls cascading down to his shoulder, Loki Laufeyson walked with his head held high and his pale green eyes and manner as cold and aloof as the first realm he tried to destroy with the bifrost just a year before. As he walked, Loki even met some the hate-filled gazes that are directed his way and smirked back with cold amusement written all over his face. By the time he and the two guards tasked with bringing him before the All-father came to stand before the throne, the entire hall was in uproar and outrage, calling for the former prince's head.
From where they stood near Thor, Sif, Volstaag, Hogun, and Fandral were fighting tooth and nail not to do anything rash upon seeing Loki. They each glared at the former prince with disgust, utter revulsion and downright hatred written clearly on all of their faces. Much to their ire, when Loki came before the daïs and caught sight of them, a sickly smile curled up the corner of his thin lips, so serpentine and horrid that it was nauseating.
" The All-father better dole out his punishment fast, or else I'll see that vile traitor's head cleaved from his shoulder myself." Fandral grumbled lowly so that only his fellow warriors could hear while his hand reached for a sword that was absent from his waist. Stupid rule of not having weapons in the hall for big events unless you were a guard and all that.
" Be at ease friend Fandral, I am most certain the All-father's punishment will be fare more fitting than anything any of us can come up with." Hogun said with certainty.
" Aye, and it is long overdue. I mean look at the nerve of him, to stand there as if he doesn't have a care in the world" Sif said with grim satisfaction and anger as she eyes how Loki looked just plain bored where he stood.
" Still your tongues my young friends, and let us bear witness now." Volstaag said quietly.
Another loud bang from Gungnir had the entire hall, once in uproar, suddenly fall silent as one. All waited with bated breath to see just what would happen now as the All-father spoke, his voice echoing throughout the hall.
" Loki Odinson, you stand before me to receive my judgement for your crimes against the realms of Asgard, Jotunheim, and Midgard. You have committed unforgivable acts against the innocents of these realms, and more so you have betrayed you loved-ones and proven yourself unworthy of you title and place in the royal family of Asgard. You have caused considerable grief to she who is your mother, he who is your brother, and to I who am you father-"
" You would do well to remember that am not your son Odin All-father, and that it matters not to me all that I have done. Anything that causes you, your liar of a wife, and that oaf of a son who both stand beside you pain gives me the greatest joy I have ever felt in all my days." Loki hissed venomously, his pale eyes almost glowing with vicious rage as he glared up defiantly at Odin.
Frigga gasped in despair, he hand flying to her mouth at her youngest son could say such a thing. Beside her Thor growled with rage and stepped forward ready to lunge at his once brother and punish the vile Trickster himself, his own rage shining bright across his face, but Odin would not allow this.
" Stop where you are Thor." Odin ordered loudly effectively halting Thor in his tracks, while the rest of the hall erupted in outrage at Loki's hateful words and defiance. As one the Warriors three and Sif all stepped forward ready to do what the All-father had prevented Thor from doing, when Odin's voice rang out in command.
Instantly the crowds fell silent, though they still rumbled with anger. Loki just stood there and kept smirking, seeming to revel in the discord he had just caused.
While Odin kept his face as passive as ever beneath his horned helmet, his one clear blue eye gave away his own anger at his youngest son's blatant disregard for the severity of the situation. With all regal bearing and poise, the All-father gracefully rose from the throne and looked down at Loki with barely veiled disgust. A quick glance to his side and Loki found himself swarmed by four burly guards who wasted no time in roughly forcing Loki to his knees, much to everyones in the room's grim satisfaction.
Odin glared down at Loki as he spoke.
" So then Loki Laufeyson, you truly have no remorse for all that you have caused?" He asked.
" Haven't lost a single night's sleep." Loki replied with a defiant smirk.
" Loki my son, have you lost all sense, why are you doing this?" Frigga said suddenly as she stepped forward.
" Go to Hell." Loki growled, earning gasps all around for his blatant disrespect of the Queen herself. Even Fandral was gaping, completely dumbstruck that Loki would speak to his mother that way.
" You will do well to curb your tongue Liesmith, or I will rip it out of your head!" Thor yelled as he wrapped a protective arm around Frigga who looked ready to crumble right then and there.
" Oh spare me your threats you worthless vámr!" Loki yelled right back, earning a hard slap across the face from one of the guards holding him down. Loki glared murderous at the Guard, who simply scoffed and gave Loki a hard shove for good measure.
" ENOUGH!" Odin roared, seeming to rattle the very foundations of the great hall.
Everyone fell silent save for the half-sob Frigga was not quick enough to suppress. Odin, with the speed of a viper striking, descended the steps of the daïs and in one fluid motion seized Loki by the front of his worn tunic and brutally yanked the slighter man to his feet, holding him so that there faces were separated by mere inches as he spoke.
" I have tolerated your insolence for long enough, but no more. I had hoped that the son I raised along side Thor would still be alive in there somewhere but today you have proven to me that the boy I loved as my son is no more. You may not be sorry now, but know this, after what I have in mind as your punishment today you will be Laufeyson."
Odin growled this through gritted teeth before he deftly shoved the pale and dark-haired man away into the waiting hands of the guards before he sharply turned and walked back up the steps to the throne. With a sweep of his dark red cape Odin turned and pointed an unforgiving Gungnir at Loki as he spoke.
" Kneel." Odin ordered grimly.
When Loki stubbornly remained on his feet, one of the guards made a disgusted noise and pulled out a black club from his belt and promptly struck Loki across the back of his left knee. The result was instantaneous as Loki let out a loud grunt of pain and collapsed onto his knees, loud cheers from the crowd echoing through the halls. Frigga was no longer trying to hide her tears, salt cascading down her cheeks like rivers as she stood powerless to do anything. Beside her Thor stood with his fists clenched and his face almost as red as his own cape, his heart feeling like it was being torn in half as both rage and despair coursed through him. While he could feel a tell-tale sting building behind his own blue eyes, Thor did not let his tears fall. Instead he stood mute beside his mother, his chest heaving as he waited to see what the All-father would finally do.
Taking in a deep, shuddering breath and clamping down on his own despair, Odin spoke in a voice that seemed made from steel and winter.
" Loki Laufeyson, you have proven yourself unworthy of your title as a prince of Asgard, you have desecrated on the familial bonds once shared, your hands stained with the blood of many innocents, you also almost took the life of my son and heir. For your crimes I find you guilty and deserving of the harshest of punishments, even more so for you are unrepentant and arrogant still." Odin boomed throughout the entire hall.
Then taking in a deep breath, Odin continued.
" Have you anything to say for yourself?"
" Just get on with it old man." Loki spat, earning another blow to his face and more uproar from the crowd.
Frigga brought a trembling hand to her mouth, shaking her head back and forth and blindly reached out to Thor, who wrapped his arms tightly around his mother and held her to his chest while he glared at Loki.
Odin didn't even bother to bring down Gungnir like a gavel this time, as with cold fury etched into every line of his weathered face his spoke.
" It is my decree that you shall be forthwith stripped of all you're powers, and banished below to the lowest dungeon of Asgard, where you shall be bound to stone by unbreakable chains. The venom of the most vile serpents of Asgard shall fall upon your bare flesh and burn you. There will be no reprieve and no relenting of this, you shall scream away the rest of eternity beneath our feet. I banish you to this fate for all time."
With that the crowd erupted into thunderous cheer, many stomping their feet eagerly, setting a beat much like the drums at an execution while the four guards who were flanking a kneeling Loki on either side all stepped away, grimly waiting for the All-father to seal the deal.
Odin, with his face grim and his eye filled only with coldness slowly tipped Gungnir forward so that the sharp tip pointed directly at Loki where he knelt.
" No." Frigga moaned, her voice muffled against Thor's armor.
Before he could stop himself, a single tear rolled down Thor's cheek as he tried to keep himself calm and fought tooth and nail against the sudden urge to run forward and shield Loki from what their father was about to do. Instead he squeezed his mother harder and waited for the inevitable.
After a pause that seemed impossibly long, Odin made his last move.
" My will be done." The All-father said with finality as the tip of Gungnir glowed white-hot before a beam of white magic exploded out of the spear and hurtled straight at Loki where he kneeled.
As the white light from Odin's power filled the hall, Thor felt his heart bottom out as he bore witness to the end of his once brother, but just as the white magic was about to hit Loki, Thor could have sworn he saw a vicious little smirk turn up the corners of Loki's lips. Then the beam of white struck Loki and bathed everything else in white as well, a blinding force that had all but the All-father covering their eyes, and their ears as well as a deafening roar filled the great hall.
However, a key fact went unnoticed by all who was bearing witness to the sentencing of Loki Laufeyson. He had just been hit with the All-father's magic, and yet, he had made not a single sound of agony or rage. Not a single sound.
The blinding light seemed to last forever until finally it began to slowly fade. When sight returned to all, they were expecting to see maybe a burning rune on the floor where Loki had stood, or perhaps just a few wisps of smoke as the aftermath of the All-Father's display of power.
Instead when the light finally faded and all could see, there was a collective gasp at what they all beheld.
Odin himself felt his single eye grow wide and his jaw grow slack. Beside him Thor, Frigga, and even the Warriors three and Sif were mirroring his expression.
" W-What?" Thor whispered in utter shock as he took a stumbling step forward.
They all had reason to react this way, for what they had thought would happen ended up not being so, for instead of a burning rune or smoking floor where Loki had knelt, instead there was just Loki himself still chained and kneeling, although his head was bowed, causing his hair to obscure his face like an ebony curtain.
Before anyone could make any kind of sense about what they were seeing, a low sizzling sound suddenly filled the air and seemed to grow louder and louder with each passing moment.
It was the wisps of grayish-black smoke that had Thor and everyone else who could see turn their stunned gazes to the chains that were wrapped around Loki's pale wrists and neck. They all watched aghast as the thick chains literally melted into dust before their very eyes, leaving a little pile beneath Loki's bony wrists where they hung loosely against his lap..
" What is this trickery?!" Volstaag yelled as he Hogun, Fandral, and Sif all rushed forward and stood before the dais, ready to defend their King, Queen, and Prince.
As if in reply a low, blood-curdling hiss radiated from Loki who had yet to look up. Then with what sounded like a soft chuckle, Loki slowly craned his head up, his ebony locks falling away to reveal his face and when they did, the floor seemed to get pulled out from under everyone.
Gone were the emerald green eyes Thor had known all his life. In their stead we two grayish-white orbs filled with nothing but the promise of death. These foreign eyes were framed within a face that was almost indescribable in its grotesque nature. Instead of the pale, angular face of the God of Mischief, the features of this face lay distorted and bloated and and with a tint of sickly bluish-gray. Putrid looking black veins rippled across the entire expanse of distorted skin like the threads of a spiders web. It looked as if there was something beneath the surface that was ready to burst clean out as the sickly tint of bluish-gray began to rapidly spread to being's limbs like an ink stain.
As all who bore witness stood stunned, Thor felt the bottom of his stomach drop out as it dawned on him that the grayish-white eyes he was now beholding on his brother were familiar. He had seen them before, during an invasion which he had help to thwart not to long ago.
" Chitauri." Thor whispered in shock as he stepped forward with Mjolnir in his hand.
To this the grey-eyed being turned his gaze to Thor and a sickening grin slowly spread across his face, reveal jagged and black-stained teeth as the creature once thought of as Loki spoke with a voice that seemed made of gravel and hate.
" Very good Odinson, you recognize me at last."
Then before everyone's eyes, the last vestiges of Loki fell away, as the being that stood before Odin morphed itself into its true form. Hideous could not even begin to describe what was happening before all of Asgard, as the thin frame that was Loki began to expand and bubble beneath its rapidly graying skin, shifting and cracking loudly as bones grew thicker, the black hair on the head seeming to flack off like dead skin while flesh stretched and twisted into a new shape. Loki's face bubbled and shifted into a grotesque countenance but like that of a warped ape, stained and jagged sharp-looking teeth jutting out of a wide and grinning mouth.
With a loud roar the creature stood to full height, towering above all at well over seven or eight feet, a muscular golem with nothing but pure evil rolling off of it in waves.
" WHO ARE YOU?" Odin boomed, his spear at the ready as a plethora of royal guards materialized and went on the attack. But they went no further as the creatures grin widened and with a flick of its wrist, all the guards went flying as if hit by the shockwave of a blast. There were screams all around and people scrambled out of the way as the bodies of the guards impacted with the walls and spired of the great hall with sickening force. The creature then turned back to Odin and gave a sweeping parody of a bow as it spoke.
" I am the Annakul mage Menkos, and I serve my master, the great and powerful Titan Thanos, rightful ruler of the realms and suitor of Death herself." The creature said for all to hear, and then taking a step closer Menkos raised his hand and pointed one of his thick-black clawed fingers at Odin and Thor and added with a sickening chuckle.
" I am also the one who slit your Jotun runt's pretty little throat and tossed his still wriggling corpse to the wolves of Nifleheim, on the day you were to be crowned King of this insignificant little realm, foolish little Thunderer."