AN: This was not supposed to happen. Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking, but when I woke up this morning the idea gnawed on my brain until I had to write it down. I have other projects to work on, but this one just demanded to be written. So there you have it. Hopefully someone will read it and enjoy it, that's all I'm asking.

Rating: T;

Pairing: Loki/Harry - It's complicated;

Beta: Un-betaed. Sorry guys for all the remaining mistakes.

Warnings: mention of blood, violence, swearing, fem!Harry.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are property of their respective owners. Everything else is the product of my imagination. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

The first thing she noticed when she rushed outside following her son's panic filled voice, "There's a wounded man in our backyard", was the amount of blood pooling under the slumped figure. He was lying face down, at the base of giant oak tree, the soil completely soaked. He was so still and grey, for a brief moment Harry feared she had been too late, even as she crouched down and looked for signs of life. His pulse was erratic and weak and she couldn't risk turning him around until she knew more about the wounds he had sustained, and for a brief moment panic almost settled in, echoes of another time when she had seen friends and family dying, while she was powerless to stop it.

It was then that Harry reminded herself that she wasn't a helpless schoolgirl anymore, she had gone to St. Mungo's preliminary training for nurses before leaving the Wizarding World, and that meant she could actually do something in the situation. So almost praying she wasn't doing something to aggravate the wounds, she pulled out her wand, froze the man in position and with as much urgency as possible she moved him inside her house in one of the spare bedrooms. There she let her training take over and for the following two hours she worked every spell she knew and some she improvised on the spot to stabilize him and stop the bleeding. Finally, when she could no longer think of anything that she hadn't tried, the man peacefully unconscious and the wound somewhat sealed, she spent a few moments gazing at her patient's too pale and grayish face and before she left the room, she mused to herself. "Someone out there had really wants you dead."

Perhaps, she later thought with chagrin, that should have been a warning of what she was letting herself in.


Loki woke up feeling as if he had been encased in lead. He couldn't move any of his limbs, despite feeling that he still had them. Even his eyelids felt heavy, as he struggled to get them to open, hating how vulnerable and weak the situation was making him.

"Stop struggling," a female voice interjected from his right, and before he knew it, a soft hand had grabbed his face in a strong but careful grip, while another forced his eyelids to open and then put drops of some kind of liquid in both his eyes. For a moment he panicked, the liquid stinging a little, but after a few rapid blinks he saw his vision clear and for the first time he got a glimpse of his surroundings and of his jailer. Because he was completely certain he had been captured again, and this time he vowed to himself he would escape as soon as possible.

"Here, drink this," the same voice told him while holding a glass to his lips, and for a stubborn moment Loki thought of pressing his lips shut and refusing it, until she tipped the glass just so and the water inside it smeared his lips. And it was as if the thirst he hadn't known he had suddenly sprung to life because he drank with greedy gulps.

"Easy," the woman said, while easing the glass away and Loki almost growled in frustration, raised head chasing the container.

"Don't worry, there will be more of that later," she said patting a soft cloth at his chin where the water had dribbled down, and as she worked, Loki got the first glimpse of his jailer masquerading as a nurse. Younger than he had assumed from her voice, she had a slim build clad in sensible and worn work clothes, dark hair pulled in a sideways braid and pale skin subtly tinted by, what Loki suspected, were many hours spent outdoors. She looked fragile, weak, and human, and not the sort of jailer anyone would have chosen for the God of Lies, no matter how weak was said god at the moment, and in wasn't until Loki looked her in the eyes that he realized the woman was so much more she appeared at first glance. She had old eyes in a young face, the color of emeralds and magic, and secrets buried deep beneath, and Loki barely suppressed a shiver at the challenge hidden in them.

She was a puzzle, Loki knew, and unfortunately for her, he had never been good at leaving puzzles alone. But first thing first, "Woman, what have you done to me?" he rasped, words almost hurting when they got out.

"I saved you life," she replied easily, while expertly mixing several colored mixtures into a tall glass. "Here, drink this as well," and when he glared at her, she sighed, "Look, if I wanted you dead, I would have just left you where I found you with your guts hanging out." And then she shoved the glass against his lips until he had no option but to drink it or have its contents pour down his face. The potion tasted sour, with herbal undertones and mineral grittiness, but it was its undeniably magic nature that got him to rethink things through. He drank it all, showing he was behaving, only because he had realized that at the moment she was the one having the power. But he would remember this, Loki vowed eyes narrowing to slits when she turned her back to place the empty glass on the bedside table.

"If that's so, would you at least tell me the name of my savior?" Loki asked, putting such emphasis on the last word until 'savior' sounded like something ugly coming from him. If it affected her, she made no move to show it, but she was also silent for a long moment.

"Harry," she conceded at long last, "the name is Harry. And you should probably go to sleep now." And with that she went outside the room, closing the door gently behind her.

Loki filled the information in the back of his mind even as sleep began to pull him under. "Harry," he muttered under his breath, as if tasting each syllable. A deceivingly unassuming name, he thought while his eyes swept over his surroundings before he closed them, just like the seemly ordinary room where he was being kept. But he knew better, because even in his weakened state he could tell there were wards humming all over the place.


AN: With NaNoWriMo almost over I'm trying to treat this story as a daily, or almost daily project. So expect not-too-long updates every other day, although they may not be the best quality I have to offer because for all my slower projects I have been known to write various versions of the same chapter and then scrap them all because none were up to my standard. So I'm trying a new approach with this that hopefully won't be a total disaster. Cheers! - Paralelsky