Loki looked somewhat different than what Harry was expecting.
He had never seen the God before, and he never liked stepping into something without knowing about it first, so he had read thoroughly through Loki's file, but the photo they had of Loki himself was of a man in a flashy green cape and the weirdest helmet he had ever seen. The photo quality was terrible- what was it taken with, a potato?
So Harry had asked a few SHIELD agents he had run into (who looked like those serious, spy-type people, but in reality were actually wannabe James Bonds… well, most of them, anyway) but hadn't really gotten a clear image of what Loki looked like.
"Massive, I swear, bigger than the Hulk-"
"Kinda like a reindeer, you know? Just less… reindeerish…"
"Loki?! Loki? Where? Get him away from me, away, I tell you!"
"Oh yeah, that guy. He looks a lot like my cousin Francis."
"Tiny. Just like a tiny man, but really annoying-"
"Blonde hair, like Thor-"
"Jet black hair, and pale skin and pale everything. He was like... like a... vampire."
"He could shoot laser beams out of his eyes, I swear-"
"He nearly sliced my arm right off!"
And Harry's personal favourite: "Loki? Who's that?"
For the top government agency in the world, they had some really incapable agents.
In reality, without the flashy armour and cape, Loki looked just like a man. He was sitting with his back to the wall of the cell he was in, his black hair hanging in front of his eyes. He was dressed loosely in a T-shirt and tracksuit pants, and Harry would have thought he was asleep if he hadn't seen the slight hitch in his breathing when Harry entered the room.
Now Harry stood, feet shoulder-width apart, outside the cell where the alien who had just tried to destroy a whole city was trapped.
As he stood silently assessing the god, mocking laughter filled the room, and Loki's thin shoulders shook.
"Well, well, well…" he said, his voice impossibly smooth. It was amazing how three words could hold so much contempt, Harry mused absent-mindedly, watching without a word, as Loki got to his feet in a fluid motion. He rather reminded him of a snake, Harry thought, and then shivered as an image of Voldemort flashed into his head.
"Another agent, I presume?" the god spoke, peering at Harry through the thick glass. "Very unimaginative, though I have to say, I never expected much from this pathetic place."
"Oh, yes?" Harry asked mildly. "What exactly did you expect?"
Loki smiled tightly, his face devoid of any humour, the expression sliding onto his face like quicksand. "Torture, perhaps," he said, no longer looking at Harry but gazing at his fingernails, almost bored. "An attempt to appeal to my good nature. Pathetic attempts to coerce me into giving important information. Nothing that I have not yet encountered from your petty race."
Harry laughed a little at that. "Petty? You're calling us petty? Out of all of us here, who's the one who attempted - and failed, by the way- to take over an entire planet because you had some daddy issues. Please."
Loki looked a little taken aback, and Harry wondered vaguely what his previous interrogators had been like. Had all of them been too afraid to tell Loki to shut his gob?
"Enough of your foolishness," Loki hissed. There was a brief flash of emerald green light, much like the killing curse, and suddenly there were a dozen Loki's sitting in the cell. They all looked up at Harry, and there was the same condescending expression on their identical faces.
"Go ahead, agent." They spoke in unison. "Interrogate us."
Harry looked at him for a second, then shrugged and pulled up a chair. He could have conjured one, of course, but he didn't want Loki knowing of his powers yet. He shifted uncomfortably on the white plastic, silently casting a cushioning spell on it before leaning back and crossing his
"What I want to know," Harry began, his tone light, playful, nearly bored, "is how someone like you could even think that you could achieve all of this."
"You know nothing of me, you arrogant fool," Loki spat out, the words echoing out of a dozen mouths.
Harry raised an eyebrow at Loki – him and his illusions. "Oh, don't I? Loki, son of Odin,"
The illusions hissed a little, and Harry cocked his head. "Oh, right, I forgot," he said, grinning a little. "You don't think of yourself as their family, do you? Rather sad, if you ask me. I mean, take what you can get, right?"
The Loki's scoffed. "You know nothing. That is common knowledge to most Midgardians. Hardly impressive."
Harry tutted, wagging a finger admonishingly. "Hold up there. I'm not done yet. Patience is a virtue, remember?"
"Patience is a virtue?" Bruce Banner repeated incredulously, staring at the holographic screen displayed in front of him. "Is he insane?"
Tony and Clint were guffawing loudly, Natasha had her lips tilted slightly in a smile, and Steve looked torn between laughing out loud and looking severely disapproving. Thor was looking at the screen, smiling but with a faraway look in his eyes. "My brother looks surprised," he said, quietly. "I very much doubt that he has been spoken to in such a manner, and by a mortal at that."
"Yeah," Tony grinned, leaning back and regretting not asking for a box of popcorn before the interview began. "But then again, Harry isn't an ordinary mortal, is he?"
"Son of Laufey," Harry continued, watching with a sense of satisfaction as Loki's head whipped around in a complete 90 degree angle. "You were taken in by Odin, after he slayed your father. You were given the nickname 'God of Lies and Mischief', and learnt dark magic by the Sorcerer Eldred. And, for some reason," he continued, looking on in amusement as Loki's eyes narrowed. "You own a wolf, and named it Fenrir. Terrible name, really. I once knew a wolf with a name like that. Ended up going mad, well, he was mad from the beginning really, and tried killing a bunch of people. Oh, and you gave birth to a horse. That was very strange, really, I tried not to find out too much about that, but I guess, each to their own. I won't discriminate."
Loki and his illusions were on both feet now, looking far less composed, to Harry's delight. Then again, he would have been a bit put out if his mask hasn't slipped a little. It had taken him far too much effort to dig up that information. He would have to thank Hermione later.
"From whom did you receive that information?" Loki gritted out, his smooth voice changing, turning brittle, sharp.
"No mortal possesses such knowledge. Was it Thor, perhaps? You will regret this, stranger. I will rip out your throat and flay your skin with my teeth."
Harry rose to meet him, vanishing the chair he was sitting on with a wave of his hand. Loki's eyes tracked his movements, shock clearly visible, his illusions flickering like a bad TV screen. Harry was no longer mild and unthreatening. His expression hardened, the mask dropping off his face with quick efficiency. His eyes glowed, his posture straight, his wand appearing in his hand. Green eyes met green as the sorcerer and the wizard stood before each other.
"I'm Harry Potter," he said, and parted his hair so Loki could see the scar that had shaped his whole life. "You know me, don't you?"
Loki took a step back, almost unknowingly.
"Harry Potter. The Boy-Who-Lived."
Recognition flooded Loki's face, before he and his illusions all doubled over, chuckling darkly. The room was flooded in a chorus of mad laughter, the noises fading as one by one the illusions vanished with a small popping sound.
"Oh, this is brilliant. I would say it's an honour to meet you, Mr. Potter, but I'm afraid it's rather not."
Harry stared at him impassively. "I don't care who you think you are, Loki Laufeyson. You've come to my planet, you've hurt the people here, and I'll be damned if I let you get away with it. Now you're going to tell SHIELD what they need to know, or I can and will make things very unpleasant for you."
"Is that so?" Loki grinned, running a steady gaze up and down Harry's figure. "I'm trembling in my boots. The Saviour of Britain, come to save the day."
Harry stared at him, judging his next move. Oh, what the hell, he thought, and apparated into the cell.
Loki jumped, whirling around to face him, who had his wand out straight, pointed towards the man's face.
"Don't push me," he said, voice low. "You have no idea of what I am capable of, do you? I was in a war, Asgardian. I led an army from the age of fifteen. One person hurt the people I loved, and it took me seven years to track that bastard down and kill him. For you, I reckon it won't take that long. Don't you agree? Now," Harry leaned in close, so they were almost touching. "I don't care what petty grudge you have. You may be a god, but I know mortals who are a hundred times better than you, in every aspect. You are despicable: a child who lords his possessions over others, as if that would fill that void inside yourself. I can get information out of you right now. I could crash into your brain and pick out every little thing, every dirty secret you've ever tried to hide. I can do all that- and more. Or, you can just tell me what I want to know. Your choice, really."
Loki was staring at him, and his face looked blank, but Harry could see the tightening around his eyes. Oh, Loki was a tricky one. He wasn't scared as much as he was contemplating, thinking ahead, deciding his next move.
Reaching out using Legilimency, Harry jabbed hard into Loki's mind, just to prove he could.
"Well?" he asked, and his magic whirled around him in a crackle of electricity, tossing his hair up and giving him an unearthly appearance. "I'm getting impatient here."
Loki didn't look away, and Harry felt grudging respect. Most people cracked after five seconds.
"You might know me by another name, though," he whispered, adjusting his magic so only Loki could hear him. He had no doubt Fury and his goons were listening in. "Master of Death, perhaps?"
It was only then that Loki's façade dropped and he took a step back. "Impossible!" He spat out, looking furious. "That is... that is nothing, a myth, a story told to scare children! The Master of Death can not – does not – exist!"
"Oh really? Well, you could always ask Death yourself. I have no doubt you'll be seeing her soon."
Loki was frightened now, Harry could tell. He said nothing - obviously his pride was wounded- but he gave a quick, jerky nod, and Harry took that as acceptance.
Just like that, the wind died down, and Harry was grinning once again. "Terrific! Excellent, really. You are actually rather cooperative, you know? Ah well, all in a days work, I suppose. What's the time? I'm hungry. I'll be off, then. And remember…" Harry's eyes glowed briefly for a second more. "Don't hurt anyone from this planet, ever again. Or I'll personally pay you a visit. And we wouldn't want that now, would we?"
Before he could see Loki's reaction to his threat, Harry whirled around and with a crack he was sitting on the lap of Clint Barton, who, along with everyone else in the room, jumped.
"Oh, sorry," Harry said nonchalantly, climbing off and finding his own seat as everyone around him relaxed. "I do that sometimes. Nothing personal," he added to Clint, who slid his knife back into his boot. "Anyway, I think you'll find your little prisoner a little more cooperative from now on. Anyone up for tea?"