- No Beta
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
Lost and Found
Loki was done with the constant bickering among the Royal Council and it seemed Thor was equally done. He couldn’t understand where his parents, who looked cool and collected, found the extra patience to deal with these morons. But alas, the Council meeting went on for most of the morning with a few entertaining interludes but nothing of real importance was accomplished but the Prince did notice that the Jotun Emissary kept looking in his direction in a subtle fashion for most of the morning. It was most odd. Thankfully his family didn’t notice because being the youngest meant that his family was very protective.
After the meeting, Prince Loki retreated into his private study to rest and received a message from one of the Palace pages. The missive stated that the Jotun Emissary would like to request a private meeting between himself and Loki. Not surprising that. Loki looked over his schedule for the fortnight and decided that he could meet with the Emissary for tea tomorrow afternoon when his parents would be attending their private Temples. Loki sent a reply back stating when they could meet.
The next day he sat down with Helblindi, second son of Laufey. Loki could practically smell the not quite anxiety coming off the young Prince. In response, the Loki tried to soothe some of young Helblindi’s nerves by offering a heated spice wine that he knew to be a special treat on Jotunheim. It was also a symbol of peace making and a traditional offering of friendship which calmed the visiting Royal down a bit.
Helblindi accepted the drink with a quiet word of thanks and drank. “It is a delicate matter,” Helblindi began. “Did you know that in fact, I am the third son of Laufey, not the second? That Laufey’s first born was stolen and presumed murdered during the height of the War? His body was never found. It was the reason why my Father, King Laufey, requested the cease fire that led to the end of the war. He has always said that after the loss of Loptr he could not stand to see more death.”
Loki stared in shock at the deeply personal revelation the emissary had stated. Loki took a minute to adjust before replying as diplomatically as he could. “I was told a vague account of that, yes. It has been used by my parents to warn my brother and me of some of the dangers of our birth station. I am sorry for your loss. But I must ask, why did you wish to discuss it with me?”
Helblindi took a deep breath, “Prince Loki, you look a great deal like my mother when she is in her Aesir form. Your King and Queen have never met her, so they would not be aware of the fact.”
Unknown to both Loki and Helblindi, Thor had paused just outside the doorway of his brother’s parlor shocked at the personal confession and then horrified at what came after. Loki himself was at a loss. He knew he was adopted, his parents called him their little miracle or blessing often enough when he was younger. In fact, the entire Court of Asgard had attended his adoption ceremony. Loki summoned a glass of his favorite Alfheim wine and drank deeply, savoring the slight warmth it gave him.
“It is no secret to the Court that I am adopted. Nor that I am Jotnar by birth. Do you recall the tale of the attack and avalanche of Drekihold? Drekihold is a Dwarven ice moon that many Jotun refugees had fled to during the worst of the fighting on Jotunheim. The Kree attacked it a few months after the Peace Treaty between Asgard and Jotunheim was signed, and the Dwarves called on Odin for military aid. Queen Frigga was gifted by the Norns a vision that told her she would be needed after the battle and came to Drekihold with Odin. During the fighting, an avalanche was triggered and it wiped out most of one of the Jotnar refugee villages. I was one of the few survivors and was brought to Mother for a medical exam. Everyone who was there says that we bonded as mother and son as soon as she touched me. They were told by the surviving villagers that my parents had arrived from Jotunheim after the cease fire but before the Peace Treaty was signed. If what you are implying is true … well, I don’t know what that would mean.”
Helblindi set aside his goblet of steaming wine to take his Loki’s hand and reply as gently as he could. “It would mean many things would change but first if you wish to be certain there are tests that your Healers could perform.”
Loki bit his lips and spoke softly “What would happen if the test bore fruit? My family … this could kill my parents if they thought they had any part in your parents losing a child. Mother had a miscarriage during that time frame, it devastated my parents. The healers have always theorized that the loss of her unborn child and my loss of my parents during the avalanche was what caused us to bond.”
Helblindi slightly tightened his grip.
“The one who stole our Loptr from his cradle was caught. She confessed to stealing him for a family of distant cousins to Laufey. They thought that if Loptr was gone and Laufey could have an “accident” in battle one of their own might ascend to the throne. Nevermind that Queen Farbauti would have never let that happen as she is more directly descended from Ymir than King Laufey is. She simply prefers to work from the shadows while Laufey prefers to lead battles. It is one reason they are True Mates.”
Helblindi spoke again. “Their Majesties never considered that the traitors might have sent you off somewhere instead. Perhaps the House of Tharka simply didn’t want to waste your magic. But it matters not. We know who to blame for the loss of Loptr. If anything Their Majesties will be overjoyed that you were raised with such love and care. So will my brothers and sisters.” He leaned in slightly.
“It has not been announced yet, but my mother, her Majesty Queen Farbauti, recently gave birth to a fourth son. If things go as I think they will, it would please their Majesties, and my siblings greatly for you to be at his Naming Day. Besides myself, there is my elder brother Crown Prince Bylstier, my elder sister Astridr, my younger sister Dagmar, and my newborn brother.”
Loki reply “I need to meditate on this before I go with this to my family. Helblindi, I’m not sure if I would be allowed to leave Asgard and neither my older brother nor I have ever visited another Realm without our parents because … because of the story of Loptr”
Helblindi nodded “I understand, if you like brother I could be there with you …”
Neither noticed Thor leave from behind the edge of the doorway. They did notice the crack of thunder that shattered their quiet conversation. Loki snorted suddenly with laughter. “Thor must have been bested by Lord Tyr again. Time and again he rushes in without waiting for an opening. Father will never let him even go hunting at this rate.”
Helblindi laughed at that. “You think your parents are overprotective? I had to order Lady Thrudr with the most exacting instructions to keep her from being here or trying to spy on us. Never leave loopholes for a Jotun female. They find them all. It is part of what makes them the best of us. While Lady Thrudr has met her Majesty Queen Farbauti, she was just a youth when the War happened. She’s never seen Mother without her veil.”
Loki nodded. All the Nine Realms knew that Queen Farbauti wore a veil of Mourning in public.
Loki sighed as one of the College pages rushed into the room nearly out of breath. The little girl quickly knelt at the Prince’s feet despite Loki trying to get her to sit on the step stool. In between deep breaths, she relayed that Loki aid was needed in the College Library
One of the young mage apprentices had gotten frustrated with the frankly outdated magickal catalog, and had cursed it calling it “something something stubborn Midgardian simian.” The young page blushed as she edited out the curse words in front of her Prince. Whereupon it had promptly turned into an Orangutan. The Librarians were having a time of it trying to get the now mobile catalog out of the rafters and could Prince Loki please come change it back?
Just as Loki was agreeing to go see to the Library’s problem, Lady Thrudr, an imposing figure taller than Thor, strode into the room and bowed deeply. “Forgive, me Prince Helblindi, but there has been a magical accident and your Guardian, Lady Angrboda, wishes for you to be at her side immediately.”
Helblindi and Loki looked at each other, each loathing the thought of leaving the other with so much more unsaid. But rumors were a Palace’s lifeblood and neither wanted King Odin or Queen Frigga to hear this prematurely, much less distorted by rumor mongers. It was the kind of news that could tighten or break the fragile alliance. And if they were brothers, neither would want the alliance broken.
Reluctantly, Helblindi and Loki parted ways with Loki heading towards the college Library with the little page girl following on his heels while Helblindi escorted by Lady Thrudr went into the direction of his maternal Aunt Lady Angrboda. Helblindi hoped that his Aunt’ s accident didn’t involve the mild itching powder he had put in her bath products; but all thoughts of his Aunt fled while they were crossing one of the many public Palace gardens, which many of the Asgardian Court like to relax in on fair weather days like the one they were having. Thor had appeared like a bolt of lightning in his path. The golden haired Prince’s face was a mixture of fear and pain but his body crackled with ribbons of lighting. The Thunderer could hardly speak in his fury and Lady Thrudr not to mention the surrounding Court gaped at the Asgardian Prince’ s display in shock and horror.
“You dare!” Thor said, barely getting his words past the fury choking his throat. “You try to steal my brother with your twisted words! He is my brother, not yours! Why are you trying to take him away from us? Is it because all the realms know that Loki will be the most powerful Mage their history when he reaches manhood? I should cut out your lying tongue!”
Lady Thrudr shoved Helblindi behind her, and with a crackle and rumble shifted into her Jotun form, ice covering her body like scale armor. She was easily nine feet tall, and the Aesir nobles scattered like frightened rabbits. In response, Thor’s lightning arced further from his body and the sky blackened.
“HALT!” Everyone still in the garden looked over to the entrance. The rulers of Asgard were there, and so was Lady Angrboda, all having been alerted that there was a confrontation taking place between princes of the two realms.
Thor took his parents presence as permission to come completely unglued, as he roared out everything he overheard from Helblindi and Loki’s conversation. Odin cautiously approached his screaming son; not really paying mind to his words as gently suppressed the ribbons of lightning flowing from Thor’s body. Odin used his sedir to send his raging eldest to sleep. Once he got within reach, he pulled his eldest away from Helblindi and his Shield Maiden. Odin caught him as he fell unconscious leaving in his wake a horrible silence that ebbed and flowed throughout the Garden. This was how Loki found the Royals of both Realms when he came running into the garden past the Courtiers and stopping at Helblindi’ s side.
Once again everyone turned to look. This time however is was Angrboda who lost control of her powers. The entire garden crystallized into ice in the space of a breath as she lost her grip on her Aesir form and soundly snapped into a Jotun woman just even in height with Lord Tyr, who had also come running. However, she staggered, her sapphire skin turning slate gray in shock as she whispered into the silence, “Loptr.”
Now that the danger presented by Thor was over; Lady Thrudr dismissed her armor but stayed in her Jotun form as she caught Lady Angrboda as she collapsed. Loki wanted to be anywhere but where he was. The silence was excruciating and everyone but Helblindi was looking at him in horror. Once more that day, he had no idea what to do or say.
Loki seeing that Thor was passed out in his Father’s arms, went to his older brother; while the one who might be his younger one followed, touching his shoulder as they both knelt by Thor’ s side. Odin’s voice broke the silence “Could someone summon the Healers and then proceed to tell me what the name of the Norns is going on? Why is my oldest thinking that Helblindi is trying to steal Loki?”
Both Helblindi and Loki quietly told Odin the events that led up to the incident that just occurred, ending with Helblindi pleading to both Odin and the recovering Angrboda to not punish the sleeping Thunderer for his actions. But Queen Frigga cut Helblindi’s plea short.
She looked at Helblindi and Angrboda and then her sons, tears beginning to shimmer in her eyes. “You think our Loki, our Miracle, is the lost Loptr? We stole your kin?” Her hands clenched so tightly that her knuckles went white. Angrboda was still silent from shock but Helblindi once again stepped in.
“As I told Loki this afternoon, their Majesties Laufey and Farbauti know not only who stole their son, but who plotted to do it. They are no longer relevant, having paid dearly for their crimes. All it means is that if Loki is indeed also Loptr that you are right. He is a miracle. They could have killed him in his crib, or at any time before the avalanche. They could have raised him a slave to be used for his magic. He could have died in the avalanche. Instead, he was found by your Majesties and not only raised with a love that all the realms know of but raised a Prince as his birth warrants.”
Frigga frowned and her gaze connected with her husband’ s who also noted Helblindi distraction for what it was. The Queen helped Lady Angrboda stand, and Frigga dryly stated that it must be Farbauti that the boys got the Silver Tongue from as Laufey was much too blunt, causing the boys’ Aunt to laugh a little but she did confirm it.
Odin directed the Guards and the hovering Healers to remove Thor to his chambers and not let him out if he was anything but calm, much to Helblindi and Loki’s alarm but Odin and Frigga both silence their protests with a look. After making sure Thor was safely in his bed. The King of Asgard returned to his wife and youngest son and said, “Before we decide anything we must first determine Loki’s parentage. If you would please head to the rooms of healing, Her Majesty and I would like a brief word with our son.”
Helblindi and Loki shared a look as the Jotun Prince and his retinue was led away. Helblindi seemed to be trying to reassure Loki without saying anything and Loki felt a slight longing not to be separated from the boy who might be his younger brother. Nevertheless, he followed his parents back to Odin’s private study.
Odin took off his crown and gestured for Frigga to do the same. It was a method they decided on when Thor was small to separate their time as parents from their time as rulers of the Realm Eternal. As they did so they could see Loki relax slightly.
“Loki, my son, this is a strange place we find ourselves in. I do not know what the results will show, but know that you have our love and total devotion to making sure you have all the options before you.”
Loki smiled wanly, feeling exhausted. He had never had the time to meditate on this and it felt like the whole situation just kept accelerating. “Thank you, Father. I don’t know what will happen either. Prince Helblindi in our conversation was very kind, but also very sure. And now there is the reaction of his aunt, Lady Angrboda. She is Queen Farbauti’s sister is she not?”
“Yes, that is true. She is a fierce protector of the Royal Family. She was absolutely gutted when Loptr was taken. She went into seclusion for a long while. This may be the first time she has left Jotunheim since that day.” Frigga replied while walking over to her younger son. ” I know this has been a stressful day my son. But I must also tell you I am so proud of you. You have done so well taking this with as much patience as you have. I have loved you as much as if I had birthed you from the moment I saw you and that love has only grown stronger every day.”
Loki reached out and hugged his mother gently, leaning his forehead against her shoulder. “I have never doubted your love for me mother.” He looked up and over at his father. “Nor your’s father.” He smirked, “Nor Thor’s though he should really learn to stop jumping to conclusions. If he had actually attacked Prince Helblindi it could have been a disaster. It still might be if I am Laufey’s lost son.”
“Your brother’s lack of tact comes from his Grandfather Bor. He will grow into wisdom. I fear that it will require something substantial for him to learn to think before he acts. But his learning is not what brings us here today.” Odin said with a shake of his head. “For now we must be off to the Rooms of Healing. It would not do to linger overlong, lest our Jotnar guests become impatient and seek us out. I do not want this bandied about while so much is yet uncertain.” With that Odin stood and donned his crown while Queen Frigga did the same.
Loki followed his parents to the Rooms of Healing. He was surprised when he got there. Of those in the Rooms, there was Eir the Royal Healer, her assistants and of course, Prince Helblindi, and the Ladies Angrboda and Thrudr … but the walls were lined with other Jotuns in Aesir form. Not only the other guards from Prince Helblindi’s visit but also the two scholars who taught at the College and the Ambassador to Asgard and his entire family.
Helblindi looked embarrassed. He stepped forward, “Your Majesties, Your Highness, Prince Thor’s words have already spread far and fast. As did the fact that King Odin decided to come here to find out. I was just about to ask them to leave. This should be private. At least the checking part. If the answer is no, I have no wish for my parents to believe that I might have suspected anything. Their grief is enough without bringing it up unnecessarily.”
Odin took a deep slow breath as Frigga put her hand upon his shoulder. “Very well, since the rumor has been set loose there is nothing to be done about it or Thor presently. All people who are not parts Royal Family of Jotunheim or Asgard are to vacate the Halls of Healing forthwith and return to their duties.”
As the last of the gathered crowds departed the King turned to the Royal Healer Eir and waited for her to speak. “As I was telling His Highness Helblindi, I cannot determine Prince Loki’s heritage without a sample of Prince Loptr. Jotun Heritage is not easily determined through regular Asgardian means,” began Eir.
It was then that a shaking voice came from Lady Angrboda. “I have carried this since his birth. It is a small lock of his hair sealed in permanent ice. It was given to me when I took my place as his Móðir Annarr, his Godsmother. I have kept it close to my heart since he was taken from us.”
Eir smiled and nodded. “That will do very well then if you can give us but a single strand I can perform the test.”
Lady Angrboda dissipated the front of the small gem like container made of ice and pulled one hair from it and then re-sealed it. She handed the hair to Eir and then tucked the keepsake back into her bodice.
Eir motioned to Loki. “Now for a hair from you, my Prince.”
“What will happen to it?” Asked Loki slightly suspiciously. His mother had drilled into him most firmly that one does NOT leave any part of themselves lying around. Dark magics could be performed on such things. This was dangerous for anyone, but doubly so for one of Royal lineage.
Lady Eir smiled, well aware of his line of thinking. “Because Jotnar can shapeshift their bodies are thus changeable from a standard testing perspective. But a person’s magic always has a unique tone or frequency. I will place your hair on this crystal over here.”
And she pointed to a dark blue crystal on one end of a long table, and the pointed to a dark red one on the opposite end.
“And place Prince Loptr’s hair there. If it is a match the stones will ring out matching tones. If they are silent then it is not a match.”
“Do not worry if the stones do not sound out immediately. It can take a few minutes for the stones to individually recognize each magickal signature and then compare them. Once the test is complete I shall return the hair to the both of you and you may do as you wish with it.”
With that, she walked to the red stone and placed the short single strand of Loptr’s hair. And then beckoned Loki to the other stone. Loki walked to the blue stone aware of everyone’s eyes on him once again. He ran his fingers through his hair and selected one strand and placed it on the blue stone.
With that, it was time to wait.
And an awkward wait it was. Loki was staring at the blue stone while pretending that everyone else wasn’t staring at him. Then Loki felt it, a hum in his magic, mere seconds before both the red and blue stones rang out their tones.
Loki felt shocked. It was all true. Slowly he looked up from the blue stone half afraid to see the expression on both, both his families’ faces.
It was Lady Angrboda who reacted first. Racing to the prince’s side she stopped just before him. Slowly, with a shaking hand, she brushed her fingertips down the side of his face. “Hello, little one. I have missed you.” She whispered brokenly.
Loki looked over to his parents who nodded their encouragement, as he gently put his arms around his Aunt when Lady Angrboda started to cry. Frigga and Odin then pulled an unresisting Helblindi into a hug of their own. The five of them stayed like that for a bit before the entire family with drew into the Royal family chambers, closely guarded by Lady Thrudr and Lord Tyr. No Courtier of any noble House of Asgard would dare approach the Royal family’s chambers to intrude on the family’s privacy. They would foolish to try.
Thor, sleeping in his personal chambers, dreamed. His mind going far into the past. Thor had loved Loki the moment he lay eyes on him, cradled in his Father’s arms when they came home from Drekihold. He recalled Loki’s adoption ceremony vividly and how happy he was to finally have a brother. He was so proud that his parents allowed him to hold his little brother for the first time at the celebration feast.
Then the dream changed and Thor was no longer holding his brother but instead his little brother’s stuffed wolf whom Loki had named Fenrir. He looked around the chambers that he found himself in, holding Fenrir close for comfort. It was obviously a nursery but very different from the one on Asgard yet in some ways similar. The crystal walls and floors were softened by earthen colored furs and the walls were decorated with brightly colored tapestries that showed stories from Jotnar lore.
Despite the cheerful colors, it had an air of disuse and sorrow. Thor found himself drawn to the cradle which he knew to be empty, still holding Fenrir when a veiled Jotun woman wearing her Aesir form enter the room weeping softly. She took no notice of Thor standing awkwardly by her baby’s empty cradle as she ripped off her veil and sank onto the furs littering the ground. Thor could see her face clearly now as it was no longer veiled. Her faced mirrored Loki’s. She took no notice of Thor when he gently laid Fenrir down where his brother would have slept and quietly left the weeping Mother as her grief drove him from the nursery.
The Dreams faded and Thor awoke in his personal chambers heart sick from his visions that echo Loki’s birth mother’s grief inside his own heart and mind. The Golden haired prince shivered…. What had he done? Oh Norns if his selfish actions destroyed the already fragile alliance with Jotunheim, his fears of losing Loki might come to pass. Tears prickled behind his eyelids but didn’t fall as his mind meditated on his actions and what would happen next.
It was swiftly approaching the time for the evening meal and the Loki and the members of his two families had been sequestered in the Royal Chamber’s sitting room. Loki was sat in between Helblindi and Angrboda on a settee. The time had been spent exchanging tales of Loki’s childhood. Angrboda had told the story of Loki’s birth, first few months, and how he had been stolen by a trusted nursemaid. In return, Odin and Frigga had spoken of how they had found Loki when they had gone to Drekihold to help in the aftermath of a terrible avalanche. How none of the survivors had claimed him and Frigga and Odin had fallen in love with him and gone on to officially adopt him.
There was silence after Frigga and Odin’s tale had ended. Helblindi spoke, “We need to tell my parents soon before rumors reach them, but there is a complication. Mother and Father will want to meet Loki immediately but neither can leave the Palace currently. Mother gave birth a few days before I came here. The birth will not be announced publicly until a complex tracking charm is placed on the child. But the charm is focused on the baby’s magickal signature which will not stabilize for at least another two weeks. It is a precaution that was created after the loss of Loptr.”
Helblindi tried not to shift as Odin and Frigga stared at him. “Ideally, I would like to invite Prince Loki to come with me back to Jotunheim so that once they are informed that he is Loptr they can see him immediately. I know there are security concerns to take into consideration but frankly, I’d invite your entire standing army to accompany us if that meant I could soothe my parents’ grief.”
Loki, who had been silent for the last little while, finally said what they had all been silently thinking. “But what about after. I have lived here all my life. I have a brother here as well as a mother and a father. I have no wish to leave them. But I also have parents in Laufey and Farbauti. But I do not know them. I cannot be in two places at once. I grieve for the pain they have been through but while I am Loptr, I am also Loki.”
Lady Angrboda spoke next, “I would wish for you at least give Laufey and Farbauti time to get to know you as Loki. As well as to meet your other siblings including your newest brother. But that is not the most complex issue at hand. As Laufey and Farbauti’s firstborn, you Loki, are the rightful Crown Prince of Jotunheim… not Bylstier.”
“That may be true, but I shall never take the crown. While I have been raised as a prince, it has been as a prince of Asgard. I have no knowledge of the kind of customs and traditions of the Jotnar. Add into that that I will forever lack the true trust of the people, due to being raised Aesir. While some of that can be overcome, much of it cannot. I also know enough of myself to know I have not the temperament for the weight of the crown. I am far better beside the throne as an advisor or ambassador. No, I will formally abdicate the throne to my…” he cleared his throat ” brother as soon as I am able. I am more than willing to meet with Laufey and Farbauti, to love them. But my parents are here. I am almost a grown man and off to begin my apprenticeship. I would like to travel to Jotun and learn magic there as it is vastly different than Aesir. ”
“I propose putting off my apprenticeship to Asgard’s Mage Council for a time. I have already learned that I am biologically and magically more different than the Aesir mages originally I believed I was. I will travel to Jotunheim to both meet my birth parents and to study in the magic of the Jotnar. Provided they do not make any attempts to keep me there against my will, I will stay there as long as it takes to master my Jotun Magic coming home as needed. It would be no different than when Thor goes off to train in the army. When I have mastered my Jotnar magic, I will go onto finish my training with the Mage Council.”
Helblindi started chuckling, causing everyone in the room to look at him as if he were mad. He held up a hand, caught his breath and then explained.
“Poor Bylstier is going to be very disappointed you don’t want the crown.”
Angrboda nodded, while the Aesir royals looked on in shock.
“It is true. Bylstier wants dearly to become a Priest for our Ancestors. He has already told Laufey and Farbauti that he would prefer the crown go to one of his younger siblings.”
Helblindi spoke again, “I haven’t decided yet what I wish to do. Like Mother, Bylstier, and now you Loki, I am gifted in magic… but my gifts are average in level, compared to the talents that you three possess. But I also know I am too young to make up my mind about what profession I would like and do well at. I will suggest, as I was already planning too, that I take the title of Crown Prince and undergo the early stages of training for it to see if it suits me. But at the same time, I will ask that we also evaluate the daughters of our house for aptitude for ruling and diplomacy. That way if one of them shows more talent in those areas than I, then they can become the Crown Princess. After all, while there haven’t been any Queens in recent memory, Ymir himself was the son of a Great Queen. It is also true, that unless something unexpected happens, Laufey still has millennia left on his lifespan. So any decision on the order of succession need not be hasty.”
Odin then spoke, “Loki, my son, You have done extremely well to navigate the difficult waters you find yourself in politically. And I ask your forbearance on other matters for a bit longer. We must now devise a plan for both telling Their Majesties on Jotunheim of our discovery, and how to properly inform this news to the Nine Realms.”
He continued, “I think we should immediately dispatch Lady Angrboda home to Jotunheim as quietly as possible. Hopefully, we can use magic to aid us in keeping her journey hidden. We will draft a letter for her to give to Their Majesties asking for time to prepare to visit on the pretense of congratulating them on the birth of the newest Prince. Once we are together we can decide on a course of action.”
Lady Angrboda and Prince Helblindi both nodded. “That seems like the beginnings of a good plan,” said Angrboda. “However, what happened in the gardens must be addressed. Thor’s behavior, which should be discussed later, has alerted the Nobles of Asgard and by now all of the Jotuns who work here. We must find a way to quell the rumors so that firstly there are no more incidents like earlier and that no part of this rumor makes it back to Jotunheim. As much as it has set your court into an uproar, it would be far worse in ours.”
Queen Frigga spoke next, looking at her husband, “Perhaps a travel ban? Send Lady Angrboda off and then seal the Bifrost until she returns with news?”
Helblindi spoke, “I can speak to my guards and all the other Jotuns here in Asgard about not spreading rumors. I will tell them that yes a test was done, but that in case the rumors have already reached Jotunheim; my Aunt will be sent speak to our Majesties with the results. There will be no announcement one way or the other until our Majesties have decided what they wish to say on the matter.”
Odin nodded in agreement. “All of Asgard is aware of Loki’s birth as a Jotun. The rumors will have made it to the taverns by now, but we can say much the same. That yes, there is a possibility. Yes, a test was done. No, they may not ask until the results are ready to be announced by King Laufey and Queen Farbauti.”
He shook his head then, “As for Thor’s outburst, I can only apologize to you and make him make his own apology and restitution to you Prince Helblindi and to the reputation of Jotunheim. His youth is no excuse for his loss of temper, aggression, and maligning words. Especially in the light that both Helblindi and Loki who are younger than him handled the situation with such grace and dignity. He has much to learn, and I will make him learn it. Or Loki will end up with a throne after all.”
Thor took that moment to walk in wearing a loose blue overrobe, it’s was rare for people other than family to see the Thunder so casually dressed. Pausing at the sight of Lady Angrboda and Helblindi, Thor blushed, his voice rough with sleep, spoke. “So it’s true then, the Healers testing bore fruit? ”
Thor looked to at his parents who nodded at him frowning. “Thor, I would like you to return to your chambers until I and your Mother call for you. ” Thor turned on his heels and left without a word carefully not looking at Loki or the Jotuns.
Thor was feeling very embarrassed as he walked back to his rooms. He had verbally attacked a Prince of another of the Nine Worlds. He had nearly used his powers to harm a boy younger than himself. And worst of all it was someone who he now knew to be kin to Loki. Frankly, the only thing worse he could have done was actually attack the young Prince.
Meanwhile in the Royal Study. Queen Frigga rose from her chair to stand beside the King and spoken “The hour is late and all of us need time to ponder these revelations. We shall reconvene on the morrow and prepare for Lady Angrboda’s journey. ”
With that, the Jotun party left the study for their rooms. Once they had departed the King and Queen took off their royal vestments and crowns and looked to their younger son.
“And now for the bilgesnipe in the room… What are we to do about Thor.” Odin sighed as he rubbed his hands over his face.
Loki rubbed his hands over his face in exhaustion. “Thor erred on numerous levels. Firstly, he listened in on a private conversation. Next, his blatant prejudice against Jotuns made him come up mentally with an outlandish scenario. After that instead of taking his suspicions to you, he confronted a Jotun dignitary in public. Lastly, he verbally threatened to maim said dignitary and probably would have tried to actually do it had there not been interference. Oh and to top it all off the dignitary is not only a minor but centuries younger than Thor.”
“All this is true, added to the fact that we are still on tenuous ground with the Jotunheim after the war,” Loki added. “Father, he is not ready for any kind of leadership. While his fighting skills are gaining in strength, his thinking skills are not. He needs to go somewhere where he isn’t the Crown Prince. Somewhere where he has to learn to think first.”
“So what you are saying my son, is he has to go somewhere where he will be confronted by his prejudice and not thought miraculous simply because of his title. Somewhere like Jotunheim perhaps?” Queen Frigga asked
Odin began to chuckle. “I think perhaps a history lesson is in order, he forgets that my mother and thus his paternal grandmother was of Jotunheim. I shall speak of it with their Majesties while we visit them on Jotunheim. For now, my son you have had much to contemplate, and little time to do so. I shall send for a sleeping draught and you shall take it and then sleep. Meditate in the morning, we will not begin again until after we break our fast. I am most proud of you today. I love you deeply and were I only your father and not also a king I would be shouting my pride across all the Realm Eternal. ”
With both hugs and kisses from his parents, Loki went to his rooms and took the draught and let sleep take him where dreams could not find him.
The next morning found Loki refreshed and more settled having had time to properly process that not only did he have family on Jotunheim that had dearly missed him, but that the young Jotun Prince who had been staying with them for the past week was actually his younger brother.
Loki had never thought about having younger siblings. He knew well that Frigga could have no more children and it had seemed unlikely that Odin and Frigga would adopt another child when their first two were nearly grown.
And then there was Thor. Loki was conflicted about Thor. He loved Thor and wanted to forgive him eventually. But, Loki remained furious at both the insult to all Jotuns that Thor had delivered and the fact that Thor might have just shattered the fragile peace between the two former enemy worlds.
Knowing that he might say something he regretted to Thor until he calmed down some Loki summoned two palace pages. One to send a missive to ask if he could break fast with Helblindi and Lady Angrboda and the other to his parents to say that he would either join the Jotuns or eat privately. He received both answers quickly and headed to the guest quarters where Prince Helblindi’s retinue was staying. Lady Thrudr greeted at the door. “Come in your highness, the food arrived moments ago.”
The only others in the room were Helblindi and Angrboda. Loki moved to sit with them and was surprised when Thrudr also took a seat. Helblindi noticed Loki’s surprise and addressed it.
“Lady Thrudr is my personal bodyguard and will be standing as my guardian while Lady Angrboda carries the message to my parents. As such, we felt it wise to include her on the results of the test and the plan to notify their Majesties. She can be trusted not to spread rumors.”
Loki nodded in agreement and after finishing their meal, the group returned to the study to continue their discussion.
After pleasantries were given Loki spoke, “I have thought of a way to get Lady Angrboda to Jotunheim. In preparation for my time at the Royal College, I came across an old tome describing long forgotten pathways within the World Tree. There is such a path directly from Asgard to Jotunheim. Just north of the Palace here, there is a cave. With in the cave is the entrance. The pathway will take you to a cave in the mountains very close to the valley containing Jotunheim’s capital city. I believe Lady Angrboda has sufficient magic to take the path and it can be done discreetly. ”
To Their Majesties of Jotunheim King Laufey, Son of Calder and Queen Farbauti, Daughter of Ragna,
Greetings from Their Majesties King Odin, Son of Bor and Queen Frigga, Daughter of Tyra,
It is both with great joy and sorrow that we write you on this day. During the course of normal diplomatic meetings your son, Prince Helblindi made a startling claim that we immediately investigated. After running our tests, we have confirmed that Prince Loki, Son of Odin is also the lost Prince Loptr, Son of Laufey.
Please know that we had no idea what when Loki bonded himself to Her Majesty Queen Frigga that he had any living relatives. No one in all the refugee camps claimed any familial relation to the child and our request from Jotunheim also came back without any relations. We deeply regret any part we inadvertently played in your grief. We have raised Loptr/Loki as befits a royal child of our hearts. Never has he doubted that we saw him as our son. This news has thrown our entire family into a sea of confusion. While we acknowledge he is your son he is also ours by right of adoption.
Rather than trying to hash this out over letters, we propose traveling to Jotunheim for the Naming Day of your newest son. This will give us all a chance to meet in person for things better discussed outside of letters.
We also must admit to an altercation between our son Thor and Prince Helblindi. Thor overheard only part of the discussion between Helblindi and Loki and lost his temper. While he felt he was protecting his brother he went too far and forgot his head. We put him to sleep and have forgone meting out a punishment until we can discuss things further with you since it was your son who was attacked.
King Odin of Asgard, Son of Bor
Queen Frigga of Asgard, Daughter of Tyra
The journey back to Jotunheim was short, maybe too short for Angrboda’s peace of mind, it concerned the Jotun greatly that Loki and Thor had used a pathway before out of childish curiosity until their parents got wind of their sons’ antics and sealed off the cave. It also amused Angrboda as well because she knew many of her younger family members would eagerly explore the cave if they knew of it. She would have to have a talk with her sister and her brother in law about making a seal from their end as well. But first, she had to tell them that Loptr had been found.
It was still early enough in the morning that the court was very sparsely populated when Angrboda reached the Palace. She quickly bypassed the great hall and went directly to the Royal Chambers. Before entering she took a moment to calm herself and make sure she had the letter. Knocking swiftly she was allowed entrance to see Laufey and Farbauti, and the newest prince relaxing. When they saw her their expressions quickly turned to worry as Laufey spoke, “Angrboda, why have you returned so quickly, we were not expecting you for another week?”
Angrboda trembled a bit before pulling both Farbauti and Laufey into a hug, which only alarmed them more before handing them the letter from the Rulers of Asgard. When both had read it, yet could not speak due to shock, she reached out magically and touched the Queen’s and King’s minds. In that mental embrace, she gave all of her knowledge of Loptr’s discovery and what transpired between Helblindi and Thor and Odin’s and Frigga’s reaction to both. Her mind also gave them knowledge of the ancient pathway she used to traveled to Jotunheim and of the Asgard’s Princes illicit use of it so they and their friends could go sledding during the height of summer until Odin caught them all, punished them, and Frigga sealed the cave completely until they allowed Angrboda to travel through it.
Farbauti overwhelmed with the knowledge that her Loptr was alive and well, started to weep. It had been nearly eight hundred years since Loptr had been stolen and thought killed. To find out that he had been alive all this time while she had mourned him was both wonderful and devastating. They were filled with awe for the kindness shown to her son by their former enemies to her lost child. They had had no reason to treat a child of the Jotnar people so kindly mere months after the end of the war.
Laufey sighed as the scene between Thor and his son replayed in his mind. The bloodline of High King Bor was known for their vicious defensive against any perceived threat regarding blood kin and loved ones. So Laufey wasn’t exactly surprised by the confrontation between his son and the Asgardian Prince. Laufey was, however, pleased with Lady Thrudr. She had not even appeared to think about putting herself between the two Princes even as it could have meant her death had she harmed Thor for attacking Helblindi. That kind of dedication would have to be rewarded.
And then there was Loptr. Or Loki as the Aesir called him. He was the picture of Farbauti, beautiful, intelligent, and cunning. He was also clearly extremely magical if he had already been asked to apprentice with the Mage Council of Asgard. Laufey knew that meant Loki had already completed the teachings of Asgard’s College and was considered as mentally and emotionally mature as a grown Aesir thrice his age. In short, he was everything Laufey hoped for in any of his offspring much less his long lost first born. The fact that Loptr realized he was no fit for the throne of Jotunheim due to being raised Aesir further proved his intelligence and maturity.
It was also clear that Odin and Frigga and even Thor truly considered Loki a beloved member of their family. It truly was a Miracle as Frigga called it. Laufey could only wonder at the Norns reasoning for this situation. But perhaps they had decided it was time to heal the wounds between the two realms. Rereading the letter Laufery paused when Odin mentioned that he would like Laufey and Farbauti’s input into Thor’s punishment. While he could understand Odin’s reasoning, he was astonished the Asgardian King would consider it. Laufey lowered the letter and faced his Queen. “Odin has offered to let us have input into the punishment for Thor. How do you think we should respond?”
Jotunheim was beautiful, it was one of the things Prince Loki noticed on the horse ride from the Bifrost. From the hill they were cresting Loki could see the surrounding countryside wasn’t a barren wasteland of ice and snow. There were vast forests and woodlands of pine and birch like trees made of crystal hugging the shore of a river that flowed into a valley below them. It was the sight of greatest of the wonders that the valley contained that took Loki’s breath away.
The Royal City of Jökulrós was slightly elevated above the farmlands that fanned out before it, due to being carved into the face of a steep cliff made of glittering crystal, ice, and stone. Loki breath caught slightly as they traveled closer, spying herds of wooly mammoths traveling sedately in the meadows above the city.
Riding on Loki rode down into the valley to meet his destiny.
Thor had been living on Jotunheim for nearly 3 months now. He was teaching young Jotuns of noble and common birth basic unarmed self-defense and helping Lady Geae teach swordplay. When he wasn’t teaching the Thunderer went to the library of the Jotunheim’s Royal College to learn Jotnar history and lore. When not teaching or attending lessons Thor had to be available to Helblindi. He was to assist in any tasks the Prince desired. It was humbling and grueling work but very rewarding.
It was on Jotunheim that Thor had discovered he was a good teacher. He didn’t get to spend much of time with Loki or his mother, who was also visiting currently. At least not without one of the many members of Loki’s biological family also in attendance. And that’s where Thor was having an issue because he found himself loving their company the way he loved spending time together with Loki and their parents, but he als missed having his mother and Loki to himself.
The Thunderer suppressed a sigh as he carefully guided his student’s movement into a proper block. Naidia was a decent student quick to learn and eager to please, so Thor tried his best to teach. His lesson with Naidia was short lived though when King Laufey and the Princes Helblindi and Bylstier walked into the training yard and headed in Thor’s direction. He dismissed Naidia, concerned as Loki wasn’t with them.
Thor bowed deeply to King Laufey and less deeply to the Princes. He then nodded in acknowledgment to the three advisers Laufey had brought with him. “Your Majesty, your Highnesses, how may I help you?”
King Laufey spoke first, “Prince Thor, the anniversary of Loptr’s birth is next week. For many years that day has been a day of mourning. This year it will be a day of celebration of his birth and his return. Our family wishes to give Loki a gift that shows both our happiness at his return and honors Asgardian traditions to show our gratitude to your family for caring for him. Is there anything that you can think of that would fulfill those requirements?”
It took Thor only a few moments to come up with an answer that he thought Loki would love. “A familiar, King Laufey. Strong Asgardian mages often acquire familiars after their majority, for that’s when they are finally magically strong enough to bond with one. Loki has been strong enough for more than a century; but he has held off on getting one for himself for fear of insulting the older mage students who are less powerful than he, as he is still some decades away from his majority. Traditionally the more powerful the mage the more dangerous the species chosen for the familiar is.”
Bylstier saw where Thor was heading, “If we gave him a familiar as a gift no one could say that he was bragging. Especially if we gave him a powerful one?”
Thor made a yes/no motion with his hands. “To Asgardian mages, your gifting him a dangerous familiar would prevent them from believing that he was trying to one up them personally. However, in the act of creating and maintaining a familiar bond Loki would prove himself to be as powerful, talented, and responsible as any fully adult mage. Thus the mages who have already reached the age of majority would respect him more. It might make mages not yet at the age of adulthood envious, but they would not dare to question the gift of a sovereign in public or in the hearing of any adults.”
Thor spoke again, “The familiar should be an infant of its kind to more easily create the bond”
Laufey looked between his two sons and saw that they had all seemed to come to the same conclusion. Helblindi spoke first, “A dire wolf.”
Thor looked startled but nodded along with the other Royals, “Aye, a dire wolf would make quite an impression on the people of Asgard.”
Thor smiled as he remembered Loki’s plush wolf, and told Laufey, Bylsteir and Helblindi of the toy that Loki had slept, ate, and even bathed with when they were very young, much to the delight of Laufey.
A week later the Great Hall was full; and for once, this day was in celebration instead of mourning. King Laufey rose from his throne and the room went silent.
“My people, today is a day to be remembered. Today we celebrate the birth of my eldest son and his return to us. Long have we mourned what we thought was his death. Instead, he was found and raised by their Majesties of Asgard with love. They raised him to be the best man they possibly could. We thank them for this and hope that our mutual love of family can foster a new Era of peace and understanding between our peoples.”
“To my son Loptr, or Loki, as he named on Asgard; I wish to present to you on behalf of your family a gift that will help you on your path to mastering the magic you were born with!”
As he finished speaking a door to the left of the thrones opened and a servant pushed a cart festooned with subtle decorations out. Loki walked over to the cart and with trembling fingers pulled the cloth away from the cage holding his gift. When he looked into the eyes of the dire wolf pup, his eyes filled with tears as he whispered, “Fenrir, I have been waiting so long to meet you.”