Here's another chapter. The first one can be read as a one-shot if you don't want to change the idea you already have of it, but I couldn't help but write a second chapter. Starting was easy this time, but then I hit a roadblock and… well, it doesn't matter; two years later here is the next chapter. I will be introducing darker themes, though, because there is a scene a bit heavier, but I did try to make it more implicit than explicit.
Hope you like it and sorry for any mistakes. Oh, and if any of you are also following my story Hadrian Lokison I just wanted you to know I am continuing it, it's just a matter of finishing the next chapter.
Harry slowly blinked his eyes open, feeling warm and comfy. After a moment, he realized he had been sleeping with his head pillowed on a chest, but unlike what would have been usual, he didn't panic.
The heartbeat under his ear and the falling and rising of the chest with every breath were almost comforting to hear, which gave away the other's identity as there was only one person he felt so relaxed around.
The wizard lifted his head from the expanse of bare skin and rested his chin over it, looking at the still sleeping face of his beloved.
He remembered how he would always wait impatiently for the night to arrive, when he would always meet Loki in his dreams. He had been his only friend growing up.
Loki had been the only real constant in his life.
Harry smiled slightly when Loki's chest rose with a deeper breath. It seemed the man was awakening. He reached up with a hand and moved a few strands of his hair back.
Green eyes opened slowly and the god smiled at his little mate.
"Good morning, Harry."
The wizard leaned into the god's touch with a smile and closed his eyes.
"Are you going to let me out of bed today?"
Harry opened his eyes again to find Loki looking at him with a raised eyebrow and a mischievous grin.
"I didn't mean it like that!" protested the wizard blushing fiercely.
"Oh, I do not know, I think it is very tempting…" said Loki rolling to the side so he was pinning the teen to the bed. "…to have you always in my bed."
The god leaned down to nip at his neck and Harry closed his eyes, moaning while baring his neck submissively. His breathing sped up when Loki started sucking on his neck, leaving red marks in the pale skin, and his hands roamed down his sides.
A knock on the door made them pause, but soon Loki ignored it in favour of tangling his hands in the black hair of his soul mate and kissing him with passion.
It didn't take long for Harry to forget about whoever was at the door and start moaning under Loki's skilful hands.
Another knock was heard, this time accompanied by a voice.
"Prince Loki? I bring a message from the Queen."
Loki growled at being interrupted. He and Harry may have been locked in his rooms for a whole week, but Harry had been too weak to do anything.
They had yet to consummate the bond as Loki had wanted Harry's first time to be special, not when the wizard could barely get up from the bed by himself.
The god pulled away and Harry couldn't hold a whimper. Loki leaned down to place a soothing kiss on his lips and got up from the bed.
Harry stayed there, trying to regain his breath, until Loki returned. The god has a scowl in his face as he read a piece of parchment.
"Loki? What is it?"
The god sighed and threw the paper onto a bureau, running a hand through his hair while he did so.
"Queen Frigga wants us to join the festivities tonight. There will be a feast here, at the castle, and she wants us to attend. Also, my brother has returned from Midgard."
Harry remembered Loki had told him something about Thor leaving two days after the fight with the elves, when it was evident that Loki didn't intend to let anyone inside his rooms at least until Harry awoke.
"And what is the matter? I thought you wanted me to meet them."
Loki looked at him, startled.
"Of course I want that, Harry. It is not that which… upsets me."
"What is it, then?" asked Harry scooting closer to the edge of the bed. "What is it that worries you so, my Loki?"
The god stopped right in front of him and, looking down at his soulmate, took his face in his hands. The man had a slight smile on his lips as he caressed his cheek.
"I am unsure if I am ready to share you."
"Share me?" repeated the confused human.
"Yes." The man hesitated. "You don't seem to understand. It has been centuries since a submissive soulmate has put a foot in Asgard. Jötuns are the only race that always finds their soul mate, without exception, as they would die without them. And, as you know, Asgardians and Jötuns do not share a good relation. Everyone will want to meet you, to talk to you. Everyone will want your attention. I do not know if I am ready for that."
Harry bit his lip and tugged on the man until he was sitting on the bed next to him. Then, the wizard let himself be dragged onto the sorcerer's lap and relaxed as he started to pet his hair.
"Loki, I love you. More than anything. There's no one out there that will be able to change that. Ever. And none of them could attract my attention when you're in the same room. If you want, we can stay here. You are the Liesmith, the Silvertongue; I'm sure you can find an excuse. However, you have to keep in mind that, sooner or later, we'll have to leave your rooms."
Loki sighed with his face hidden in his hair and tightened his hold on the wizard for a moment.
As good as sequestering Harry in his rooms forever sounded, he knew it wasn't really feasible.
"No, we will go. It will give me the opportunity to land in the healing chambers every idiot that so much as looks your way." only half joked the god.
Harry fidgeted nervously in front of the mirror. Queen Frigga had asked Loki for his measurements and ordered some clothes for him.
With a sigh, Harry turned to the door and walked out to find Loki near the window, gazing at the starry night as he waited for him.
The wizard took advantage of his distraction to observe him. The god was dressed in green and black, for once forgoing the gold of his armour though Harry knew he didn't really need it. He wore dragon skin under his clothes.
Harry didn't mind the change. The colours brought out his eyes and the pallor of his face. His hair was slicked back and out of his face. Coupled with his sharp features and high cheekbones, Loki was the very image of royalty.
Sensing a gaze on himself, the god turned around and his breath got caught on his throat at the sight of the wizard.
His Harry was dressed all in black and his pants looked like a second skin. Over them, he wore a green robe with golden trimmings and a belt and the long sleeves were tucked in golden bracelets, yet their pointed ends still managed to cover his hands. He also wore high boots that reached past his knees. Locks of black as a starless night hair flowed down his back and past his shoulders.
All in all, his Harry looked absolutely stunning. He was a true apparition.
Loki swallowed and slowly crossed the distance between them. He couldn't believe how lucky he was to have been gifted with such a beauty. On the outside as much as the inside.
His soul mate nervously looked up at him through long dark eyelashes and Loki caressed his cheek sweetly, as if he were made of crystal.
"You look stunning, my gem. The Queen chose well these clothes."
His little one smiled shyly at him, a beautiful blush colouring his cheeks. Loki swallowed again and had to fight to contain the urge of locking his gem in his rooms and never let another lay eyes on him.
The god took a deep breath and moved to the side, opening a drawer and taking a wooden cage with very detailed carvings out of it.
"I had these made for you, not long ago."
The god presented him the box and opened it. Harry gasped and his eyes widened when he saw the beautifully crafted golden ear cuffs. Two very small black feathers dangled from two delicate looking chains.
"You do not need to pierce your ears to get them on as they have magic to hold them in place." explained Loki. The man continued when it seemed Harry wasn't going to say anything. "If you do not like them I can have something else made for…"
He didn't get to finish the sentence as a pair of soft lips pressed against his. It was chaste and sweet and, when they parted, Loki smiled widely, a smile that only Harry would ever get to see.
"So you do like them?"
"I do, Loki. They… they are beautiful."
"Yes. Beautiful." But Loki wasn't looking at the ear cuffs.
Loki make sure they didn't walk too fast as he knew Harry could get hurt. The skin over his stomach was still tender from the injury suffered at the hands of the Dark Elf.
Sensing his emotions darkening, Harry looked at him in worry and the god forced himself to leave those thoughts. They were going to enjoy that night.
So they walked with their arms entwined until they were standing in front of two big doors. Sounds of the party reached their ears and Harry started to get nervous.
Loki stopped for a moment before leaning down and placing a sweet kiss on his lips, managing to calm him a little.
The eyes of the sentries at the doors widened at the sight of the two men before they bowed and hurried to open the doors for them.
Instantly, people started to take notice of them and silence spread over the great room. Men and women alike gasped when they saw Harry. Not only was he gorgeous, but coupled with the admittedly handsome Loki, they were definitely striking.
An enormous throne stood on a dais at the end of the room and a big table loaded with food was placed a little to the side.
People moved out of their way, clearing a path to the dais for them while bowing. Loki saw all of this with a mask of indifference hiding his true emotions and walked with Harry till they were in front of the dais.
Harry didn't know how he should act. Should he bow? Kneel? He glanced at Loki from the corner of his eye.
Picking up his little one's feelings of uncertainty, Loki squeezed the hand in his arm in reassurance and bowed before the Allfather. There was only one person he would ever willingly kneel before and that was the only person he was sure would never ask that of him. Following his example, Harry graciously bowed at the waist.
When the Allfather nodded at them, they both straightened. Loki looked at the king with coldness until Frigga intervened.
"Loki, son, it gladdens me to see that you decided to come."
"I am not…" Loki stopped when Harry squeezed his hand and sighed. "I am glad to be here too, Queen Frigga."
Loki saw a little hurt flash in her eyes at his formality and felt a pang of regret. He realized that Harry was right. No matter the wrong they did to him. They were still his parents. His family. However, that didn't mean he was just going to forgive them. No. If they wanted his forgiveness they would have to work for it. The god cleared his throat.
"Harry, let me introduce you to King Odin, Queen Frigga and Prince Thor of Asgard. My King, My Queen… brother," Thor's eyes widened and a wide smile spread through his face. But Harry's proudness that he could feel through the link was what made him feel warm. "this is my soul mate, Harry."
The wizard smiled shyly and, just by that, Loki knew he had won them. Frigga smiled warmly at him.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Harry. And may I say you look stunning tonight?"
"The honour is mine, Queen Frigga. And thank you. These clothes are lovely." replied the teen quietly.
"Oh, dear, call me Frigga. You are my son's soul mate, after all. And you don't need to thank me, it was a pleasure."
Harry bit his lip slightly and nodded softly. Then, Thor gave a step forward and smiled at the teen.
"It is indeed an honour, Harry Potter-Black. I have heard many great things about you."
Harry's eyes widened in shock and Loki's narrowed in fury at the blond.
"How?" he growled.
Surprised by their reactions, Thor looked away sheepishly before directing his answer to the youngest of them all. The rest listened carefully.
"When I was in Midgard to clear Loki's name, I had to explain everything to them. Including you were Loki's soul mate and as his actions were to protect you, by the laws of the Nine Realms written at the beginnings of time, he was free of any charge. Director Fury inquired about you and he recognised your description instantly." explained Thor without looking at any of them until his voice changed, now full of excitement. "They didn't tell me a lot about you, but they did tell me of your warring skills. It is indeed an honour to meet a warrior such as you, especially the Basilisk Slayer."
Many gasps where heard at that statement and Harry blushed. He was mortified that Thor knew about his past and wondered exactly what he knew. None of it was pretty and he knew it.
Loki, for his part, was furious. How had his brother dared reveal that? He had promised Harry a future in which he wouldn't be known for being Harry Potter. A future in which he would be able to leave the past in the past and finally heal from all the betrayals.
And his brother had destroyed that.
Odin would want to know what they were talking about and would ask more questions about his Harry's past, about his achievements.
He just hoped his status as a submissive soul mate, one of the purest, if not simply the purest, creatures in the universe would be enough to help him sidestep some of the queries.
"What is the meaning of that, Thor?" asked Odin predictably.
Harry was still frozen, seemingly emotionless. But Loki could feel all of the emotions boiling just under the surface. The god glared at Thor.
"Harry is not a warrior."
"But he is." said Thor confused.
"No. He was forced to fight but he didn't choose it as Asgardian warriors do."
He hated to think about it. Hated to think about the way his little one had been raised. If it could even be called that. First, abused by those bloody relatives of his and then manipulated as a tool by the wizarding world.
He still vividly remembered the first dream they had shared after Harry had taken the decision of leaving the war.
Loki had been asleep just for a few minutes and was staring at the blue sky over him when the fifteen year old stumbled into the clearing.
The Asgardian shot up when he saw the blood running down his sides and the deep wounds on his body.
The god caught him just before his head hit the floor and cradled him to his chest. He soon set off to try and stop the bleeding.
"Harry, who did this to you?" asked while healing a deep gash on his side.
The human looked at him with pain clear in his eyes and answered in little more than a whisper.
"I tried to leave… the war… as you… suggested… he wasn't… happy…"
It was obvious that it took him a great effort to say every word, but Loki understood enough.
The last time they met, which to Harry would have been just the night before while this time it had been five nights ago to Loki, the god had suggested he leave the war.
It wasn't Harry's place to fight for them, he was only a teenager. The wizards needed to learn to take care of their own problems. Harry deserved a chance to choose what he wanted to do with his life.
And Harry had done so, it seemed. Dumbledore, the manipulative old fool that he was, had not been happy with his decision and had… what? Had he done this to Harry? Had he ordered someone else to?
"Was it Dumbledore? Did he do this to you?"
"He sat… looking… and smiled… they always smiled…"
By then, Harry was half delirious with pain. Loki cursed.
The god closed his eyes in pain a second, needing to compose himself. He knew Harry was just a dream but that didn't make it any easier to see him in pain.
Even if the boy was just a figment of his imagination, he still cared for him. He knew it wasn't normal. He could even be called crazy for it, but he couldn't help it. It did make things harder when he awoke, though, because he had never been able to find a partner he felt something for. He was so deeply in love with this imaginary wizard that he couldn't look at a real person and think of them as a partner. He had had intercourse with others, of course. He was by no means a virgin. But every time he slept with someone, no matter how hard he tried not to, he wasn't able to touch them if he wasn't thinking of Harry instead of them. And, later, he felt guilty.
The worst was that he didn't feel guilty because he had been thinking of Harry, but because he felt he was betraying Harry by being with those other people.
Opening his eyes, Loki conjured a basin with fresh water and a rag. He first cleaned the cuts on the other's sides before using a bit of his magic to close them as well as he could.
Harry moaned in pain and Loki felt his heart clench painfully in his chest. It wasn't a feeling he was used to. This worry was something he had only ever felt for Harry.
Loki dipped the cloth into the water once more before starting to wipe off the dirt, blood and sweat form his little one's face.
The god spent the rest of their time taking care of a delirious Harry and whishing there was something more he could do for him.
The pattern had repeated itself for months as Dumbledore's people tortured Harry every day in order to break him and have him fight against the Dark Lord. Loki had been a wreck during that time, snapping at anyone and everyone. Nobody had understood what was wrong with him.
The God of Magic was actually shaking with rage and, as those that knew him could see, pain.
Harry snapped out of his shock at the emotions he could feel through their bond, turned to him and squeezed his hand in reassurance.
Then, the young wizard looked at Thor and talked with more confidence than he really felt.
"Prince Thor, I would appreciate my past being left just as that: past. As Loki said, I did not choose to fight and, although I do enjoy a good spar now and again, I have no intention to actually fight unless something threatens the people I love. I do not consider myself a warrior and I will not let anyone force me to behave like one."
Loki returned the previous squeeze and looked at his brother coldly.
"I think that sums it all up. Harry is a submissive soul mate and, as you should know, that means that fighting is not in his nature."
Thor nodded a little shamefully and bowed a bit to Harry, surprising everyone.
"I am sorry, Harry son of James. I should have realized this sooner and I assure you I did not intend to invade your privacy."
Harry smiled more shyly at the giant blond.
"Do not worry, Prince Thor. I understand. I probably would have done the same in your place."
Both men smiled at each other and Loki relaxed slightly. It seemed it was still possible to save the night. Though that didn't mean he wouldn't make Thor pay sometime in the near future.
"Maybe we should let the feast begin before Volstagg decides to eat everything." said Loki.
He couldn't let the opportunity to embarrass one of Thor's friends and change the topic at the same time pass. He almost laughed when said warrior blushed and looked away from the food filled table to shoot him a glare that he probably expected to affect him.
"Of course, of course. We just wanted to welcome your soul mate to Asgard, Loki." said Odin opening his arms. "And now, let the party begin."
Through the night, Harry stuck close to Loki, which was why no one dared approach Harry to ask about his past. That suited Loki just fine as having Harry near helped him control better his temper.
Although it was obvious that everyone wanted to talk with Harry, very few dared to do so with Loki's dark glare focused on them the moment they opened their mouths.
However, those few that did approach were charmed by Harry's sweet words and politeness without him even trying.
The night went on that way.
As soon as dinner ended, Harry and Loki were approached by the Queen.
"Loki, dear, would you mind terribly fetching me a cup of red wine?"
The god looked at her suspiciously, but Frigga didn't even bat an eyelash.
"I'll stay with Harry while you do." added the woman when Loki looked down at the young wizard.
The Prince still hesitated and Harry squeezed his hand in reassurance.
"I'll be fine, Loki."
The god's face softened and he bent down to kiss his little one's forehead before storming off towards the refreshments table.
"What did you wish to talk about, Queen Frigga?"
She quirked an eyebrow at him, somehow managing to make the movement seem regal. Now he knew where Loki had learnt to do that.
"I wasn't very subtle, was I?" Harry smiled slightly. "And I thought I told you to call me Frigga, Harry."
The wizard blushed a bit before nodding his head in acquiescence.
"Frigga it is, then."
"I wanted to thank you."
"Thank me?" asked Harry confused.
"I hadn't seen Loki this happy in a long time. As a child, he was always the odd one out. Not many would look farther than him having magic so he was usually alone. Even Thor had a hard time accepting his love of magic. And when he discovered…"
Frigga paused, maybe unsure of how much he knew or maybe just ashamed of what he and Odin had hidden from Loki.
"That he was adopted and an Ice Giant." finished Harry for her.
"Yes." nodded the Queen with sadness in her eyes. "When he discovered it, he was so angry. He hated us. I could see it in his eyes. After that, I never thought I would ever see him this happy. The look in his eyes when he looks at you… It's obvious he loves you. So, yes, I want to thank you, Harry."
"I… there is no need, Frigga. I know what Loki has done for me; I know what he sacrificed. And I know I wouldn't be here today if not for him. There really is no need to thank me."
"You really are an amazing humble young man, Harry."
The wizard blushed deeply before clearing his throat and looking away, slightly uncomfortable under her warm stare.
"I've heard you were wounded on an attack from the Dark Elves."
Frigga decided to go along with the change of topic.
"Yes, I was. Two Dark Elves caught us by surprise. Fortunately our healers are skilled and I am already completely recovered."
"I'm glad to hear that."
"How are you?" asked the Queen in return. "Loki wouldn't let anyone near you until you recovered."
Harry noticed some exasperation and worry in her voice and smiled a bit.
"The skin around the wound is still a bit tender, but Loki's magic did wonders. At this rate, I should be completely recovered in a few more days."
"That is good. From what I have been told, my son was beside himself with worry when he brought you into the castle. He…"
She didn't get the opportunity to say anything else because a moment later a cup of red wine was dangling in front of her.
The Queen smiled gratefully and took it. Then, an arm sneaked around Harry's thin waist and another cup was in front of him.
The wizard looked up when he felt a kiss being pressed to his temple and took the offered cup carefully, admiring the delicate designs carved on the crystal. Taking a sip, Harry closed his eyes at the fruity flavour of the white wine. Of course Loki would know exactly what kind he would enjoy most.
As if sensing his thoughts, the corner of Loki's lips curved upwards in smugness. Harry huffed and turned back to the Queen, who was watching their interaction with slightly misty eyes.
The God of Mischief cleared his throat and his face was again blank.
"I hope I didn't interrupt anything."
The smooth tone and his 'slightly' possessive demeanour showed that, in truth, he didn't care if he had interrupted or not.
"No, of course not. I was just about to bring up the topic of your bonding with Harry."
The Queen didn't notice Loki tensing, but she did notice Harry's blush at the word 'bonding' and misinterpreted the reason behind it.
"I know it's probably long overdue, but I would like to hold a ceremony here. It is a wonderful occasion that we all would like to celebrate."
She looked at them expectantly, but Harry avoided her eyes and Loki was looking at her with pursed lips and a displeased air around him.
"Harry and I haven't bonded yet."
Frigga's eyes opened wide and she stared at them both at a loss for words. Bonding was a delicate topic. To imply someone had bonded when they hadn't made an official statement was almost taboo. And by their faces, she could tell they probably hadn't even talked about it.
Loki was extremely disgruntled at his mother's assumption. He would never do Harry such a dishonour as to bond with him without taking the proper steps. He had yet to broach the topic of the bonding because he had wanted to wait until his soulmate was completely recovered.
"I must then apologise deeply. It was a complete disregard of etiquette on my behalf to make such assumptions." said the Queen with a small blush.
Loki pressed his lips together into a thin line, but his little one looked at him from the corner of his eyes with warmth and he sighed.
"Apology accepted." replied stiffly the god.
The only reason why she didn't give him a beaming smile, Loki was sure, was her decorum.
"Well, it has been wonderful to talk with you, Harry, Loki, but I better not hog you all night. I hope we'll get to talk more in the near future."
"Of course, Frigga. I look forward to it." replied Harry with a small smile.
Her eyes sized him up, assessing, before she talked again.
"In fact, why don't you join me tomorrow for a stroll in the morning? I could show you the gardens, they're very beautiful in this season of the year."
His little gem looked at him, looking rather lost himself as to what he should reply to that. Loki nodded at him, an idea forming in his mind.
"If you wish." answered the wizard finally.
"Wonderful! I'll see you tomorrow, dear. I'm sure Loki won't mind showing you the way to the gardens."
Watching the Queen walk away with her cup of wine in hand, Harry laughed softly, attracting the attention of Loki and everyone that was near enough to hear him laugh.
"Why do I feel as if I just walked into a trap?"
Loki laughed and leaned down to press a kiss to his brow, but he did not answer.
Harry shivered as he felt those eyes on him again. He had felt as if he was being watched in and on during the whole night.
Loki looked down at him, probably feeling the slight sense of discomfort coming off the younger man. After a bit of deliberation, he offered his arm to his partner.
"Would you like to dance, my gem?"
His little one blushed at the endearment, but still accepted his arm gracefully, forgetting everything about his seemingly stalker.
In other circumstances, the young wizard would have refused the offer to dance immediately. But after all the time Loki had dedicated in their dreams to teach him how to dance, preparing him for that damned Yule Ball, he owed the god at least one dance. Besides, with Loki as his partner he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of everyone.
Loki directed them towards the dance floor and the people parted around them to let them pass. Once they stepped into the dance floor, Loki twirled him around and skilfully led to the rhythm of the music.
The song ended all too soon and another one started. Harry lost himself to the sensations, allowing Loki to take control completely and without any reservation, trusting him not to let him fall.
But during one of those times that Loki spun him around, green eyes met grey and he shivered again.
The young wizard looked up and into the concerned eyes of his soulmate before offering a weak smile.
"If you're not feeling well…"
"No! I'm fine, Loki. Really. Just a bit tired."
The god nodded once. They both knew it was true; he was feeling tired.
"Maybe we should retire for the night?"
"If you wouldn't mind."
Loki's face remained blank, yet his eyes were warm as they gazed at Harry.
"Never, my love. Come, we will say goodbye to the King and the Queen and we'll be free to leave."
Harry nodded, making a conscious effort not to look back and into those piercing grey eyes. He was sure Loki had noticed the Asgardian's staring and the uneasy feelings he evoked in Harry, yet the Jötun said nothing for now, choosing instead to guide him away from the other man and not giving anything away to those around them.
All through their short goodbye with Loki's parents and their way out of the throne room, the wizard could feel those eyes firmly fixed on him.
Harry and Loki arrived at their room, the door closing after them, and Loki wasted no time in bringing his little one close and kissing him with passion.
The wizard kissed back with just as much fervour, moaning at the feeling of cold hands entangling in his dark hair.
When the need for air became too strong, they parted and Loki leaned his forehead on his little one's.
"The nerve of that- that-"
"Loki?" asked Harry confused at the abrupt words.
There was an angry undertone to the god's voice and another feeling that the young man wasn't quite able to decipher.
"He was eyeing you like a piece of meat!" growled Loki.
The Jötun wasn't surprised that it took his gem a moment to understand what he was talking about. Sometimes Harry was simply too naïve. He was, however, surprised at the tinkling laugh that followed that realisation.
"Loki, are you jealous?" the God stiffened with a small frown on his face, yet Harry continued talking. "Because if you are, let me tell you how completely irrational that is."
"Is it now?" asked Loki raising an eyebrow rather petulantly.
"Of course! You have no reason at all to be jealous."
"Simple. None of them are you."
The Asgardian Prince's eyes warmed at the confession and his arms sneaked around his little one's middle.
"I am and will always be jealous of every person that ever laid eyes on you." replied Loki with painful honesty.
Harry swallowed before lifting his hands to cup Loki´s cold cheeks. His thumbs traced the high cheekbones as the sorcerer's gaze pierced him. He felt naked, vulnerable in the face of those eyes that Harry was sure saw right into his soul, yet he trusted Loki enough not to feel uncomfortable because of it.
"I love you."
"And I you, my little gem."
The God of Mischief rested his chin on the top of the wizard's head and brought him closer to his own body. They stayed like that for a short while.
When they finally separated, it was only to change into something more comfortable and climb into the bed, where Harry ended up lying half on top of the god as the Jötun carded his fingers through his hair in a relaxing movement.
Thanks to the soothing motion, the young man was falling asleep by the time the other talked again.
"What did my mother and you talk about?" asked Loki.
There was nothing but curiosity in the sorcerer's voice as he started to play with Harry's hair instead of just running his fingers through it.
"What did she say?" asked the god with a frown marring his brow.
"She thanked me."
Loki paused in what he was doing, namely playing with Harry's hair.
Harry hesitated briefly before turning around in Loki's arms so he could comfortably look up at the man's face if he wanted, even though his eyes remained fixed on the god's chest.
"For making you happy."
The sorcerer brought his chin up with a single finger and looked down at him with a soft expression.
"She's right, you know? You make me the happiest I've ever been."
Harry blushed and looked away. Suddenly feeling self-conscious he tugged the blanket higher, which made the Prince chuckle quietly.
On the inside, though, Harry was ecstatic. It gladdened him to know he made Loki as happy as the sorcerer made him feel.
"You make me happy too." felt the need to add his little one.
With the human's emotions thrumming through their still rather frail soulbond, Loki sat up, bringing Harry up with himself.
"That brings us to a topic I've wanted to discuss with you for a while. Bonging. She shouldn't have said what she said, but she did raise a good point. We have yet to talk about it."
Harry looked up at him with big green surprised eyes. Loki moved his hand under the wizard's sleeping clothes so it rested above his stomach, caressing the still tender skin around the small scar.
"I think we are both aware we would have bonded by now if I hadn't failed to protect you so."
"Loki, you didn't…"
"I did!" Loki took a deep breath. His failure was still a sore point for him, no matter how much Harry insisted it hadn't been his fault. "Anyway, that's not the point. I know you would still have bonded with me even when you were so weakened, but I was too worried to even contemplate it."
The wizard smiled faintly. Loki had spent the whole week fussing over him —though he better not let Loki ever hear him call what he did 'fussing'. While it had been endearing and heart-warming, Harry had felt incredibly guilty of Loki's worry.
"However, that also means I now have the opportunity of doing this the right way."
Harry looked confused as the god took a deep breath and gathered his resolve to speak.
"I don't have a ring, but I have to ask: Harry, will you do me the honour of bonding with me?"
"You… you really want to… to bond with me?"
Loki studied his soulmates expression. It still angered him that those animals had managed to lower his little one's self-esteem enough that he would doubt Loki's devotion, his own worth.
"I would want no one else. Never doubt that."
And through their bond, that fine thread of emotions that had first formed when they met for the first time and had continued to grow and would continue to do so until they consummated their bond, Harry could feel the truth in his words.
"What do you say, Harry? Will you bond with me?"
The wizard looked him in the eyes and smiled sweetly at him, his hand going up to caress Loki's high cheekbones.
'Harry struggled for breath, his arms tied above his head hindering the task. His body hurt everywhere and he couldn't get enough air into his lungs.
His head was turned down so he wouldn't have to see them, but he could hear them laugh. He wasn't really sure what was worse.
Since Dumbledore had told his supposed friends they wouldn't be paid anymore as long as Harry didn't see reason and go back to supporting the 'Light', the redhead and the bookworm had taken great pleasure in helping 're-educate' the Potter Heir. That translated into torture, of course.
Harry had been forced to endure some not at all creative yet all the same painful methods of torture, all the while hearing their grating voices and Dumbledore's laugh.
Although his torturers varied from time to time —from Weasley and Granger to Moody or Lupin—, Harry didn't care so much for the who as for the pain they caused.
But there was something worse than all that pain, something that made him wish even harder he would be rescued soon, something for which he would every night hide his face in Loki's chest and cry as he felt those strong arms hold him close.
At night, when all his torturers had finally left him alone to suffer the pain of his knew wounds, Dumbledore would sneak back into his cell. At first he would only stare at Harry hanging from the ceiling as if he were nothing but a mere plaything. Then he would walk forward and caress his hip just as he was doing now.
Harry shuddered as Dumbledore's groping hands moved from his hips and over his stomach and he would then comment on how pretty he was.
"You're so pretty, Harry. Covered in blood and sweat…"
Harry closed his eyes in shame, feeling humiliated. That hand slowly touched his chest and his shoulder before dipping below the waistline and Harry finally sobbed.
One of Dumbledore's hands rested on his hip whilst he used the other to stroke himself and Harry knew his eyes would be fixed on Harry's pained face.
Hearing a grunt, Harry felt relief wash over him. Dumbledore would now leave and he would be free to cry in Loki's arms for the rest of the night.
Then he felt a hand on his back, slowly moving lower and lower, and his eyes shot open in panic. No! This couldn't be happening. Dumbledore had never gone so far! He hadn't had a chance! How could this be happening? Oh, gods, please, don't let this be happening…
The hand stopped on the waistband of his ragged trousers and he felt them start to slide down, revealing more and more skin. The young wizard tried to struggle, but his hands seemed to be tied stronger than he remembered and his legs wouldn't answer to his desperate command.
Harry sobbed harder when he realised he truly couldn't move.
"Please, please don't… please, I'll do anything…"
"Oh, I know you will." Chuckled maliciously an aged voice in his ear.
A wrinkled hand touched his newly exposed skin and Harry couldn't force himself to hold the scream in anymore.'
Harry woke up still screaming and struggled to free himself of those vile hands, but they wouldn't budge an inch. Tears were still streaming down his cheeks like warm rivers as he finally slumped defeated on those surprisingly strong arms.
As his panic started to wane at the disturbingly calming feelings of safety the hands around him transmitted, the young wizard finally realised there was a familiar voice murmuring soothingly in his ear.
"Shhh… calm down, little one. I'm here. You're safe. nobody will hurt you ever again. Shhh… it's over. You're alright."
Recognising Loki's voice, Harry cried harder. He felt so humiliated, so unclean. The memory of those phantom hands touching him made him shudder in revulsion. Suddenly, he felt claustrophobic and weakly tried to move away from Loki.
"Please, please, Loki… I neeed- I need to sit up. I can't breathe." He managed to gasp out.
The god reluctantly gave him space to sit up as he himself leaned against the headboard and reached out to pull his wizard towards him.
However, his chest tightened when Harry shied away from his touch and swallowed heavily. The wizard sensed his hurt feelings and looked at him with imploring teary eyes that broke his heart.
"I-I just… I feel so dirty, so tainted…" he sobbed.
Loki had a strong suspicion as to what the nightmare had been about, remembering the other times Harry had felt like that. Those soulful eyes full of shame and self-loathing left few doubts in his mind that he could be wrong in his assumptions.
"I'll kill him."
"He's already dead." answered Harry unknowingly confirming Loki's suspicions.
"I'll find a way to kill him again." Promised the god.
Harry released a teary laugh that turned into a heart-breaking sob and wrapped his own arms around himself.
Loki used his distraction to his advantage, pulling him close and hugging him to his chest.
"No, please, Loki…" pleaded Harry. "I'm-"
"If you say dirty, I'll get really angry." Spoke the Jötun with a calm mask.
His little gem looked up at him with eyes full of tears and Loki swallowed hard against the growing rage he felt towards Harry's torturers.
"You are not dirty. You, my beautiful soulmate, could never be anything but the most perfect loving creature I have ever laid eyes upon. What that disgusting old man did to you was by no means a fault of yours; there is no reason whatsoever why you should feel shame. You held on strongly to your beliefs even when the strongest of men would have broken, my Harry."
"But he… he touched me, Loki." cried the wizard. "I can still feel his hands on my skin…"
Loki cupped a pale cheek with his hand, feeling like a failure hearing how he hadn't been able to protect Harry, no matter that he didn't yet know the young wizard was real and not a fidget of his imagination. He remembered having felt the same every time Harry and he met in their dreamland and the wizard told him what that vile man did. Fortunately, Harry had been rescued before he could farther.
"He was going to… this time he was going to…" a sob wracked the wizard's lithe frame.
"It never happened. It was only a nightmare, Harry; it wasn't real. He never went so far." gently reminded him Loki before pressing a kiss to his brow. "And nobody will do that to you ever again."
As his little one slowly calmed down and his body slumped against Loki's, the god rubbed his back comfortingly.
He thought about calling for a servant to draw a bath for Harry, but decided against it as he didn't want to leave him alone in their rooms. Instead, he pressed his forehead to Harry's lovingly before getting up from the bed.
"Come, I'll draw you a hot bath. You'll feel better after that."
Harry smiled thankfully and Loki's eyes softened. He went into his bathing chambers and magically heated the clean water before throwing some lavender scenting soap in, knowing the smell would help calm Harry greatly.
Turning around, Loki found himself having to swallow in order to wet his too dry throat at the sight of his young soulmate shyly undressing himself, his head lowered. The god cleared his throat and looked anywhere but at Harry.
"I'll leave you to it, then."
However, he stopped before leaving the room when he felt the crushing feelings of shame, self-loathing, guilt and pain coming from Harry's side of the bond.
Berating himself for being so careless in his haste to escape temptation, Loki walked back to stand in front of his little one, who wore only a pair of grey sleeping pants.
With a finger, the God of Magic brought his soulmate's chin up so they were looking each other in the eyes.
"I'm not leaving because I feel disgusted, Harry." Whispered Loki easily guessing what the root of the problem was. "On the contrary. If I didn't leave, I would take you right here, right now, in the most literal sense of the word. I just don't want your first time to be under these circumstances. I would never do that to you. That's why I must leave before I do something we may both regret."
Harry's lovely green eyes brightened at his honest words and the wizard leaned up to brush a brief kiss to his lips.
And when Harry once again laid in Loki's arms on their bed, his skin still warm from the bath and his eyes sleepy, the god leaned down to peck his lips.
"You don't need to even think of that ever again, Harry. I will kill anyone that ever dares lay an unkind hand on you, my love. Everything will look better in the morning. Now, sleep."
As he fell into blissful darkness, Harry's lips tilted into a small peaceful smile.
Frigga's face lit up as it landed on the couple currently walking towards her in the gardens.
Her son looked as handsome as always, dressed in black, green and gold. His black hair hung loosely around his face, framing his pale aristocratic face. His face was closed off, yet his eyes had a sparkle to them she hadn't ever thought she would get to witness.
Harry looked beautiful too. The young human was dressed in tight fitting black trousers and a dark green robe with golden trimmings. His dark raven coloured hair was loose too and short height was highlighted next to the god.
Frigga thought they both made a striking pair, but as they both got closer, she could feel all was not well.
Harry looked tired, as if he hadn't slept well, and Loki looked slightly tense. He tried to hide it, of course, but she was his mother and knew how to spot such things. She was sure his soulmate wasn't fooled either, but whatever worried Loki was obviously related to the other man.
"Good morning, Harry, Loki." the Queen eyed Harry with worry. "Are you feeling well, Harry? You look tired."
"I am a bit tired, my lady, but it's nothing to worry about."
Frigga nodded in acceptance of his answer and she noticed Loki pursed his lips but didn't say anything.
The god had to bite his tongue in order to stop himself from rebutting his Harry's words.
Harry had gone back to sleep after his nightmare, but Loki had been unable to do the same. Instead, he had stayed awake, looking over his soulmate as he slept, ready to wake him up should the nightmare return.
When the morning came and Harry continued resting peacefully, he decided to let him sleep in.
However, his little one woke up before the sorcerer had had a chance to send a note to his mother apologising for not being able to make it to their planned meeting.
Loki had still tried to convince Harry to stay in their shared rooms, but the young human had stubbornly refused and, in the end, Loki found himself giving in.
Containing a sigh, Loki bent down to place a kiss on Harry's forehead.
"If you feel too tired…"´
"I'll go back to your rooms, yes."
"Our rooms." corrected Loki gently.
Harry's eyes filled with warmth and his lips formed a slight smile.
"Will you both be eating with us today?"
Loki reluctantly teared his eyes away from his gem to look at Frigga for a second. Although trying to hide it, she looked hopeful and Loki felt torn.
He and Harry had yet to eat outside their rooms, the only exception being dinner last night at the party.
A part of him knew he couldn't keep Harry hidden away forever, no matter how much he wished to, but he was still reluctant to share him with the world.
His soulmate looked at him with those big green pleading eyes and Loki felt himself giving in for the second time in a day. It was almost embarrassing how all that was needed to disarm him was one look into Harry's eyes.
With a sigh, Loki nodded.
"Of course, mother; I'll see you both at lunch."
Frigga smiled at him, even as her eyes watered at Loki's words. Harry smiled brightly at him and squeezed his arm a bit before leaning up to kiss him softly on the lips.
"See you at lunch."
Loki gave a small smile and a nod before turning to leave. As he did, he heard the words Frigga spoke to Harry.
"I did nothing…"
"You did everything, dear Harry. You may not see it, but you did."
As he got farther away, their voices faded and Loki quickened his pace. He had a secret passage to find.
Harry stood alone on a lookout that overlooked part of the city of Asgard. Frigga had had to leave just a few minutes back when a servant informed her of her husband requesting her presence.
The wizard, on the other hand, had chosen to stay a bit longer and enjoy the sun and the view.
Unfortunately, that peace was about to come to an end.
"It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"
Harry turned around, startled at the unknown voice, only to find himself looking into piercing grey eyes.
It was the man from the night before. Big muscles, short blond hair, tanned skin… The guy reeked of danger. He was trouble. And that coming from Harry was saying something.
The man didn't seem to take offence when Harry warily backed away a few steps and didn't reply. He simply raised his hands as if in surrender and smiled charmingly.
"Excuse me, young Lord. I did not mean to startle you."
The man bowed slightly and the wizard took a second to compose himself and nod in acknowledgement of the apology.
"It is alright. I just didn't expect to have company."
"I am Anerus Baernson."
"Harry." answered the human after a moment of hesitation.
Fast as lighting, the Asgardian reached out and grabbed Harry's hand before bringing it to his lips.
The younger man felt utterly uncomfortable as his hand was kissed, Anerus' eyes never straying from his own and his lips resting on the back of his hand a few seconds longer than strictly necessary.
As soon as it was polite to do so, the human drew his hand back. He didn't like the way the warrior was staring at him. Not one bit.
"And what is such a beautiful Lord such as yourself doing here all by himself?"
"I am no Lord and I was enjoying the weather."
"Alone? I would have thought your soulmate would accompany you, even if just to bask in your presence a minute longer."
"Loki is in no way expected to accompany me everywhere. He had errands to run." replied Harry not missing the way Baernson contained a sneer at the mere mention of his soulmate.
"Well, if I were him, I wouldn't have left you all by your lonesome. Who knows who could try to take advantage of his absence."
The human stiffened at the rather straightforward words and inched away from the Asgardian. If the man noticed, he gave no sign of it.
"May I offer my own company in his stead, young Lord?"
"I'm afraid I must refuse the offer. I was just about to leave. If you'll excuse me."
Harry gave a slight inclination of his head as goodbye and turned to leave, but a strong arm grabbed his arm above his elbow.
"I apologise if I have made you uncomfortable with my bluntness, young Lord. It was certainly not my intention." Harry looked down at the possessive hand gripping his arm and swallowed, contemplating what would be the most polite and less damaging way to get out of his situation. "I'm afraid my excitement at meeting such a beauty has overwhelmed my common sense. In my defence, I can only say I had never met a submissive soulmate before."
"Apology accepted, but I must really be going now."
Both the wizard and the warrior looked in the direction of the newcomer with differing feelings only to find a scowling Thor Odinson striding towards them.
With obvious reluctance, the warrior let go of the young human's arm, which didn't go unnoticed by the Prince, and bowed to the blond.
"My Prince." He greeted coldly.
Thor frowned at him.
"You are required to report to Lord Volstagg."
"What for, if I may be so bold, my Lord."
"You may not."
Baernson pressed his lips tightly together.
"I will do so shortly, then; as soon as I have escorted-"
"I will escort Harry." Interrupted Thor before turning to look at said man. "If that is agreeable with you."
"Of course, Prince Thor. I wouldn't want to keep Lord Baernson from fulfilling his duty."
Thor nodded at him before turning a cold —and rather out of place on what was usually a broadly smiling face— look on the other warrior.
"Then I will go report to Lord Volstagg. I wish you both a good day." said Baernson tightly.
Thor and Harry watched him leave the garden with varying emotions before the wizard smiled in relief.
"Thank you, Prince Thor. I was running out of polite refusals and the patience to deal them out."
Thor laughed, his previously hard expression melting away instantly.
"It was no trouble at all. I thought you could use a bit of rescuing when I saw who was with you. It is always a pleasure to put Baernson in his place."
"I can't imagine why."
Thor laughed again before getting serious.
"If he bothers you again, you need only tell me. Bearnson can be stubborn and too full of himself, but bothering you is not something he will get away with."
"I don't want to get anyone into trouble." was Harry's soft answer.
"You would be doing everyone a favour, really." muttered Thor.
"Why is he allowed into the palace, then? I mean… I don't get the feeling that many people like him."
"On the contrary, a lot of people do. A lot of people don't, too. But he is a great warrior" admitted Thor reluctantly. "and the son of an important Lord. Until he does something reprehensible, he will continue to enjoy his privileges."
"It sounds as if you are just waiting for him to do something that will get him in trouble." noted the wizard with some amusement.
"He may be a good warrior, but he is not such a good man. He abuses his privileges and thinks too highly of himself, thinking himself entitled to things he has no right to. Besides, the way he stared at you at the party last night does not bode well either."
"You noticed." whispered Harry, a shiver wracking his petit frame at the memory of those piercing grey eyes.
"My brother may be the most observant one, but I do notice things from time to time."
"I did not mean to imply otherwise, Prince Thor."
"Not to worry. I know you did not. And, please, call me Thor."
"As long as you call me Harry."
They both shared a smile and walked out of the garden in silent agreement.
"I hope Baernson didn't get too carried away before I arrived. If he hurt you…"
Harry shook his head.
"He just made some improper comments and stared at me. He… he unsettles me."
"You would do well to follow your instincts regarding that man, Harry."
The wizard nodded in understanding. He would keep well away from Anecus Baernson for as long as possible.
"On another topic…" said the God of Thunder as they approached the palace. "Mother was hoping you and Loki would eat with us today."
"Loki already agreed before he left this morning." confessed the green-eyed beauty.
"Really?" asked Thor surprised.
Harry nodded with a small smile that Thor returned with a beaming one.
"I just hope it won't be too awkward." said the Asgardian suddenly sounding worried. "It is not in Loki's nature to forgive often."
The wizard bit his lip slightly before answering.
"He has already forgiven you and your mother. And he will someday forgive your father. He only needs time to come to terms with everything. But at the end of the day, you all are his family, no matter what blood flows through his veins."
"I can only hope you are right, young Hadrian." replied Thor with a rueful smile.
Loki smiled slightly as he saw his petit wizard enter the Dining Hall, although he was curious as to what he was doing with his brother. He pushed that thought away when, as soon as he saw him, Harry smiled sweetly and relaxed fully.
Loki stood up from where he was already sitting at the table and walked calmly towards Harry, but the wizard must have felt the nervous turmoil of feelings he was trying to hide because he paused a few steps away from Loki and tilted his head curiously to the side.
The god felt calm wash over him and didn't stop until he was in front of Harry.
"I realise we have already talked about this, but it is still my wish to do things the right way. Or at least this part." everyone looked at him in confusion as he said this. "Yesterday I did not have a ring."
Nobody uttered a sound as the proud wizard fell onto one knee and looked up at his Chosen. For a moment, he seemed speechless as his eyes sought Harry's. And then, he finally spoke.
"I am often known for my silver tongue, yet when it comes to you I find myself at a loose of words, unwilling to use the words and charm I am known for, because I know that no words, no matter how well chosen, can do you justice. I don't know what I ever did to deserve you, but I thank the Fates every day for blessing me with you." The wizard stared at him unblinkingly, his eyes wide and moist. "I love you, Harry, and although it may be selfish to wish for more, I have always been a selfish man, especially when it comes to you. So I will take the risk and request one more thing: be my bonded. Be my husband. Be mine."
For a second, there was only silence as Harry stared at the kneeling god in front of him before he too gracefully kneeled down on the floor. The young wizard cupped Loki's cheeks with his warm hands and smiled a breathtakingly beautiful smile.
"I already am, Loki. And always will be."
"Does that mean you will do me the honour of bonding with me?"
"Look at your finger."
Harry obeyed, confused, only to find a delicate silver ring with carvings of swirling ivy and an emerald stone sitting on one of his fingers.
"When?" asked the speechless human.
"This morning." answered Loki with a grin. "I went to Midgard and had it done as your people's costumes dictate."
"It is beautiful."
With a wide smile on his handsome face, Loki drew his little one into a passionate kiss. Both men were too absorbed into one another to notice the sincere congratulations of those present and the Queen's tearful eyes.