Authors note: I do not own Harry Potter or Marvel.
This was meant to get up on Halloween last year, but as we all know that didn't happen. Nevertheless here it is. I'm sure you're all familiar with writers blocks and Life. Over 20k words. I've never written such a long chapter! It got away from me.
So my apologies. There is a sneak peak of the next chapter at the very end. If you don't like spoilers be warned. It's my treat for taking so long.
BIG SHOUT OUT!: I am sure you all noticed the amazing new cover image for this story. It's thanks to noxsoulmate who was kind enough to make it for me.
I hope I did ok with the history. Delving into it around the time Hogwarts was formed. Was about the time the Norse invaded England. From that I gather some of the things they learned and know are just as much from Norse as Celtic and Anglo-Saxons. . Not a historian. or knowledgable on what kind of runes they learn. I assume they learn all of them..
PS: Concerning Nidavellir I did not go by Infinity war's portrayal. I went by what I found in the Marvel database on Wikipedia, fan forums, and several fanfictions. (And probably a bit of inspiration from Tolkien's World...I regret nothing. NOTHING )
As for knowhere. I always imagine it kind of dirty industrial.
Criticism welcome as long as its constructive. Some advice is also welcome. If anyone is interested in betaing. Please! if you're up to the task.
I will never, ever rush a chapter. I really enjoy sharing this with ya'll. I want you to see everything that's going on in my head that's making this story what it is. So much planned! As much as I would like to get to certain parts I won't rush this. It's not perfect. But I love it anyway.
*IMPORTANT* There is a part in here concerning a familiar mistcheif maker, you will read and figure out why I took some of it out, to make a One-shot I hope to put up soon. Didn't quite fit into the feel I was going for in this chapter, but it was soo much fun to write that I am going to post it as a cannon one -shot.
*My muse this time!* I was listening to a band the last couple months Hopefully the English translations is right. If not I'll fix it. It is NOT METAL! very spiritual check it is a French band called SKÁLD one of the band members looks like Floki from Vikings.
.SKÁLD - Rún
Old Norse: VAKI Þat mant
Eru völur allar frá viðolfi Vitkar allir frá vilmeiði En seiðberendr frá svart-höfða Frá svart-höfða
VAKI Þat mant
FEHU, URUZ, THURISAZ, ANSUZ, RAIDO, KENAZ GEBO, WUNJO, HAGALAZ, NAUDHIZ, ISA, JERA, HEIWAZ
Envoy That's what it means
All the witches spring from Witolf, All the warlocks are of Willharm, And the spell-singers spring from Swarthead, From Swarthead
Envoy That's what it means
FEHU, URUZ, THURISAZ, ANSUZ, RAIDO, KENAZ GEBO, WUNJO, HAGALAZ, NAUDHIZ, ISA, JERA, HEIWAZ
Loki crouched near Hermione's bed. Watching her sleep, his head cocked in confusion. He was completely intrigued by her. She was more curious than any scholar he'd ever met. -more than anyone even had the right to be.- Clever and he suspected she knew that there was more to the raven than met the eye but, was biding her time until she figured it out. Or if Loki decided to reveal himself. He would in time. For now. It was best for her if she didn't feel like she had to be on edge. Of which Loki was certain she would be if a stranger suddenly showed up and started to tail her without warning and seemingly randomly. Even if she already knew. Mortals were so easily startled.
Yet, despite her suspicion of the "raven."She had still talked to him openly anyway, she had shown almost an adult level of emotions. She clearly had loved her Grandmother as fiercely as he loved his mother. She wanted to see worlds. He would give her that. In time. Patience was luckily his forte.
What amazed him most, was that what she thought were Hypothesis were very close to the truth or completely correct. She had more answers than she realized. She just needed what connected all the dots. Now that she was asleep, he took hold of the amulet gently lifting it enough to hold it in his hand. He closed his eyes. Pushing his magic into it. Muttering spells so it would never fade again, a spell to track it anywhere, re-arranged the prying eyes. Keeping it intact but making it so that Heimdall could see her. He spent almost ten full minutes weaving spell after spell, strengthening and adding. Loki whispered the words. He briefly worried the chanting would disturb her. Instead it seemed to deepen her sleep. His mind wandering as he tended to his task.
"You will find. I am not so easily fooled trickster prince. Now, will you stop being an arse and let me help."
Loki gave the tiniest of smiles. Even after all these years, he could still recall the sound of her voice.
"You'd be proud." He thought.
"She definitely inherited your stubbornness, and zest. I don't yet know whether or not I should think that is a good thing. Or if I should be utterly terrified."
It was odd, being by her bedside whilst she was asleep, like he was invading her privacy and space. -Which he was.- Even odder that Loki felt so at peace. Loki chuckled as Hermione Granger rolled onto her other side, Her bushy hair going everywhere again. This time Loki could laugh. He reached over and tucked her hair behind her ear, so she wasn't eating her hair. His thumb going over her cheek. She'd be ok for now. Watching her for just a moment longer. This, this was what they had struggled for, he been starting to think, that it had all been in vein. But there she was asleep just inches from him. He felt relief. His eyes glanced at the stars giving a silent thanks to the norns. Before going to the time counter. Careful not to alert her sister witches of his presence.
Their way of keeping time was strange, Asgard went by their kings. Currently the Aesir were on their third age. They even went by stars. Do to Asgard's physiology always remaining the same. They did not go by seasons like the Midardians. They had no moon, yet their stars changed in a circle during the year. Midgard was similar, only they also had a sun and moon to go by. Asgardian's had a light that came and went, though there was no discernable sun. If one was even inclined to keep track of time. There were very few important dates to be aware of. Just a handful of important celebrations. After childhood age, and the completion off their rite of passage. Also becomes rather unimportant, unless they made it to important mile stones. Time being counted by their deeds. The only thing they seemed to have in common was the tracking of cycles. Loki ran his fingers along the time counter and counted the non crossed days to the circled one. Seventeen days until she turned twelve. That was more than enough time.
Loki shielded himself from Heimdall's gaze, why simultaneously creating a decoy of himself; He had sitting in the common room. Reading. Satisfied Heimdall was none the wiser. He had been using so much of his energy the last couple of days, he was drained. Keeping the raven form so long after exhausting himself the night before was taxing. Taking a small red crystal from his space. He held it in his hand. concentrating as he drew magic from it. Replenishing it just enough that he could do what he needed to do. He summoned the borrowed energy and pictured where he wanted to go in his head. With a slight pull as he went through the void, Upon stopping he had arrived on the interstellar port called Knowwhere.
"I hope Taneleer Tivan is in a good mood.." Loki thought. or this would become rather difficult.
Knowehere consisted of miners, traders, and thieves among other unsavory folk that had made a home out of the seemingly mechanical head of some ancient celestial; whos name has been long forgotten.
Loki stood in the shadows, looking around to make sure he arrived where he wanted, without a word and a flourish of his hand he drew out a cloak from the pocket of space. He quickly put it on and pushed the hood up so his face was covered. The cloak was a battered blue that had been through much and more often than not proved to be an excellent cover on more than one occasion.
It was so old that the blue was fading, tattered at the ends, he'd look like any other wanderer to prying eyes.
The ground he stood on was dirty do to the smog and steam of the self made industrial planet. As usual the port was buzzing with activity, people whispering in shadows their heads together. Loki watched their hands. Sure enough he saw the subtle exchange of coin the brief barely noticeable flash of metal giving it away.
Stepping out of the shadow of the allies he often used to appear in, he paid no heed to the distrusting eyes of the two men he had just observed exchanging suspicious activity. One was blue skinned with a metal mohawk and the slightest of stubbles. Wearing the pirates trade. Not unusual to be seen in ports. Being hired and always out for their own gain. Could trust them only as much as you could pay them. He knew a few himself, Loki had eyes and ear's everywhere. High and Low.
Walking right on by them Loki took a path he had long sense memorized. In fact it was more muscle memory now a days. Weaving through the side streets. As he continued to travel closer to the main streets it became more crowded with civilians, making Loki to have to navigate in and out of the throng of people. He smelled the main street before he saw it. The smell of food wafted through the streets making it easier to find.
As the scents became stronger, he found himself actually rather hungry. While He could go a while without food if he wanted, he did get hungry. The last thing he ate was dinner the night before. His eyes roamed the stalls. As he passed one full of round pink spiked fruit. He skillfully using the steam tat occasionally released out of the ground from the mines, and quick hands the vender unaware as he argued and haggled with a customer.
Loki walked away from the stall, removing a small knife from under his sleeve he peeled the fruit as he walked. Revealing it's red center. He cut a piece out and popped it into his mouth. It was sweet like strawberries and cool like watermelon with a slight tartness off setting all the sweet. That would leave a tingle at the back of his tongue.
Idally watching different merchants selling their various wares. Food, jewelry, Clothing, Weapons and imports. The latter two Loki noticed was even becoming scarce here. That was troubling. Since this port was so far away, it usually took longer to be affected.
Things began to quiet down s he made his way past the market, eating the last slice of the fruit as he entered the city proper. Loki crossed a bridge and went up three flights of stairs to the left, then twelve more leading to his destination. Loki was not even the slightest bit winded as he landed on the top. HIs cloak brushing the ground.
Letting himself in the doors in front of him. One would think they stumbled into an exotic Wearhouse. Glass cases exhibiting various items the like of which were so old and rare even Loki whos vast knowledge of artifacts particularly those evolving magic. Did not know the names nor the properties held. Some of the glass cases showed various animals and even some humanoid species. Most of which were women. There was plants of all kinds growing around the room, dangling from the ceilings and wrapped around some of the glass. Reminding him of the jungles of Vanheim .
Loki did not drop his defenses, if anything he was on full alert. The collector was no fighter, However he was nearly as crafty and shrewd as the god of mischief himself. It was aways mentally stimulating dealing with the man. Loki actually had to often use all his skills to try to get the Tivan to cooperate. He was untrusting, so it was harder to get him to believe in his silvertongued lies. One could not say Loki did not like the challenge.
Walking to the reception desk, further past the shrubbery and further in. A woman sat behind it, in her mid twenties, though it was hard to tell with other species of race. She had pink skin, long flowing hair like starlight. She was busy with a large pile of papers.
Loki leaned against the counter appearing relaxed and nonchalant.
"Excuse me miss, I seek an audience with the collector."
The woman gave a startled shriek; jumping out of her seat, which spun and her papers scattered everywhere. Loki suppressed a snicker. Especially when moon like eyes widened not only in fright, but also with dawning realization, she would have to pick up and sort through all those papers again, delaying her ability to finish the task she had to begin with.
"Stars! you scared me half to death. You shouldn't sneak up like that!" She was still trying to slow her heart a hand against her chest.
True he had not made a sound, making the situation all the more amusing.
"My apologies my lady." Loki smiled. He really wasn't sorry, but she seemed to believe him.
She waved him off as she started to calm, picking up all the papers and settling back on her seat. Starting the painstaking task of getting the papers in order once again.
"How is it I can help you?" She spoke, voice clipped clearly irritated with him, yet using her professional tone.
"I seek an audience with the collector."
"I'm terribly sorry sir, the master is not seeing anyone tonight. You are more than welcome to leave a message, or come back in the morning. You may schedule an appointment with me"
Loki gave an eternal groan.
"Of course, why am I not surprised?"
"I really must speak to Tanaleer tell him it's an old friend. He owes me a favor."
She seemed startled at the use of the casual way he spoke of her employer's first name.
"If that is not enough to sway him to see me. Let him know I have something he so desperately wants. "
The receptionist looked at him wearily, not at all convinced. He did not blame her, Tivan could get easily irritated and she didn't want to become one of his trophies. A part of his "collection."
With a twist of his wrist and a brief shimmer a card appeared between two fingers and he held it out to her. White with golden inlay of his crest and green runes of his name underneath.
"Here, He will want to see me. I assure of that."
Her moon like eyes flickered between him and the card. After what seemed an eternity she took it delicately from him.
"I will be just a moment then."
Rising herself from the desk, She wore very little to the imagination, a blue silk cloth wrapped around one leg and hooked around her hip another on her arm and around her chest. Her kind was of the stars. A daughter of Nott his grandmother. A race of beings she had claimed called moon incubi. They were made from the night sky acording to the races myths. They were not fond of anything unatural on their skin perfering to be "Free".
He was surprised he didn't make the connection before, then again he wasn't focusing to much on her, but more on his task.
There was a distant opening and then closing of a heavy sounding door.
Loki tapped his fingers against his thigh, watching one of the vines a deep green with veins of a pulsing yellow that had wrapped itself around one of the cases.
He didn't get to examine the fauna for long, for there was a sound of footsteps, the receptionist had returned.
"The collector will see you now."
Loki smirked under his hood. He had known Tivan would see him. After all their visits were often profitable for him, and if nothing else interesting. The collector loved to be in the loop.
Loki followed the Moon incubi into a new room, devoid of cages and displays. Instead full of objects that pulsed with strong and ancient magicks. Tingling and brushing over his senses. It turned into a maze of objects that he knew lead directly to the vaults.
The collector was waiting for him in the center of the room. Tivan had stark white hair, calculating warm brown eyes a spark of madness in its depths. He always wore white gloves and rather extravagant clothing.
As Loki drew near he pulled his hood back.
"Asgardian prince." He gave a over exaggerated and theatrical bow with a flourish of his hands.
"Tivan." He gave a sharp nod in acknowledgement.
"What do I owe the honor of an audience with the dark prince, at such a late hour?"
"I think, we have known each other long enough to skip the formalities."
"If you insist, Loki."
"What is it you require?"
"Straight to the point, one of the reasons I like you." Loki started walking along the shelves. Tivan falling into step beside him.
"I am looking for the journal of Ozarius. I believe it holds some information I require."
"Why would you want that of all things? "
"Let's just say, it's a start."
"I really rather not part with it. It's the only one of its kind you know. No one has dared open or copy it. I myself keep a distance."
"I can assure you. I can offer something far more valuable."
"and pray tell, would that be?" His eyes glinted
"Information." Loki summoned an amulet a blue tear drop, with a flowing and moving silver chain circling around it.
"As well as a gift."
Loki left the collector. Some information shorter, the reward greater. Loki held a worn book with no visible title. Battered and blood stained. Written by a powerful magic user during the reign of his Grandfather Bor. Cursed for eternity to Helheim, and the goddess spared no sympathy. He had been feared for many reasons. research into blood magic, and dark experiments concerning magic, and mutations. As well as Necromancy in an attempt to cheat death. Hel did not appreciate that in the slightest. Loki didn't envy that man's punishment. It also contained knowledge of old magiks that one would be hard pressed to find, even in Vanheim. He hoped he could find the answers to how Hermione Granger came to have his magic caging her own. Which wasn't a bad thing at the immediate present moment. That much power in a small body wouldn't bode well. Magic usually grew with practice, time, and as the user aged. Hermione seemed to have been born with more than was normal and growing by the day, hers and his, somehow intertwined. She just could not access his yet. The Cage that was keeping her needed to be explored. He had to know more, possibly when she could handle it. Remove it. Loki would start his quest for answers with this book. He stored this in his space for later perusal. He may not get his answers, yet. It was a start.
Shimmering out of existence again and appearing anew in another realm. Nidavallir the home of the dwarves. Crafters of legends. Loki made his way to the entrance of the mountains. It had been quite some time and he always did enjoy their humor. Short, squat, and hairy. Their spirits were as strong as Iron. A lively bunch. He knocked several times upon the door.
It was a sound of scuffling and a peep hole opened up, then shut. A rattling of chains and the door opened inward.
"Well I'll be damned. Silvertongue what brings you here? Not that we don't appreciate a visit from a prince of Asgard. You are always welcome here. After what you did to help us during our last big scuffle with those dasted trolls."
"Tooth, It has been quite a while. It is good to see you are well. I would like an audience with Eitri if he is available?"
Tooth barely came up to waist. Long tangled blond hair and beard to his feet. An axe at his hip. He gave him a grin, only one tooth in his mouth. Having lost all the others in a battle long ago. Hence his name. Loki did not know what his name was before he was re-named Tooth.
"He is in a meeting with Brokk. We've been swamped with requests for arms from many of the other realms. Tell me Silvertongue, is the situation becoming that dire?"
"I am afraid so." Loki frowned. This was the first he was hearing about the scramble for weapons. He had predicted such. It still put him on edge that they were to get the uru weapons of the dwarves. That he had not been expecting. Not this early. The realms were getting uneasy, and angry.
"Dark times are blooming Lie-smith. I feel it in my old bones." Tooth took a torch upon the wall and started to lead him into the mountains. The sounds of mining and hammers against metal were unmistakable. As well as the oppressive heat coming from the forges. Loki had to cast a cooling spell, least he start to sweat.
"You are welcome to make yourself at home until Eitri is ready for visitors."
Loki walked with him in silence for a while, splitting up at the fork. Loki decided since he could not speak to Eitri at the present moment. He could busy himself with his second task here.
Greeting a few Dwarves he passed, Loki made his way through the tunnels he had long since memorized. Until he came upon a cavern and hall, the size of which put even a hall of Asgard to shame. Ornate pillars of stalagmites and stalactites that had fused together, and the dwarves had carved beautiful inlays. The walls glowed Eerily with crystals,precious stones, and gems of varying shapes and sizes. Tables scattered everywhere. Dwarven females mostly and a few male. Sorting, cutting and creating innate jewelry, sought heavily by mages. For the magical enhancing properties the crystal's in particular held. Others were working on the final stages of weaponry.
"Prince Loki! Prince Loki! You've come to visit!" A small voice squeaked causing Loki to look down, A grin spread across his face. He knelt down in front of a small child. With red hair that shone brightly, despite the low lighting; and honey brown eyes.
"Why isn't it little Onora Rubygold."
"I'm not little anymore Prince Loki! I'm Seven now and am learning to craft! They say I'm not old enough yet to work on forges. I'll prove to them I'm ready! I'll be the best blacksmith Nidivllier has ever seen! You wait." She stood up a bit taller her chest puffing out proudly.
"Oh my apologies m'lady."Loki smiled playfully and put his fist over his chest in a mock bow. Onora giggled and curtseyed.
"Can you do the magic, please?" Onora gave him wide puppy dog eyes.
"Well, how can I possibly say no to that face? You did ask so nicely." He winked.
Onora stood back watching in anticipation as Loki started to move his hands around each other. A moment later, a green orb appeared a few inches above his palm, only to split apart in dozes of green glowing butterfly's that flittered around her. Loki watched the wonder in her eyes. Her fingers going over the butterfly's her fingers going through it and it in turn circled her. She twirled laughing playfully trying to catch them.
Loki had always had a soft spot for children, innocent to the world and all its wonder and its cruelty. Eager to explore and learn. Uncorrupt. Not expecting much.
"Why, What's this I see? Someone has left her post!" A mock stern voice interrupted them. A dwarf woman with flowy blond hair two braids on the side of her head. The slightest of beards on her chin. Round face and violet eyes.
"Look who's come to visit Kindra!" Onora stopped chasing the butterfly's as Loki stopped the illusions.
"I see, the Prince has decided to distract young apprentices from their work!" She grinned, an eyebrow raised in Loki's direction.
Loki smirked a mischievous smile. Not the least bit apologetic.
"Off you get, you have quite a bit of work to do young lady. It won't do if you want to be a master of your craft." Kindra smiled with motherly affection.
"Oh, alright." Onora pouted.
"I'll see you soon right prince Loki?"
"Of course m'lady." He bowed his head.
She gave one last smile before going back to her post.
"You're such a distraction." Kindra chuckled.
"This is an unexpected surprise." She continued to say.
"I found myself in need of your fathers skill, as well as your assistance."
The dwarven woman blinked.
"You've never requested anything from us, what is it you require? I'll be more than happy to help; if it is in my power to do so."
"I'm looking for a rare crystal, a Megin crystal to be specific."
"That is a heavy request, what in the norns could you need it for? Surely you are not in need of such of thing."
"It is not for me."
"Oh?" She raised her eyebrow in curiosity. When Loki said nothing she shook her head.
"You're not going to tell me who you're going through so much trouble for are you? You're not up to anything to dangerous.. I hope.'
"It is nothing like that." Loki smirked, completly ignoring the open rehtorical question.
"Forgive me if I'm nervous. You don't have the best reputation."
Loki put his hands behind his back. Giving a non comental hum.
"It really is not for me, I assure you, it will be put to good use."
Kindra studied his face, searching for somthing. Whatever it was she was looking for, she seemed to have found it. Nodding her head once she turned, walking down the hall.
"Well, come on."
Loki rolled his eyes but followed. While passing one of the tables the aprentices were using. Loki, Hands behind his back. Smirked at Onora who was putting a great deal of effort in sorting stones that would fit the hilt she was working on. Her brow was furrowed in concentration that only the most determined of students had.
She seemed to sense his gaze, for she looked up with honey brown eyes, giving a grin. Loki winked at her and put his finger to his lips with a movement of his fingers, the stones she was working on sorted by type, color, and size.
She covered her hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles. Picking up the nearest one she was looking for she started her job in earnest.
Whilst she buried herself into practicing. Everyone had to start somewhere. He remembered when he was first learning his magic craft. He smirked, he had been a good pupil. That didn't mean he wasn't his teachers worst nightmare. Even Frigga was not spared any of his pranks. Loki had followed Kindra into more halls until they were in a small alcove. It was cold compared to the rest, barren, with only one table and on that table were only five refined megin crystals of varying color. Two pink, one amber colored, one clear, and a jet black.
Megin stone's were power enhancers. Like many of the stones and crystals they infused with some of their weapons and jewelry. Only more powerful, more concentrated. Taking five hundred years to refine. They were usually reserved for royalty, or hoarded in case of a calamity. If used properly by a magic user, preferably someone who had mastered their craft. -Loki had no need for it. He could amplify his magic if need be, he rarely used this unique ability he seemed to have unless it was life or death.- It could be useful, and he had a feeling in a particular witches hands. Its full potential could be used, they weren't vastly studied. Knowing his witch. She'd find out more about it, He tried not to laugh. He could picture her quite clearly, he had only known her for a day. Her love of knowledge was just that strong one could not help but to notice. She'd spend hours studying. She was a curious creature. She held the books in the library with a reverence and excitement of a child. She knew exactly where to start, with an assured and confident motions of one who researched often.
He also knew, without even having to consider it. She wouldn't abuse the crystal. .. It wasn't her character to abuse power. Search it out to understand yes, but not use. Loki didn't become the god of lies and chaos without learning to read people. She'd use it to protect herself and others. That's all he wanted. The Megin crystal when not activated fully would help her learn to channel her magic, and give her spells more precision as she learned. It didn't just amplify. It would be good training for her. In time, she wouldn't even need it.
Kindra turned to look at him expectantly. Loki smirked. Reaching into his pocket he drew out a gem, crystal clear except for three drops frozen within like blood.
"Loki how did you find that?" Tears entered her eyes and she took it with the chain it dangled from with shaking hands.
In truth. Loki had found it on accident years ago during a civil war on Vaniheim. He hadn't returned it. Although he had planned to. Eventually,when he could get something in return. Like now.
"You may take whichever one you want, norns you can take all of them. The return..is worth more than anything we have."
"I only need the one Lady Kindra."
Loki stepped forward to the table hovering his hand over it, they were protected by powerful magic, he wasn't stupid enough to try to grab one until it was safely away from the wards. He didn't bother to ask her to remove them. They were rather tedious to build back up.
The smallest, the red megin crystal caught his eye.
Once safely lured away he turned his hand under it so it floated above it. Kindra watched in curiosity as a white rose appeared in his hand. Pure in color with the tiniest specks of gold. The first that had ever bloomed and he'd taken from the tree. Loki smirked; this was the only one that was important, he had been saving it for her. His ritual was mostly for his brothers benefit. To show he was "Coping". His brothers disbelief with the first one Loki took was most amusing . How Loki was, his very personality and being; Taking them were so opposite of what he would normally do. Confused the big oaf. He couldn't help but continue to lead him on. The fact they were pretty was just a bonus. As if he needed an item to remember her by. Elinor was a hard woman to forget. As loathe as he was to admit it. Wench.
Loki let go of the rose and its petals scattered shrinking and floating into the air, rapidly in circles wind whipped both his and Kindra's hair. Vanishing the stem. The petals reformed so the flower was about the size of a pea, still perfectly formed and visible that one could tell what it was. The crystal rose up further from his palm and started to dance in a circle. Again the wind picked up and the two items moved faster and closer until their was a bright brief flash as they collided. The wind stopped, and the light died down.
The red crystal now circled lazily just above his palm. The rose encased in it. Preserved as if it was trapped in amber. The white flower stood out brighty the gold parts of the flower occasionally sparkled when the light hit it just right. Loki smirked rather proud of himself that he got them to combine so easily.
When Loki was done, he gave a small smile.
" You have my gratitude." Hermione would get much out of this. He felt a thrill of excitement go down his spine. Again wondering what she'd find out that no one else had known. What she would do with it and accomplish. Loki looked down at his palm. Where the cool megin crystal rested. The rose encased and preserved. Sparkling beautifully. He looked forward to finding out
"My father and uncle should be done with their business by now." Kendra interrupting his thoughts.
Loki gave a regal nod of his head. Turning around, he left the cavern. Kindra still staring at the necklace in her hand. Her fingers curled around it Putting it near her heart and reverently saying a prayer. Stayed behind.
Loki made his way to the heart of Nidaliveir, their legendary forges roared with life. The all consuming heat surrounded him, thick like a fog the moment he entered. Even with a cooling spell, he felt his neck getting wet with the barest hint of perspiration.
It was here he found Etri working on a mold for a future ledgendary weapon. His thick wavy boardering on curly hair stuck to his skin, he was covered in dirt, ash and coal. Loki was curious. They were adept in infusing weapons with powers. Much like his brothers Miljonir. This mold was not very far along. So Loki could not tell what form it would take, the only thing he could discern was that it was on the small side. He did not know what powers or abilities it would hold either. Uru weapons were powerful very sought after. Not even he knew how they did it. They gaurded their secrtes zealously.
""Lie smith" He boomed in deep voice upon seeing the prince.
"I had heard tell that the legendary silver tounge prince has decided to visit. To what do we oh this Honor? Not up to any tricks ,I hope? We're still fixing the mess you made with that stunt you pulled with the trolls."
Loki smirked. Remembering how he had tricked them into a tunnel entrance, and then causing controlled explosion to block them from being able to get inside.
"It got them away and blocked out, did it not?"
"You collapsed five tunnels. We are still rebuilding the four." Etri gave a scowl that did not reach his brown eyes. Sparkling with contained mirth.
"So, what is it that you want? You never come by just to chit chat. It is never just a social call. In fact you usually bring ill news or trouble."
"Always straight to the point." Loki gave an exasperated sigh.
The corner of Etri's mouth twitched. Still trying to remain stern, and was failing miserably at it.
With small thought, Loki drew from his space. Retrieving two types of metal. He held it out to him. Which Etri then took and brought close to his face in examination.
"Scabrite! Refined and perfect quality not a single flaw! As well as a scrap of our own Uru metal. I won't bother to ask how you got Uru. Not hard to figure that one out! My question lies with the scabarit. How did you manage to get this?"
Loki chuckled. He grabbed a piece when he noticed the value and price was mysteriously going up quickly. He sensed something then, that something was not right. So he managed to get his hands on a piece. Which took a bit of weaseling it out of a courier with his silver tongue. It didn't take long for him to succumb to the lie that he was a shop owner coming out to get it quickly. The metal wasn't easy to get to in the first place. It was even harder now, then back when he had acquired it.
""I have my ways."
""I am sure you do. What would you like me to do with these?"
"I thought that would be obvious. I want you to craft something, using both these metals."
"No need for sarcasm. I was merely asking What you have in mind silver tongue?"
Loki walked confidently over to a near by bench. Shifting through parchment, sketches, and half formed notes; until he found a blank piece of parchment, yellowed, the edges singed and the upper left corner was black where it had briefly caught on fire. Taking a charcoal like substance the dwarves used to sketch their creations and ideas ; He began to work.
Etri walked over too him, peering around him at the table to see what he was sketching.
Loki's hand moved deftly and quickly as he gave a rough outline; and Thor had thought it a waste of valuable training time to take lessons from their mother in art, and in music. Loki on the other hand enjoyed it. Ontop of everything else he was taking at the time Learning Seidar, princely duties and lessons on being ruler, and gaining knowledge. There was no harm in learning art as well. It had come in handy more than once. Loki also liked the hobby as it gave him something calming to do, something to take his mind off things when it all became to much. It didn't happen often now that his studies were completed.
When Loki finished. He let Etri get a closer look. Etri gave a thoughtful hum and over the next twenty minutes they talked quietly, discussing details. Etri giving his own input. Working together to finish it, with very minor changes.
""Do you think you can do it?"
"It is an unusual request. I can do it, there's no question about that. It is not oft one gets a chance at working with scabrite; It makes it far more interesting to combine them, as far as I recall no one's ever done so. I am anxious to see the results. You never cease to surprise me Prince Loki."
"When will you be finished?" Loki asked taking in Etri's thoughtful look at the metals on the table.
"Come back in eight days. I will have it completed by then. I sha'll be the one to do this project personally."
Loki nodded and also put the gem in Etri's hand who was watching Loki as if he was trying to see what he ws up too and thinking. To bad for him. Loki remained the same giving not a hint.
"I, would trust no other if you didn't."
"All right. It will be done" He pocketed the gem for safe keeping.
"Before you leave silver tongue. I shall hear news."
Eitri grinned and together they made their way to the feasting hall. Sitting down on the high bench next to Etri. He declined the offer of food with a shake of his head. Loki did accept a pint of ale, it wasn't as good as Asgardian mead. It was good all the same. Getting comfortable they fell into a conversation. They spent the next several hours; Exchnging news. Both in local and political. As well as economical and in length about the trade war between Muslepheim and Vaniheim. It slowly died down from that and into the personal news of their lives. Etri was rather proud that his daughter Kindra had recently started to be courted by a high ranking dwarf, a great forger and soldier. He hoped this time things would go well. Loki on the other hand gave less than honest news of his affairs. A little about his family but he skillfully avoided talking about himself.
When Loki managed to find an appropriate time to excuse himself. They exchanged last minute pleasantries and good byes.
Loki relaxed his form. In an instant he was gone. Traveling through the void with a rushed feeling. Landing in the Gryffindor common room. Dispelling his illusion at the same time he uncloaked himself. Exhausted -yet again-. He took a seat stretching out over the -Quite unfortunately- red couch. Grabbing a paper with the headline of an attempted thieving. Their news he supposed.
"The vault in question, seven hundred and thirteen. Had been emptied earlier that day. Thought to be the work of dark wizards or witches unknown. They have not found any evidence of who the perpetrator is."
Loki paused, re-reading the article several times. It couldn't be a mere coincidence that the day the unknown thief tried to rob a vault. Was the same day it was withdrew. Storing the information in his mind. He continued to read the magical Midgardians news, catching up as much as he could on the current goings on in Hermione's community. Some of it was foreign to him, Loki was confident he'd figure out. There were many issues scattered upon the tables. Well into the early hours of the morning.
Hermione woke the next morning groaning. She felt drained. Yet well rested. She questioned why she felt drained. However she quickly pushed that aside probably had a nightmare or something she didn't remember. Rolling onto her stomach she nuzzled the soft pillow. Stretching like a cat digging her fingers into the pillow. As her brain started to reboot she felt a thrill of excitement go through her and she giggled. Basking in the first sun rays that peered through the window. She enjoyed the feel. Finally deciding she should get up. She drew open her drapes. Slipping into her slippers this time instead of the cold stone. She was not going to repeat yesterdays rude awakening.
Suddenly remembering something she glanced around, feeling disappointed when she no longer saw her feathered companion. It was odd. He had annoyed her almost all day yesterday. Never giving her a moments peace. Hermione found herself missing his presence. She secretly hoped he was just grabbing his breakfast and would be back. With that thought in mind, she made her way to the bathroom to complete her daily routine before going to search for her own nourishment.
When Hermione was done and back in the dorm; she felt her face burst out into a wide grin. The raven was resting on one of the posts on the bed.
"There you are! I was beginning to think you moved on. Tenacious thing."
The raven gave a caw and flew to land on her shoulder. Shaking his head and ruffling his feathers in an attempt to get some of her wild curls out of his face. She giggled and took her hair, pulling it over to her other shoulder so he had room.
"How about we head to the great hall now for breakfast. Though I am sure you've already eaten you can have some of my toast! " Hermione left the dorm and practically flew down the steps and out of the portrait hole by the sun it must be about six. The raven managing to stay on in her rush. Digging his talons in her robe.
When Hermione entered the great hall. She hummed noticing it was quiet. She put her current research tome on the table with a soft bang. The heaviness of it rattliling the silverware. It wasn't one of her course books either. It was one of the ones she had picked up the night before. Specifically Norse magical influence in Brittan, this one going into the history of what the Vikings had brought with them. Specifically the knowledge of runes. Which was integrated and used heavily with what they already knew. Expanding it father than witches and wizards were able to do at the time. How it evolved through the Anglo-Saxons. Those that inhabited the area later. The runes kept evolving and changing as cultures started to merge into it. It all stemmed down to the Norse and Celtic. There were other runes as well that they used to their advantage.
Hermione was fascinated. She would have been even if she hadn't been researching the amulet the origins and possible meanings. It would be great light reading material. So she was most excited to crack the book open. . It was to bad ancient runes were not taught until third year as an elective. She would love to learn.
"Are you reading about the Norse. Is it terribly interesting?" A soft voice slightly accented coming from her right asked.
Hermione looked up just as she was opening the book. To look at Parvati Patil one of her roomates. She smiled meeting the dark gaze of the girl.
"They are rather fascinating. How celts and norse collided, learning from each other and making the foundations of modern magic we use today. It isn't just our Celtic ancestors we get it from."
"Oh! That does sound interesting. It sounds like something my sister Padma would read."
The raven hoped down on the spot on her other side. Finally leaving her shoulder, as if bored by the gabbing. Settling himself down near a plate. Beginning to pick fruit and dropping it onto his plate, as well as a already cut up piece of bread and some cheese. As she talked to Parvati.
"Well isn't he just a prince!" Parvati laughed softly.
"He does act like he owns everything. No one tells him what to do. Every teacher that tries, end up having a very hard time teaching us." Hermione nodded agreeing referring to yesterday's events.
The raven stared at them. Tearing off small pieces of the bread off. Almost as he was saying
"Your point would be?"
"I thought it was rather amusing to see Professor Flitwick so flustered. "
"It was highly amusing to watch him running around the classroom." Parvati grinned.
They fell into a comfortable silence of eating. Parvati leaving to sit next to Lavander. Leaving Hermione alone with her raven. Hermione nibbled on her eggs turning pages. Though suddenly a thought entered her head. She shut the book with a loud snap.
"You are in need a name!" Hermione suddenly said out of nowhere.
"I can't continue to refer to you as "The Raven" or "Raven"
You're rather god like. She hummed studying him.
"what about Meldius he's a lightening god." Hermione asked to herself thoughtfully. Only to be startled by a rather loud ravens cry.
Hermione covered her ears.
"Ok.. ok, Meldius is out."
"Gwendolleu? God of strategy. That seems fitting."
The raven. Done eating flew over to her book, using his beak to open the book. He started to peck at the paper she had been using as a book mark. Notes from the night before. His beak going straight to Loki's name. Ravens were intelligent. Perhaps he just remembered her talking about it to him; and liked the sound, noting when she wrote it down. Ravens were if she remembered right capable of mimicking human speech better than a parrot. So it wasn't to much of a stretch that it had long term memory. Still she was very suspicious.
Are you sure?"
The raven made a cooing sound; scratching the page.
"Loki it is." If I didn't know any better I'd say you were . Unless..are you?"She narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
Loki just went to nestle on her shoulder and preened his feathers. Not giving her any indication that he even understood her or that he was listening in anyway.
Hermione found herself pouting a bit going deep in thought. As she remembered those green eyes, ink black hair, strange armor, and regal air. That she had seen the first night here. The raven had green eyes, Loki was said to be a shapeshifter. She couldn't prove it yet though. It could be just all in her head. However it was far to real. Not to mention the pendant.. She needed answers and they still were evading her grasp. Everything lead back to this supposed god of Chaos and Lies. Hermione did not believe in coincidences. At least not when there was so much evidence to the contrary.
She stroked Loki's feathered wings with the back of her fingers. He nipped at them but didn't hurt her. With one last bite of her breakfast. Hermione picked up her bag and book and since she had some time, having memorized their classes locations. Went straight to the library. Got out some of her school supplies. In order to get a head start on some of the assignments they were given yesterday. She would have started last night, had she not stayed up so late trying to find information.
Hermione just before classes would start packed up her bag and went to go to the classes of that day, hoping it would go without incident.
To her relief, Loki stayed good. He didn't annoy any of the teachers. Leaving her to finally learn in peace. At least until just before the last class.
She was on her way to defense against the dark arts, when the strap of her bag broke and the contents fell to the floor. She gave a cry of frustration and knelt down repairing her bag and started to gather up her supplies and put them away.
"Here, Let me help." She looked up to see that it was Harry Potter who offered. He didn't wait for a response crouching down, he started to gather her things. After a minute or two of scrambling around they managed to get everything gathered and put away.
"Thank you Harry. You didn't have to."
"It was no problem. I wanted to help." Harry smiled and offered his hand, which she took allowing him to help her up. Unaware of Loki's feathers rising and watching Harry closely.
They parted, Hermione thanking him one last time and headed to the stairs to their last class of the day.
Hermione climbed the stairs, Harry trailing behind. Suddenly the stair started to change. Squeaking at the suddenness of it she found herself grabbing the railing. Harry doing the same on the other side. Hermione accidently glanced down, they were rather high. She felt woozy, putting a hand to her temple trying to stop the nausea and the spinning . She did not like heights.
When the stairs stopped she stood up straight a bit wobblily. She didn't mind climbing stairs or with heights it didn't bother her. Looking down why in movement was an entirely different matter. She dreaded her first flying lesson. Hermione stumbled, Harry who wasn't far away, and with surprisingly quick reflexes grabbed ahold of her pulling her to him. Flushing with embarrassment she found her back to his chest and his arm around her waist, the other having grabbed the railing. It was very embarrassing and uncomfortable to be so close to a boy. Not to mention humiliating that he saw her loose her balance. Way to make a good impression.
"Sorry." He muttered sounding just as flustered and uncomfortable as she felt.
"It is ok Harry, thank you again."
They stayed still for a fraction to long making sure her episode past. There was a flutter of wings and Harry let go rather quick. Loki had nipped him, making him start to bleed. He moved so fast neither of them saw it coming. Without thinking she used one hand to gently grab Loki. Hermione used the back of her fingers to stroke between his wings. She did that a lot his feathers were just so soft. Loki was still ruffled and practically glared, he didn't settle down until Harry was a respectful distance.
"He wasn't hurting me. He was helping."
"Now I am the one sorry, I don't know what got into him."
"It is ok really, He must of thought I was a threat. " Harry held up both hands in the universal sign of peace.
"It's fine, I've had worse. I have to say, he has to be the strangest bird I have ever met. He almost seems human at times."
"Loki." Hermione interrupted.
"Loki..that is an odd name. Has been following you around for two days. He must of taken a likening to you. Aren't Raven's protective of their flock?"
Hermione hummed and brought out some cloth she carried with her just incase. Handing it over so Harry could put pressure on the cuts and gash.
"They are. Though you should know. Flocks of ravens are called an unkindness or a conspiracy. Usually they live in pairs."
Harry raised an eyebrow. Clearly finding the names odd.
"It's no different than a flock of crows being called a murder." Hermione defended. Blushing a bit.
"You are really not making a good impression today Granger." She thought sarcastically.
"Harry! There you are. I've been looking everywhere for you." Ron came barreling around the voice interrupting their conversation. That Hermione had been enjoying. She hadn't had a real conversation in a while.
"We are going to be late."
"Goodbye ,Hermione." Harry gave her a smile, his cheeks still red. As he darted off after Ron leaving her and Loki behind, and alone.
"You know it's not nice to attack people. You could of gotten us both into trouble Loki."
Loki remained tense upon her shoulder still ruffled. Hermione gave an annoyed sigh.
"Is it to much to ask that you don't cause trouble for one day?"
He gave her a reproachful look.
Hermione sighed again. Spending the rest of the day going through her defense against the dark arts class. A class that the raven seemed to be interested in. Settling himself on her books, and actually appeared to be listening, not sleeping. Harry was very right in the observations of Loki. He was the strangest bird. Hermione's suspicions grew. After class she went to the library to work on her homework and studying.
At Dinner, she sat alone again with only Loki as her companion. It bothered her a bit, but one look at her feathered friend and she couldn't seem to mind for long. She enjoyed talking to him, bouncing her ideas off him. He couldn't respond back, but saying things aloud gave her a clearer perspective.
After dinner, it was straight to the library again for more studying and homework. Then to the common room to read through some of the books she had picked up, the day before. She thumbed through the runes book as well as different amulets and spells. So far nothing seemed to be very similar to the one she wore around her neck. Enjoyable and informative anyway.
Hermione moved to the couch by the fire when it became un occupied. Tucking her legs under her, soaking up the warmth. Loki on the mantle. She stayed there for so long the fire turned to embers. She was breifly reminded of Poe's poem. "The Raven."Shifting onto her front, then rolling onto her side, eventually going onto her back before she started feeling very sleepy. She tried to fight it. Her efforts were futile. Hermione fell asleep with the book on her chest.
Hermione didn't even wake when there was a shimmer and a figure appearing where her companion had been., shifting only a little when a blanket was pulled over her. She would assume one of her house mates put it on her in the morning. She couldn't have been more wrong. She didn't stir when there was a light kiss to her forehead, and a whisper "may the Valkyries guard your dreams." Followed by a feeling of warmth and going into a deeper sleep.
She woke up the next morning to Neville shaking her gently.
"You fell asleep down here reading."
Hermione blinked at him blearily. Giving a slight yawn.
"I didn't realize how late it was. It was a very interesting read."
Neville gave her a reassuring smile.
"It's almost breakfast. I'm not usually up so early, but your Raven."
"Loki, his names Loki."
"Loki, woke me up . Pecking at me. No idea why. So I came down here. After I found I Couldn't get anymore sleep."
"He's better than an alarm clock." Hermione chuckled. Just as said raven flew onto the arm of the couch."
"Speak of the devil and he shall appear." Hermione gave a side smile of amusement.
"What's an alarm clock?" Neville tilted his head looking thoroughly confused.
"It's like a clock, but electric with digital, meaning the numbers appear on the small window instead of hands. You set it to the time you wish to get up. It then creates this most annoying, loud beeping noise that you have to turn off manually. So it forces you up."
"That sounds like a very unpleasant way to wake up.
Hermione yawned again, giving a tired smile
"It is. Let me get ready and if you want we can go down to breakfast together."
"I would like that."
Rolling over so she could sit up and then get off the couch. Hermione made her way to the girls dorm, getting ready for the third day. Wondering what today would hold.
Loki decided to let Hermione be for a while, but he kept an eye on her through their connection. Still tense from the day prior. He may have over reacted. Harry Potter did keep Hermione from falling as she nearly fainted. He could have just grabbed her arm, or somthing It was far to familiar. Again he knew Midgardians were different. He was young as well, still a child. Not like he had ulterior motives for catching her. That did not mean he liked it. Loki finally started to relax as he wandered the castle. He needn't have bothered. Every time he checked she was concentrated and in a almost meditative stat.
Loki found he loved wandering the castle. It was ever changing. Even the Armor moved. He hadn't felt so curious since his youth. Here it was ancient. Not as ancient as Asgard, but old enough that magic seeped into everything. Hogwarts as he came to know the castle to be called. Seemed to breath, alive. Giving him quite a bit of amusement. Usually one to be plagued with boredom whenever he wasn't causing some mischief or coming up with plans, dealing with the council. He hadn't been bored once.
He was currently watching an interesting painting of a girl who insisted on showing her dancing. A smile on her face. Even other paintings stopped what they were doing to watch. He had no idea what this dance was called. It was elegant, she danced on her toes a white dress flowing around her ankles a crown of flowers on her head. He sat on the railing humming. Making sure he was on the railing of a landing and not on a moving staircase. When he became distracted by a fairly loud bang.
Curiosity lead him to pull away from the painting, the girl smiling and continuing to dance. Another bang as he got closer to the fourth floor corridor. He was woefully unprepared for what he encountered.
A man that was transparent but not see through hovered in the air. Dark eyes and hair covered in mix matched clothing. A hat with bells and a cackling laugh. Not a ghost but something else entirely. Loki kept back evaluating the situation. Wrinkling his nose as he caught a whiff at what he was tossing at all manor of objects. An roundish item that exploded on impact and created a nasty smell. Loki covered his nose with his sleeve.
Another bang, this one hitting a student that was late for class. She shreiked as it surrounded her and she took off running. The being taunting.
"Can't run from old peevsie! You can't!" He cackled following until she went into a class room.
Loki curiously followed the being. Down the stairs and into one of the halls. He made himself busy loosening rugs so people would trip right into one of the suits of armor . He was some form of trickster it appeared.
"Is that all you got?" Loki smirked materalizing infront of the being.
He apeared startled before a wide grin formed on his face. He turned upside down legs crossed.
"I should sound the alarm, I should. you don't belong here you don't. Your not a beast, a teacher, or a ghosty.
"You should, could even, but you won't." Loki stood confidently.
The being watched him curiously with mistcheif in his eyes.
"You say you can beat old peevsie. I challange you, I do!" If you beat me peevsie shan't say a word.
"How do I know you won't go back on your word?" Loki hummed giving off a flare of disinterest.
"ooh yous a smart one yous are! You don't!" He cackled
"No one would beleive you anyway, and they won't be able to find me. Unless I wish it. None the less I formally accept your challange.
"Old Peeves hasn't had a challanger before. This will be fun it will!"
"Then let us begin."
Draco made his way down to the dungeons where he would be having his first offical potion lesson. His mother taught him some before he came here so he'd have a head start. He would enjoy it more, if it wasn't a class he had to share with the bloody Gryffindors. Crabbe and Goyle flanking him as usual. His steely grey-blue eyes glared at some of the Gryffindors who loudly ran past.
"Uncivilized, the lot of them."
Crabbe and Goyle just grunted. Not the smartest of wizards but they had their uses.
"Excuse me." A bossy voice said from his right.
He glanced at her, He reconized her from Herbology. Hermione Granger the mudblood.
Draco sneered at her. Though she didn't seem to be paying any attention to him. He also noticed she was without that bloody bird that stared at him all through herbology with a distrustful look. Like he was going to attack at any moment. It gave him the creeps. He didn't really like ravens. They were ill omens.
When he didn't move. She gave a very annoyed sigh and pushed past him to run to their class. He hissed when she brushed against him. Draco jerked back like he'd been struck. A spark went through him. White hot like embers had gotten into his cloths and onto to his skin.
Draco watched Granger as she went down a corner, her bushy hair flowing behind her. He rubbed his arm. It still felt like static was going over him.
"You alright?" A boy with dark hair that was windswept like he didn't care.
Draco avoided the boy's dark eyes. It always felt like he was trying to ascertain something invisible when he looked like that.
"I'm fine Nott."
"Yeah, and Merlin wasn't a Slytherin."
"Are you going to get to the point any time soon?"
"Fine, You just looked like you been struck with a stunning spell. You suddenly clutched your arm. So don't go telling me; Malfoy. It isn't nothing and I am not an idiot."
"Could of fooled me."
"Just didn't like that the mudblood touched me."
"Bullshit. What did she really do?"
The two boys made their way into the potions classroom taking seats. The potions room was in the dungeon. It was dark and damp. Heavy smell of iingrediants. Odd jars filled with things Draco could not even identify. It had a sort of mysterious atmosphere.
'Honestly Theo. I don't have a clue. When she touched me, even through my cloths there was a white hot feeling like fire and a sickening feel in my stomach. It didn't feel at all natural."
"That is unusual."Theodore glanced over at the Granger girl.
"I don't sense anything."
Draco fell into scilence. He didn't pay to much attention to Professor Snape as he went over his welcoming speech. He was studying the Granger girl. If only he could place exactly what was wrong.
Draco did find it highly amusing watching Snape interrogate and insult potter. Hermione though was nearly off her seat in a desperate attempt to gain his attention to answer the questions. Over eager and frustrated each time she was ignored.
Draco tried to hold back a snort. She looked like she had sat on porcupine quills. His analyzing was interrupted by the Professor giving them their first assignment. A potion to cure boils. Not a very hard one. It was their first Potion. So that made logical sense. He was paired up with Blaise Zabini.
Draco worked on their potion. Filling with pride as Professor Snape complimented on how he crushed the horns. Though he found his grey-blue eyes going over to the mudblood. Annoying yet again. There was something weird, an energy cloaked around her. He had first felt it when passing her in the hall. Like he had been hit with embers of a fire, he had recoiled at the contact when she brushed past him. He had never recoiled in his life. He didn't like her at all before that. Now, he didn't want to even go near her. He refused to be afraid. In her presence he felt disgust and it wasn't because of her blood status. There was something wrong with her. No one else seemed to notice.
Draco glanced over at Blaise Zabini. He had grown up with him. The Zabini's had a rather unique magical ability. He wondered if he had felt it as well. Or if he was gong crazy.
"Hey, Blaise.' Draco whispered casually going about the potion.
Blaise looked at him sideways with dark eyes.
"Is it just me, or is there something not right about that Mudblood."
Blaise looked from Draco to Hermione.
"Not her herself, not completely anyway. we are mostly feeling." Blaise paused looking around them for an example. He seemed to find one. Blaise leaned forward, using his wand he lifted the chain of the pendant; Millicent Bulstrode wore about her neck.
"Hey!" She hissed.
"Wand to yourself Zabini!"
"Don't flatter yourself Bulstrode."
Blaise dropped the chain settling himself back on his seat. Ignoring the girls death stare.
Draco raised an eyebrow at Blaise. A chain?
"No way is that feeling coming from a chain. Besides Granger doesn't even wear jewelry."
"You obviously don't look all that closely." He spoke in a monotone gesturing with his hand toward her.
Draco humored him and glanced over. Neville's potion was melting Seamus's cauldron and Granger had jumped back, since her and the Brown girl were right next to him.
Now that he knew where to look, it didn't take much for him to catch a brief silver glint of metal as fire lit it up. About her neck.
Draco became curious, his potion done. He found himself rather bored. She would be fun to mess with, He tried to get a closer look at what was around her neck. Granger kept it beneath her shirt. All he could see was a chain. What kind of enchantment was it? He could still feel the sparks and he shuddered. Cursed maybe.
Pulling his wand out of his robes. He pointed it at Potters cauldron, since Granger and Browns was already bottled. It exploded landing on them. They barely backed away in time. Except Granger who was trapped between the two stools and the desk behind her. Her eyes screwed up tight waiting for pain. Both them surprised when. It didn't hit her.
Instead the liquid seemed to land just inches from her. Specks that should of hit her. Fell down inches from her. Like water off glass. It didn't even reach her shoes.
He made eye contact with Blaise.
"It can't be what I think it is. She's a mudblood who on earth would give her something like that. Must be one of those temporary novelty ones."
Though he said it Draco was unsure. Blaise was looking at him in the eye, one eyebrow raised. A clear "Are you kidding me?" Draco saw that Blaise had not a single doubt. He knew better than question Zabini and his unique talents. It was just quite often hard to believe.
He found himself thinking. What in the name of Merlin was going on.
Hermione slept restlessly. The day she had been dreading since the moment she received her class schedule. Their first flying lesson. Hermione curled up and stared at the curtains. Her stomach rolling with the movement. Their first flying lesson. Hermione never backed down from learning, or going to class. Just this once, she rather this not be a requirement.
To say she was terrified would be the understatement of the year. The curtains not helping in the slightest, She rolled over again, to stare out the window. The wind blowing wisps of her hair over her face. She watched as the sun started to rise. She felt herself break into a smile. Loki was there this morning. She took the time to forget her fears for just a moment, wilst she admired how the sun rises peach and gold light hit the raven just right.
The sun surrounded him in an ethereal glow. His black feather shone sleek against the red and pink of the early hours of the morning. Hermione reached over and gently stroked his head and his beak.
"Good morning Loki." Hermione yawned.
"It's going to be a rough day."
Loki bumped his head against her fingers in a greeting, and what felt like -to Hermione at least.- encouragement.
She smiled again, and finally convincing herself to get up. It was just another lesson.. Once ready to go, she held out her arm, Loki flew onto it, his wings were huge it never ceased to surprise her. Just how big he was.
Hermione had been hoping, as she sat down that she'd be able to eat at least something. However even the smell of food made her want to be sick. She managed to have a few bites of toast, before giving completely up on the task. It was not settling well at all. She firmly pushed her plate away, she was having non of its nonsense this morning thank you very much.
Loki was watching her closely. In a way that made her put a whole knew perspective on Edgar Allen Poes : Nevermore. It was just creepy. Not that it had anything to do with the poem. She could see the appeal of it being a Raven.
Said raven pushed her plate back over to her. Clicking his beak as in reprimand.
He gazed up at her, clicking his beak again, more firmly. Pushing the plate even further.
"No." Hermione said firmly.
"I am not the slightest bit hungry."
Loki ruffled his feathers agitatedly. In a way that had Hermione been in a better humor, she'd have thought amusing. Loki went over to the fruit bowl on the table. picking through it tell he found what he was looking for. A grape vine. He preceded to plop it onto her plate. Loki gave her an expectant look.
"I really can't ea...OW!" Hermione hissed as Loki chose that time to nip her finger.
She gave Loki a glare as she put her slightly bleeding finger to her mouth. Sucking the sting away.
"That really hurt."
Loki didn't look the slightest bit apologetic as he put another vine onto the plate and a few strawberries.
Hermione's fear was temporarily forgotten, replaced by righteous indignation.
"Fine, you silly bird." She took two grapes nd popped them into her mouth. Chewing with exaggeration.
Loki cooed and brushed his head against the back of her hand.
Hermione grumbled. Reluctantly eating the fruit on her plate. When the plates cleared there was still some time before the lesson.
So she did what she always did. Opened a book. Nibbling on her lower lip as she read a guide book on flying. Muttering to herself to help her memorize it. Hermione hands began to shake half way through her task. Making her shut it with a snap. It was no use. She couldn't consentrait.
Subconsciously she pulled at some of her hair. Taking deep breaths to avoid hyper ventilating and a full blown panic attack.
"Hermione, are you alright?"
Hermione jumped, looking around to see who spoke.
"Oh, I'm ok Neville, really no need to be concerned." She gave a forced smile to Neville. Who looked as pale a she felt. So he was dreading the lesson as much as she was, that was a bit comforting.
"What are you two o nervous about?" Ron butted in.
Hermione wrinkled her nose. Seeing with a mouth full of food again, and still talking. Rude
"I mean, It's not that hard. It's rather fun actually."
"Not everyone is fond of Heights Ron, never having flown before. I am personally excited. I can see how it is nerve racking. I think all of us that have never been on a broom, have varying degree's of nervousness. "
Hermione nodded rapidly.
"You're a quick learner Hermione. I'm sure you'll do fine." Harry said before taking a bite out of his bacon.
Hermione gave a weak smile, running her fingers over Loki's wings. She couldn't learn this all from a book. Another reason she was not looking forward. she knew the mechanics. Knowing and actually doing were vastly different things.
By the time mail came around she was tugging at the end of her shirt subtly under the table. She was blissfully and momentarily distracted as Harry's beautiful snow owl Headwig landed on the table, next to her Raven Loki. She accepted a piece toast rom Harry; Holding her slice in one talon nibbling on her treat. Everything Headwig did, including eating, was graceful.
She gave a smile at the odd pair that had somehow became friends. Black against white. Loki seemed quite content in Headwigs company. Which was rather odd cocidering he had the tendency to ruffle his feathers, and click his beak at other birds in warning.
She was distracted further with a loud.
"Hey! Neville's got a rememberall!"
"Oh, I read about them." Hermione beamed. Unable to contain herself.
"Terribly fascinating not to mention very useful. The smoke turns red when you have forgotten something."
"There is a slight problem." Neville furrowed his brow as it turned a vivid blood red.
"I can never remember what it is, I've forgotton!"
The whole table started giving soft laughter. Even Hermione cracked a smile. Rubbing his back in sympathy. Not wanting him to feel bad. She didn't mention that he forgot his robes. outloud Instead she pushed a piece of paper to him. Teling him what he forgot so he could get it in time for their lesson.
Shaking her head as Neville took off. She felt a bit better.
Hermione after a while of fidgeting checked the time on Seamus's wrist was time to meet up with their teacher Madame hooch. Moving her hair over one shoulder. She set her hand palm up for Loki to walk into. Wings fluttering a bit as she drew him to her shoulder. Which he quickly made himself comfortable as if he claimed the spot as his spot.
Hermione was finding with each day she was enjoying his prescience more and more. The weight of him on her shoulder now seemed the most natural thing in the world. His talons dug into her shirt and robes a bit, but never enough to hurt her, only keep his balance.
The courtyard was rather nicely kept. Madame hooch, upon meeting them and unfortunately the Slytherins at the door to the courtyard. Lead them to a large grassy area with no obstructions. The sun was bright and warm beating at their backs and caressing their faces. There was the slightest bit of wind. A perfect day.
Hermione's stomach turned just then as Madame Hooch told to form a line behind a row of brooms. Oposite the row Gryffindor filled, was the Slytherins. Just what she needed, it was one thing to make a fool of herself in front of her house. It was another matter entirely to make a fool of herself in front of their rival house.
She barely heard what Madam Hooch was saying, it felt like she was underwater. Gathering up her courage, showing no outwards fear. She held her hand above her broom.
"Up." Hermione's broom didn't go into her hand. Like Harry's and Draco's automatically did.
She tried again, it continued to roll over. She was Half hoping it never would to spare her having to deal with flying, and the inevitable taunting of the Slytherins in front of her. Her only blessing when she finally got it to go to her hand. Was seeing Ron get smacked in the face with his. She suppressed a giggle. Why Harry was outright laughing.
Hermione jumped as she felt soft feathers brush up against her cheek. She glanced sideways, loki was brushing his head and side up against her cheek in an encouraging manner.
Her nerves settling. She felt ready , Just as she found that didn't get the chance to use her new found courage and take to the air. For just as they were mounting their brooms. Several things happened at once. Neville's broom had taken off with him and would not obey him. Instead of taking him back to the ground. The old broom bucked him of. Taking a tumble down the roof, eventually finding himself on the ground with a sickening crunch. She'd bet her grades it was his wrist, or ankle.
Hermione was the first one to reach him before Madam Hooch. Sure enough Neville's wrist was clearly broken.
"See, flying is dangerous!"
Madam Hooch helped him up. Tsking. Confirming that it was a broken wrist. Hermione wanted to go with him to the hospital wing. To make sure he was ok.
Before she could move. Madam Hooch gave a sharp command and dark promise.
"Nobody move while I take Neville to the hospital wing. If I catch anyone off the ground. You'll be riding off from Hogwarts before you can say Quidditch."
Madam Hoch had not been gone with Neville five minutes when the next series of event's hit. Predictably with young students left alone with no supervision.
Draco had taken Neville's rememberall. Tauntingly going to put it on the roof, after skillfully flying off the ground like someone who's done it thousands of times.
Harry glared at Malfoy, and got on his broom. Hermione's heart leapt in her throat, She got closer to him trying to stop him.
"Don't! You know what Madam Hooch said! You don't even know how!" Hermione groaned Inwardly. He was going to get himself killed!
Hermione didn't want him to do anything reckless or stupid. However her warning and pleads went entirely ignored.
"What an idiot." She grumbled. Her eyes never leaving Harry.
Hemiione had to admit, he was a complete natural. She wasn't to surprised given his blood, even managing to catch the nearly invisible ball in mid air. Draco did not look amused. His jaw clenching. His glare increasing in intensity, if such a thing was even possible. The heat in his gaze would fry an egg.
Hermione did not join in on the cheers. she was most assuredly not going to reward the breaking of the rules. She was about to tell him off for doing something so reckless and utterly stupid that could leave him with detention. Or even worse. Madam Hooch could make good on her threat and get him expelled. They had been there barely a week.
She never got the chance. Professor Macgonagall came out, loking stern. Her lips thin.
It went quite as he was lead away.
Hermione worrid for a while, sitting by herself on the grass after standing became to much. She tugged at the grass and throwing what she got at Loki, who ruffled his feathers and hoped/walked around trying to dodge. She got him a couple of times. Getting grass and dirt onto him. The pieces sticking loosely to his feathers.
Hermione laughed. Watching loki actually rolling on the ground trying to remove it from his feathers. He gave a noise that could only be described as indignation as he got grass stuck on his beak and talons in the process. He shook his head rapidly shaking some loose. pushing his talon over his beak. It didn't work.
After she caught her breath from her fit of giggling laughter. Taking pity she gently pulled the grass and dirt off her feathered companion.
They settled down in compatible silence. Hermione settled on her stomach, and stil tugging on the grass. Whilst Loki nestled in a nest he made in the grass in front of her. His eyes blinking slowly as Hermione started to sing softly to him. Unware of stormy blue eyes watching her with suspicion his dark companion with intreg.
When Madam Hooch finally returned. She ha been hoping that this would singling the end of the lesson. Postponing her misery. She was dead wrong. Since it was their only class or the day until late in the afternoon. Madam Hooch got permission to extend the time initially given for their lesson.
Hermione's stomach went back to turning. Taking a deep breath. Summoning all the Gryffindor courage she could, and all the determination she had. -Which Hermione was very proud to admit, she had in abundance.-
As she took her position above the broom again. She felt the comforting weight on her chest. She brought a hand up to clutch it, saying a prayer to whatever god was out there, that she would Not fall to her death.
Madam Hooch surveyed them with hawk like eyes. Counting to three once again. She blew her whistle and they all kicked off from the ground hard. She was relieved to find she managed to take to the air, remaining steady in the process. With the great help of not looking down. At all. It was still disconcerting not to be on solid ground.
Hermione swallowed, her mouth dry, She leaned forward and touched back down. She was unable to enjoy the bliss of being back down for very long. Madam Hooch made them repeat the motions several more times. After her fellow classmates succeeded , Madam Hooch went on to tell them to take a few turns upon their last kick off the ground. Adding to the turns she started to tell them to go back and forth between turns. Hermione barely managed to follow directions twice, she very quickly found herself nearly falling off. Making her even more dizzy, if that was even possible and wanting to scream.
Only the sound of the Slyterins snickers at her unsteady movements kept Hermione from doing so. Se clutched onto the broom handle more tightly to steady herself.
Hermione was startled. -Nearly loosing her balance again- As Loki landed on the tip of the handle, his back to her. She envied him of his ease in the air.
Loki spread his wings and jumped off into the air, flapping twice to keep a glide. Once accomplished he looked back at her and took into the directions Madam Hooch gave them. With no sharp or sudden movements, doing it slowly.
It did not take Hermione long to find out what he was doing. He wanted her to follow!
As if to confirm her thoughts Loki gave a left turn and again looked back at her.
Hermione gave a breathy laugh. she was being guided and attempted to be taught by a bird! How often can a person say that?
"I feel like a chick being forced out of her safety nest."
Loki gave another turn then a circle around Madam Hooch and he was off again.
By the time the first lesson came to an end, Hermione ad become a ok flyer. She'd need more lessons but she would be able to ride one if it was ever truly necessary. However she was not the least bit comfortable upon a broom. Hermione accepted she never would be.
She just hoped she would rarely -if ever- have to use this particular skill set, beyond the term of course.
Hermione was just gathering her tings, ignoring the whispers and taunts from the Slytherins as they past. About how pathetic it was to be guided by a bird. Hermione didn't give them the satisfaction of a reaction. Loki had no such inclinations. He glared. -It was most definitely a glare- At the passing students. Millicent bumping into her hard.
Hermione didn't react.
"Ignore them, ignore them." She hummed in her head.
She had found the experience rather enjoyable thank you very much. It was nice have the extra support. Quite frankly. If Hermione was completely honest, did not give a damn about their opinion on the subject.
She had just put the last item in the bag when she was approached by Madam Hooch.
"Miss Granger correct?" She gave what Hermione believed to be a rare smile. It lit her up her usually stern features. Apart from sprout, All the female teachers, that she had met. Were rather no nonsense and stern. Given their subjects. It was probably needed.
Hermione beamed back.
"Is their something wrong Madam Hooch?"
"Not at all dear. I just wanted to say you have a lovely Raven. Male correct?"
"Yes. He is."
"I myself have two of them. They unlike other familiars seek their witches, and on very rare occasions wizards themselves. Usually not to one so young. You are a very lucky young lady to be thought worthy by one. I myself was just out of Hogwarts and training for the Harpies. Not unheard of for a bird species to attach to themelves to members of my family."
"What's his name?"
"Loki Ma'am." Hermione felt a bubbly warmth in her chest. Her hand going to hold her hidden amulet.
She was worthy. That one word that one small word. Meant so much to her. She didn't even care if it came from the raven, something -or she suspected someone.- She glanced at Loki. If only she could prove it. Thought her worthy. She felt herself break out into a wide smile that hurt her cheeks.
"With that said. I have an award for Loki for being a great flying assistant."
Loki gave a proud ruffle of his feathers.
Madam Hooch brought out a small pouch upon which she took out a small piece of fruit of some kind. It was red and yellow, about half the size of a crabapple. Taking out her wand and with a flick of her wrist the fruit was cut up into small enough sizes for Loki to have. Madam hooch put the pieces in Hermiones awaiting hand.
The fruit smelled like a mix between citrus and berries. Curious the inside was a blood red color. She took another sniff, and curiously tried a piece herself. She gave a groan as the juice hit her tongue. It was sweet and tart at the same time. A bit of a berry and citrus taste like it smelled. It tasted like the ambrosia her grandfather had used to make at family get togeters. In sort it was delicious!
Hermione took another piece and held it up to a perched Loki on his self made throne. Regal and proud.
Loki eyed it wearily. After only a few brief seconds he seemed to make up is mind and accepted the offered gift. He ate the first piece slowly as if to savor the taste see if he liked it. He must of decided he did, for he ate the rest of it more quickly. Not getting a drop of juice on himself or Hermione. Madam Hooch gave anoter mile.
"you best be off Miss Granger"
"Yes Madam Hooch. Loki seems to like the gift. Thank you."
"No thanks needed, now skedaddle"
She laughed slinging her bag over her shoulder. She made her way quickly for lunch, she was starving! What little she ate at breakfast hadn't been enough. She was in hindsight thankful Loki had gotten her to eat something.
Hermione had just gotten into the passage that lead to the Great Hall. Half way down Hermione spotted harry and Ron coming from the opposite direction. Hermione was still disapproving of his behavior at their lesson, she couldn't help but be relieved. He didn't seem to have been expelled!
She also couldn't help the half smug smile when their excited conversation reached her ears.
"First years never get on the team! A seeker to boot! You've got to be the youngest since...
"A century ago, at least according to McGonagall. What if I'm not as good as she thinks and I make a fool of myself."
"You won't make a fool of yourself." Hermione walked over confidant in her words.
"It's in your very blood."
"What do you mean by that?" Harry furrowed his brows in confusion.
Hermione felt a pang in her eart. Not of pity but sympathy. It must hurt not knowing anything about ones parents. She would be devastated if it were her. Especially if they had been murdered like his. Hermione could only hope that learning a bit about his father would fill some of the unknown.
"Follow me!" She didn't give them time to ask questions or protest, for she was already half way down the hall in a sprint. Forcing them to follow after her.
She lead them as quickly to the trophy room as she could. She scanned it briefly. Finding the quidditch awards quickly and with no trouble. Grabbing hold of a very confused Potter's robe and pushing him infront of her and to the case. Pointing at the center one of one of the trophy years, were James Potter's name was etched clearly on a shield with the rest of his teams names.
"Blimey! You never told me he was also a seeker in our house." Ron said enthusiastically.
Harry was looking at the trophy in awe. With a tiny smile of pride
"I had no idea."
Hermione thought as much. Rolling her eyes mentally at Ron's lapse in memory. How hard was it to forget someone didn't know their parents?
She turned and left the room going to lunch and giving Harry some time alone with his thoughts and friend.
If Hermione thought the excitement of the day was over. She soon found out it was only just the beginning. When Hermine overheard Harry accepting Draco's challenge to a wizarding duel. Ron volunteered to be Harry's second. She became concerned. Why couldn't those two stay out of trouble?
Her concern lead her to where she was now. Arms crossed in front of the Portrait hole, A quarter tell Midnight in her robe. Listening to the footsteps of the two boys coming out of their dormitories.
"You!" Ron's face became as red as his hair when he caught sight of her.
"Should be in bed!"
"You're one to talk, trying to sneak out when it is well past curfew."
"The both of you are going to get caught and loose all the points I earned from knowing about switching spells." Hermione gave what se hoped was her most disapproving face. It wasn't even the points she was truly worried about. She could always earn them more. Harry had just narrowly escaped trouble today. Hurt even had it not been so natural to him as breathing.
"Where are you even going. You know Malfoy is just puling you around. He has no intention of showing up. It may even be a trap to get you into trouble."
"I don't think that is any of your business." Harry's tone was ice cold, pushing his way past Hermione. His tone making her finch. He had never talked to her like that.
Hermione Granger was not going to backdown even though it hurt that neither of them were listening to her. She was just trying to help. Growling with frustration she followed them out of the portrait hole against her better judgment.
Cursing her luck when it closed and she did not see the fat lady in her portrait. Great now they were all stuck.
"Great now we all will get in trouble."
"No one asked you to follow." Ron hissed angerly.
"Where's that bloody bird anyway. Didn't think you could function without him. Go bother him."
Hermione bit her cheek. Emotions bubbling up inside her, conflicting she didn't know whether to be insulted or not. Instead she just felt angry. Missing the look Harry shot his friend a disapproving look. Or the brief flash of regret.
"For your information Ronald. I function quite spectacularly without him." Loki chose her, and she was in hindsight quite happy he pestered her that first day. Was she supposed to be ashamed that her only friend. A Raven followed her around everywhere? She certainly wasn't. SHe poked Ron rather hard in the chest.
"He has a name! It is Loki, and you WILL use it!"
"Who the bloody cares? It's a bird." Ron stepped back just a bit. Something fiery in her aura he had not felt before.
"Shut it!" Harry hissed
"I see something."
Hermione and Ron exchanged one last glare.
Hermione's' eyes scanned the corridor, landing on a dark lump. Ignoring Ron and Harry both. She went straight over. licking her wand casting a quick lumos. A glow appearing at the tip of her wand illuminating the space in front of her. Illuminating the lump that turned out to be Neville.
"Woah, were did you learn that?" Harry asked curiously and rather impressed sounding. Making a proud flutter in her stomach.
"Standard book of spells chapter two."
She knelt down next to the sleeping Neville and shook him awake.
"Neville, Neville wake up."
Hermione jumped, look just as startled as Neville wen he gave a squeak and bolting up off the ground. bumping his head hard against hers. They both hissed and rubbed their foreheads.
"Sorry" he squeaked. His face going pink as he scrambled up off the ground the rest of the way.
"It's fine. I startled you."
"Great, everyone is sorry. If you excuse us, we have business to attend to." Ron took off in the direction of the trophy room. Harry close beside him. Neville holding out his hand, like a gentlemen.
Hermione took Neville's offered hand. Letting him help her up onto her feet.
"We better go after them. No use standing around here. The fat lady left her portrait."
Neville gave a despondent groan.
"Today just isn't my day."
Hermione gave a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.
Both of them walked quickly to catch up with the other two boys.
All of them unaware of the almost silent sound of scales on stone, or the faint hiss.
They arrive t their destination ten tell midnight. As Hermione expected. Malfoy was no were to be seen. She folded her arms over her chest.
"See I told you he set this up."
"He may just be late. It is not quite midnight" Harry snapped Stubbornly.
"He won't show." Hermione clicked her tongue.
"What do you know?" Ron stared her down.
"More than you."
"Shut up, both of you." Harry hissed with irritation at their bickering, rolling his green eyes in the process.
They both scoffed and went silent.
None of them spoke. The only sound was Neville's shuffling feet.
Hermione started to tap her foot. It didn't take long for midnight to pass, but both boys remained stubborn; Unwilling to see tat they had fell for Draco's goading. By the time a quarter passed, Hermione was at her patience end.
""Just face it, He is not coming. He tricked you."
Harry heaved a sigh.
""Maybe you're right."
""Maybe, Maybe is that it? I am correct. He isn't here, and he had no intention of coming in the first place, and you know it. Now let's go before we get caught."
No sooner than those words left her lips. There was a sound, followed by a familiar voice.
"Keep your eye's open my sweet. They must be here somewhere."
There was a meow in reply.
The four of them lookeg at each other, and without a word. In simultaneous understanding. They took off in a run.
None of them saw a green flash as the snake changed into a cat, running after them quickly to keep up.
The four of them, and a hidden cat picked up their pace, as they heard a distinctive cat's warning howl.
Hermione and the boys took a sharp turn and found themselves in a corridor. Only slowing their mad dash when they thought they lost Filtch, and his cat.
Hermione clutched her stitched side. Barely able to catch her breath, when there was a crash and the sound against heavy metal hitting stone floor reverberated in the hall.
She froze, praying to the gods that they were far enough away that neither the caretaker or Mrs Norris heard. Hermione was out of luck, grabbing Neville's hand when she saw the crafty cat come into view.
She searched with her eyes, trying to find a door. She ran to the nearest one. The boys reaching it before her, and pulled the handle. It didn't budge.
"It's locked! Now what are we going to do?"
Hermione roughly pushed them aside drawing out her wand she pointed it at the door.
The locked clicked and opened up a smidge.
"How did you know that?" Ron and Neville said at once. Slightly awed.
"Chapter seven of the standard book of spells."
The four of them quickly entered the room shutting the door tight.
Hermione held her breath, the only sounds she heard were of the boys slightly labored breathing.
She grabbed Harry's robe sleeve, as she heard Filtch's approaching footsteps. Her body tensing.
"Please don't check; as far as you know it's still locked, please keep believing that."
The four students held their breath. Moments passing, then releasing their breaths al at once when his footstep's disappeared
"That was close." Hermione was starting to regret her decision to tag along. Last time she would try to help them.
Whilst she was thinking, waiting a bit longer for good measure. Just to make sure the caretaker truly was gone. The boys voices suddenly stilled mid argument of some kind. She hadn't been listening. Focusing on Filtch as she was. The only sound was Neville's whimpers.
Hermione turned around, to see what exactly was their sudden problem.
She froze in place, down the corridor not far from them was a massive giant three headed dog. Hermione was reminded of Hade's guard dog Cerberus. Had a muggle seen one and came up with that myth? It's eyes were on them, lips curling to bare their teeth, drool following in the process. Dripping on the floor in disgusting pools.
Hermione's eyes darted around, looking for a way out. It didn't escape her notice that one of its massive paws was ontop of a trap door. Like Cerberus guarding the gates of the underworld they were guarding something, and they stumbled onto the wrong territory. They must of startled it, for it to be so long without hearing a thing. It was awake now and they lost all element of accidental surprise.
Her hand flew to the door knob behind her with the intension of escaping through. Hermione's finger's barely grazed the cool metal of the handle, when suddenly the center head lurched forward. Hermione screamed, she would of been hit, seeing how she was backed up and no where to go. No time to open the door. Cornered between the three boys. At that very last second as everyone snapped to attention. Harry and Ron dodged to the right. While at the same time Neville went left. He must have noticed her for he had turned back rather quickly and grabbed her arm. Tugging her to the side just in time.
It had all felt like it was in slow motion. Taking minutes instead of the seconds it had really taken.
Time sped up again when she hit the floor from the sudden force of Neville's pull. -He was a lot stronger than his baby features made him look.- Her palms scraped on the old stones that made up the third floor path way.
Hermione hissed, blinking back tears. She could feel the blood welling up and coating her palms. She would worry about that later. If there was a later. There were more important things to worry about. Like escaping the three-headed dog.
The Cerberus as Hermione called it. For she had no other words or names for three-headed dog. Recovered quickly from it's shock of loosing it's prey.
It reared it's heads. The two outside heads glanced both left and right at the same time. Debating which way to go.
Hermione did not wait for the Cerberus to make up it's mind. She quickly recovered herself. Getting up and grabbing Neville by his robes. -Again.- Yanking him upward with her.
Hermione could not see their other to companions, Harry or Ron. The dog was to huge, she just had to hope they were ok. Her eyes searching for another door.
"There has to be one!" She thought frantically.
Barely making it past the Cerberus's legs. When it decided that her sudden movements were worthy to go after. Making up their minds.
There was snarling and barking behind her.
The dog raised a massive paw and made a wide sweeping swipe . Hermione saw it from her proverbial vision and dodged the swipe. Neville was panting hard beside her.
The Cerberus raised a giant paw yet again. Swiping it downwards instead of sideways this time. The two students running forward managed to escape being hit once again.
Hermione's heart thundered against her ribcage uncomfortably, letting out a elated gasping laugh when a door at the opposite end of the corridor was spotted.
"This way! Hurry!" She shouted, Thankfully finally hearing the other two's shouts, trying to divert the dogs attention. Which was failing miserably. It was intent on it's target.
Hermione finally saw the messy black hair and flaming red out of the corner of her eye. They were making there way down the only path of escape. Giving up on distracting the beast. They almost made it, just a few feet from the door.
"Hermione! Look out!" Harry and Ron said simultaneously.
Hermione turned her head, just in time to see a large paw, and she was unable to avoid it this time. She was hit hard in the side as she was swatted at the side, she tucked into herself rolling as she hit the wall, lessoning the impact on her extremities so as not to break anything. Pain laced through her and she was dazed barely able to focus, a ringing in her ears. She looked up blinking the blur away. A three heads were over her.
They were growling, drooling, their teeth bared ready to attack. A string of thick drool fell onto the floor inches from her. She could smell the dogs rancid breath. It certainly had a severe case of dog breath.
She closed her eyes tight. Trapped again, bracing herself for the pain. She didn't want to die. - Did anyone really?- Not when she had so many unanswered questions, so much she hadn't learned nor knew about the new world she was lucky enough to find herself in.
The Cerberus reared it's three heads. Hermione covered her ears, Blocking out her schoolmates useless sows and attempts to distract the dog so she could escape.
However the action failed to block out a Howl that most certainly did not sound like a dogs.
Her eyes snapped open, hearing a snarl in front of her and the feel of a soft and warm tail. She gasped, momentarily forgetting the dog.
A large wolf stood a protective stance in front of her, hackles raised, and half it's body blocking her from view. It's ears were puled back, teeth bared an growling softer than the dog, but far more terrifying.
Hermione only had a short moment to take in the sleek black fur that looked softer than feathers. Her instincts kicking in after the shock, and she fled.
Ron grabbed her robe, tugging her as she got near them. Pushing her out the now open door Harry was holding open. Once they were all out. They slammed and locked the door, the last thing they heard was growl and a yelp. There must be a silencing charm for it went dead quiet once the door was firmly shut.
For a moment the four of them tood there. Silent their bodies trembling. Hermione felt the beginnings of fear being turned into shock, then pure anger. Without a word or even a backwards glance to the boys; She marched toward the common room. Neville close behind. Missing the looks the other two gave each other. That of confusion and unease.
Loki watched the children leave in his peripheral vision. Teeth bared and snarling at the dog. Using his body to block the exit , challenging the dog.
"What in the name of Nileheim was something like this, doing in a school? Surely they could of warded it better against apprentices if it was truly necessary to have the dog in this place."
Loki's mind raced, as the dog pounced in his direction. Using his speed and smaller stature to dodge forward. Running between it's legs, the left head snapping at him barely missing Loki's tail.
Both he and the dog were growling. The three heads barking like a war hound unleased onto the field.
Loki rolled out o the way, the left head who had snapped again at him, catching only air. In retaliation Loki used hi sharp claws to scratch the muzzle; creating four large gashes.
The dog yelped and whined in pain. The other two heads snapping at him trying to get at him whilst one paw was over the ones muzzle.
Now that the children were safe, it was time to end this.
"Enough of this!.' He projected into their heads.
The dog stilled, heads cocked.
Loki calmly backed up, not once giving his back to them. His green eyes locked with theirs not blinking nor wavering. He had more than enough knowledge on canines. He had a way with them. The best hunting and war dogs were trained by him.
Not to mention, his companion Fenir who he found as a cub trapped within the forgotten parts of Vaniheim he had dared explore as a child. He had gotten in a lot of trouble that day. Fenir was in a forced enchanted sleep in one of the crumbling temples. Loki freed him and now Fenir was loyal to him, and him only. The wolf didn't like or tolerate anyone else. Was the most stubbrn canine to ever walk the nine realms. Was the hardest to train. Compared to him they should not be a problem.
When he was far enough back and the six eyes wavered, still not removing his gaze. Showing them who exactly was the alpha. A golden shimmer surrouned him, where a wolf was replaced by his natural form.
The dog snarled, lips curling a bit to reveal just a bit o the fangs and allowed drool to hit the floor.
"Enough." he repeated.
The dog watched him wearily. however stopped growling; it kept it's teeth bared ready to defend.
Which is what it had been doing this entire time. Defending the corridor that was its territory. A territory te children accidently found themselves in. To make matters worse he was definitely guarding something if the trap door it kept a hind paw on was anything to go by. He was loyal to someone and was taking guard duty seriously.
Fenir was much the same way. Guarding his room, and Loki's with a scary amount of determination if Loki needed to be alone, and againt threats. He patrolled the royal wings zealously. He was responsible for more than one Einerji's early retirement.
Now that the dog was calming down, Loki raised both hands up and facing out toward him; approaching slowly and lowering his tone from firm and commanding to soft and soothing.
"Enough boy. I do not wish to fight. See? I'm not trying to get what you're guarding."
He was regarded again for a moment, then very slowly two of the heads slowly went to touch his palm with his cold wet noses and sniffed. The dog started to relax. Lowering himself to the ground, Stretching out it's massive paws.
Loki took this as his cue. Taking his left hand he held it out to the center head who was still being uncertain.
"There now, see?" He rubbed his muzzle. Earning himself a very contented groan.
Loki continued his ministrations by scratching behind the ears. One rear leg started to thump causing the whole corridor and ground to shake. A front still over the face of the injured head's muzzle.
Now he was no expert healer, he had taken lessons in the basics of healing. It came in handy over the years. They were a warrior race. Not to mention all the dangerous situations he found himself in over the years.
Loki extended his hand to touch the injured dog. It lowered head whining. He pressed his hand over the wounds; causing the dog to grow in warning. Which went entirely ignored.
He focused his mouth moving silently with the spell. A gold light surrounded his hand and onto the gashes. It took a ew moments before it started to heal slowly. The skin stitching back together shrinking until only the faintest unnoticeable scars.
The dog relaxed all the way. Giving slight yawns. Loki took advantage of their sleepiness. Whispering in his native language; forcing a command. Animals were particularly susceptible to commands. Especially that of dogs when faced with an alpha personality.
The dog nearly immediately fell into a deep slumber.
Once he was sure it was perfectly asleep, Loki gave an exasperated sigh. One week. one.
"Already nearly got yourself killed!"
To say Loki was livid would be an understatement. Anger, anger he could deal with. The fear in his stomach? Not at all. So he ignored it.
He stood there for several moments. His magic flaring out in his anger causing the torches on the walls to light up and grow tall, flickering out again when he got ahold of himself again and became calm.
Once calmed out of his rage that had built since the dog first attacked them. If he hadn't been here. He didn't want to think about how close she was to being torn apart.
Who knew what else was hidden in the castle? He would have to keep a closer eye on her, and double his alertness.
He took one last look around. With a wave of his hand the door unlocked and opened without a sound. Waving it again to shut it tight and made sure the lock was tightly in place.
Taking another breath, a shimmering gold surrounded him shrinking until a Raven hovered where he had just been. Flapping his wings he took flight out the nearest window and flew as fast as he was able to reach the Tower.
Loki barely managed to land on the sill of the girls dormitory, one of the girls had left it partially open. That his advanced hearing picked up on Hermione's voice.
"Now, if you excuse me. I'm going to bed before either of you think of another cleaver idea to get us killed. Or worse. Expelled "
Loki flew onto the bed post of Hermione's bed, just as she entered the room.
Hermione removed her robe angerly. Tossing it on her trunk, instead of putting it neatly away like she normally did. She was being as quiet as possible so as not to disturb her sisters.
Loki flew down to rest on the end of her bed.
"Their idiots, the both of them!" She hissed venomously reminding him vividly of another headstrong woman he knew.
She crawled onto her bed. Sitting Indian style, Huffing.
"I mean honestly. They should have known Draco set them up. How thick can one get?"
"If they did, like any sensible person. I would not have tried to stop them to make them see reason. We would never had been nearly killed; and poor Neville getting roped into this."
Loki in one flap of his wings to sit on her knee. bumping his head against her fingers trying to make her feel a bit better. He was completely out of his element here.
At the touch, Hermione started to rant about the events he already knew about. Letting off steam, by the time she was finished she had calmed down.
Pulling the sheets and blanket up so she could crawl into it. Loki took a place by her head on the pillow.
She rolled onto her side to stroke his feathers.
Hermione gave a yawn closing her eyes.
"Thank you Loki. For saving me. I know it was you, and one day I will prove it."
"You're not ready...not yet."
Loki kept postion on her pillow as she fell asleep. Still on edge he watched her through the rest of the night. Not sleeping at all. As long as he was around, he would always be there.
Still uneasy, and pondering that dog. Loki found himself back the Bifrost site, he had said he'd be back in a week, it had been a very long week, full of new things and dangers he wasn't aware of. Hermione Granger was going to be the death of him, it hadn't even been a full week and she had already got herself into serious trouble. He feared what might of happened down that corridor if he had not stepped in. Now he knew how his mother must of felt after all the dangers and sticky situations he and Thor got themselves into over the centuries. Karma was truly a cruel mistress.
He glanced up at the sky.
"Heimdall summon the Bifrost."
One heart beat. Then two. Suddenly he was enveloped by the familiar rainbow of light. When it ended his feet were planted firmly on familiar ground, a golden dome over head. The silent ever watchful gatekeeper's gaze ahead gold eyes seeing.
"You don't have to ask. I will alert you if there are any changes. She studies. Hermione Granger will be in that library for quite some time." Heimdall almost sounded amused. It was hard to tell from his monotone. It showed in the slightest crinkle at the corner of his eyes.
Loki almost snorted. It was a good thing he learned long ago not to give into those childish inclinations. Though annoyingly every now and then Thor was able to lower his shield.
"Don't need to tell me. She'd live there if she could."
Every day she was in the library as oft as she was able. Her nose stuck in a book until sleep would take her, sometimes in the middle of writing an essay. It was most amusing to see her wake up with ink on her face. He could wake her up whenever this happened before ink would transfer, but what fun would that be?
With a final nod good bye, Loki went to meet Asger. Who was waiting for him at the end of the rainbow bridge. Loki was grateful his steed was intelligent and always seemed to know when he was needed. Mounting him, like second nature. He gently dug his heels in.
""you know where to go boy."
Asger huffed in reply and they took off.
They ran through the village near the castle with practiced ease. Loki was in no particular hurry this time. So they took it a bit slower than last time. Loki stroked his neck as they came into the palace courtyard. Urging him to slow down. Eventually coming to a stop at the palace steps. Sliding off loki removed some sugar cubes from his space.
He held his hand out, palm flat up. Asger snorted in pleasure and quickly lapped up the rare sugar treat. Loki gave a few pats and stroke over his muzzle. Turning his gaze over to the stable boy. He motioned with one hand to come over.
The stable boy was quick, and gave a bow and soft greeting. Eyes lighting up upon seeing Asger. Taking the reign from Loki.
"I'll see to it that he is well settled. My prince."
"See to it then." He gave a last pat on Asger's flank as he was lead to the stables.
Loki inhaled the familiar scents of his home, the scents of his mothers Garden wafted in the wind. scenting the air with the familiar perfume.
Loki ran his fingers through his raven hair and started to ascend the stairs. Nodding in silent greeting to the servants who bowed as they passed, and in acknowledgment to the einherjar.
He was attempting to force himself to relax. He wanted to go straight to his Mother for some council. However he had been gone a full week, he did need to know what had been happening in his absence. Loki did have duties. He couldn't count on his brother's story telling. If he had paid attention at all.
Loki had only made it halfway to the council room, hoping to catch someone and get some updates. When there was loud shouting. He groaned.
"Brother! You look well, how faired your trip?"
"The prince of mischief has darkened the door once again! We were thinking that you had disappeared on us."
Loki closed his eyes.
"Norns give me patience." He muttered. Turning to his brother and his band of misfits.
Thor was beaming running over to meet him, Fandral the second to speak of his arrival had a half grin on his face. The other two Volsagg and Hogun remained silent.
His eye's locked on Sifs dark gaze. Which held even more suspicion and distrust than usual. He just gave her a smirk and turned to his brother, nearly missing her scowl.
"My trip proved most...enlightening." He didn't fail to miss Sif's tensing. If only she knew. In the mean time he enjoyed her mis placed irritation.
Thor seemed to have enough sense not to say what he had been up to around the others yet. If Loki wanted it known, he would make it known.
But he saw the burning curiosity in Thor's eyes. There was no way he could avoid the upcoming discussion. So Loki gave their long established signal, something they used when they wish to talk without prying ears. Loki pretended to tuck a black strand behind his ear, tapping behind it three times with his finger.
"As much as I find your company riveting. I really must attend to my duties. " He gave them a fake smile he perfected over the years as he turned and walked down the hall toward the royal wing. It wasn't long after he entered his room, did he hear the loud footsteps of his brother. Who burst open the doors in his enthusiasm.
"All these years and you still don't know what subtlety is." He chided closing the door with a flick of his wrist.
Thor waved him off.
"I must know."
Loki pretended to not know what he was talking about.
"Must know what brother? You need to be more specific."
"Loki, this isn't time for one of your games." Thor groused, sitting down none to elegantly on the couch.
"I wish to know what you've discovered down there on Midgard. When Sif told me of your leaving for a week. I thought you finally took my advice and got out of that library. Then I realized. Since when have you ever listened to my council? Wasn't to hard to figure it out from there. What would have you take off like that? There is only one reason isn't there brother?"
"That was almost intelligent."
"Loki! Norns did you find her? It is a her yes?"
Loki rolled his eyes.
"of course it's a she-witch. You and I both knew that long before now."
"Yes, but not something like that Thor."
"You are stalling brother. You can't keep her to yourself forever."
"Can't I?" She was his little witch after all.
Loki chuckled. Oh he knew he couldn't. However it would take all of yadgrasill and maybe not even then. For him to take whatever security she had in not knowing about all of this until his witch was good and ready to face the universe and everything it had to offer.
"Please, Loki. Promise me! Swear it!" There was a sounds of shouts, metal against metal, vases crashing , screams and a crying woman who's blooded hands clutched at his own in a desperation he had never yet witnessed before or since. In all his centuries of living.
Loki shook his head trying to block out. The sudden memory searing behind his eyes and pounded against his head like it had happened just hours ago. The memories were recurring more frequently the last week, when he rarely thought about those days.
It was more like when he was more secure in her abilities to take care of her own in a bad situation. The realms were somewhat peaceful, but also held danger. She wasn't ready yet. She needed training . Although Asgard was safe for her so maybe...
"When she's ready, and no sooner." Loki decided.
"I'll be holding you to that brother."
"Oh no doubt you will brother."
"Now did anything happen when I was gone? "
"Actually Loki, there has been a rather gruesome event."
Loki's eye's snapped to his brother, he hadn't expected him to actually know anything.
"The Alpheim ambassador for Vanaheim. Was found dead this morning. No blood, no wounds. No poisons. Not even signs of a natural death. Completely healthy."
"Loki's eye's flashed." He didn't even have to guess who was behind it. The how and who carried it out was unknown and troubling.
So the first blood has been spilt, very clever. Distracting your enemies by dividing them and have them fighting each other. Why you work in the shadows. Where and with whom does your allegiance really lie Sultur.
Without another word. Loki exited his rooms and went in search of someone who could provided better, and more detailed in explanation.
Could the last twenty-four hours get any worse?
"Won't you come out little dove?"
Loki smiled a bit, hearing her sniffling quieten and her scrambling up off the floor. It was several heartbeats before the stall opened slowly and she stepped out timidly. Her lion's mane she called hair was mussed like she'd been clutching it and strands stuck to her wet cheek. Her eyes red and swollen.
"You know this is the girls bathroom, boys."She cleared her throat. "
"Men" she clarified.
"Are not supposed to be in here." she admonished with no real heat in her voice.
Loki smirked. Her first thing to ask was not who are you? Nor was it a scream or fear; but the fact that he was breaking the rules. He really needed to teach her that rules were meant to be ignored, broken, or bent.
"Who are you?" was her next question.
"You know who I am Hermione Granger. You've known for quite some time now."
"You're Loki aren't you? You're the Raven that's been following me around since my first day."