Of Rainbows and Mischief
Luna was five the first time she went to Asgard.
Looking back, it had been nothing more than simple curiosity that prompted the little blonde to wander to the empty field behind the tree house where she lived with her mother and call out for the gatekeeper.
She had seen her father do the very same thing some months ago when he had come to see her. One moment he had been standing on the empty plains a distance from Ottery St. Catchpole, and the next he had disappeared in a towering column of white and gold light. It had scorched the ground, leaving a ten foot wide burn patch into the soil and for a good long while, nothing had grown there.
Finally, Pandora had been forced to use her fairy magic to make the space green again, but it had been a bit of a trial. All the while she had grumbled about Aesir and their utter lack of regard for green space.
Thankfully, the field had recovered and plants had once more begun to grow, but Pandora had constructed a wide circle of stone around the burn's perimeter so if Luna's father ever came again, at least some of the destruction would be contained. .
It was affectionately referred to as his landing pad.
Luna hadn't seen her father since the landing pad had been constructed however, and a part of her was wondering why. She knew where he'd gone of course but as to what kept him away, she could only guess.
He was a god and was probably doing godly things but the lack of specifics was making her insatiably curious.
He had told her a bit about his home of course, little stories about some of the adventures he and her uncle had had over the years. Many of them had included fantastic animals that Luna longed to know more about and she would often draw pictures of what they looked like. The Nargles were the ones Luna like to draw the best however. They reminded her of little fairies, the way they flit in and amongst the grass.
Her father had said that they were invisible and were little tricksters, like to play pranks and jokes on unsuspecting people so she would need to keep an eye out for them.
There were many of them on Asgard, however and one day he primised to bring one and show her.
He never promised to take her to Asgard though, and Luna found that after all his stories, she was becoming a bit impatient.
She wanted to see Lady Sif and the Warriors Three and Heimdall and the All Father and All Mother.
Most importantly though, she wanted to meet Uncle Thor. Whenever her father talked about him, a fond look would enter his eyes and his face would soften into a smile. It was a smile he only ever reserved for her and seeing as how he was far too serious already, Luna liked to see it.
She often wondered if that was she would look if she had a brother or sister and it only made her all the more eager to have one and find out.
She knew Uncle Thor was her daddy's older brother and that came with some responsibilities. He was going to be King of Asgard someday and that meant taking care of people.
He was going to sit on a throne and wield a magical spear called Gungnir and dole out justice to all the Nine Realms. One day soon, he would be very busy and her daddy would be Uncle Thor's greatest advisor, which meant that he might not have very much time for her either.
So for the life of her, Luna couldn't understand why her daddy wanted to keep her away from Asgard when it seemed that it was the only place he would be staying.
Didn't he want to see her?
He had said that time in Asgard passed differently than time on earth and that an earth century was like ten years for them. She supposed it was possible that he had forgotten that. Old habits did die hard after all and up until she had been born, there hadn't been much reason for him to come to earth at all.
Well then, she would just have to go to Asgard and remind him that time did in fact pass differently between there and here. It was also possible that one of the Asgardian Nargles had played a prank on him to make him forget. Luna was fairly certain that they couldn't tamper with ones mind, but then again, how much did she really know about the Nargles of Asgard anyway when she had never seen one?
It was quite easy to make up her mind after that.
I will not wait one hundred years to see my daddy again! I do not care what mummy says!
And so that was how she found herself standing in the middle of the landing pad in the dead of night in the field behind their house after she had dressed hurriedly and tiptoed from her room.
Pandora had been sleeping soundly when she slipped from the house and though Luna felt the slightest twinge of guilt about leaving, determination had squashed it a minute later.
This might be her only chance after all.
Besides, I left her a note, she thought with some determination. At the very least she'll know where I've gone and it wasn't to look for the Blibbering Humdinger.
And then she eyed the landing pad before skipping right to the center of it and glancing up toward a soundless, star dotted, midnight sky.
Right before she called out the words that she had heard her daddy say, Luna paused to ponder the merits of this idea. It might not work after all. She wasn't a god or goddess, perhaps the Bifrost only responded to them. She couldn't recall daddy ever having told her a story about it being used to transport anyone else.
But a moment later, determination hardened her little face into stone. Even if it didn't work, at the very least she would have tried.
That had to count for something and let it not be said that Luna Lovegood wasn't ambitious and curious.
It was a dangerous combination sometimes, but one daddy had fondly said that she came by honestly.
And so, squaring her shoulders, a very determined five year old with too much pale hair, slapped a foot down on the center of the landing pad and raised her face to the heavens so that she might speak the words aloud.
"Heimdall?" she asked in her soft lyrical voice. She didn't shout the words, that would be very rude and her mother had ingrained it in her to always be polite. "Could you please open the Bifrost?"
There was a moment where all the night around her was still after she uttered the words. The only sounds that could be heard were the crickets in the distance and the soft chewing sounds of the Salt Marsh Cutworms that had wandered a bit too far from home and were now eating unfamiliar leaves.
Luna tilted her head from side to side, as if she were listening for music that only she could hear. She hummed a particular lullaby that her mother had often sung for her when she had been drifting off to sleep and glanced once more up at the heavens.
A small sigh lowered her shoulders and her head dropped slightly along with them. Ah well, it had been worth a shot at least.
Luna raised a foot and was about to take one a step outside of the center of the landing pad when she heard it.
A dull roaring was racing towards her, coming from somewhere overhead and she registered the noise a second before a gleaming column of white and brilliant light shot straight out of the heavens before she could move a muscle.
And then she was moving, Nargles and Wrackspurts, she was moving! The column of light pulled her upwards faster than she would have thought possible. It didn't have the sickening tug of apparition, or the dizzying feeling that accompanied using a portkey. It was fast and slow all at once, gentle but insistent, almost sentient as it pulled Luna upwards. She almost felt as if a giant had taken hold of her hand and was pulling her along.
She looked down and let out a gasp when she saw the planet she called earth fading away to a blue and green and white ball beneath her. The gold and white column was still all around her, cradling her in warmth and protection but when Luna looked to the right and to the left, she could see stars and galaxy, big beautiful nimbus clouds soaring past her as she traveled.
I think space is more magical then earth, she thought dreamily to herself, reaching out to touch the walls of the Bifrost as it hurried her on and on towards her destination. Ginny would love this.
But thoughts of her red haired best friend soon fled her mind when a bright and towering light shot down from the heavens, all but consuming Luna into an opaque grip of silence and showers of gold.
And then she opened her eyes.
And blinked again.
"Oh, I say," she said aloud to no one in particular. "That was even better than riding a hippogriff."
"And far more controlled as well I believe."
At the sound of the unfamiliar voice, Luna turned to take in her surroundings, only to feel a large smile cover her small face.
She was in the Bifrost Observatory.
Her daddy had told her about this place. It was a half covered golden dome with peculiar runes and designs covering its interior and it only had two doorways, one to lead out into the brilliance of an Asgardian sun and the space beyond where she had just come from, and the other to lead towards the city itself.
Luna couldn't see much from her vantage point standing atop a large raised platform but one of the things that immediately caught her attention was the enormously tall man in brilliant golden armor with a peculiar horned helm standing at the base of the platform.
He was holding the hilt of a massive sword in both hands and seemed to be using it like one would use a key, slowly turning it in a peculiar cylindrical device that appeared to vibrate with energy, though it was beginning to lessen and Luna saw that that was because the large interstellar door on the far side of the Observatory, the one she was certain she had just come through, was beginning to close.
She cast her gaze back to the man the moment the doors slammed shut and saw him watching her with an unreadable expression in his golden eyes.
They were quite striking against his dark skin and Luna was awestruck for a moment before she heard her mother's words in the back of her head, to remember her manners.
"Hello," she said softly, and she stepped down from the platform until she was standing in front of him, grasped the edges of her green skirt and sunk into her best curtsy. "You must be Heimdall. My name is Luna, it's very nice to meet you."
For a moment, he regarded her in intent silence as if he were taking in something interesting that he had never seen before. But finally, he nodded solemnly at her as if he knew exactly who she was. "It is a pleasure my princess to finally make your acquaintance."
Luna let out a giggle. "Oh I'm not a princess, you don't need to call me that!"
"Are you not the daughter of Prince Loki?" Heimdall asked calmly, finally removing his large sword from the strange cylindrical lock.
"Then you are a princess and it would not be fit for me to address you in any other manner."
"Very well," Luna said thoughtfully. "But I've never lived in a palace or worn a crown. That certainly does make me an odd princess doesn't it?"
"Perhaps," Heimdall conceded and Luna thought she glimpsed a slight spark of amusement in his eyes. "But seeing as how Prince Loki is not quite the conventional sort himself, your lack of tradition is not altogether a strange thing."
"Yes, Daddy has a habit of marching to the beat of his own drum as the humans say," Luna said sagely. "He's always told me that there is the right way and then there is his way and I have to figure out what on earth he means by that all the time!"
Heimdall hummed as he placed his large sword back into its sheath at his side. "Speaking of your father, would you like me to notify him that you are here my princess?"
"Oh no thank you," Luna said cheerfully, still looking around the Observatory. "If you don't mind, I would like to surprise him."
"An excellent idea," Heimdall said and even though she couldn't see it, Luna was certain that he was smiling. "I can imagine that that would be something that he would like."
"I thought so," Luna replied. She started for the rainbow bridge that Daddy had told her led into the city before remembering what she was doing and turning back. The gatekeeper was still watching her curiously.
"I'm sorry Heimdall, I don't know where he is, do you think you could tell me?"
"I believe I can do better than that my princess. Shall I bring you to him myself?"
"Oh yes please. That would be wonderful."
Luna couldn't stop looking at everything.
From the rainbow bridge below her feet that churned with power, to the rushing waters that surged underneath it, pouring off Asgard's waterfall into nothingness below, to the bright sun shining all around her, brighter and more fierce than the sun she was used to.
And then of course, she caught sight of the city rising to meet her as she and Heimdall walked along the bridge and there was only one thing that came to mind when she beheld the massive golden structure at the heart of the city.
"It looks like a pipe organ," she murmured to herself and then turned to Heimdall who had stopped when she had to take in the view. "Have you ever seen a pipe organ Heimdall?"
"Only in the passing years my princess," the gatekeeper said stoically. "Though I've never been able to play one."
"I've never played one either," Luna said thoughtfully. "Though down on earth they have all sorts of instruments I've never played before. Perhaps I'll play one day."
They continued on towards the city, once more in silence. Luna gazed at the mountains behind the city and smiled a bit to herself, wondering if they would be a place the Blibbering Humdinger would like. It liked cold placed after all.
"Have you ever been to the top of those mountains Heimdall?" she asked pointing to the peaks in question.
"I have indeed my princess," the gatekeeper said. "But it was several centuries ago. I encountered a snow dragon there."
"Goodness that must have been exciting," Luna said slipping her hand into his much larger one and squeezing it slightly. "I certainly hope it didn't cause you any trouble."
"Not at all," Heimdall said thoughtfully as they continued walking. His hand tightened in Luna's slightly. "I believe I disturbed its rest and had to make profuse apologies for entering its home even though it was in ignorance."
"That was a good idea," Luna nodded. "I find etiquette is usually the best way to get out of trouble. Fighting about it unless you absolutely have to, uses up a lot of energy."
If she had been looking up at the gatekeeper, she would have seen a small smile cross his face as he had heard a similar argument before.
Just when they had reached the gates of the city, the watchman paused and knelt down before the tiny blonde. "I am assuming you do not wish for anyone to see us my princess?"
"Not yet at least," Luna said. "But Daddy taught me a way that I can pass unseen. Will it be a problem if I try it now?"
"Not at all."
Without a thought, Luna knelt down and with a mumbled word, she proceeded to draw a circle around her feet on the bridge. It was a bright white line and the moment it was completed, she disappeared from view.
A second later, there was the musical sound of: "Hold still Heimdall."
The gatekeeper perceived a similar bright white line being drawn around him and then he too had vanished.
"A clever trick my princess," he said. "I believe I've seen your father use it on occasion though I am surprised he taught it to you at so young an age."
"Daddy says I'm getting very good at magic," the little blonde said cheerfully as she once more took the gatekeepers hand. "And mummy says that the more magic I learn when I'm younger the better."
"Aye she has the right of it," Heimdall replied. "Well then, I believe our journey is nearly complete. Shall we go?"
The palace certainly was stunning.
Everything seemed to be colored in gold and it was all shining like the greatest golden wrapped chocolate frog that Luna had ever seen.
She and Heimdall passed invisibly through the base of the large pipe organ structure into a massive courtyard beyond that was lined with arches and pillars. It led up to a massive set of stairs that led into the palace and Luna could just make out a massive hall lined with pillars and framed once more in gold beyond the entrance. There was an enormous, mirrored dais with a circular golden throne. It had two golden curved protrusions on either side, attached to it and it reminded Luna a bit of the helm her father had sometimes worn when he had come to see her.
That must be the throne room where the All Father holds court.
At the moment it was empty and Luna glanced up at Heimdall with a question on her lips. He seemed to sense what she was about to say before the words passed her lips however. "It is time for the evening meal my princess, the dining hall is likely where your father is."
He took a right as soon as they entered the palace and led her down a long corridor with massive pillars lining each side. The right side of the hall was completely open however, allowing anyone who walked there, a glimpse of the courtyard below and the gardens beyond. The smell of high summer was in the air and Luna unconsciously took a deep breath.
Even the air here smelt clean.
She couldn't wait to take a longer look around.
Her hand still firmly grasping Heimdall's, she followed him further down the corridor until they had reached a doorway into another long room, also framed in gold. It was much smaller than the throne room, but no less ornate. It too had pillars, but this time, a long wooden table decorated its center.
Four people were currently seated around it, three of them were unfamiliar in appearance, but Luna knew who they were by secondhand description.
The sight of the fourth however, caused an enormous smile to cross her face. Even the sight of him sitting amongst his golden family when his appearance was so different from theirs in coloring and stature was enough to cause her to clasp her hands beneath her chin and sigh happily.
She didn't realize how much she had missed him.
Heimdall glanced at her and slowly drew her out of sight of the doorway. "Shall I announce you my princess?"
"Would you mind Heimdall?" Luna asked happily. "I would very much like to surprise him."
She quickly removed the enchantment from the gatekeeper and moved to the side of the doorway. "I'll stay invisible for a moment longer."
The watchman nodded and stepped forward into the entrance. "My king."
"Heimdall," came the rough voice of the All Father and Luna smiled when she heard it. "Is something amiss at the Observatory?"
"Not at all my king," Heimdall said bowing low. "But there is a visitor for Prince Loki. And they have asked that I bring them to you."
"A visitor?" asked the voice of her father and Luna grinned. She couldn't wait to see his face. "This sounds important Heimdall."
"Oh it is," the gatekeeper replied and Luna could have sworn a small smile was coloring his face.
"Are they in the throne room?" her father asked. "I suppose I should go and greet them then. Who are they?"
Luna grinned. The time had come.
She released the enchantment on herself and danced into view, right up to Heimdall with a smile that would surely split her face in two. "Oh no need to trouble yourself daddy. I'm right here."
Oh yes, the look on her father's face was one she would surely remember.
In fact, to see the looks on all of their faces was quite the priceless thing. Not for the first time since she had arrived did Luna wish she had thought to bring a camera.
There was a moment of breathless silence and then the utterly flabbergasted look on her father's face somehow translated into a stunned query. "Luna?!"
She raised an eyebrow at the man who had sired her. "Yes daddy, we've already established that that is my name. You gave it me after all."
Her father seemed to be struck dumb after that statement, his face so pale it made his black hair look almost blue.
Meanwhile the others were all looking at her in varying stages of astonishment. Perhaps the funniest one however, came from the god with tied blonde hair and who was wearing a red cape about his shoulders. He was tall and broad with a handsome face and deep blue eyes.
Luna smiled when she looked at him. Surely this is Uncle Thor.
Her eyes locked onto the only female in the room next. Like Uncle Thor, her hair was golden blonde and piled on top of her head in elegant curls. She was attired in a magnificent pale green gown with a collar that ended right at the edges of her shoulders and a train that swept the floor.
And then there was the All Father himself, still attired in his ceremonial armor with a similar red cloak to Uncle Thor's. The single black patch covering his left eye gave him a distinctive look and framed by his magnificent mane of white hair, he was very striking.
They all seemed more surprised by her however as all had risen to their feet when the word daddy had emitted from her mouth.
Uncle Thor's mouth was hanging open and Queen Frigga had pressed her hands to her cheeks in a gesture of unrepentant disbelief. The All Father was the only one whose facial expressions hadn't changed, but judging from his prolonged silence, he was just as stunned as the others.
Luna glanced up at the gatekeeper beside her who was trying and failing to stifle his chuckles. "I think I've frozen them Heimdall."
"It would appear so my princess," the gatekeeper said and his amusement was plain.
Loki was the first to get his head on straight. He pushed back his chair and hurried towards her, sinking to his knees so that they were both eye to eye. In his deep green eyes so like her own, the little blonde could read, worry, concern, confusion, joy and surprise all at once.
Tentatively he reached out a hand and cupped her cheek which Luna instantly leaned into with a happy smile. "What are you doing here? Is your mother well?"
Luna frowned at him. "Of course. I just wanted to see you. It's been a long time and I missed you."
All at once, her father's face softened into an expression she knew all too well. "Oh my little moon. I missed you too."
That was all the invitation that Luna needed. She stepped forward and flung her arms around her father's neck as tightly as possible. A second later, he had wrapped her up in an embrace that nearly crushed the life out of her but neither of them seemed to care.
Her father's arms were one of the few places that Luna knew she was completely safe and so she snuggled in deeper, pressing her face against his chest and smiling because for the first time since he had left, she felt that her heart was utterly whole.
She could feel his hand softly stroking her hair and the gentle warmth of his kisses pressed to the top of her head.
For a long time there was complete quiet in the room and Luna sighed happily. She was now perfectly convinced that this had been the best idea she had ever had.
After an eternity her father pulled back but kept both of his large hands on either side of her head gently. Though his expression was extremely gentle, the little blonde could see the questions returning. "Does your mother know you're here?"
Luna placed small fists on her hips. "Of course she does Daddy! I didn't just come running off to Asgard without telling anyone where I was going. I left her a very detailed note!"
Her father's head lowered and a soft groan could be heard. "You never told her from our own mouth where you were going?"
"Well obviously not," Luna said with some exasperation. "She might have tried to stop me. And I couldn't have that could I? It's nighttime on earth right now so I waited until she was sleeping and then left her a note and then went to the landing pad and called out politely for Heimdall."
"Was that entirely wise?" Loki asked, glancing up at the gatekeeper with one eyebrow raised.
"My prince, how often has the Bifrost been used for travel between realms, by others as well as yourself? The princess was never in any danger."
"Yes but –"
Both Luna and her father turned at the shaky query only to find all other inhabitants of the table had risen from their places and were standing only a few feet away. The shock had somewhat faded from their faces, but Frigga's hands were still pressed to her mouth, and now her eyes look glassy as if she were barely holding herself together.
Loki's expression instantly sobered and he dropped his chin slightly as if in resignation. "Right then."
He got to his feet, but kept one hand protectively on the back of Luna's head as though he meant to push her behind him at a moment's notice. "Mother, Father, Brother, allow me to introduce Luna….my daughter."
The small blonde gazed up into their striking and beautiful faces and saw a litany of expression pass across them like stars shooting across a sky. Out of all of them, her uncle Thor appeared to be the most joyful. There was a smile on his face that spoke of delight, excitement, amusement and more than a bit of teasing.
As for the queen of Asgard, the tears that had been standing in her eyes had finally spilled over onto her cheeks and she looked as if she were having trouble regulating her breathing.
Luna looked carefully at Odin last, as he was the one she was least sure of. She could read no animosity in his face however, only intent, quiet curiosity.
"Niece," Uncle Thor finally said in a wondering voice. "Loki you cad! When did you sneak off to Midgard without me?"
The nervous look on her father's face immediately transformed into one of exasperation. "I assure you Thor, my stay there was not intentional."
Luna smiled up at her father dreamily. "I was a surprise wasn't I Daddy?"
A fond look crossed Loki's face. "Yes little moon. You were the very best surprise."
"The question that I have," broke in the voice of Frigga, and even though it was a soft tone, it cut through the other voices like a knife. "Is why is my granddaughter a surprise to me?"
Loki paled slightly and ran a hand through his hair. Luna glanced up at him and could practically feel the discomfort he was radiating. She decided that she would help him out and gave his hand a quick squeeze before releasing it and stepping forward.
"Don't blame Daddy too much All Mother," she said cheerfully. "He wanted to tell all of you, but my Mummy wouldn't let him."
Frigga's eyes widened and slowly she sank to her knees in front of the tiny girl. "But why little dove? Did your father tell her of us?"
Luna nodded sadly but it was Loki who spoke up. "Luna's mother is one of the Sidhe."
"But they are thought to be extinct!" Thor burst out and his younger brother offered him a sad smile. "Nay brother, they simply departed Asgard many thousands of years ago for a realm where they thought they would be of use. It turned out to be the best option for them after all. After the treason of their leader Gunnar, our father's father offered them a choice."
"Exile or extinction," Odin finally spoke, prompting all of them to look at him, but his words were tired. "One of the gravest mistakes of my father's too long reign."
"The Sidhe settled on Midgard," Loki went on softly, his fingers gently carding through Luna's curls. "They remained there for thousands of years simply caring for the earth and causing it to grow. And there they have remained."
"But how could such knowledge be kept hidden from Heimdall's sight?" Frigga demanded of the gatekeeper and his expression lacked any firm answers. "My queen, it would seem that the Sidhe have become adept at hiding themselves."
"And why shouldn't they?" Loki asked. "They have no great love of Asgard. Luna's mother's family despises the Aesir. The Sidhe have very long memories and so when she discovered who and what I was, though she was willing to forgive me…she asked me to ensure that our daughter should never be discovered. I think she was afraid that if the truth was revealed, Luna would be taken from her."
"But why?" Frigga asked. "My only desire would be to know this beautiful little angel."
She reached out a tentative hand and stroked Luna's cheek, causing the little girl to giggle and lean into the touch.
Loki hesitated before once more stroking his daughter's hair. "Luna is….different. Perhaps we should sit down while I explain. It is a long story."
"I think that would be best," Odin said somewhat imperiously. "Thor will you see to it that chair is brought in for our guest?"
"No need All Father," a dreamy voice replied. "I can make my own chair."
She waved her hand at the chair where her father had been sitting before she appeared and instantly the vined patterns covering the floor leaped upwards and began to twine around themselves to form a chair. It was crude and resembled something straight out of the fairy cottage in a story, but it was a chair and all stared at it in surprise, safe Loki and Luna.
"Well done little moon," he said softly. "You have grown very powerful."
Luna beamed up at him, as bright as the moon she had been named for.
"How is this possible?" Frigga whispered as they all took their seats again. Her eyes kept being drawn to the chair Luna had conjured.
"Mother you know that when Sidhe are born, they are chosen to safeguard a particular element of the natural world, whether that would be earth, water, air, fire, nature, light, darkness and spirit."
"They were our protectors of natural order," Odin said softly as Luna sat primly in her seat watching her father's family with a dreamy smile. "They were rarely on Asgard as many places in Yggdrasil were in need of healing."
A light seemed to go on for Thor and he gazed at Luna softly, who beamed back at him. "Legend says they were born of Yggdrasil herself were they not?"
"Yes," Loki replied. "They are a far older tribe than the Aesir, though Luna's mother Pandora is one of their youngest members at five centuries. And like her, Luna will live for a very, very long time."
The sheer relief that colored his words could be felt by all and a subtle measure of tension that had been in the room dissipated.
"And how old are you now niece?" Thor asked softly and Luna gave the god of thunder another dreamy smile. "I'm only five Uncle Thor, but Mummy's people age differently from Aesir. I'll be little for a very short time and then I'll be fully grown for thousands of years. Daddy says that Aesir children are children for a few centuries before they are fully grown. I don't think I would want to be little for that long."
"Don't wish away your childhood too soon little one," those words surprisingly came from Odin himself. "It is always a blessing."
"Once Luna reaches the age of her majority which on Midgard would be eighteen, she will cease to age," Loki supplied, still stroking Luna's hair. He hadn't ceased to let go of his daughter since he had first embraced and it was clear to all gathered that he prized her highly. "I thought perhaps that at that point, her mother might have relented and I could bring her here. But it seems she had other ideas."
"It was quite easy Daddy," Luna said cheerfully. "All I had to do was ask Heimdall politely if he would open the Bifrost and up I came. Really I don't know why I didn't think to do it sooner. It was so simple!"
Across the table, Thor chuckled and the warmth in his eyes could be felt by all at the table. "She takes after you brother."
"Don't let her mother hear you say that," Loki muttered but he too sounded pleased.
"And what think you of Asgard little one?" Odin asked in a much softer tone than he had used previously.
Luna's beaming smile never dimmed as she turned it on the king. "Oh it's beautiful All Father. I can see all the constellations and the galaxies in the sky and everything is bright and gleaming. It smells better here too."
"What do you mean sweetling?" Frigga asked leaning forward.
Luna spread her hands in a persuasive gesture, looking very much like her father in that moment. "Well you see, my Mummy's family have a difficult time keeping the earth clean since humans first came along. Especially in the cities. Everything is very dirty and its one of the reasons Mummy doesn't really let me go anywhere. But she also says that its too dangerous for someone like me."
The mood at the table changed instantly. Thor leaned forward, his expression turning dangerous. "What do you mean niece? What sort of danger would you be in?"
Luna sighed and for a moment, her smile dimmed. "Nothing in particular Uncle Thor. Mummy's just worried."
"Luna was born with an affinity for all seven elements of the natural world. It is a gift that comes from her mother's line but augmented at her age because of her connection to me. I've been attempting to discover more about what her future will look like but our records on the Sidhe are….patchy to say the least because of their departure from Asgard thousands of years ago."
"Is there a danger to Luna remaining on earth?" Frigga asked softly, deep blue eyes narrowed on the little girl.
When Loki hesitated, the temperature of the room instantly dropped and for once Luna had a feeling that it wasn't just Uncle Thor that was the cause.
"There was an….incident a few years ago," her father finally said softly. "Midgard in particular had been dealing with a sorcerer who dabbled in the arts of necromancy and who sought to extend his life by….splitting his soul."
Frigga's lower lip curled in disgust. Soul magic, while not inherently evil was often used with evil intentions so there was a bit of a stigmatism tied to its application. It was always to be used with extreme caution.
"I recall hearing something of this a few years back," Odin said in a calculating voice. "Heimdall informed me that there was a sorcerer attempting to wreck havoc on Midgard's magical population but that the uprising was quelled rather swiftly."
"Not before a few dozen magical Midgardians died," Loki said quickly. "Somehow this sorcerer, one Tom Riddle in name, managed to acquire several acolytes. Things became even worse when…a prophecy was issued."
"What sort of prophecy?" Thor asked. His blue eyes were narrowed and dangerous.
Loki looked deeply uncomfortable but nonetheless continued. "It was a prophecy that foretold the sorcerer's demise at the hands of one with extreme power. In fear, he began to do away with some of the country's magical children. Somehow through manipulations….he learned of the Sidhe…and Luna in particular."
Frigga gasped and Thor was now gripping the table so hard, he was leaving indentations in the wood. Luna smiled at him though and reached out a hand for his, curling her small fingers around his thumb. "I'm quite alright Uncle Thor. I don't even have a scratch."
Her words succeeded in lessening some of the tension, but only just.
"And then?" Frigga asked.
"He wished for them to join his cause, but they staunchly refused, believing his magic to be an aberration upon nature. So he attacked the tribe, a few of the Sidhe were killed….along with some of his disciples."
"Is that why you disappeared so suddenly that day?" Thor demanded and his brother nodded, a heavy silence permeating the room. "I….I nearly got there too late. The fighting was fierce and Pandora had been wounded while trying to protect Luna. Thankfully I got there in time to prevent Luna's….abduction as I am certain they would have taken her or….seen it fit to kill her."
He paused here and swallowed hard, the guilt managing to radiate off him, but somehow he kept going. "I wanted to bring Luna back to Asgard with me right away….but Pandora refused. She feared that Luna would never be accepted. And this is how we have remained ever since."
"And this…sorcerer," Thor said. "He has been dealt with?"
Finally Loki smiled, but it was a chilling one. "Most thoroughly. Though I fear his teachings still persist."
"Well if it is safety that you are worried about brother," Thor said gently squeezing the small hand that was still holding onto his large thumb. "Then perhaps she should stay here for a time until all assurances can be made that this sorcerer is no more."
"I think that's a very good idea Daddy," Luna piped up and her father sent a smile in her direction. "And what would we tell your mother little moon? You won't be a child for very long. She would not be pleased to miss all that."
"Well then we could bring her here," Luna said without missing a beat. "She's told me that she's always wanted to see Asgard. No one ever talks about it even though some of the tribe have very good memories."
"Has she?" Loki asked and there was a cautious hope in the words. "She's never told me that."
Luna rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "It's because she's stubborn Daddy. But I think if I were to ask her nicely, she might say yes. Besides, its much prettier here."
"Would you be happy here little one?" the All Father asked and Luna beamed at him. "Oh yes thank you. I don't really like saying goodbye to Daddy, and I'll only have so many birthdays before they become meaningless because I won't age anymore. So I would like to stay."
"Little moon, no birthday you have could possibly be meaningless," Loki said, softly stroking her hair.
"I know," Luna said with some exasperation. "But they won't be that much fun if I look the same every single time. Please may I stay here Daddy? I would like to stay with you and Uncle Thor and hear more stories."
"Oh? And what stories has my brother told you niece?" her uncle asked, a twinkle in his eye.
At his question, Luna slipped down from her chair and hurried over to the other side of the table where the thunderer was sitting. Without missing a beat, she hopped into his lap and snuggled back against his chest. "Oh you know, just the sort of stories where you constantly get into trouble and he has to get you out again."
"Is that so?" Thor asked, carefully wrapping his arms around her small frame. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and she giggled. "I don't suppose he told you of the time where he –"
"My sons, not at the table," Frigga interrupted pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Loki my son, was it due to the wishes of her mother only that you did not speak of my granddaughter's presence?" Odin asked suddenly and the table quieted again.
Luna glanced across the space at her father and saw on his face an odd combination of worry and relief. "Though I would very much have liked to bring Luna to Asgard, her family's consternation and my fears of her acceptance…..were enough to keep her away."
"Her acceptance?" Frigga demanded. "My sons, any child that you sire will be welcome here, no matter the circumstances of their birth or their other parentage. Have we not imparted that well enough to you?"
Her look was pointed and Loki sighed. "You have mother. I suppose it was just irrational worry."
"He does worry about a lot of things," Luna piped up and her father gave her a fond if exasperated smile. "Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't have hair that looks like mine because he worries so much." She glanced up at the blonde god above her. "I think that's why you're good for him Uncle Thor. You keep Daddy on his toes."
Thor laughed, the deep noise, rumbling his chest and Luna unconsciously pressed her ear to it, loving the sound right away.
"I'm quite pleased you think so little one. Now if you could just tell him that, I would be much obliged."
"Oh I don't have to," Luna said with a cheerful smile. "He knows already."
I just love the idea of little Luna walking around holding Heimdall's hand. I can't get the image out of my head! This is also in no way connected to Child of Lightning. I just like the idea of Luna being Loki's daughter and wanted to write this cute little one shot. I might turn it into a series of one shots but we'll see. For now this is it. Don't forget to review! (P.S. Loki is also aware of his true form here so there isn't any deception going on.)