It had now been a month since Loki’s sentencing. During that time I was kept busy by Sif and Fandral. We sparred all day, and then they dragged me out to the social scene during the evenings. And though I smiled and sometimes laughed, I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied with everything. And it became clear to the few people who knew me well enough that I was unhappy.
I was sitting outside one evening, keeping to myself, taking a break from being around people. It was chilly, but I didn’t mind. It made me feel more alive. Since Loki’s been shut away I’ve felt so confused about many things, mostly my feelings for him and my feelings towards myself. I was trying to be the person everyone thought I should be, feel the things they thought I should. But I couldn’t just walk away, could I? I had to keep holding on to the past, didn’t I?
I watched the sun setting, pulling my shawl closer around me, shivering slightly. “If the lady is cold, why not go inside?” The deep voice rumbled quietly behind me, making me jump.
“Because the lady doesn’t mind the cold.” I wondered if Thor got the double meaning there. I turned to smile at him as he took a seat beside me. “Off to check on Jane again?” I dint need him to answer. He went nearly every night. Whenever I saw Thor now, she was all he talked about, which was probably due to the fact that no one else took him seriously when he did. And the more I heard about Jane, the more I liked her. She seemed like a sweet girl, and Thor looked so happy when he could think of her and talk about her.
Why did Asgard judge so much when it came to who you loved? Wasn’t the happiness that came from the love their prince felt enough to make it acceptable?
“Have you visited Loki yet?” Thor said it softly so no passerby’s would here.
“No. The Allfather has forbidden anyone to have any sort of contact with Loki. Your mother can’t even see him.”
“And do you truly believe that stops her from seeing her son?” I hadn’t spoken much with Frigga. I didn’t know her well, but the times I had conversed with her gave me a few hints of her personality. She was kind and generous, wise and mischievous. She was well versed in magic, and even though Loki seemed to think he had surpassed her in skill, a teacher never shares all their secrets with their students. I believed Frigga still had tricks up her sleeve.
So I wasn’t surprised to know she was visiting Loki in secret. Magic made things possible, it opened doors. It was why I studied it, and sometimes I forced myself to master spells quicker than usual. It was a handy tool few could use.
Thor and I were silent, watching the sun sink into the sky. It was so beautiful at this time in Asgard, and it was becoming my favorite time. It only lasted five minutes, but during that short duration the sun was still peeking out and the stars and galaxies were creeping forward, taking over. It was almost half day and half night. “It seems the convergence is happening soon.” Thor leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees.
“The what?” Thor was good at switching topics randomly.
“The convergence. It is when the nine realms are in perfect alignment. The barriers between worlds become thin, and in certain cases, it is possible to travel between realms. It only happens every so many thousand years.”
“And you can see it?” I looked at the sky and it didn’t look any different to me. This half day half night thing happened all the time during the cold season, or so I’ve heard.
“No. Few can see it. Heimdall can, of course.”
“Of course he can. Heimdall sees everything.” I retorted.
“You are right. He sees everything. Including the struggles you have with your heart.” I closed my eyes when I heard this, running a hand over my face. “And I see them too. I know you are not happy Noelle.”
“I’m trying Thor.” I whispered. “I really am. But these past years I’ve felt like I’ve carried a weight around…one that has only gotten heavier with Loki’s arrival.” Thor put a comforting arm around my shoulder. It helped a little.
I was always thinking about Loki, wondering if he was comfortable, what he was doing, what he was thinking. I wondered how he was being treated. I wondered if he thought about me. It became my every thought, and I was getting good at doing things while distracted with these thoughts.
“Perhaps it would be best for yourself and for Loki if you visited him-” I cut him off.
“Thor, I don’t know if I’m ready to speak with Loki. I feel so…” I couldn’t think of the right word. “I just don’t know.”
Thor looked at me, contemplating, before saying: “Let me be blunt with you. Those who love you are worried for your health. You are a shell of your formal self; all you do is sit quietly and think. You don’t go out and talk, you don’t dance, and you only socialize when one of us forces you to. It is not good for you to be so alone. And the only one I know who could possibly understand you, could make you happy again is Loki. Yet you refuse to see him.”
“What else can I do Thor?” I cried out. Then the proverbial damn broke. Without meaning to, I spilled my heart out to the only other person who could relate to me, the one who wasn’t in prison. “I have no idea what Loki thinks about all of this. He had ignored me all this time, making it clear to me he obviously has nothing to say to me! Loki has treated me like a fool, leaving me here to answer for him. I spent three days in questioning, I was even accused of helping him! I’m sorry if I feel like a pawn in his plan! And because of what he did, he will spend the rest of his life, my life, in a cell. What can I hope for in that? Because we are bound, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to love someone else. It’s like I’m sharing his sentence with him.”
“And yet you love him still, you don’t deny this!” Thor countered, pointing at me.
“I do!” I shouted in his face. Thor just smiled, pleased.
“Then you must speak with him. For your sanity, your health. You will never be at peace until you speak to him, even if it’s for the last time. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to him.”
“I don’t owe him anything.”
“Then do it for yourself. He owes you an explanation. Will you really spend the rest of your life wondering why?” He had a point and he knew it. I sighed, hating that Thor was right.
“Fine.” I said. I would see Loki. “How will I get in?”
Thor stood. “That is for you to figure out. Good luck.” And then he left for the Bifrost, leaving me in the dark, literally and figuratively.
I brushed my hair while flipping through a book. Finding nothing of use, I tossed it to the other side of the room, a little more than pissed off. That was the third book I had looked through, and still it had nothing for me. I’m becoming like Loki when he gets impatient. I thought to myself. I stood, stretched and placed my brush back on my vanity.
I glanced at the sundial to see it was going on twelve thirty at night. I had been at it for hours, looking for this damn spell. I knew it existed. I had read half the section on it a while back, it couldn’t have gone anywhere. I rubbed my temples, wondering if I had just imagined it. “Maybe I’m going insane.” I said to myself. I was slightly relieved when I didn’t answer myself, or an imaginary character didn’t suddenly appear.
Part of me wanted to give up this little quest and just ask Thor to give me a key to the cell or something. I even had the idea of forgetting about talking to Loki. But Thor was right, I needed to make this right with Loki, or at least get answers, make peace with myself and end it. I couldn’t stay in limbo anymore.
I was just hoping Thor was right and I could let go after this if it didn’t work out. I yawned, deciding I would look for it in the morning. If I kept looking I’d just keep missing it. At the moment I couldn’t even remember the title or what the cover looked like. I just needed to give myself time, and it would appear.
I opened my eyes wide started awake by something. What the heck? I tried to remember what exactly caused me to wake up. There was no loud noise…no light in my face…I didn’t hear anyone…THAT’S IT!
I half jumped, half fell out of bed, scrambling. I needed to do this before I forgot in the morning. I raced to my bookcase, searching the volumes. It wasn’t there.
Not even changing out of my night gown, I slipped on some flats and hurried out of my chambers. I tried to walk as fast and quietly as I could, occasionally stopping to listen and make sure I didn’t hear any guards patrolling the halls. As soon as I reached the royal library, things got difficult.
There were two guards patrolling the hallway in front of the doors.
Damn. What now? I could produce an illusion around myself, so they couldn’t see me. But could I make the illusion strong enough for them not to notice the door opening and closing? I didn’t want to risk it. Getting caught wouldn’t look good. They would have to report it to the king. And if he decided to look though the contents of the book I wanted, he would surely start putting some restraints on my excursions.
I sat there for a few minutes before I had an idea. Why not disguise myself as a guard! It would be the perfect disguise! They might question me if I went in there, but not a guard! I would simply say the Allfather requested something from the library.
I searched my memories for a guard who worked in the palace. Finding one that seemed suitable I went to cast the spell… and realized that they probably knew the guard personally. If I acted out of character, they would be suspicious. And they probably knew if the guard I was thinking of had a shift tonight. Not a good idea.
I needed a different disguise. One less trivial. What would Loki do? Something clever. Something no one would think odd at all. He would pick someone who wouldn’t be questioned…THOR! I could definitely pull off a Thor impersonation. Thor wanders around at all hours. No one would question why he was out and about. As to why he’s going to the library, I could say he was reading up on the convergence thing.
I cast the spell, watching my body grow taller, feeling my facial muscled change. My hair grew shorter. It was like those polyjuice potions in Harry Potter…except for the fact that it wasn’t painful and happened in less than an instant. Once I finished the change I took a step forward, wobbling a bit. I wasn’t used to having longer legs and bigger feet.
I made it to the library without stumbling, giving the guards a curt nod when they glanced my way. “Late night wandering, my prince?” The older one asked.
“Sleep escapes me. I thought a book would settle my mind.” I was barely able to keep the surprise out of my voice when I heard the deep rumbling sound that belonged to Thor come out of my mouth. It’s a good thing my voice changed with my appearance; I would never have been able to mimic Thor’s voice.
“Ah. Perhaps try the lore section. It is known to ease the mind, and some to even bore the reader to sleep.” The guard laughed and I chuckled with him, still in awe at my voice. The guard turned around, back to his post, leaving me be. I opened the library door quietly and closed it behind me.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I walked a few feet before breaking into a sprint, heading for the section it would most likely be in. I ran my fingers along the volumes as I searched. I was contemplating getting a ladder to check the rows I couldn’t reach, which surprised me since Thor was so tall, when the silver writing gleamed and caught my eye.
Leaning in, I plucked the deep blue covered book out from its place, quickly flipped through it. I found the passage, tucked it under my arm and left the library, telling the guards in my Thor voice that I would be more comfortable in my own chambers and bid them a goodnight.
I was grinning like a fool until I realized I was still impersonating Thor. I was going to walk around like this for as long as I could. Until I heard footsteps.
I ran for it, around the corner, up the stairs and into my chambers again. Looking at the book, running my hand over the cover, I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself. “Look who’s a trickster now.” I said to myself, laughing at the sound of Thor saying that. “I am the mighty Thor!” I pumped my fist in the air as if I was holding mjollnir. “And I like to eat cookies and take long walks on the beach!” I cackled, before deciding to change back.
Oh how I loved magic. I flipped the pages and began to read up on this spell. I had limited time to learn it.