Light Bringer

Thor/Avengers Fanfiction. Set post Avengers Assemble.

Loki was imprisoned upon his return to Asgaard. Thor stands a daily vigil by his brother’s cage, only to leave heartbroken each evening when the God of Mischief elects to remain silent.
The people of Asgaard cry out for Loki’s punishment and Heimdall tells Odin that the people of Midgaard do the same.
The Allfather seeks the help of Synneva, an Asgaardian who was stranded on Midgaard when the Bifrost was destroyed.

Rated Yellow for safety.

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11. Sheltered Seclusion

Synneva allowed herself a moment to savour the sudden warmth as they were granted access to the building. The guards had left Loki and herself alone and this allowed Synneva to hesitate by the pit of fire in the centre of the room in a pantomime of mock disorientation. 

In truth, she knew exactly where she was supposed to be going; the chief would be waiting for them, seated on his throne to the left end of the longhouse. Synneva hesitated a further moment, waiting for Loki to come aside her. She caught a flash of movement in her peripherals as the trickster god shot her a sideways glance. Ignoring the itch of his gaze on her, Synneva took a silent breath and pivoted to her left, all at once missing the warmth of the fire. 
Loki followed his guide to the end of the building and stopped before a platform which had been erected beneath an ornate alcove. The light levels in this area were much improved. So much so that Loki had no trouble picking out the intricate carvings on the alcove and platform both. Minute mouse-like creatures were suspended mid-climb along beams carved to look like tree branches. These creatures seemed frozen in the midst of hunting tiny winged insects who seemed only to have clung to the bark for a moment’s respite. The rodents, in turn, were pursued by larger, feline creatures who ran from those that may have been wolves. 
The trickster god completed his survey of the alcove at the platform and the seated chieftain. The man himself reclined on a throne carved with care even greater than that displayed around him. His throne could have been taken from the forests themselves, so lifelike was its depiction. 
A moss covered trunk reached for the ceiling. A bare foot above the head of the ruler, the tree split into branches and an explosion of wooden leaves, each one delicately and painstakingly painted. Once again, timber mice and insects traversed the wood grain. Looking closer into the leaves above, Loki could make out the carvings of birds perched on the branches and even a nest, complete with the depiction of hungry fledglings. The trunk itself housed the ruler of this strange people; a wide wound in the wood afforded space enough for the man to sit comfortably.
To each side of the chief’s throne sat two others, though these were not nearly so grand. Each throne was timber borne, but were as typical thrones. The ones immediately to either side of the centremost were bedecked in a myriad of different species of flower and blossom, painted in pinks, blues and purples. Atop the right hand seat was perched a bird that put Loki in mind of a peahen, but smaller. The bird had been carved with wings spread wide and chest puffed out in nothing short of pride. Inwardly, Loki wondered if the carving was supposed to represent the owner of the throne. He had to searched a little harder for the creature on the throne immediately to the left of the chief. This one was a stoat-like animal, crouching at the feet of whosoever would sit there, inquisitive, spritely, cunning. 
The other two thrones were decidedly non-descript compared to the others. To Loki it seemed as if they were incomplete in their construction and he found himself wondering who might sit at them. 
The chief himself seemed elderly, his skin a dull tan and lacking the sheen Loki had beheld on the guards who had escorted the trickster god and his guide. Long silvery blonde hair that would have been a mane were it not for the fact it had been plaited, snaked over the chieftain’s left shoulder. 
For a moment, Loki found himself wondering if the man was alive at all since he had yet to move a muscle in his presence. Then, just as the thought crossed the trickster god’s mind, the chief raised a hand, scraping it across a bare chin in a gesture Loki took to be thoughtful. He beheld Loki and Synneva each in turn with eyes of almost an amber hue before he spoke. 
The words were war-worn and age-weary and Loki did not understand them. He opened his mind, searching for interpretation, but found none. Synneva had yet to turn her gaze from the chief and Loki found there was little else to do, but remain silent and attempt to suppress the anger and fatigue that had suddenly overcome him. 
Loki’s attention lilted, drifting between the study of the alcove more so and the half-hearted search of Synneva’s face through his peripherals as she and the chief continued their ambiguous exchange.
There was sudden movement to his right and Loki turned his gaze to Synneva fully as she approached the clan leader dutifully, sliding the bag from her shoulder as she did so. 
Another exchange followed as his guide opened the bag to reveal a multitude of items that were as mysterious to Loki as the language of this strange golden people. Attentively, the trickster god watched as Synneva slid a pair of silk scarves from the carrier and handed them to the chief. He seemed nonchalant at this offering and handed the scarves back to Synneva, who proceeded to drape one on each of thrones either side of the chief. She then delved back into the bag, removing a series of brightly coloured boxes and strangely shaped packets that crinkled like fallen leaves underfoot. There was also an unusual shaped flagon or two, filled with a blue liquid that Loki was sure could not be naturally occurring. 
The god of mischief found his concentration waning and did not return his attention to the platform until he felt eyes upon him. Subconsciously, Loki met the chieftain’s gaze, reading what he could from his countenance. He seemed dubious, mistrustful even, thick silver eyebrows knitted together in a searching frown. Loki felt his eyes narrowing subconsciously, he opened his mouth to speak, but the chief’s scrutiny was ended at an offering from Synneva. Her tone was calm yet hasty, almost as if she was at her wit’s end and yet did not wish to offend. There was a protective element there too and she straightened a little as the clan leader returned his focus to her. 
The old man gave a single permitting nod at which Loki was sure he beheld Synneva give a sigh of relief. 
The god of mischief watched as his guide offered some words that sounded grateful and gathered up the now much deflated duffel bag. 
The chief raised his voice and called something that must have been a name since the cry was immediately succeeded by the arrival of one of the guards from earlier. 
Loki followed Synneva’s lead and bent at the waist in a reverent gesture as the pair turned to leave. Creaking wood behind him suggested to Loki that the chief was also leaving the longhouse, but he did not make an effort to investigate. 
Instead, the trickster god fell into step behind Synneva as they were led through the mass of dwellings. They stopped before a round building of a considerably modest size and Loki regarded it with resigned disdain. The building looked barely able to withstand a summer breeze, let alone the blizzards this place looked to suffer. However, the trickster God reasoned, at least it was shelter.
Synneva offered a grateful farewell to their escort and then proceeded to part the thick cloth that hung over the doorway of the hut and stepped inside. Loki lingered a moment, noting that the guard seemed reluctant to leave completely. He moved away a little, feigning that he was cold and went to stand beneath a torch jutting from the side of another building. However, his eyes never moved from the trickster god and Loki found himself holding the golden man’s gaze as he followed Synneva into the wanting hovel. 

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