His little brothers are a giant snake and an eight-legged horse, and he's pretty sure his sister is a rotting corpse. His mother holds the gambit over sadness, and his dad is currently chained to some rocks for second-degree murder. If Fenrir was a little distrusting of people, well, who could blame him?

(Rating for the occasional swear.)


3. Bravery and Honor


By the time I've grown fully into a wolf, Tyr has become the only real pleasantness in an otherwise golden abyss. His stories of other worlds makes this one a little more bearable, and I find myself looking forward to his visits.

He speaks of honor as if it is a tangible thing to be held, and he says that it is something often forgone for the sake of fortune and for glory. He says that there is no glory if you forsake your honor, and I find myself wishing to test my own honor. It is no secret that I've become little more than Tyr's pet, but he treats me more like a friend. Even as friends, however, I never speak of the magic I've inherited, and no one ever asks. They assume that my growth and my strength are the only gifts I was given, and I enjoy their ignorance.

Tyr leaves often, usually to Midgard. Though he never says so, I know that the human realm is his favorite. It's filled with warriors who are more at war with themselves than with each other on most days, and it is that moral struggle that Tyr loves. He also frequents Jötunheim for my benefit, and he usually brings a bag of dirt or a globe of snow to remind me where I came from. He sometimes travels to Niflheim and returns with tales of frost giants and spirits that could be swayed with gold. He also tells of my sister, Hel, who has become something of a tyrant in her years apart from everything. She rules over ice and death, and her once beautiful visage has been morphed by the darkness that she was thrown into. He again speaks of honor, and how those she oversees lack it. Theirs was an existence that held nothing worthwhile or exemplary, and so they were left to rot in ice and darkness.

Tyr never says it, but we both know I can relate to those in Hel's realm. When I finally express a wish to prove myself, Tyr finds it intriguing. For the most part, I'm a guest of Asgard- a great honor in most eyes- but I didn't earn it. Asgard is a shining prison and the only reason I was there was because of Odin's paranoia. Tyr tells me that he will find a way for me to prove myself.

A little over a week later, I'm staring at a metal contraption they call Leyding. I don't understand how it's supposed to bring me honor, and I tell Tyr this. It is Odin who responds by saying that no one has been able to break out of it.

"If you can, little wolf, your name will be known throughout the realms."

By this point, I am far from "little" and Leyding barely seems able to hold back young Sleipnir. I would turn them down, but Tyr tells me that my honor is on the line. I allow them to fasten Leyding on me with only mild complaints. The metal pulls at my fur, and I know that I could transform into my human body and simply walk away, but there were too many witnesses, and I still didn't want to reveal myself. So I tested the metal and was not surprised when it creaked and snapped before falling away.

Tyr laughed and Odin swore, and the other gods looked more than a little uneasy.

The next time this happens, they bring this weird leather thing they call Dromi. It looks weaker than Leyding, but I know better than to assume that it was. It is Odin who tells me of my honor, and it is Tyr who encourages me to test it.

"What do you have to lose, wolf?" Narfi smirks, and it is more shock than courage than make me agree because that is the first time he has ever spoken to me.

Dromi is fastened and it doesn't take long for me to break it, too. It barely takes more than a kick and a stretch, but I recognize that it indeed was stronger than the last one they had brought.

Tyr continues to tell me tales of other realms, and he now adds in the reputation I've somehow managed to gain. He says that I am known as the strongest in the lands and that there might be some who would like to test it. I know he is referring to Odin, who thinks he is being clever. It doesn't take a genius to know that he is getting more than a little nervous and he wants me bound and out of his sight. I'm more than a little shocked that he hasn't tried to outright kill me, yet. Tyr tells me that I'm the one that's paranoid, and that I have found my place among the heroes and legends of Asgard. I don't understand why this brings me a sliver of joy.

It is months later, and Asgard's eternal spring has a chill in the air. Odin holds a strange thing made of what looks like silk and smells just like Mjolnir. Every instinct in me screams not to touch it, and I can already see the lies calculating behind his eyes. Loki may have been the god of lies, Odin wasn't a stranger to them either. This time, there is more of an audience, and Odin makes a show of everyone testing out the new bindings as he explains.

"This is Gleipnir, made from dwarves and given to me. When they heard how strong you were, they thought to create something to test it."

"I'm not letting you put that on me," I stated flatly. We were on Lyngvi, an island sacred to the Æsir. It was covered in purple heather and soft grass, and the entire place looked surreal. It seemed impossible that people who lived in gold and diamonds could hold such a place in such high regard, but even Tyr had explained to me the importance that the island not be disturbed by their show.

"You would risk your honor in front of so many?" Odin grinned.

I scoffed.

"I would choose my freedom over my honor."

Tyr tsked before glaring disbelieving at me.

"Nothing is worth your honor, Fenrir!" he scolded. "Besides, you would be let go if you couldn't break Gleipnir. Right, Odin?"

Odin agreed, though I was still distrusting.

"If you are all so willing to test my honor, I want to test yours. One of you put your hand in my mouth. If you don't hold up your side, I get to take it."

Many paled, and not even Loki was willing to test Odin's word against my strength. I scoffed again because they spoke of honor and bravery, yet none were willing to test theirs against their safety.

"So many weak hearts, hm?"

It is Tyr that speaks up, and I turn to him with doubt still clear in my eyes. He smiles at me and places his right hand in front of me.

The moment Gleipnir is fastened, I know I can't escape. Every kick and pull just makes it tighter, and it's not long before I can't move at all.

"I can't break it. Take it off," I concede to the laughter of those around me.

It is more the look of triumph that Odin holds than the actual, "No," that escapes his lips that causes me to bite down. Betrayal tasted like flesh and blood, and for a sickening moment, I enjoyed the sound of screams as everyone began to panic and Tyr bled out.

I snapped and barked at them as they tied me down to stones, and I cursed every single one of them even as they drove the sword in my mouth.

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