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A Dragon Moves Amongst Us

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So, I was set a drabble challange by Ceema to write a Sif/Loki story where Sif meets a dragon who looks and acts like Loki. I'm not very good at sticking to drabble length, so here's the first chapter in what will probably end up being a longish story. It's more like a prolouge than a chapter, but I hope you enjoy reading it and more is definitely on its way!

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There was a strange chill in the air, which Loki did not like in the least. It stank of foul magic and left his skin crawling. How the great oafs of his brother and the idiots three managed to sleep in this foul forest, Loki had no idea. But then they had always scoffed at the power of magic, even when it defeated them time and time again, and had not bothered to train in the perception of evil magic and the danger it could unleash. Their great snoring was testament to this and even if Loki’s senses were not on high alert in this foreboding forest, he still would have found little rest thanks to them.

The sudden movement on the far side of the camp caught his eye and he saw Sif crawl out of her sleeping bag gingerly, quietly, afraid to wake anyone, though why she bothered Loki did not know, for it would take a thousand trolls crashing into their camp to wake the sleeping fools. She glanced around once she had stood and Loki quickly stilled his movements, closing his eyes and measuring his breath. He felt her eyes on him for a moment too long and Loki worried she could hear his suddenly pounding heart in the still of the night. She must have seemed satisfied all were asleep, for Loki felt her gaze draw back and heard her gentle footsteps start in the direction of the thick trees.

A breath he had not realised he held spilled from his lips as he heard her footsteps fade away and once more only the tuneless music of the idiots asleep filled the clearing. Even though he knew it was futile until Sif returned safely, he was about to close his eyes and try again to sleep, when he felt a strange trembling, a twisting in the magic all around him. The sickening, malevolent feel of it seemed to distort, to coalesce and condense and, with his heart suddenly pounding once more, he realised it travelled in the direction Sif had taken.

He bolted upright, too alarmed for a moment to care if he drew attention to himself. Whatever was wielding the magic had its eye on Sif and Loki looked towards the tall trees in alarm. He could not see far within the thick, dense forest, but there was an odd distortion in the blackness all around, a strange shadow that pulled and twisted in the dark, at odds with the still, quiet of the darkness cast by nightfall. It took him about two heartbeats to think and he was on his feet in one. Muttering a quick spell to enclose himself in shadow, and another to create a bright green flame in his palm only he could see, he followed the stinking, evil blackness ahead, which seemed to suck the very life and energy out of the air as it moved deeper within the trees. Loki could sense the magic of the darkness twisting and turning maliciously, cruelly and he did his best to remain at a distance, his hands clutching at his sides to help resist the urge to barge ahead, to shout out and warn Sif of the imminent danger she was in. Instead, he stayed silent, pulling his own shadows around him to hide as he followed the darkness, knowing it would lead him to Sif.