“I had expressly forbidden you boys from entering the chamber and disturbing me during my council meeting!” Odin’s voice boomed through the halls.
Thor crossed his arms in front of his chest and rolled his eyes. “But Father, we didn’t enter the room—”
“SILENCE! You know very well what I meant!”
Loki stood away from the other two, hands at his sides, eyebrow raised, and looked between his brother and father as they argued.
Thor was relentless, as usual. “It was just a bit of fun!”
“No, it was a nuisance and a direct defiance of my orders. You will both be given appropriate punishments for your behavior. I am ashamed of you boys.”
Loki, who had remained silent since the beginning of his father’s rage, perhaps guilty for dragging his brother into what was essentially his plan, finally decided to speak up. “Father, I implore you, do not punish Thor. He had no part in it. It was I who released the rats and therefore it is I whom you should punish.”
Odin turned around and looked into Loki’s eyes, considering his words. But he decided it wouldn’t be fair to Loki if it seemed as if he favored Thor. “No, Loki. You were both part of this scheme and you both shall be punished for it. Now, go to your rooms! You will write what you have done and why it was inexcusable on your boards a total of 5000 times each. Let this be a lesson to you both.”
Both brothers hung their heads in shame. Thor mumbled, “Yes, Father, we apologize.”
Loki followed suit. “We humbly accept your punishment, Father.”
Odin smiled and ruffled his boys’ hair. “Good. Now, off with you both!”
The brother shuffled quickly down the hall, through the dining room, and into their shared bedroom. After a few rounds of sulking, sighing, and groaning, they began to write out their punishment until the scritch-scratch of their chalks filled the room.
Thor broke the silence first. “The Allfather seems irrationally angry today, does he not?”
“Well, brother, his council has been giving him an especially difficult time. They are begging him to spend millions to fortify the palace walls in light of the recent Jotun attacks.”
“From where have you heard this?”
“Did I not tell you? I have ears everywhere in this palace.”
Thor let out a quiet chuckle. “Brother, there are times I find myself envious of your talents. Your gift seems far more useful to me than my hammer.”
“Now, now, I would not underestimate your powers just yet. Let them grow along with you.” Loki turned to look at his brother. “You will become a great and majestic king someday.”
Thor smiled and returned to his writing. When he noticed that there were no sounds coming from Loki’s direction, he turned around and saw his brother chewing on an apple and lounging on his bed. His board was already filled up with his distinct, scrawly handwriting. “You…have you finished the Allfather’s task already? I have yet to complete the first hundred lines!”
“Yes of course. Would you like some assistance?”
Loki placed the apple on his pillow and jumped off his bed. He walked over to Thor’s board and placed his palms flat on the surface. His hands began to glow bright green, which slowly transferred to the board. When he lifted his hands and dusted them on his leather pants, Thor’s board was filled with his lines. No two letters were identical in shape or size, as if Thor had performed every single stroke by hand.
“Brother, it’s rude to stare with your mouth open.”
Thor closed his mouth, but approached the board and poked it several times. “But…how? This even appears to resemble my penmanship!”
Loki smirked and returned to his bed to finish his apple. “It’s all just a magic trick, Thor.”