It was the night of Thor’s coronation and Asgard was celebrating the golden prince’s ascension to the throne. Everyone was taking part of the festivities, except Loki.
The younger prince was currently in his room, putting his books back on the shelves. He then took his time clearing his desk, arranging his papers and putting away his writing instruments. When his things were all accounted for, he fixed his bed and cleaned his blanket and pillows with magic. Loki swept his eyes around his chamber, looking for anything he may have missed. Seeing none, he closed the door and walked towards the Great Hall.
The young prince slipped into a chair reserved for him, near the dais where his parents were sitting. He glanced at Odin and Frigga. Odin was smiling, pride for his older son evident in his features. The same could be said of Frigga. Loki followed their gaze and spotted Thor raucously laughing with his fellow warriors at the other table.
A serving girl approached and gave Loki a goblet full of mead. He sipped his drink, not wishing to become inebriated. Loki idly looked around the room and noted all the revelers in the hall were already in various states of drunkenness. Usually watching the Aesir make fools of themselves was Loki’s source of amusement during feasts, but tonight he paid them no heed. All his attention was focused on his brother.
Everyone in the hall was taking turns making toasts to Thor’s reign. Loki could tell from the flushed look on the thunderer’s face that he had already ingested copious amounts of alcohol. He figured Thor would probably be unconscious for the next few days at the rate he was drinking.
The trickster stayed for another hour, making small talk with Sif and Hogun. Numerous salutations and well wishes later, Loki was bored out of his mind. There were only so many variations to the words “peaceful”, “prosperous”, “joyful”, and “successful” before it got repetitive. Some warriors skipped the words altogether and yelled something incoherent, while the rest shouted something equally incomprehensible back.
Loki rolled his eyes. It was torture listening to these drunken idiots. He walked over to his parents’ table and asked to be excused. Instead of going to the direction towards his chambers, though, the god of mischief made for the door leading to the gardens. He was almost outside when a familiar voice rang out.
“Are you not staying for the rest of the feast, brother?” Thor asked, jogging towards the trickster.
Loki schooled his features into a pleasant mask before facing Thor. “I’m just going out for a walk.” He gave his most reassuring smile, hoping it was enough to placate his older brother.
“Will you come back?” Thor pressed.
Loki gave a small shrug. “Perhaps.”
Thor frowned. Loki usually gave him definite answers. The thunderer did not get to ponder his brother’s vague response for too long; the other warriors were hollering at him to share another round of drinks with them.
“Go on. They’re waiting for you,” Loki said quietly.
Thor beamed and clapped a hand on Loki’s shoulder. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
Loki gave his brother a faint smile in return and watched Thor resume his carousing with the guests. Even from a distance, Loki saw that his brother kept glancing back in his direction. Only when Thor was distracted by a particularly intoxicated reveler did Loki slip away.
The cold night air was a welcome reprieve from the hall’s stuffy atmosphere. It helped soothe the god’s nerves a bit.
Loki looked at the sky. The stars were especially bright tonight.
Out of all the realms he had visited, none displayed the splendor of the cosmos like Asgard. The view made Loki pause. All of a sudden, the magnitude of what he was about to do hit him. He was about to leave the place that he had considered home all his life.
It would be so easy to abandon his plan, go back inside, and just stay.
‘It’s not like I’ll be missed anyway,’ Loki thought somberly, as he resumed walking towards Idunn’s orchard. He stopped when he finally reached his favorite apple tree. The trickster laid his hand on its bark, feeling the familiar roughness underneath his fingers. All the time he had spent underneath its leaves, all the memories, good and bad, came flooding in.
Loki cursed. It wasn’t like him to be so mawkish and sentimental. He couldn't afford to tarry any longer; Heimdall might be watching him right now.
Loki quickly murmured a spell, and a small black dot started growing. It wasn’t long before it was big enough to let the god through. He spared one last look at the royal palace, its numerous lights casting a warm glow. He thought of his parents and his brother still celebrating inside. It only made the ache in his chest worse.
Leaving Asgard was much harder than he had anticipated.
It took a great deal of effort, but Loki managed to tear his gaze away. Taking a deep breath, he stepped into the void.