At first, he visits the library purely out of curiosity. He knows what the internet says about his fa – the royal family of Asgard. But Tony Stark rules the cyberworld and Loki is not quite ready for anyone to realize he has both escaped the All-Father’s cage and returned to Midgard.
So he wanders into a mortal library in the mortal town of Houma. It seems different from the cities he visited with his army. The library facility itself is impressive – he thinks the ‘main’ library will have more resources for his quest.
He’s wearing the guise of a ‘teenager’ with blond curls and bright green eyes (not quite his shade), and shyly enlists the help of a librarian. Soon enough, he has a stack of reference materials and a table all to himself. He picks up the first, an encyclopedia of Norse mythology, and pages through it.
Loki is thankful for the quick look he took at Wikipedia. He’d have been unable to contain his laughter otherwise.
Honestly – if he had any of those children, his true parentage would have come out much sooner. Not to mention, Hel is much older than Odin. Than Asgard, even. And Jörmungandr… the World Serpent had always been, curled around Yggdrasil, entwined in the branches. They are as old as magick itself, and fascinating to listen to (not that Thor ever believed him).
And his fa – Odin’s favorite horse! Now, that one, he really had to smother his cackle in his hands.
The wall had long been built when Odin stole him from Jötunheimr. Loki likes horses well enough, but honestly. The things mortals believe.
Fenrir, though… he gently strokes the illustration of the giant wolf. Fenrir was real, had been a wolf pup he brought home after an adventure with Thor. But Ālfar wolves do not make good pets and Odin ordered the wolf sent back to Ālfheimr when Loki couldn’t hide him anymore.
At the time, Loki was furious and hurt, and he threw many tantrums. His magic acted out his rage for weeks. Now, looking back, he is glad Odin didn’t simply destroy Fenrir.
But Fenrir is long gone, and Loki learned the lesson well: Thor could have anything he wanted. Loki could have only what he took and successfully hid.
The legend of Nari and Váli, though – even after the story of the dwarves sewing his mouth shut, Loki is not prepared for such bloodlust. To think his fa – Odin could be so cruel, to punish the children for the father’s sins…
He closes the book, tells the nice librarian there’s been a family emergency, and hurries out. Once past the door, he travels to his ‘hide-out’ – a rather nice apartment in Paris, France – and curls up on his king-size bed, buries himself beneath the blankets.
He does not cry, of course. He left all his tears on the Bifrost. He did not cry for Thanos or his servants; he’ll not cry over a few misguided mortals and what they think they know.
He’ll never cry again.
A week later, Loki goes to the largest library in New York. He skillfully avoids seeing any of the damage Thanos’ failed invasion caused. It may have been the worst mischief of his life (or not. How badly did his madness scar Jötunheimr? Could it have been worse than the destruction caused by Thor’s arrogance? Every being in every realm would say yes, for Loki is no one’s friend. He’s not so sure.)
This time, Loki wears the guise of a young girl with dark skin and messy brown hair. Maybe Odin would know her, if they stood in front of each other. Maybe not. Loki’s magic has swollen since she fell. She is no longer Odin’s inferior in any way but blood, and it will take eons before she catches up to Odin’s bodycount.
(And how convenient that no one, including the All-Father, remembers his mother, a daughter of giants.)
Loki does not ask for a librarian’s help this time. Instead she locates the book herself, seemingly the most popular regarding Norse mythology, and takes it to an empty corner, where she settles with it in her lap.
None of these books are right. So, starting with this one, she corrects it. She links them by subject matter – every book that mentions her name is changed to reflect the one in her hand.
Every single Norse mythology text in Midgard will be reflecting the truth, now. Everyone will see how the All-Father lies, how foolish Thor is, how Loki is right.
Loki smiles down at the book and puts it back on the shelf.