The scream of a baby disturbed the quiet gloom of Helheim. To Hela, this made no sense, there were only spirits and the lost Fae in this realm. There should be no children here. Unless, she thought as she hunted down the sound, someone did the unthinkable.
To her horror it was the jade color soul of a baby, it laid on the floor wiggling and screaming out of fear. Hela rushed up then knelt beside the child. “You poor thing,” she told it and gently picked it up to cradle in her arms. She became angry at the idea that someone could be so bold as to cause such a crime. She whispered a few words and pulled a glowing string from the baby and threw it at the nearest mirror.
The surface rippled once the string struck the glass. Still holding the baby, she stood up and approached the mirror. The surface stopped rippling and her eyes turned black in anger at the sight of her sister holding a baby. “Titania,” she hissed.
She would handle her sister later, she had a baby of her own to tend to. She looked at the child in her arms and gave a sigh. “I can’t do anything to put you back little one. I will punish the one who did this to you.” The soul had quieted down and was looking at her. “You poor thing,” she said again, “you never got to feel, think, love. You never built memories. Such a pure thing.”
Hela raised the babe over her head and let go of the child. It floated in the air and changed from the jade colored soul to the metallic silver of a spirit, and slowly it lost its form and became a smaller version of the other spirits, a glowing ball of light. With this out of the way she knew she had to somewhere to be. “Take care of the little one,” she called to the other spirits who had begun to surround the new spirit. “I shall be back in a few hours.”
She did not allow anyone to announce her presence, she threw open the throne room doors and walked into the room. Her sister was the only one excited and happy to see her. Titania stood up and began to shoo the Winter People and her lover Freya out of the room. Hela did not stand still and wait, she had seen a cage of pillows and blankets on the floor and she made a beeline to it.
The child was leaning against the wall of pillows and had two rings of different size and colors in each hand. The baby looked exactly like the lost soul that she had collected. Hela got angrier at the sight, her sister should have known better.
The baby realized that it was being watched and turned to look at Hela. They stared at each other for a while until Titania began to speak. “Isn’t she the sweetest,” she asked as she approached. She knelt by Hela and made her kneel as well. “It’s a shame I had to do it.”
“Make her a girl.” Hela gave her a confused look and asked her what she meant. “You remember how we always talked about having our children be playmates. Only to have that dream thrown away.” Hela nodded and looked back at the baby as Titania told her about Erskine, the serum, Rogers, and then Howard. “He summoned me one night, upset. They had lost their baby and his wife was… more than likely she was not able to have another child.”
“She is truly yours?” Titania nodded, “there was an agreement that our son split his time between us. He broke it.”
“So, you brought the child here?”
“I brought my son here.” Hela flinched at that, the High Court did not allow males beyond six months in a year. There was no choice in that if the father was a liar. That’s what happened. She didn’t know. Titania looked at her sister for approval. “Oh, you foolish mother.”
She reached over and pulled her sister close and gently patted her head. “I have gotten a soul. It was small and loud. Titania, it was a baby.” Hela felt her sister freeze. “A-a soul?”
“Hmm, yes. I was angry and traced the culprit.” Titania removed herself from her sister and looked at her daughter. Hela watched her go through emotions, confusion, dread, denial, then finally sadness. She gave a small smile at her daughter who was now spinning the rings on the floor. “What can I do? I can’t put it back in.”
“No, you can’t.” She wanted to be angry at her sister, but she realized that her sister did not know that the soul was there. “You do know that there was half a chance that the child was human.”
“I was upset. She’s mine Hela, and he was keeping her from me.” Hela scoffed at her sister, “you never could think clearly when it came to family.”
“True,” Titania agreed and gave a laugh. Hela smiled at her, then looked over at the girl. “I shall give her a gift at fourteen. A spirit orb.”
“No one is allowed near an orb until they are at least thirty. You made that rule.”
“Yes, yes, I realize that. I’m not going to punish her for your mistake. Let me make it right to the soul.” Titania nodded. “Then do me this.” She grabbed Hela’s hand and held it out for the baby. The child dropped the rings and grabbed the hand. She giggled as she pulled the fingers apart and began to touch the skin and the nails, looking very intently at them.
“Usually she just sucks on them.”
“Maybe she’s gotten smarter,” Hela said looked at her sister. “You’re her aunt Hela. She needs to know you.”
“You know it’s hard.”
“Oh, I know. We can try though.”
The spirits excitedly greeted her as she returned. “Now, now, I was only gone for a few hours.”
“The new one cried loudly,” one of the spirits claimed, “we have it distracted right now. We don’t know how to fix it permanently though.”
“There is nothing to fix,” she answered and held her hands out to the sky and called for the baby. The other spirits helped the small ball of light into her hands. “Focus little one, let’s teach you how to reform.”
She sat on the floor and began to coax the baby into doing so. It took the spirit a few minutes, but she eventually held a baby in her lap. With a chuckle she held out her hand to see if the child would grab it. It did and began to study it, much like her niece did, except one it was done studying her hand it grabbed her index finger and shoved into it’s mouth and began to suck on it. It was a bizarre experience, but she endured it.
“Now little one, I was not able to punish the one who did this. I did, however got something just as good in return.” It looked up a her as if it was listening but was still chewing her finger. “You’ll grow with a purpose.” She could hear the spirits whisper above her, this was something that rarely happened, and it excited them. The baby giggled and wiggled at that. Hela gave a laugh and began to play with the babe.
Her sister had her daughter, and Hela had her son and they were going to be such good playmates.