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The Children of Loki

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“This is my son.” Loki says, showing off his sharp white teeth when he smiles.  He walks towards Thor slowly, a long and thick snake draped over his shoulders, its coloring silvery blue.  Thor eyes his brother and the snake suspiciously, reaching out with a timid hand to touch the snake’s head. It hisses and nips at his fingers, and he jerks his hand away.  

“I grow weary of your tricks, Loki,” Thor says, muscled arms crossed over his chest.  He looks at the snake in Loki’s arms doubtfully. How is he meant to believe that his brother has sired a snake as his child?

Well, on second thought.  This is Loki.  Thor cast a doubtful glance at the snake again, trying his best to remain sensible.

“This is no trick, brother.  Meet your nephew, Jörmungandr.”

“You… sired this creature?” Thor asks, gripping his hammer with his hand.  It sings to him to bash the monster’s head in. But surely, if this snake is his brother’s child as he says, it is not a monster. It must be good inside, just like Loki is! Even with all of his treachery. The snake slithers around and around Loki’s shoulders, blue and green scales glittering in the mid-afternoon sun.

“Angie and I created him.  You remember Angrboða, yes?” Loki asks, eyes shifting over Thor’s face, considering his reaction.  It takes all of his self control for Thor not to scowl at the mention of that witch’s name. How could he not forget her?  The giantess who Loki so often insisted on spoiling with his attention, and who had bewitched him when he was younger so that every time he handled Mjolnir skin warts would appear on his hands. Even then Angrboða’s glam had been strong, and it wasn’t until Frigga interceded on his behalf that Thor saw the spell lifted.  He would not forget the incident so easily, even a few hundred years later. By the mischievous look in Loki’s eyes, he too remembers the incident well.

“Angrboða… your friend the Seiðrkona.  How could I forget,” Thor says, barely withholding the rancor from his voice.  Loki smiles brightly and pets the head of the snake on his shoulders. “How does she fare?”

“She is well enough.  I will not see her again for some time.  She’s gone to Útgarðar to study their Seiðr techniques.”  He says, distractedly.  He is cooing at the giant snake as it travels in slow, calculating curls around his shoulders.  Her pink, forked tongue pokes out and flits against Loki’s cheek.

“Ah. I am sorry, brother,” Thor says.  But he was not sorry; he was relieved. He never liked Angrboða, or the attention that Loki indulged her with.  He would much rather his brother spent his time with him .  But then, Thor was no Seiðrmadr, he never had been.  He could not give Loki illusions or magick tricks.  He could not give him a chi… or whatever it was that Loki was claiming Jörmungandr to be.

“It is just as well.  This will give little Jörmungandr and I time to bond without the old lady’s nagging,” he says, and coos at the snake.  Thor narrows his eyes and steps closer to his brother and the snake. He has always liked snakes. He says as much to his brother, and Loki smiles.

“Yes, I remembered,” he says, and his eyes glitter meaningfully as he looks into Thor’s face.  Thor pauses with an outstretched hand, and he waits for the snake to slither across Loki’s shoulder and on to his arm.  The snake curls around his bicep, constricting his grip on Thor’s muscled arm. Loki grins and whispers, “He likes you, Thor.”

He chuckles.  “As he should.  I am his uncle, after all.”

Thor says this, and Jörmungandr sinks his fangs into the meat of Thor’s arm, drinking his blood and spitting venom into his wound.  Thor’s face grows pale and his muscles tense, and he sinks to the floor on his knees. Loki smiles and laughs. Ah, yes. That is his son.

The snake grows, and soon he spans the whole width of Thor’s chambers.  He slithers and curls around the edges of the room, so that Thor must leap over him when he enters and exits the room.  The snake hisses and pecks at his feet as he walks by, trying his best to bite Thor’s ankles. He eats deer and oxen whole and live, leaving piles of bones behind after his meals.  Loki takes great pleasure in watching his son grow; Thor simply wishes that Jörmungandr had chosen any place besides his own chambers for that growing to take place.

“Norns, you’ve made another one?” Thor cries as Loki approaches him, a small garden snake curled around his arm and slithering up his shoulder.  Loki laughs and tosses his long, sleek hair over his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, Thor.  This is just a regular garden snake.  I was practicing my spellwork. Watch,” he says, and a dull blue glow fills the air around Loki’s hand.  The snake transforms into a dove, flapping its wings and taking to the sky. Thor breathes a sigh of relief.  The last thing he needs is another one of Loki’s children romping around his chambers, eating all his food and leaving piles of bones under his bed each day…

“But I have been thinking,” Loki adds, slyly, “It might be nice to have another child.”

Thor’s face pales.  “But who will you sire it with?” he squeaks.  Loki smirks, his gaze shifting towards a small group of maidens on the other side of the courtyard.  They linger there all day with the hopes of gaining the attention of one of the crown princes. Then his gaze travels back to Thor, his eyes raking up and down the handsome body of his brother.

“I’m sure I can find somebody who is willing.”