The booming voice was directed down at a tall figure, regal even though held in chains and forced to stand at the foot of a great golden throne. Even surrounded by guards, his magic muted, and practically dwarfed by the great hall, he still held a commanding presence. A grin flickered across his face as he looked up at the figure on the throne.
"Yes, Allfather?" Loki's tone was cloying, his face full of fake innocence, a malicious glint in his eyes.
"You stand accused of treason, not only here in Asgard, but also on Midgard where you caused much damage and took many lives in an attempt to bring the world under your will." Odin, the Allfather, looked down gravely at his adopted son. Not even a flicker of amusement across his features. Loki sighed, some things never changed.
"They are mortals, Allfather. They need to be controlled. They are born to it!" Loki pulled against his chains, rage filling his being. "You told me since I was a child that I was born to be a King! That I was born to rule! And when I try to take my birthright, to attain that which you promised me, you cast me aside! Of course, I was never born to this throne, was I, father?" The last word passed his lips with so much venom that even the guards flinched at the obvious distain Loki had for the man in front of him. Pain flittered over Loki's face for a second before he schooled his expression once more. "You never wanted me, truly. I was never a son to you. So why should I act like one now?"
Odin sighed, placing a hand on his face and slowly drawing it downwards. "Loki. You have much to learn." He drew himself straighter on the throne, his grip tightening on Gungnir. "You may question my motivations, but never question that you were raised, and loved, as my son." His voice was firm, unwavering. "But perhaps you need to learn again what it means to be family. To be dependent on others." He stood, stepping down to stand directly in front of Loki and placing a hand on his shoulder. Loki tried to flinch away from his touch, disgust apparent on his face, but Odin's grip held him firm.
"This then, shall be your sentence." He spoke grimly, allowing the authority of the kingship to enter his voice. "You shall live as a mortal infant, to be raised by mortals, until such a time when you understand their motives as well as your own." He stepped back, taking his hand from Loki's shoulder. As he lifted Gungnir to seal the decree Loki's face twisted in horror.
"No! Anything but that, PLEASE! I… There is no way I will be able to do what you ask! The mortals detest me, there will be none who will wish to raise me as you have said! NO!" He tried to pull out of his chains once more, attempting to reach his once father and stop him.
The spear came down and the sound echoed around the hall, sealing the king's words with it's power. Loki felt the magic wrap around him, growing ever tighter.
"NO!" He screamed. The chains fell away from him, and a wind grew around him as his form grew smaller. Soon the only thing that remained was the pile of his clothing and armor, pooled on the floor. For a moment, no one dared to even breathe, then, the pile moved slightly. Bending down, and allowing Gungnir to stand on its own, Odin pulled aside the cloth until he uncovered a tiny, pale body. Grasping the infant in one hand, and pulling the fabric that was Loki's cape and mantle, he wrapped the baby in the green cloth tightly and held him in his arms. Loki was sleeping soundly, the magic having exhausted him utterly. He looked down at the baby, a strange expression on his face as he recalled the first time he had seen the baby thus, in the frozen temple of Jotunheim. He stood and turned to his elder son.
"Thor." His son stepped forward and he placed his brother in his arms. "I entrust you with your brother's safety. Take him to Midgard. Give him to someone you trust to care for him and raise him appropriately and show him the correct path."
Thor nodded gravely. "Will. Will he remember us, Father?"
Odin shook his head. "Not at first, my son, though his memories of here will slowly return to him as he ages. If he were to remember his time her fully, he would never learn what he needs to."
"And his magic?"
"It shall grow within him just as it had before, though he will need to learn to control it once again."
Thor nodded, pain filling his face as he looked down at his brother. "I would ask permission to stay with him."
Odin shook his head once again. "You may visit him, but he must live his own life free from meddling. He must not know from whence he comes until he remembers it on his own."
Thor nodded again and sighed. "If that be the case, father, then there is only place where I would trust them to both protect him, and protect themselves from him. Father, I would ask the Avengers to care for him." He held his brother to his chest protectively.
Odin frowned, thinking for a moment. "You are sure of this?"
"Yes, father." Thor said eagerly. "I know my shield brothers and sisters on Midgard will help him. They have the power to protect him, and I know they will care for him."
"If you are sure, then I shall not argue." Odin inclined his head to Thor. "I would have him delivered to Midgard as soon as possible."
"I shall leave immediately, father, with your blessing." Thor bowed slightly.
"You have it, you and Loki both. May your friends care for him and raise him well." Odin placed his hands on Thor's shoulders and gripped him tightly. "Travel safely, my sons."
"We shall father." Thor bowed again before turning and leaving the hall.
Odin sighed and retrieved Gungnir, before turning to walk out of the hall. Frigga, his wife, joined him as he left.
"I hope you are right, Frigga." He said gravely. "Entrusting our son to the mortals may prove disastrous."
She nodded. "The risks are great, dear husband. But I do think that this may be the only way that Loki will return to us. Just as being mortal for a time helped Thor to find clarity, they will help Loki as well. He will do well." She reached over to grasp Odin's hand and he turned to look at her fondly, a small smile forming across his lips.
"May it be so." He nodded.