Categories > Original > Drama5 Reviews
Harald Fafnersson pleaded for his Father's death. The Fair Balder makes sure that Justice is served. Outtake of the main fic.
Under the Midnight Sun 2
The Scales of Justice.
He woke up slowly. He hadn't really been sleeping at all. He didn't need to sleep after all, but the process of alerting his ancient brain was very tedious. The room, the view was the same as it had been for the last two thousand years, but there was a different feel to the room.
He could have killed for a way to turn his head.
He had killed for much less, after all.
He wasn't alone.
His eyes spun around, trying desperately to see behind him, but all his slit pupils could catch was a faint white light.
“You made him your son.”
The ancient serpent recognised the voice, but couldn't really believe it. Perhaps he had finally gone mad.
“You made him your son, you shared his power with him, and you even sacrificed your precious fangs.”
He believed it now. His son had come through for him, but now, he had to strike the deal.
“Yes Balder, I did.”
“You were the great Chaos factor of the Midgård-that-was. Now you adopt a human?”
“It was the right thing to do.”
“What would you know about the right thing? You haven't done the right thing once in your life.”
“Yes I have. You just told me.”
“Did you really think about it carefully?”
That was too much. What did he think? That he was a hasty hatchling?
“I don't get out much, so I think more these days.”
The fair-haired God laughed heartily.
“You still have some acid left in you, old snake. I happen to agree with you, but that's from my point of view. I don't understand yours.”
“Simple, Divine one. I have spent my time here, on this piece of rock for ages. Literally. Sometimes people come to me for advice, and they're scared witless. Others come on a Quest, and are much too completely befuddled by the potions to tell the difference between me and their mothers. Then there was this young man. He wasn't scared. He was under the potion, but it sharpened him. It made him see things in my way and in a way I can understand. He asked me for help, and I did my very best. Part of it was of course gratitude for having someone moderately intelligent to talk to, and part of it was what I found in his memories. For the honour of the Serpentkind, he was the perfect champion.”
“I was rather shocked when I understood how deeply he felt for the task you gave him. You know about the strange parting they have at his school? He intends to claim the serpent house for you.”
“I didn't know that. I didn't ask him to.”
“I know. Apparently, he thinks that if the members knew of you, they might understand about the difference between power and Darkness.”
“Now I understand. He will not force them to take a path of his choosing, he will just offer them a better one.”
“Especially, one that doesn't end with him killing them.”
“Indeed. I taught him that snakes don't hate. They kill, and go on with their lives. He prefers not to kill, though. He just won't shy away from it any more.”
“I noticed that when I watched him train with the forces. If he decides to kill, he will. He won't go out of his way to do it, and he takes no special pleasure from it.”
“Yes. Even the most gentle soul usually gets a thrill in the moment of killing. He doesn't. He just gets the task done.”
“So, now that there's one in the world you care about, why do you wish for death?”
“Because I'm tired. Because I feel I have nothing more to give. Because I'm bored to my non-existent tears. Because I feel that if my past deeds could ever be washed away, they ought to have been so by now.”
“Fafnir, you do have something to give. If you tell the people coming to see you to behave, they will. If you tell them to respect their mates and love their children, never harming a living soul, they will. You can still do much good. What you've done, you've done.”
The old serpent cocked an eyebrow at the young God.
“You mean, I'm supposed to stay here, as a head on a rock and intimidate young Seekers into doing what you've been telling them for years. Are you yielding? Admitting that your way doesn't work? Besides, they come to me for a reason. If I, as Harald put it, simply sing them the company song, I would belittle them and their quest. They and their usually insignificant quests may seem silly to you and me, but it's life or death to them. I will not insult them so.”
Balder smiled. Nobility. Clearly nobility. Fafnir was showing the creatures he once thought of as prey, respect. Harald had said so, but the young Äsir hadn't quite believed him. Suddenly he realised something quite impressive. Serpents don't have any eyebrows.
“How in Nidhugg's name did you do that. You don't even have eyebrows!
“What? Oh, that. Have you met Sigyn? Marvellous woman. For a mammal anyway. She can hold a two hour speech just by bending that little furry fringe a bit. It's incredibly useful, so I learned to give the impression of it, mentally.”
“You mean that you entered my mind, overlaid my perception of the world, created a complex illusion without altering anything but my emotional response to visual stimuli, just to drive home a point with maximal snarkiness?”
The God was very impressed, and Fafnir couldn't stop himself.
“It's called 'style', mammal. You wouldn't understand.”
Balder laughed. He had rarely visited Midgård. After Ragnarök, it was very hard to do and limited him in ways he really didn't like. However, when the young warrior of Freja's, Harald Fafnersson had visited him to plea for his adopted father, he had promised to do something about it and he wouldn't go back on his word. He had come here, expecting to find a tired enemy, a battle-weary old dragon who had fooled an idealistic young man to speak for him for some nefarious purpose.
Instead he found a very wise old individual, noble and with a sense of humour that most of the Valhall citizenry lacked. He would grant the serpent's wish. He just had to learn what it really was.
“Perhaps. I'm still young. There may be hope for improvement. Fafnir, your son asked me to grant you your death, and I can indeed do that. For beings like us, though, it's not as simple as it is for the true mortals. What is it that you really want? Oblivion? Think about it. You have a son now. A son who will visit Asgård every now and then. Vanaheim at least. Don't you want to know what happens?”
The great serpent blinked. So much had changed around him in the last weeks, that it had passed him by that it had changed him, too. He wasn't as bored as he had been. He wasn't as tired. He did have something that he wanted to see the end of. His son. He had to watch over his son. On the other hand, for those who had them, there wasn't much a decapitated old snake could do even if the need arose.
“I do. I care about young Harald, and I would like to be available to him if he needs me, even if it is just for advice. Perhaps I'm not quite ready for oblivion just yet.”
“I honestly didn't think so. There's a few options available to you. There's Hel, of course, but you wouldn't get any rest and you'd be fairly useless to Harald. There's restructuring, where I basically remake your body, and you can just go on, and there's an invitation to Asgård. Come and join us, meet Harald when he comes to call, and help us teach his children. As we see it, there was no punishment involved in your prolonged stay. It was just one of those things that happens. It remains, though, that there are things you can teach his children that no one else can, and I hope you will help us.”
“He will have many. I would like that.”
“You'll come with me to Asgård, then?”
“Yes. Haralds children will be like him, and he told me about his deal with Freja. He will have many children. Speaking of which, he never told me how he did on the trials. Do you know?”
The young God grinned in a way that was completely unsuitable for such an exalted being.
“Fafnir, have you ever seen a young man, who just left the bed of a skilled and friendly older woman?”
“You have to meet my Vala sometimes. I most certainly have. Those silly grins are quite hilarious.”
“That kind of goofy grin was plastered across Freja's face for hours. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. He didn't quit, she did. This little boy, your son wore the Goddess of Sex to the ground. How's that for impressive?”
“Extremely. As I understand it, the mammal mating is quite strenuous. He must have as strong a constitution as I thought, to beat Freja at her own game. Highly impressive indeed.”
“Not to mention that he did beat the stuffing out of a serious number of Einharjers. The real ones, that is. Not the local law enforcement. He also made a deal with Loke, where he came out on top. I admit that I'm very taken with the young warrior. He's not much of a poet, more's the pity.”
“You should see him in the air, My Lord. I could never believe how a clumsy thing like a broom could be so graceful. That is poetry in motion. Not to mention his slight gift for theatrics, where he makes poetry come alive like something more than even the poet could have imagined.”
“Fafnir, the great serpent, the scourge of the north, the unrelenting plague of the lands, bragging like a proud father. Who would have dreamed it?”
“I am a proud father. He calls me father, and have accepted the name I gave him. He intends to restore my family name of Serpent. He understands the necessity of Chaos, and that Chaos isn't evil or in his way of speaking, Dark. He is willing to embrace the Chaos to fight the British lawgiver who dares to call himself Serpent. Harald has seen that this Riddle figure is after absolute order, but one that he dictates, and he is willing to fight Order, as it is, at this point, the right thing to do. I couldn't be any prouder.”
“I know what you mean. Has he talked to you about his Consorts?”
“Briefly. He loves them all very much. As you may know, I have a vague idea as to what goes on in his head, and his love for the girls is almost painful. It's so intensive, it's blinding me.”
The God felt like he was on the verge of a revelation.
“Then why do you look?”
The ancient Dragon fixed his eyes on the blonde boy who just happened to be a God.
“Because it hurts more not to. Love is something I learned about centuries ago, but such a feeling is not for me. I can feel it through my son. Through him, I can recognise it, and that is how I know that I do, actually, love my son.”
“It is time to leave, I think.”
“The Vala will tell my son will know that I've passed on. Could you please leave some marker, ensuring that the people who matter knows you were here?”
“I will. It's time, Old Dragon, for you to get your body back.”
“That would be nice. I would like to move again. I hope I remember how.”