The sound of a cat's tread, the beard of a woman, the spittle of a bird, the roots of a mountain, the spirit of a bear, the breath of a fish- it took all these seemingly impossible things to forge Gleipnir, the fetter that binds me, softer than silk, stronger than iron. But it took one thing more; one thing usually left out of the lists because it did not go into the forging of Gleipnir itself- only began it. This thing was as seemingly impossible- no improbable- as the materials stated. It took the desperation of gods.
In case it hasn't been guessed, I am Fenris- or Fenrir should you prefer it. I am the wolf that took the hand of a god, and the son of the Jotun/demon mixture that took the life of another. I am also fated to eat Odin at that which is the end of all- Ragnarok.
I tried to befriend those that I was fated to kill, even before I realized that my job at the Ragnarok was to fight on the side of all evil. I have spoken to Tyr, Thor, even Odin himself as a friend rather than an enemy. The fetter that fastens me on a lonely isle is answer enough as to my success.
And, in spite of it all, I need not have ever set foot in Asgard. I was born in Jotunheim of Jotun blood- it should have been my home. But Odin gave me a choice- Jotunheim with a gaintess witch mother, or Asgard with the Trickster for a father.
Even as a mere pup, I had seen enough of the constant war of Jotunheim. I chose to join my father in the realm of the gods. And there I remained, even as my mother spawned two more monstrous children by my father, neither of which were given anything like my choice- Jormungand was thrown into Midgard waters, Hel banished into Niflheim, a realm she made her own.
Occasionally afterwards I would, at my own peril, mention this injustice to the Aesir, but more often or not a younger member would just laugh and ruffle my ears. Odin would not reply; Balder would just stare desolately into space, making it sadly obvious that if he had the power, he would have swayed his father. The two times I did it in front of him, Father just looked pityingly at me, bitterly at the god I spoke to, and shook his head.
Sometimes I think it was pure power of will from the goddesses that I stayed at all. When I was a pup, I was downy-soft and small, with the big eyes of a newborn animal and the overlarge paws and ever-flopping ears of a young wolf. The females in Asgard told me often enough that I was adorable; more often than not one of the Aesir would ruffle my ears and laugh at some mischief.
Other times, I knew part of it was that my father was the Mischief- Maker, the half-god the others respected more than accepted. They rejected Father as much as they often went to him for advice of the kind only he could give. None of them would touch the blood-brother of Odin, but there were times the hate was so thick in the air I could feel it.
I was spoiled by goddesses, given free range as long as I didn't leave Asgard, stared wide-eyed as gods told stories of heroic battles, and at my father while he related to me his many schemes. I teased Gullinbursti, Freya's cats, even Hugin and Munin, and was scolded not as an enemy, but as an unruly young warrior. During the first ten years of my life, I was given no cause to hate the Aesir, and I did not.
It was Heimdall that first noticed the growing size of my teeth. I was eight, or there about, and my puppy teeth were falling out, being replaced by the adult fangs I have now. I was also teasing Gulltop, Heimdall's horse. The god was annoyed, as Heimdall was the only god who couldn't stand me, on principle of hating everything about my father. I'd lashed out at the stallion- who was ready to kick, when the Watchman of the Gods yelled at me to stop.
As I thought he was sure I'd hurt the horse, I turned to him defiantly. "I haven't even touched him yet!"
"I know that," Heimdall snapped. "Sit down, open your mouth. I want to see your teeth."
As his own teeth were literally golden, I felt he had no right to complain about the odd teeth of another, whether they be called that or fangs. "No. One of them fell out last week, and now I look stupid."
"I think," the god answered grimly, "that it has grown in fast. You're no longer a puppy, Fenris, so you're less likely to get away with arguing with your elders. Open your mouth."
I obeyed, flinching only slightly when he put his hand in it. My predator's instinct was to bite down on the god's hand. But that was to be an instinct I gave into only once, even though it hurt when Heimdall tugged on my growing fang. "Those things will be huge," the Watchman of the Gods said at last.
I wagged my tail. No longer a pup, I was a gangly mixture of big feet and tail, growing guard hairs where there had once been down, and growing. Where I had once fit easily into a goddesses lap, I could now only lay my head in one. "Then they'll fit my size."
"More than it," Heimdall answered with a scowl. He looked oddly sickened at the thought.
I said, "Then I'll use them to fight with, and rip my enemies apart." The idea was partly one to comfort him, and wipe that look off his face. My tail, the scruffy thing it was, still waved, but the god looked all the sicker for my pains. I did not know why then.
"Indeed you will, pup," he answered. "Indeed, you will."
While I found my conversation with Heimdall no comfort, as a pup I put it out of my mind completely, only bragging to the goddesses that I would one day have a mouth full of knives to rend the enemies of Asgard to pieces. Even Frigg, who they often say knows the end of it all, laughed at my announcement. But then, I still looked up to Thor, the Defender of Asgard and Midgard, back then.
It was Thor, actually, who first related to me the story of the Ragnarok. The redheaded giant had in his possession no tact whatsoever, but with Father breathing down his neck with a vengeful look in his eye, the Thunderer kept the details vague. He told me merely that I would swallow up an old enemy, that Father would destroy his greatest foe, and Thor himself would kill and be killed by a great snake capable of destroying the world. All the Aesir would find glory, defeat, and for some rebirth at the Ragnarok. The story captivated me at the time, as did the idea that I would kill a great enemy- I did not care then that I would be killed myself in the processes. Now, I shudder at the very thought.
I did not understand, then, when as Thor finished his tail and walked away, he grumbled, "I hope you're satisfied, Loki," as he passed Father. I didn't understand Father's look of relief at the close of the story, or that he told Thor he'd told me quite enough.
Ragnarok was yet another adventure to me then, and I wish now I could turn back time.