|loki laufeyson (toberuled) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2013-09-27 23:36:00
|Entry tags:||door: marvel comics, loki, remus lupin|
Who: Remus and Loki
What: A meet up and a magic showing off.
Where: Gwen's apartment (Marvel Door)
The Marvel door, when Loki opened it, led into a warm flat in New York. It was obviously decorated by a girl, which did not preclude Loki from liking it. It was clean, and bright, and very...Midgard. There was an absence of metal and furs, electric lights instead of flickering, ethereal fixtures. It didn’t remind Loki of home, and that was just fine, so far as he was concerned.
He had a good wardrobe of Midgardian clothes to choose from after his shopping trip with Flash, and a few he’d made himself, sewn tight with magic from old fabric he’d found in the keeping of the city’s many, many merchants. This afternoon he was wearing only a short-sleeved shirt. This city was warm even so late in the hottest season on this planet, much warmer than he was accustomed to, or much liked. He’d taken to sitting for long stretches in front of the open refrigerator door, reading with a pleasing cool trickle of air at his back.
The wait for Remus was not without apprehension. He hadn’t met anyone from one of the other doors before. The older version of himself had, yes, but this was to all purposes a new experience. He didn’t know what Remus would be like, or what he would make of him, but he felt a spark of excitement he hadn’t felt at all since the accident, since getting used to his life again. No one in New York knew the first thing about magic. No one understood the thrill of possibility, the long nights and days of study, the lengths it took him too, the sense that he would never stop learning about it, never want to. It was a little frightening, how grand his passion was for it. He knew where it might lead, what road it might pave. But he could no more wipe that away than pretend he didn’t know about his heritage what he did. Some things were a part of him. Some things might yet be changed.
When a knock came at the door, he opened it maybe a little too quickly to seem as if he hadn’t been waiting. With his shaggy dark hair and the t-shirt and jeans, he didn’t look too much like the lost Norse god. If anything gave it away it was the eyes, dark and green as the deep of the forest in evening. “Hello.”
Remus entered quickly, because the girl that stood in the hallway with the bright green hair and equally green miniskirt barely covering her heavyset thighs didn't linger.
One long stride, and the boy was standing on the threshold of the very muggle looking flat. Not only did it look terribly muggle, but it looked very odd. Even in Remus' own door, where time had moved without warning, things weren't this bright, and he wondered if it was caused by differing geographic locations. He'd ask in a moment, but first he wanted to regard the young man that had invited him to this place.
Loki - and that still seemed an odd name to Remus - was younger than he expected. He knew Loki had been made younger somehow, and yet he'd expected someone older than himself. But the boy that stood there was not older than him at all. The muggle clothes made Loki look even younger still, and Remus slid his arms from the tattered brown robes he wore, immediately feeling the need to fit into this odd place. Surely it would be a bad thing if someone came along and saw a wizard standing upon the threshold. He folded the old robes over his sleeve, and he tucked his wand into the pocket of the brown pair of old trousers that encased his long legs. The grey shirt he wore bore three buttons at the throat, long sleeves, and it was faded in spots and had clearly come out of some used clothing bin. The clothing was very 1999, and not 2013 at all, and yet it looked older still. The boy that wore them was young, smallish and sickly looking, even this far away from the moon. His brown hair was fine, and yet it refused to behave, and his green-brown eyes were much too old for his small face.
"I'm Remus," he said, holding out a hand in the muggle version of a greeting. His fingers were long, academic and finely boned, but there was a strength to the grip that didn't fit the young man that issued the handshake. "Where are we? This looks nothing like muggle London."
There was a girl, which was interesting. Loki hadn't seen that before. Then there was Remus, who somehow seemed just as he would have suspected. No clairvoyance in that, just a good guess. They looked like they were close to the same age, but looks were deceiving with Asgardians and Frost Giants alike.
The robes were an interesting surprise, not like where he was from and yet not the way people dressed here, either. He took a long, curious look at the wand before Remus slid it into his pocket, and then turned his eyes up to study his face. He had a nice one, Loki thought, the sort that might be very fetching in the right light. There was a quality to him, though, that he couldn't put his finger on, something a nervous, something hunted. Loki didn't know enough of the difference of Midagrdian clothes from 1999 to compare them to ones from 2013, except that what was under the robe still looked a little different than what he'd been seeing on the street. "Loki," he said, and shook Remus' hand, brief and firm. This gesture he had picked up on the street as well, and thank goodness - people here seemed to do it quite a lot.
He, too, had long, delicate hands, lightly callused along the base, and worn into the web between his thumb and forefinger. He had years of practice with knives, even now. Every self-respecting member of the aristocracy was expected to have proved themselves as a warrior by the time they came of age. That path had never really been open to him, but to have skill with a weapon had been expected, and knives, agile and swift, suited him. "It isn't," he said. "This is New York. In the nation of America." He was still working on the complexities of rulership on this world, but it had become much easier when he realized it was simply a splintered pace, inhabited by a variety of warring factions. Most world's had one contiguous ruler, but he liked that Midgard stood out in that way, as it did in so many others. Variety was one of the reasons he liked it here. He paused a moment. "Would you like to sit?" he asked, and didn't say that Remus looked ill. It seemed wise to do him the courtesy of not mentioning it, and offer him an excuse to rest instead. His brother would have declared how sick he looked and tried to offer him the services of a healer. Loki, on the other hand, favored the route of diplomacy.
"New York. We're in the states," Remus said, a glance toward the nearest window assuring him that, perhaps, what Loki said was true. "I'm from London, but you already figured that from my statement," he said, feeling more at ease. It was a different place, but surely it couldn't be very different from muggle London, when it was all said and done.
In the early days after the bite, when Remus was quite young, his parents had picked a few isolated homes in the muggle world to hide in. His parents had met there, where there was no magic to be found, and his mum had always preferred that life to one with werewolves and wands. Unlike most wizards, this life wasn't unfamiliar to him. Though, in truth, all this yellow was. His mum had died young, and he'd no female influence about after that.
"I'll sit," Remus agreed, because it seemed polite to do so. He was used to feeling a little under the weather at all times, and he didn't realize the offer was being made because of his appearance, since everyone he knew had grown accustomed to it during seven years at Hogwarts. He took the nearest chair, and he tugged at the thighs of his trousers, smoothing them out and regarding the boy in the room with him. "You're younger than I expected," he admitted, because there seemed to be no harm in saying it. "And, if you'll forgive me for saying so, I didn't believe a god would live in a flat." He left out the fact that it was a feminine flat, because he didn't intentionally like to cause trouble the way his friends did.
Loki hadn't immediately put that together, no, but his geography was still a bit rough. He let Remus make whatever assumptions he liked, since that seemed safest indeed, and he sat down across from him. "I am?" he asked, with a flash of open curiosity and pleasure that he'd been analyzed and considered at all. He was all curious interest mingling with politesse, but there was something keen in his eye, something honed in on Remus. He wanted to know all about him, and he wasn't quite sure where to start. "Well, it is a little complicated by Midgardian standards," he said. "I am...older than I look. Older than you think. And not, at the same time. It is difficult to explain."
As for a god living in a flat, his smiled gained the flicker of amusement that had followed and preceded so much trouble. "Do you like it?" he asked, innocently. "I chose the soft fabrics and feminine colors."
Remus nodded at Loki's question about his own age. "Quite. You sound much older in writing, but then perhaps I do as well. I'm not as fun as my mates." He smiled fondly when he said it, the reference to his friends lighting up his features. He'd obviously made up with them in the intervening days, and no shadow crossed his eyes when he spoke of them.
When Loki began speaking of his age, Remus sat forward with visible interest, though there was nothing physically aged in his haunted eyes. Knowing about a future that had never occurred to him, it wasn't the same as true age, and there was none of that in his oddly golden eyes. "Midgardian? That's what you call this place?" he asked, moving on almost immediately, assuming the answer to be affirmative. "How old are you, truly? I am meant to be in my forties, based on the year where I come from, but I'm not yet nineteen, and that's rather hard to explain," he admitted, because it sounded, perhaps, as odd as what Loki had just said. "Will you explain?" he asked, curious intelligence in every inch of him.
Remus looked around the flat a moment later. It was a careful perusal, as he attempted to determine the veracity of Loki's claims of having decorated. He turned back to the young god after a few seconds, and there was almost a smug smile on his lips. "I didn't take you to be fond of pink hat boxes," he said. "Will you model what's inside?" he asked, entirely deadpan, save for that little smile.
“I like you better than your friend,” Loki offered. “So you can’t be too boring.” He tapped his feet on the floor. “You do sound older than you look,” he added.
"Older," Loki said, with a small smile. A touch coy, and a touch of mischief. "...My father," and there his voice hitched, "Led the charge to defeat the Frost Giants when they attempted to conquer this world when the Norse men still lived in what is now called...Europe, I think?" Despite the strangeness of the fact, there was a flicker of distaste in the cant of his mouth because he wasn't sure the word was correct. "So, old. But still young, by Asgardian standards. And then I was older, of course, and now I’m young again." He pursed his lips. “I haven’t quite worked out how to explain that to people, yet. Or really how to think of it. If it was time that was, or things that will be but have already happened.” He gestured to Remus. “You understand,” he said. His keen stare said he very much hoped Remus did.
"This is Midgard," he explained. "The people who live here usually call it Earth, and most think it is the only world there is. It isn't, of course. There are nine realms and places beyond them too." He shrugged, and took a short breath. He could tell Remus why he was on Earth, the trial he was facing, the atrocities. But he didn't, because he liked the idea that he might be able to avoid the question completely. Or lie. He was good at that. It would just be so good to know someone who didn't know him the way he was, what he might be capable of. He liked that idea very much.
The gesture to the pink boxes made his eyes light up. "There are hats in them?" he asked, and got up, walking over. "I didn't know." He hadn't gone rifling through Gwen's things. He did owe her, after all, for letting him stay there. He had done a little observing, yes, but no snooping, really, no tearing through hat boxes to find out what was inside. He knelt down and pried it open. "If there is a hat inside, I will wear it," he declared. "This is, after all, my flat. Didn’t you know I love hats?”
Remus had no notion of Frost Giants, but logic insisted that they be rather large and cold things, and it seemed quite a feat, though he wasn't certain what it had to do with Loki's age. Unless Loki had been in the war, but he didn't mention it, and Remus didn't think it was an oversight. The young man across from him did not seem the type to be prone to oversights. "Europe, yes. That's where I'm from," he said, willing to wait and see how the rest played out before asking his question about the Frost Giants. As for understanding about age and being where one shouldn't be, he did know a bit about that. "A few weeks ago, I was in 1979, where I was precisely the age I am now. In my world, it's currently 1999, and I would be 38, were I not dead. But I'm quite dead, and it's all rather a mess at present. I'm afraid I'm a downer for all my friends, because I want to ensure we - none of us - die. They'd much rather explore," he explained with a shrug of his narrow shoulders.
Remus knew nothing of other worlds. "What are these realms? I'm certain we don't have them," he said truthfully, willing to accept that things were different in different doors. Any confusion about that had cleared up upon entering this particular door which, while not particularly magical, was nothing like his own. Loki could have different realms, and Remus could - quite logically - accept that.
"You didn't know there were hats in your hat boxes?" Remus asked. Wizards were very fond of hats. He watched as Loki knelt and opened the box, which contained a microscope. He frowned, because that wasn't right. It was absolutely, certainly a hat box. "That isn't a hat. You're fond of microscopes?" he asked, entertained and confused, both.
"Complicated," Loki agreed. "You're dead, but you're sitting in that chair. Isn't there a premise of physics on this planet that refers to such a thing? Dead but alive, a cat in a box?" Loki had been reading, despite the fact that much of what he had found in books on Midgard so far seemed like principles he already knew, only called by another name, another philosopher who had discovered them in a later time. "Do you like exploring?" he asked, taking a different tack, with something in his lifting mouth that suggested a plan in his head. "When you're not trying to keep from being killed, I mean."
"Realms. Worlds," he said. "Even here, through this door, most of those who live on Midgard have no idea there are others. Worlds, that is." Now he was getting a little excited. It fascinated him, after all, why shouldn't it fascinate someone else? "The older version of me, he was more skilled. He could walk between the worlds, between stars and fixed points in the aether. I can't...quite do that yet," he said, a little of the enthusiasm fading into embarrassment. "But now I know it can be done. The worlds all exist on a tree, you see, Yggdrasil. We call it a tree, but it's more like a series of pathways between worlds that allow travel. Those are the branches, which one can walk to go from place to place." He walked back over to Remus and sat down at his feet cross-legged, still talking. "On Asgard, we have a powerful gateway called the Bifrost. It opens those pathways, the branches, between worlds, and lets passengers travel to them. I was always taught that the Bifrost was our link to all the other realms, but now I know that they were wrong. I may not be able to stop in those spaces between yet, but I know how to travel the pathways already worn in, to all the major worlds. It isn't easy, but I can do it." He grinned, all naked, vulnerable pride. "Isn't that amazing?"
The comment about the microscope brought him up short, and he turned to look at it. "Ah, yes, the microscope," he said, mimicking Remus' pronunciation and not quite getting it right. He'd been wondering what the object with the lenses was since he had moved into Gwen's apartment. "I use it all the time. And why would I know what the boxes were for? I believe in having some surprises around my quarters, so I may always find something new and interesting."
"Schrödinger's cat?" Remus asked. "It's a muggle theory," he explained. "They have find ways to explain the magic they don't understand," he explained, because he'd watched him mum grapple with magical concepts while he was very young, including his own malady, and he knew how the muggles turned to science or religious when they couldn't make sense of something. How that led to exploring, Remus wasn't very sure. But he shook his head, indicating the negative. "No, I've never been one for wandering far." Because wandering might involve getting lost, and one could never tell if they'd be trapped somewhere for a time, and the moon was always a concern. "I'm rather entirely boring," he assured his new acquaintance. "My mates are the daring ones." Which was the certain truth. "Any trouble I've managed to find has been following them."
Remus listened to the excited explanation of trees and paths and stars, and he pulled the wand from his pocket. He pushed his chair back, and he joined Loki on the floor, crossed legs and a span of wood between them. He muttered a spell that turned his wand into a modified quill, one that could draw lines and trails in the air between them. There, as Loki spoke, he began drawing his interpretation of the tree Loki was describing. It was brown lights and trailing magic in the air, and it looked more like the Whomping Willow than anything else, and the branches extended outward far away from the trunk. "Where does your Bifrost live?" he asked, even as he drew little circles at the end of each branch, each one meant to represent a world.
As for the microscope, Remus just grinned knowingly. It was a well-practiced grin, one oft-used on Sirius. It said I know you're full of shit, that grin did.
Loki grinned at Remus' write-off of the 'muggle theory', as he called it. "You're very dismissive," he observed, with amusement. "Magic and science, they must be very different, where you're from. Where I was raised, they really are branches of the same ideas, called by different names, seen in different ways." He leaned back a little. "You should learn to explore," he said, eyes shining. "I could teach you. You don't have to walk very far to go somewhere that would be an unknown wonder. Why, you explored today, by coming here." That thought tickled him a little. He felt a need, suddenly, to expose Remus to more, to see what would happen if he saw all the things that a lack of exploration had denied him, all the wonders of the universe that a world-bound resident of Midgard must be blind to.
The branching of a tree, however, pulled him up short. He watched first with surprise, then with growing thrill as Remus produced his wand, neatly turned it into a quill, and began writing with light. It was like nothing he'd seen, nothing he'd read of. Of course, using objects to channel magical energy was elemental in its way. Many cultures that tapped into magic had done just such a thing, or imbued a single object with a particular power. But this medium - the way the wand became a quill which became an avatar for energy, it moved him, grabbed his intellectual curiosity by the nape and shook it. He actually sat up, got up on his knees to get a better look, mapping the tree with his eyes. "Yes," he murmured. "Like this, very much."
He traced the branches with his eyes, then reached up and touched a spare point on one of the higher branches. A point of blue light appeared. He dragged his finger down to one of the lower branches on the opposite side and left a trail of blue fire between them, flickering in the air. "Asgard to Midgard," he said, focusing through the tree at Remus. Was there a blush high on his cheeks, almost invisible through the light? Possibly. That shit-eating grin earned one in return, as a cautious smile turned to a full blown grin. "That is amazing," he said, unabashed. He was very bad at circumventing the truth, this evening, but he couldn't help it. It was. Someone who at least looked his age, doing magic, and so fluidly. It made him immediately less alone, and that was the real marvel. “Amazing.”
"They are different where I'm from," Remus said without hesitation. "Wizards don't care for science, and muggles don't care for magic. We live in hiding, wizards, and the war that was brewing - well, that brewed - was a war for dominance, where certain pureblood wizards thought muggles should be destroyed," he admitted, not sounding proud of any of it. It didn't help that the war, which had only begun in his time, had come twice over, and had decimated the world, both wizarding and muggle. But - and he only stopped to think on this a moment later - he supposed Loki was right about coming here counting as exploration. James and Sirius would hate it, once they found out about it, but it certainly did count as exploring.
Remus watched as Loki touched the higher branches. He had no particular awe of magic, though he was impressed that Loki seemed to require no wand to leave that trail of blue fire in the wake of his finger. Remus could do some wandless magic, but not very much. It was hard to focus magic without use of a wand, and it got harder as a wizard aged and became more and more dependant upon his wand to channel his magic.
Remus pushed up on his knees, matching the boy across from him, and he used his want to spin the tree he'd constructed in the air between them, so that he could get a better look at that trail of blue. "How do you get to the other worlds? This one only connects the two," he said observantly. "Does it pivot? And is it always present?" he asked of the blue bridge. "Do you walk it, or is it like the floo network?" he asked. Before the words were out, he began drawing something alongside the tree. It was a basic, simple working model of a floo, from fireplace to fireplace. One, he drew in a house, and the other in a place of business, and he magicked some powder and a small wizard, who entered one fireplace, then exited in the other. "That's one of the ways we travel. Of course, we can apparate as well, but that's more complicated and has more restrictions," he explained.
Loki watched with that same sheen of fascination in his eye as Remus built a diorama of his own travelling network in the air. He resisted the urge to say it was amazing again, not so much the display this time as the idea itself. Of course something as elemental as fire made perfect sense as a medium for travelling, but still. Brilliant. He never would have thought of it himself.
He began to construct an illusion. Magic flowed subtly from his hands, but mostly it looked as if the image created itself, three-dimensional and lively. There was a golden, spherical room, and an imposing silhouette stood in the center, guarding the gate. A shimmering bridge formed, leading from nowhere into the sphere, and a party on horseback approached. All the little figures were no more than shadows of golden dust, but there was something of a personality to them all the same. The gatekeeper pushed his staff into a hole in the center of the room, and the outside spun, its focal point eventually settling on a faraway world and firing out a beam of twisting energy, toward the ceiling somewhere. The figures stepped through, and one by one, shadows of them fired down the beam of energy and out of sight.
"The bifrost," he said, watching as the little illusions went on their merry way to an adventure somewhere. "You land on your feet in another world, and the bridge paints the ground where you fall, so you know where to go when you want to be fetched back. Then you simply call, and Heimdall hears, and brings you home." Home. That thought made him feel a little morose. The vision dissolved, raining in tiny gold sparks that disappeared before they hit the floor. "What is apparating?" he asked, attention fully on Remus again.
"Then the premise is similar to the Floo Network," Remus concluded with a nod. "It's different, yes, but fundamentally it works on the same principle. Save, perhaps, one thing," he said, after a moment of deeper thought. "When you Floo, the end location must be predetermined. You can't end up in a random fireplace. They have to be connected in advance, which is why it's called a network." He suspected Loki's bridge could end anywhere at all, though he had to basis for it. And perhaps a bridge was unwieldy, but he still loved the idea of it.
Remus had never been a dreamer. He'd never invented things, and he'd never dreamed things up. When Sirius had decided he had to turn a muggle motorbike into a flying contraption, he'd wondered why Sirius had even considered it. He surely wouldn't have thought of it himself, not when there were other perfectly sound ways to travel. He'd accepted - as he had much earlier in his life - that Sirius just had an imagination that he - Remus - did not. But he still would have liked to see this magic bridge, because he did have endless curiosity. "Who is Heimdall?"
As for apparating, Remus stood. He gave no warning before he swished his wand, and the pop that sounded in the room was crackle-loud. He was gone instantly, disapparated into a swirl that left no trace behind, and then he called out from the kitchen, which he'd passed on his way in, and where he was standing, perfectly unharmed. "That's apparating."
"Heimdall is the gatekeeper," Loki said. "He is older than me, older than my brother. Not as old as my father, but he has been the keeper of the Bifrost for...as long as I can remember, really. He guards the way. He is blind, but can see anything in the nine worlds."
Watching Remus apparate only confirmed what Loki had already guessed. Clearly, whatever magic Remus had didn't operate by the same rules his own did. He stood up, almost walked into the kitchen, and stopped. Instead, he took a short breath, stretched out his hand, and called up a small portal, black inside with edges that warped a little. Inside the kitchen, another such circular doorway opened in thin air. He stepped through his end, then stepped out the other. "Portals," he explained, as the gateway condensed down on itself and shut behind him with a low buzz and snap.. "It's the easiest way to travel. You have to walk, it's not instantaneous like what you did, but it works."
"Why doesn't someone kill Heimdall and take control of the bridge, or do you not have wars?" Remus asked, aware that the subject was one that he spent too much time on lately, and that it was becoming a bore for the few people he still spoke to. "Or, maybe, forget I asked that," he said a moment later, because he really did need to learn to focus on other things, didn't he?
And the portal was much more interesting. Remus walked around where it had been, after Loki stepped through it. "Can they go anywhere? How do you determine where they will go?" His face brightened with the questions, as it had done with the tree in the living room. This was Remus at his best; learning new things, and being in the company of someone who he didn't argue with. He was not good with confrontation, and he was even worse with conflict. The war was one thing - because there he had support from his friends and allies - but dealing with being alone and apart, he wasn't good at that at all. Standing there in the living room, it made him think on that, and he huffed a tired breath and rubbed at one eye with the heel of his palm.
"He is the king's subject, and answers to him," Loki said, lifting his chin. "And I think he could defeat anyone who tried to execute him, as it happens." As he had done, once and one day. "No, it's alright." He didn't mind the questions. Answering them clearly brought him pleasure. He loved expertise, knowledge, answering queries. There weren't many questions in Asgard, not many tests of intellect. His brother was hardly interested in hearing treatises on the history of Asgard and magic. All those thoughts remained within, as did so much of him.
"Focus," Loki said. "I decide where it will open. Short distances are easier than longer. And the principles behind how they work...well, they would take longer to explain than I expect you would want to listen." He watched Remus' interest with an aching feeling he didn't have a name for. That was all. "There are some forbidden places, and places blocked by other magics. Not here." Then Remus frowned, and Loki leaned in a little, lacing his hands behind his back. "What is it?"
"Do you have one king that rules everything?" Remus asked, disbelief in the question. That seemed unified in a way he didn't think could work, but the world he knew had an honorary royal family with no real power, and legislation decided everything. "No one's ever even tried to kill this Heimdall?" he asked, more disbelief in that question. It made the place Loki came from sound very peaceable to him, having just spent three months mired in the Forbidden Forest and the war effort. "I must sound barbaric," he said a moment later, the sickly thin-and-nothing looking boy in the bright kitchen. "I'm an outsider where I'm from. I think it makes me morose," he said, a smile accompanying the statement.
"The premise seems similar to apparation," Remus said, once Loki explained that distances were harder and concentration was required. "I actually wouldn't mind discussing principles some other time, when I can stay longer, assuming you'll offer a second invitation." He suspected bringing Loki to the Three Broomsticks would be much harder, and he'd have to explain it to James and Sirius, which would result in anger or ribaling. "Don't mind me. I just don't feel very well, and I should rest," he finally said, deciding - in a split second - not to go into the werewolf thing just then. No one here knew, and no one would be inclined to call him a halfblood animal, as Bellatrix Black had done. No, he didn't disclose that. Instead he smiled. "Can your portal fetch me my cloak?" he asked with a smile.
"My father, yes." In name only, perhaps, but Loki still thought of Odin as his father. There was no one else. Odin had raised him, and Laufey was dead by his own hand. What good could it do to pick at that scab, and let it fester? All the same, the thought remained - how he'd been lied to, how it made so many things make a pathetic kind of sense. But he buried it, as best he could. Giving those feelings of betrayal free rein was how he'd ended up where he had, and it did him no good. "I did, once," Loki said, and his green eyes looked older then, but he didn't elaborate. "Not at all," he said, smiling tentatively. "Where I'm from, the people think me dark, unpleasant, and too clever. To them you'd seem practically cheerful next to me."
Hearing Remus speak of second invitations made a spark of warmth murmur in his chest. "I would. I will. I mean, yes, of course." His smile widened a little. "I don't have many visitors," he added, carefully. "I like your - the company. I do."
At the question, Loki promptly built a portal in the air between them, stepped halfway through, and returned the the cloak. He'd leaned out into the living room just far enough to snatch it out, and he held it out for Remus by the shoulders, a little askew. "Like that?"
"I'm speaking to a prince," Remus said teasingly, unaware that the subject was a sore one, and he was laughing a moment later at the thought of anyone considering him cheerful. "I'm not cheerful, and I'm entirely inept at socializing, but thank you. I think you're interesting, and that you're not at all unpleasant. I like that you're clever," he added, because he hardly ever spent time with very clever people, and they didn't intimidate him in the slightest. It might be nice, having someone unbiased to discuss matters with. Perhaps he needn't tell Sirius and James at all. They'd only mock him for it.
Remus grinned when Loki produced the old cloak, and he took it and settled it closed before responding. "Just so," he agreed, "and I like your company as well. I'll contact you-" he said, stopping just short of saying before the moon. "Do play with your hat boxes while I'm away," he teased.