AU where If JIM is an enormous success and got a chance to grow in scale.
WHY DO YOU HURT ME THIS WAY. D:
Okay. The way I see it - the whole magpie thing ends with the bits of Ikol/Old Loki’s personality merging with Kidlet, so our bb is now a cute twelve-year-old in possession of all of Old Loki’s memories and powers. He has to learn to navigate that and some sudden “darker urges” or some crap, and he decides to learn how to be a proper superhero/protector of Asgard, because Old Loki tried being a villain and it didn’t end well, so clearly Kid Loki has to become the hero (also Big Brother Hero Worship time!).
Step one, he has to learn to control his magic, which came back in a package with the memories and stuff. Obviously the one person who’d help him is Big Brother Thor’s friend and teammate and crazy sorcerer, erm, sorceress - Wanda Maximoff! Let’s face it, she is as crazy and powerful as Loki, so why the hell not. Kidlet approaches Wanda about his magic, and Wanda is quite happy to help him - remember, it’s still 2012, she’s JUST been sorta kinda forgiven for the House of M incident! Wanda’s happy to be of use.
Thor is not exactly thrilled, because while he likes and respects Wanda and does consider her a great friend and ally, he’s not entirely sure if he’s comfortable letting her teach his baby bro magic. Thor is now full-on broparenting Loki, so he’s being Responsible and he’s making sure not to make stupid mistakes that Odin definitely did.
Enter stage Stephen Strange, who (actually on Thor and Steve Rogers’ request, but that turns out way waaay later) also offers to teach Loki this and that. We have a brief ‘battle of mentors’ and ‘let’s count the people who want to influence Kidlet’s intake of knowledge and power’ arcs that drive the emotional stakes higher, because a) we need drama, b) Loki is kind of getting paranoid by now.
See, he hasn’t told anyone about eating weird possibly-embodiment-of-my-old-evil-persona magpies. It’s all a secret that he keeps; and he does think he can keep it, because nothing bad came out of the Nightmare Crown, no one died so far, and he himself hasn’t tried to destroy Asgardia even ONCE, so all’s good, right? To be honest it IS, but Loki is so afraid of going bad again now that he actually remembers how it happened before, how it FELT, that he thinks everyone is suspecting there’s something wrong with him, that Thor suspects something and that everyone is trying to sort of control him, which is the exact same thing HE is trying to do, but it’s also kinda depressing and insulting, because that means people are afraid of him and/or think he’s incapable of controlling himself.
Talk about overthinking things.
This would all conclude in paranoia right in time for a major crisis, during which Loki would self-appoint himself a mission during which he’d have to work with Doom. Of course, some of the less trusting Avengers (I’m thinking Tony and maybe Clint, possibly Steve a bit?) would be like WHAT THE FUCK, THOR; Thor is torn between thinking that he believes in this kid 100% and thinking about what happened the last time Doom and Loki met (more in line of DOOM IS A BAD INFLUENCE than LOKI IS EVIL BESTIES WITH DOOM). Anyway. I’m bad at Big Cataclysmic Event plots, so let’s just say that my dream would be Loki meeting up with Valeria Richards somewhere during this story, and the two of them tricking Doom into doing the Right Thing, and at the end Doom going TO HELL WITH IT, waving his hand and accepting this Right Thing, because he loves Val and Uncle Doom never disappoints Val, and also because Loki as a kid IS super adorable and DAMNIT Doom has such a soft spot for kids.
JiM would totes go BIG in my opinion. Lots of people guest-starring, you know? There’d definitely be a ‘Loki goes to Westchester’ episode, because the Avengers are going on a super duper secret mission to a dangerous place and Wolverine (or his staff) is roped into babysitting the kid. So, Loki goes to Westchester for the weekend. There, in the style of Wolverine and the X-Men shenanigans - probably with kid!Hellfire Club - ensue. Loki ends up making friends with Pixie, because MAGIC. But he also becomes friends with Evan, and they bond in an emotional scene over being ~new~ versions of old villains and over having people constantly afraid that they’re going to go evil.
Of course Loki’s visit ends with hell breaking loose on the grounds of Jean Grey School LITERALLY, demons running around, monsters cmping etc. It probably has something to do with Mephisto and the fact that Amara is in town. The Avengers come back to NYC only to hear of the mayhem in Logan’s school, but when they arrive at the scene in turns out that Loki and the kids handled everything, and no one wants to say a word about it. They just wear smug faces for the next month.
Of course, Young Avengers would be a MUST. Loki would still meet with them (but under different circumstances, quite possibly something more magic-related, something Wanda-related as that would draw in both Billy AND Loki), and would still end up reforming the team. Becoming a Young Avenger would be a big milestone in his story of becoming a hero like Thor. But, thanks to his meetings with Val (arguably the smartest kid in 616), with Pixie and the Jean Grey School kids, with the Young Avengers, Loki truly realises that Thor’s version of being a superhero (so being strong and having an awesome weapon) is just one of the many ways of being a hero, and it isn’t in any way better than being a sorcerer (something that he technically KNOWS, but knowing and accepting are different things). He truly grows into his own.
Obviously, ultimately, the story would have to circle back to Asgardia and to bring danger to Asgardia. Danger that Loki and his team - so the Young Avengers with some help from the Jean Grey School kids (and perhaps the Future Foundation, because I’m sure that Loki would get along with Franklin Richards and Bentley spectacularly) - would defeat. Once you’ve accepted yourself as a hero, you have to show everyone else that you are one. In your face, Asgardians.
In some more side stories, I think we’d have to develop Loki and Hela’s relationship. Loki goes to Hela and asks her to bring Leah back, Hela says it’s impossible. She thens ask why Loki wanted Leah to be sent away in the first place, and Loki answers her while giving away as little information as possible. But Hela’s smart and figures out the rest, and FINALLY(!) has closure as the old-as-balls question of WHY is answered. So her attitude towards Loki would change slightly now, and they would end up sharing an adventure storyarc (or maybe two). Their story would end in Loki getting an invitation for milkshakes, coming into the diner and finding Hela sitting in a booth. She’s sipping her milkshakes, there’s another one standing, she says she already ordered for him. Loki sits down and they drink milkshakes in silence. Now they both know who they are, they both have all the memories about themselves and each other - so it’s a brand new beginning.
Shit, I got carried away. And now I’m super sad because FUCK WE COULD HAVE HAD ALL OF THIS, WE COULD HAVE HAD LOKI GROWING UP AND BEING A HERO, AND MAKING FRIENDS AMONG THE KIDS AND TEENS OF 616, AND HANGING AROUND AVENGERS TOWER, AND THE AVENGERS FINALLY ACCEPTING HIM AS THOR’S KID BROTHER AND SHARING POPCORN AND JOKES WITH HIM, TONY RUFFLING HIS HAIR, STEVE EATING HOT-DOGS WITH HIM AND TELLING HIM STORIES ABOUT THOR, NATASHA AND JESS AND BOBBI TEACHING HIM TO PLAY POKER (MUCH TO THOR’S DISMAY), CLINT AND KATE FUCKING BISHOP HELPING HIM BECOME A GOOD ARCHER (he owns a bow and I bet he’s terrible). Wanda and Strange deciding one day to do a magic bootcamp for all the magical kids, and Illyana tagging along (Cyclops didn’t approve of that), because sorcerers should stick together, nevermind which fraction they support. Loki and Billy gossiping about Sylvie Lushton’s awful fake accent and costume, and Loki feeling kinda bad about it because it sort of is his fault.
Just, EVERYTHING. I HAD SUCH HOPES FOR LOKI AFTER I LEARNED THAT HE’D BE ON YOUNG AVENGERS AFTER JIM, BUT THEN #645 HAPPENED AND NOTHING WAS OKAY ANYMORE.