A/N: Just some clean-up work and rewrites to make the story flow better. It's been a few years since I've looked at the starting chapters. As before, P3/HP crossover. Events for P3 are after the Answer. Taking place during the 5th for HP. Enjoy.
The moment had finally arrived. Months of searching, rumors and false leads, long-dead cults, and crumbling scrolls not in vain. Immortality was not an unattainable goal out of reach. He would live forever, and the world would kneel under Voldermort's rule. Any answer to his plan was exhausted in England, so he had to branch out to other means. Away from Europe, away from meddling enemies, and places with arts only known to the people who resided there. Ancient works that tapped into forgotten energies and entities not seen since the inception of Man.
The benefit to further his ends was well worth the drawback. Wasn't that what followers were? To take the brunt of any harm that could reach to their lord? It was no matter. The Dark Lord watched his Death Eaters follow the summoning to his specific instructions. Such magic was inelegant - barbaric even - but held power. Wizards would allude it to being like alchemy though it was far from the truth.
This magic - summoning magic that useless labels could not categorize as light or dark - was lost to modern magic teachings. The people who died to stop him from knowing this deserved the pain and misery in their final moments. He could still hear their dying cries with the names of their gods on bloodied lips, and it served to bring a rush of satisfaction through him. Wine red eyes traced the near-complete writing on the ground, their presence alone giving the evening air a heavy atmosphere. It was as if unseen eyes were watching the scene with anticipation.
"M-My Lord, the circle is ready."
Ah, so it was. Voldemort turned his attention to Wormtail with a haughty expression on his face. The spineless creature trembled under his gaze and wrung his bloodied hands together. Striding out from the shadows of the trees to survey the completed circle, he wanted to make sure it was correct. The ring took up the bulk of the clearing and pulsated with an eerie blue light. Markings unfit for human eyes interwove with a language long dead coalesced into a shimmering dot in the middle. There was no flaw that he could see.
For once, the sniveling worm did something right. Voldermort chose this clearing specifically for this purpose. It was deep in the woods, away from any prying eyes or nosy spies. The full moon's light illuminated the space as if it was waiting for what would happen. One gesture with his hand and his followers amassed around the edge of the circle in silence. His plan would be complete. He could create the world he craved and be the immortal being to rule it. He raised his arms, drawing on the magic around him, and forced it into the circle. The pulsing picked up, and the glow brightened with Man's first language on his lips as he spoke.
"I call upon those who created the universe, the beings responsible for shaping Man, to heed me! I, Lord Voldemort, invoke thee!"
The sea of the Collective Unconscious was a place of infinite possibilities. Untold fathoms and branching rivers that led to mysterious destinations. Demons instead of Shadows. Worlds with God and Lucifer locked in an endless war with Man in the middle. Paths where the universe was constantly reborn and shaped by those with a Reason. Rivers abruptly cut off and plunging into a void where God nor Man would tread again. On one particular path, a battle for the world took place.
A chosen one - a Wild Card who ended up holding The Universe - gave up the culmination of his being and became the Great Seal. All done to prevent incomprehensible entities from bringing about the Fall. It was an expectation for a person to shoulder such a burden alone. Instead, the Avatar of Nyx willingly spends eternity with him. A being that should have vanished once defeated but clung to the aspect that made it different. A Shadow learned to be human from being sealed within one and forgetting his purpose until the Fall. Even as he lounged in the vast twinkling space of the Seal, the Avatar found itself content.
It didn't have to look after the Great Seal. Even when that being of power came to disturb the quiet peace, it kept watching. The Avatar - no, Ryoji Mochizuki - recalled how kind the Messiah was to him. Conversations during the Dark Hour before he knew himself, hanging out after class, the disastrous trip to the hot spring. The Messiah was everything to him. He paid attention to the boy lying in his lap and ran gentle fingers through soft blue locks. Ryoji let out a content hum as the other let out a distracted sigh and changed positions to lie on his side. The periods of peace they shared were something that he cherished. The teenager let out a low noise that had his fingers pausing in their motion.
"What has you in such a mood, Ryoji?" came out in a tired rasp, disappearing into the celestial void that enveloped them.
Resuming his humming, he focused on the silky strands sliding over his fingers. Was he in a mood? He tilted his head back and closed his eyes to figure out what he was feeling. He felt the usual contentment, the quiet stillness surrounding them, and wait - there was something. There was wrongness that sent chills to the core of his being and, for some reason, familiar. Nothing should be able to break into this space. Makoto sealed Nyx, and Erebrus could not meet her, so what was he feeling?
Didn't Makoto feel it? No, he knew his companion well enough. He probably knew something was wrong but wanted Ryoji to confirm it. The encroaching feeling felt malevolent like it tried to pull him into becoming the Avatar again and destroying Ryoji Mochizuki. He could imagine the problems and what would happen to Makoto? He was the Great Seal, and nothing should be able to make him feel this way. The Seal could be damaged but never broken.
A questioning noise broke out his thoughts as he opened his eyes to find alert grey-blue ones looking back at him. The minor trembling of his own hands he could ignore, the reassuring words dying in his throat at that look. Those eyes were never entirely aware. There was a distant gaze of apathy or, in a better mood, silent contentment. Ryoji knew the beginnings of alarm and confusion shouldn't be there at all. His growing confusion and unwanted fear would not help. What in the world was going on?
"Makoto, what's wrong?"
"It...hurts? Something is attacking me. The Seal. From the inside? That doesn't make sense."
No. It did not. As Makoto finished his words, cracks crept along his face like someone dropped a porcelain vase. That vacant expression couldn't hide the growing pain in his eyes as he brought one of his hands to his face. Chips rained down onto both of them as they stared in confused horror. His hand was gaining more cracks, and two of his fingers were dissolving into black dust. Makoto tried to clamp down on his panic, but Ryoji beat him to it.
Ryoji snatched his hand and winced when the dust ruined both of their clothes. He tried to be careful as he turned his hand over to inspect it. The gentle touch to his palm made the pale flesh break at his touch, leaving a hollow hole in Makoto's hand. At least, what they thought was empty. Out of the hole, a collection of bright white masks stared back at them. Masks that looked too much like the ones Shadows wore.
"What the hell...how is this happening? What is this? Th-This isn't Nyx. You stopped the Fall. Your friends defeated Erebus!"
Ryoji found him panic turning into outright terror at the unknown entity and the mysterious connection he had to it. The slithering sounds grew, and Ryoji pushed Makoto's hand away as tentacles exploded out of the hole. Makoto's entire arm shattered into a fine powder, and the writhing mass of tentacles clustered into a semblance of a humanoid figure. Makoto let out a whistle of breath and squeezed Ryoji's hand tight in pain. Whatever this atrocity was, it was actively obliterating the Great Seal, and they had no idea what to do to stop it.
"What a charming scene to stumble on! Being lost at sea for so long, what are the chances that an interesting human would call me with a wonderful wish? Such negativity, greed, and delicious hatred from it. I could bathe it in if I could."
The entity appeared to circle them in the growing darkness with an aura of blood lust and danger. The twinkling stars that served as their lights dimmed one by one until the only light was coming from the masks covering the entity's body. As it grew close, the damage got worse. Makoto could feel himself slipping away, and it was scaring the hell out of him. Ryoji tugged him closer and began to look more like the Avatar he fought that day he made his sacrifice. His remaining hand covered part of his face as he felt it disintegrate, and dust seeped through his fingers. This thing wasn't a Shadow, was it?
It felt like something akin to Nyx except older and much worse. As if the Fall could have been a cakewalk compared to what this thing wanted. It was taking immense pleasure in their confusion and mounting fear. There was a feeling of a tentacle trying to wrap around his ankle when Ryoji tugged him away with a threatening growl. His leg snapped away from him, and he let himself be sit up, wary of the tendrils starting to invade their space. It knew it had them at a disadvantage and was toying them.
"What are you? What do you want from us? How are you destroying the Great Seal? I created the Arcana to stop things like you." Makoto said, tightening his grip as each word he spoke threatened to put a new crack in his face.
There was no answer to his question except for silent mocking amusement. It took both of them by surprise when tentacles ripped them apart with no trouble. Makoto found himself disoriented and his vision obscured by cloying darkness. He couldn't see Ryoji, but he could hear him cursing and calling out for him. He struggled the best he could to call out or get free when sensation from the waist down faded. He didn't even know what they were fighting. It had them off guard from the start.
He struggled to get Ryoji's name out, dread rising in him once angry threats turned into pained screams before being cut short. Ryoji was gone, and that was impossible. Ryoji was never gone. He struggled anew in the tight grip around his crumbling body, grunting when the tentacles tightened to hold him in place. He could only infer the "face" of the monster appeared in front of him out of the darkness and laughed at him.
"Now, don't give that face...well, with what little you have left. Your 'Arcana' is nothing without that interfering bastard in the forefront. Minions only have so much power. Did he think a simple human could stop the Fall? Though you are different from the others. Younger and so willing to be a barrier for Mankind. Let me tell you something that you will love to hear."
The entity leaned forward, and the tentacles squeezed Makoto tighter, dust vanishing into the void. "I destroyed this miserable planet once, and I would enjoy doing it again, child of Man."
"I don't believe you nor have any idea what you're saying. I would never let the Fall come. You won't win." Makoto said as the rest of him crumbled to dust.
Dark amusement came from the entity, and a tentacle wrapped around Makoto's head, obscuring his vision.
"Then I look forward to the "fight," child of Man. Let us see how you fare in this world. Maybe he'll finally show his face instead of sending humans to do his work. May the seas sweep you into the Void."
The tentacle tightened around his head, and there was an instant of all-consuming agony, and he knew nothing.