Disclaimer: not mine
I've gone back and edited previous chapters due to finding lots of errors during a re-read, hopefully I catch them all. Though I think I found less than I remembered there being.
Prompto dropped down onto his couch, stretching as he got comfortable. His graduation and swearing in was in two days and he was looking forward to it. He'd listened to Noct and the others when they made suggestions on his uniform and was excited to get a look at the finished product tomorrow. Cor had explained that he would do some standard work with the Crownsguard to learn how it functioned day to day as well as spending time with Ignis and Gladio, figuring out how he would fit in to protect Noct and help him with his duties.
His door opened and he grinned as Noctis walked into his suite before sitting up as he saw his serious expression. "Noct?" he asked and Noctis walked over to join him on the couch.
"Did you know your Dad saved mine once?"
"Uh…I think it's been mentioned before. Why?" Not a topic he had expected to come up.
"Well your Dad was owed a reward, but he turned it down, so Dad wants to give it to you."
"Why?" he asked in confusion.
"Because it's a minor title Prom, you'd be Sir Prompto Argentum. It comes with a small annual income too, not that you need that."
He didn't because he'd always been very careful of the money he earned hunting. He'd exchanged it for the currency used only in Insomnia, though he'd left a little in Gil for if he had to do business in the rest of Lucis. He had enough to live off, frugally, for a year if needed and he couldn't find a job.
"A title? Why?"
"Because it's one less thing the Council can get up in arms over when it comes to us." Noctis reached for his hand and Prompto gave it.
A Title…then again if they got married he'd end up with one then, right? Did it matter if he got one earlier? Especially if it helped get the Council off Noct's back? Sir Prompto…looked like he'd have to get used to that. "Okay," he agreed, and Noctis blinked, staring at him in surprise, making him snicker. "Expecting me to argue?" he asked.
"A bit?" Noctis shrugged.
Prompto leant in and kissed him. "Whatever it takes to stay with you," he promised.
Harry dropped his bag on his bed and then headed for a shower. The only question was, did he surprise his son at his ceremony or let him know he was in the city now? a proper bathroom made a nice change from the cramped things in caravans and had a lot more hot water. Once dry and dressed in clean clothes he went downstairs, finding things a little dusty which made sense since Prompto lived in the Citadel now. A calendar on the wall had tomorrow's date circled in red and he knew Theo knew about the ceremony, hoping the younger man would be able to make it. He had barely seen his 'brother' since Theo had collected Prompto so many years ago.
Harry ate a small meal, sipping at some stored blood, keeping an eye on Prompto through their bond the whole time. As night fell, he detected he was alone but almost asleep which was a surprise. He had thought the boys spent every night together. He phone beeped and he glanced down to find a message from Ardyn, chuckling over the other man's clear annoyance with his so-called allies. He had ensured Ardyn would keep in contact, he would keep an eye on him and when the daemons began gaining strength again he would drain the Scourge again. He wasn't doing it just to keep him thinking clearly and less angry at Lucis, but because Ardyn did not deserve what had happened to him. He quickly responded and then vanished; he had a Childe to surprise.
Noctis fought to keep his expression neutral as Prompto walked towards the Throne in his uniform for the first time. It definitely suited Prom's laidback nature and his fighting style better than a formal suite like Iggy and others among the Guard wore.
He wore black fingerless gloves, a black shirt with a white pattern, and a sleeveless black vest with a dark red flannel shirt attached underneath. His barcode was covered by a thick black wrist band rather than the mass of bracelets he often wore, and a patterned bandana was tied around his upper arm…he recognised the pattern as tiny House Potter crests, without the family motto. His dark pants had a faint leopard print to them which went with the patterning on Ignis's shirt. He wore the standard black boots with red soles that Gladio wore and even Noctis himself wore when in more casual clothing. He knew Prompto had several tags he wanted to add on later but had left off for the ceremony.
Their eyes met and Prompto grinned at him before kneeling. Noctis nodded slightly and stepped forward, fighting back a grin as he spotted Harry, he hadn't known he was back in the city but of course he wouldn't miss Prompto's swearing in. The vampire nodded to him and Noctis focused back on Prompto who began reciting his Oath and Noctis felt the magic swell between them, but it wasn't like how it had been for Ignis and Gladio, it was different, because of what Prompto was? His own magic? Whatever caused it, the bond between them wasn't like what he was used too, it was a lot more two way, a bond of equals. That hadn't been planned but it was undeniably what he preferred.
Regis watched in pride as Noctis accepted Prompto's Oath. He felt the Crystals' power surge and Noctis' rise up to bind the blond to him but there was something…it didn't feel like it normally did. Neither boy appeared in pain or discomfort, no…if anything they seemed happy with what was happening. Had the magic somehow sensed Noctis' intent to marry Prompto one day and acted on that? It had been several generations since a member of the Guard had ended up marrying the Royal they were sworn too so maybe it was normal under the circumstances.
It wasn't the Crystal's power causing it, it was Noctis' own magic, the Crystal was responding normally, if with a little more power but Noctis was the Chosen King. Noctis' magic had been strengthening over the last few years so maybe this was just the next stage. It was a relief after watching his son struggle with magic for so long, had it taken that long for his magic to recover from his childhood near-death?
Prompto swallowed, staring up at Noctis whose eyes were glowing a reddish colour with magic. He felt the magic surge between them, fighting to keep his own eyes from going silver since the King could see him. The feeding bond shifted somehow, changing, deepening further, even as Noctis' magic sank deeper into him than it had when he'd been given access to the Armiger.
He shivered as he felt the Crystal as well, it felt…he couldn't think of anything polite to call it. His Dad was definitely write about the Astrals not being real gods and having no right to bind Noct's family to the Crystal.
"Prom," Noctis breathed, audible only to his enhanced senses and he smiled at him, he was fine.
He stood up and Noctis handed him his official weapon as a Crownsguard, a beautiful sword. Not everyone used the blade they were given in their ceremony since not everyone favoured a sword, but Prompto was glad for all of the extra training because it was a blade he would be proud to wield. He sheathed the blade and bowed to the King and then Noctis, and with that it was done.
Ignis watched as Harry Argentum congratulated his son. He hadn't seen the man since he had picked up Prompto for their journey outside the Wall. Now he knew the truth about the man, about what he was. Looking at him, watching him interact with those who had come to the Argentum home for a party in Prompto's honour, there was nothing to give away his age or species. The food was as excellent as he remembered the older males cooking to be too.
"What's up?" Gladio asked and Ignis blinked, had he been staring enough to make Gladio realise.
"Just pondering things."
"Like how much Harry looks like Noct and the King?"
Well, no, but that would do. "The resemblance is rather surprising."
"You think they're related?" Gladio raised an eyebrow.
"Perhaps, but if so then it would likely be very distantly. The family line has been well tracked since the Lucis Caelum became Kings. Granted, there is the chance of a child being born when away from the city but surely the magic would still be evident then?"
"So even if Prompto was a girl it wouldn't be too close to let them marry," Gladio smirked and Ignis fought the urge to roll his eyes.
He wished he could tell Gladio the truth but if he tried his throat would close up, the words refusing to pass from his lips. He was well and truly bound to silence on the topic. And for all he knew, Harry really was related to Noctis, a far removed ancestor. Prompto had said that Harry had had children over the millennia after all.
Harry could feel Ignis watching him as he set out the food and mingled with the small group of people who had come to celebrate Prompto's graduation and Oath taking. His son had told him the Adviser knew the truth but that Noctis had sworn him to silence. Thankfully, he didn't seem to be treating Prompto any differently, at least as far as Prompto had told him.
It was nice to have a group in the house, the poor place felt very abandoned since Prompto now lived in the Citadel. He only ever came back with Noctis or alone to access the hidden training room, the house no longer home. Harry wondered if Theo and Andria would bother to keep the house when they were so infrequently at home. If they did decide to sell it, he would buy it so that Prompto would always have somewhere safe in the city if necessary.
Prompto would be nineteen soon, he was growing up so fast. Hopefully, with Ardyn sort of on side, the war could be ended soon, leaving only the daemons as a threat to the people of the world. There was also that blasted Dragons Prophecy to find a way around as well. He was not letting his future son-in-law die for it.
Noctis straddled Prompto who grinned up at him, utterly at ease with the change to their normal position. Noctis let his hands wander over pale skin, amazed by how pale Prompto remained year round. Noctis knew his own skin was pale, but he did tan a little in summer, Prompto didn't. Despite his years outside of the Wall, he had very few scars thanks to being a dhampyr and Harry's magic being able to heal too.
Tomorrow, Prompto would be given his Title in front of the entire Royal Court, he would no longer be a 'commoner' but Sir Prompto. Once that was done, they could begin to formally Court. There would still be talk and rumours, but no one would be able to argue against them Courting. He was nineteen now, old enough, and Prompto would soon be the same age. They would have to wait for at least a year before they could marry, Royal engagements were not allowed to be rushed except under very special circumstances.
Ardyn lounged in his chair, listening to the bickering children around him. It was all rather tiring and boring. The only one to surprise him normally was young Ravus, the boy had done something rather unexpected after his Mother's death…he had joined her killers. What went on in his head to turn him so against Regis, to make him so loyal to the Empire?
The daemons were still quieter than normal although he knew they were regaining strength, it was getting harder to ignore them. He'd taken to messaging Harry with whatever came to mind, silly thoughts on the Empire, things like that. The man…vampire, always responded rather quickly. To keep an eye on him, to hold his leash? Or was there another reason?
Ardyn focused back on the meeting as the Emperor spoke on invading Insomnia itself. Had he truly gone mad due to all of Ardyn's whispers over the years? They had no way passed the Wall. Of course, a way through was being tasked to Verstael and himself. Wonderful.
Harry was a little concerned by Ardyn's last message. How did the Emperor expect to defeat the Wall? Even he was impressed by the power behind it. the only way he could see, would be to bring it down from the inside. A traitor or trojan horse perhaps? He'd been watching the war more since finding Prompto and some of what he'd seen didn't make sense…unless someone on the Lucian side was feeding intel to the Empire. Maybe more than one person. Spies had always been a part of war after all. The Imperial spies just seemed to be better than the Lucian ones.
That wasn't his only concern and so he began the journey to Niflheim in order to meet in person.
Prompto couldn't stop glancing at the new wristband he wore over his barcode, one with the Royal insignia clearly displayed. It was a Courting gift from Noct, announcing his attentions to all who saw it.
Cor caught him at it and smirked before dumping another training manual on his desk. Prompto theatrically groaned but got to work. It hadn't taken long to see what the Marshall was doing with all of the extra training and he was shocked and a bit flattered that the infamous Immortal thought that he could take on his role one day.
Gladio nodded as Prompto swiftly regained his feet, the two of them circling, looking for openings. He liked training with the kid, he was more interested in it than Noctis and surprisingly a better match for Gladio's own strength than Iggy was, although Prompto was also as fast as the Adviser. Honestly, he'd hate to face the blond in a fight to the death because he honestly wasn't sure he'd win, and that had been a blow to the ego.
They did their best to ensure one of them was always with Prompto when he wasn't shadowing Cor, Dustin, or Monica. The whispers over the boys Courting had become a little louder than whispers and the last thing they wanted was someone attacking him. Either Prompto would be hurt or he would hurt his attacker and that would not be good.
Ardyn fought to make himself relax as strong arms wrapped around him, drawing him close, feeling cool breath on his neck. He nearly jumped as the skin was licked but then it went numb. Sharp fangs sank in, but he barely felt the pain, feeling the same things as last time, but more intense, the different location? That was his last coherent thought for a time.
When his head cleared he was lying in bed, still fully clothed except for his shoes. He felt weak, utterly relaxed, but the daemons were near silent. He glanced around to see Harry in a nearby chair, reading Ardyn's own copies of the various reports on the work to overcome the Wall. Harry looked up and smiled at him and it was hard to think that the older male was using him when he looked at him like that. The vampire stood and walked over, running his fingers through Ardyn's wild hair, and it felt…nice.
"How do you feel?"
"Fine of course," he smirked, and Harry shook his head, eyes showing his amusement.
"Of course," he agreed mildly, not bothering to argue.
Ardyn was further shocked when a tray of food appeared and for once, he actually felt like eating, so he did. It was strange but he found himself enjoying Harry's company, no matter how brief the visit was.