Disclaimer: not mine
Regis smiled as four-year-old Henry "Harry" Aldercapt Caelum ran as fast as his little legs could carry him down the hall. He shifted his stance slightly so when the child impacted he didn't fall over, he may be able to get by without his cane the majority of the time but the lack of the Ring had no miraculously healed him, even if he had become stronger. "Good morning Harry," he ran his fingers through hair as black as Noctis'. "Did you run away from Uncle Ignis?"
The boy pouted and crossed his arms, looking utterly adorable. "No."
"Yes," another voice answered and the boy brightened.
"Papa!" he ran to Prompto who knelt and caught him, hugging him tightly.
Prompto loved Harry as much as if the boy were his own, more maybe. There had been muttering in Lucis about heirs and parentage, enough so that the young man had made public just what had been done to him and others in the MT program after discussing it with the other older survivors. Regis thought it horrible that they were denied the ability to have children of their own, the few he knew would make marvellous parents. There was also the scare they'd had with Prompto's health, he had nearly not lived to even knowing Hermione was pregnant, let alone meeting little Harry. As it was, everyone close to the family knew Prompto's lifespan had been greatly diminished, even with the help of surgery and magic.
"We told Aranea and Ignis to stay in Gralea with how close she is," Prompto shook his head in amusement.
"Ah, well that explains how he got loose then," Regis chuckled. Everyone knew that Aranea was expecting her and Ignis' first child within weeks but she had refused to remain in Gralea. This was not the Empress and Prince Consort's normal trip to Insomnia after all. In a week, Regis would abdicate the Throne to Noctis, making him King of Lucis. There had been a lot of discussion involved but it was time. The world was at peace and he wanted the time to spend with his family without the Throne getting in his way. His own Father had never known Noctis and Regis had never known his own grandparents, that was a tradition that was finally changing for the better. He wanted to be a proper part of little Harry's life…and his baby brother or sister. It hadn't been announced yet but he remembered the signs well enough to have picked up that Hermione was pregnant again. He would love a granddaughter this time.
The Throne Room was silent as Noctis knelt before his Father for the last time. He glanced up to see the look of pride on his Dad's face and had to swallow, even as Regis removed his Crown and gently paled it on Noctis' head. He stood up slowly and Regis stepped away from the Throne, leaving it open to Noctis who stepped forward and then sat down, the room erupting in cheers.
Somnus and Ardyn watched, unseen, as the Chosen King finally took the Throne. they both felt proud of their descendant, that he had taken the chance of going against the Prophecy and Astrals to save the world in a different, better way. They had seen what would have become of the world had Bahamut had his way and this was definitely far better. They knew who the young Prince was named for, it was him who allowed them to check in on their descendants from time to time.
Hermione smiled as she danced with Prompto at the fifteen year celebration of her becoming Empress. The city of Gralea would be barely recognisable to her Father and his Court now and everyone loved the city as it was now. She glanced over to the side of the room to see Harry keeping the twins, Aulea and Octavio under control. They were all growing so fast, it was hard to believe sometimes that the twins were already six, as was Ignis' son, Acacius.
The music ended and she let Prompto escort her off the dance floor, seeing the tiredness in his eyes. It had been ten years since they realised just how much damaged had been done to his body and while most of the time he was fine, he tired far too easily.
"Alright?" she whispered and he nodded, kissing her cheek.
"I'll go sit with the other old folk," he teased, handing her to the approaching Noctis who looked concerned as well. He bowed slightly and then went to sit with Regis, Clarus, Cid, and Cor.
Noctis took her back onto the dance floor. "He'll be okay," he whispered as they moved smoothly together. He loved Prompto as much as she did, though he loved him as a brother. The knowledge that he wouldn't grow old with them hurt them all. Explaining to Harry that Papa was 'sick' had not been easy and they knew they'd have to tell the twins soon; they'd started asking why he played less and less with them.
Gladio watched from the edge of the crowd as Hermione and Noctis danced, they were a very striking couple. When the engagement had been announced to them by the King, he had never thought for a second it would become a loving marriage but it had and far quicker than they could have hoped.
It felt like everyone had someone, except him. Iris was engaged to Talcott which had been a big shock, Iggy and Aranea had been happily married for years, as had the Oracle-Queen Lunafreya and ex-Captain Ulric. He could see the two of them dancing across the room, their daughter Selena with her Uncle Ravus nearby. So he wasn't the only one, Ravus wasn't married either. He felt like he was failing his duty, none of Noctis' kids would have an Amicitia as their Shield. He'd had a few dalliances over the years, but nothing that had lasted.
Ignis smiled, adjusting his glasses, as he watched the children at their lessons. Since the Court alternated between Gralea and Insomnia it had been decided to school the children until they reached high school. Noctis had moved into his own apartment then and they would follow that tradition, choosing either city to attend high school in. He had the feeling Harry would be choosing Insomnia, the twins he was less sure of as of yet. Acacius would follow Octavio's lead, the two were as thick as thieves most of the time. His daughter, Mia, was several years younger than the twins so she would likely choose to attend wherever she wished when the time came.
Moving every year would be tedious to some, but both Citadel's were left set up so they only ever had to pack clothes. Regis had travelled with them after abdicating for several years, but he was now living permanently in Insomnia again, age catching up to him. As much as they all hated the though, he knew Prompto would soon also stop the yearly change of capital. Most of his older 'siblings' had passed already, those left alive were mainly those who had been younger than ten when the MT program shut down, their bodies had been far less mutilated.
Hermione lay in bed, Noctis' arm around her waist "Do you think I should ask him?"
Noctis sighed, kissing her bare shoulder. "If you're going to do it then it needs to be soon. None of us are getting any younger," the last was said teasingly and she swatted at him.
"Thirty five is not old," she grumbled, rolling over to face him and he kissed her.
"I know. I also know the risks with pregnancy go up with every year. And…"
"And if he says yes then he deserves as many years as possible with them," she finished quietly. "I'll talk with him in the morning," she promised. They cuddled close and fell asleep soon after.
In the morning Noctis dressed and went to his one meeting of the day while Hermione went to where she knew Prompto would be, enjoying the autumn sun in the east garden. She leant down and kissed him. "Good morning."
"Morning," he grinned at her and she sat beside him, holding his hand in hers. "Noct off to his meeting?"
"Did he beg you to fake an emergency call in an hour if it's still going?"
"Yeah," he admitted and they laughed. "I can't believe Harry starts high school next year. I'm gonna miss the little terror."
"You helped raise that little terror," she pointed out and he shrugged. "Remember Doctor Blake?"
"How could I forget the lady who literally held my spine together for a bit during one of the surgeries?" he asked frowning. "Mia, no more surgeries…"
"No," she kissed his cheek. "She's been doing some research on the side for all of you."
"What kind of research?" he asked warily.
"What?" he sat up straight from where he'd been leaning against her.
"She's worked out a way to get a clean genetic sample and use it to fertilise an egg…"
"You mean…we can have…kids?" he stared at her with wide, unbelieving eyes and she nodded.
"She's only run computer simulations but the procedure should work. If you want to."
"We could have a baby?" it was the one thing they'd never been able to share, to have a baby of their own. She wanted it, did he? "I…" he swallowed. "Is it dangerous?"
"No, she would take samples from you and eggs from me, then fertilise them in the lab before implanting them back into me. It'd be a minor procedure. If you want this then we'll do it."
"A baby," he whispered and then he grinned, kissing her. "Our baby."
Noctis walked solemnly beside the coffin, Ignis and Gladio beside him. Harry walked on the other side of the coffin with Octavio, Aulea remaining seated with the heavily pregnant Hermione. Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII had passed peacefully in his sleep one month before his sixty-sixth birthday. He had been looking forward to the birth of his last grandchild, not caring that he shared no genetic link to the child, unfortunately Hermione still had a month to go.
Harry had been gutted by Regis' death, he was the closest of the children to his Grandfather, but all of them had loved Regis. Cid had died two years before and Weskham still lived in Altissia so they very rarely saw him, leaving Clarus and Cor behind of the one-time group.
Clarus had finally become a grandfather, though not in the way he would have preferred and at least Regis had gotten to tease him over that. One of Gladio's ex's had shown up and dumped a baby girl on him who couldn't be anything but an Amicitia. Little Ivy was utterly adored and doted on by her family, close and extended.
The whole world mourned the death of King Regis, he had been a much loved ruler, even after he abdicated and withdrew from public life to spend his remaining years with family.
Prompto held the small bundle in his arms, unable to believe it. He…he had a son! He was so perfect with wisps of blond hair, his eyes the same shade of blue as Hermione's rather than his own. He had ten perfect fingers and ten toes and while he was a little small he had been declared perfectly healthy.
"Come on Prom, don't hog the baby, let me see," Noctis whined and he laughed but moved so he could see. "He's beautiful. I think he's got your nose too."
"Thank you," Prompto whispered, fighting tears as he looked up at Noct. He could have denied him this, refused to allow a child other than his own for inheritance reasons but he hadn't even hesitated in agreeing.
Noctis wrapped an arm around him, hugging him while being careful of the baby. "How could I have dreamed of denying you this?" he whispered. "I just wish it could have been done years ago. No matter what, I'll look after him."
"I know," Prompto sniffled, moving to sit down, Hermione watching them tiredly from the bed.
"Well, what are you going to call the kid?" Noctis asked and Prompto looked at Hermione who smiled.
"He's your son," she pointed out.
He thought about it and then smiled sadly. "Tardus," for the brother he had never gotten to meet but who had protected Hermione when he couldn't.
"Tardus Argentum Aldercapt," Hermione agreed, her smile wistful.
His arms tiring, he handed their son to his Mother and sat down, Noctis gently gripping his shoulder.
The year Noctis, Hermione, and Prompto turned forty they had one big combined part in Gralea. Four-year-old Tardus watched it all from his Father's lap as Prompto smiled and chatted, no one looking twice at the wheelchair he had been confined to for the last year. The thing had a motor so no one had to push him and he could get around on his own.
Harry had graduated from high school the year before and was attending university in Insomnia, acting as his parents representative there as Crown Prince. Aulea had chosen to attend high school in Gralea and after a lot of thought, Octavio had chosen to follow his older brother by attending in Insomnia. All of the kids were doing well thankfully.
"Hello dear Prompto," a familiar voice greeted and he looked up, smiling at Lunafreya. She held her hand out and he took it, kissing the back.
"It's good to see you again, you too Nyx. No Selena or Ravus?"
"They remained at home this time," Nyx answered for his wife, an arm around her waist. At forty-six, his once black hair was liberally threaded through with grey, laugh lines visible on his face, but he was still deadly with his Kukris.
"Selena has been taking on more of the duties of Oracle. Not that they have been many since the battle. She has inherited by healing magic and a flare for throwing flames around," the Queen mock glared at her husband who shrugged.
King Regis had never broken the bond of his magic to Nyx, even when he had resigned and moved to Tenebrae and Noctis had happily shared his magic with the man after his Father's death. Libertus had taken over as Captain of the Kingsglaive when Nyx had left and he still had the job, though from a desk now rather than the field. The Glaive and the Guard had become mostly ceremonial without a war to fight, though they did occasionally work with the hunters.
They moved on to see others after talking for a while and Prompto enjoyed pointing people out to Tardus and just watching.
Cor watched as young Tardus ran around the garden, his Dad watching from his wheelchair. Cor felt…old. He was the last left of Regis' retinue. Clarus had died six months ago, living long enough to see the birth of Iris' twins. Weskham had died a year and a half earlier in an accident when a gondola had smashed into another that had been transporting flammable goods, his restaurant had burnt out before anything could be done. He missed them all but he seemed to be living up to his moniker. Besides, he still had plenty of kids to watch over and whip into shape.
Tardus laughed and ran and Cor straightened but then relaxed as Harry scooped his baby brother up and spun the eight-year-old around until they collapsed in a dizzy, laughing heap on the grass, Prompto laughing at them.
"You don't always have to watch Uncle Cor," Noctis pointed out as he joined him. "There's this wonderful thing called retirement."
"The guard would get sloppy," he pointed out and Noctis shook his head.
"Well I plan to follow in Dad's footsteps and step down for one of the kids."
"Still haven't decided?"
"We've been talking it over. Harry will definitely be King of Lucis but…I don't think he wants to be Emperor. Splitting the line and titles though carries risk for the future. Aulea would be Empress if we did split them, Octavio is far more interested in science than politics and Tardus is too young, even though he does have a claim to Hermione's throne."
"This is probably why your ancestors began limiting themselves to one kid."
"Actually we're pretty sure the Ring and Crystal played a role in that."
"Wouldn't surprise me."
Hermione held his hand tightly, running her other hand through lank blond hair. "We're here Prompto," she whispered, hearing him wheeze for breath. He was reclining in bed, Noctis sitting behind him to support him as he struggled to keep breathing, a hand to his chest, magic flowing, but all it could do was ease the pain. "You are so loved," she choked out and then the door opened and Tardus ran in, scrambling up on the bed.
"Dad?" he whispered and Prompto's free hand lifted towards him, his son taking it. "Don't go Dad," he pleaded.
Aulea moved up to wrap an arm around her baby brother, offering comfort. Harry and Octavio rushed into the room, they had been in Insomnia when the news had come and Harry had risked magical exhaustion apparating them across the ocean to make it in time. Of all the times for someone to misplace the blasted portkey.
"Papa," Harry sat on the bed and reached out to grip Prompto's shoulder. "We're all here," he told him. ignis and Gladio hovered around the bed as well, valiantly fighting tears.
Prompto was barely forty-four years old, he should have at least another forty years left but the damaged done in his childhood had been too severe. He was the last clone left who had been over nine when the program ended and only magic had allowed him to live so long.
"L…lo…v.." he wheezed and then his hands went slack in Hermione and Tardus' grips, head rolling back on Noctis' shoulder, eyes fixed sightlessly on the ceiling. Noctis cut off the magic and lifted his hand to gently brush his eyes closed, shifting from behind him to lower his body onto the bed before catching his sobbing wife. The children curled together, crying as well.
Three days later the funeral was held in Gralea. Viscount Prompto Argentum had been well loved, for his years protecting Hermione, then helping the others like himself, his sunny nature despite everything he suffered, and his steadfast love and loyalty to the Royal Family. He was given a full state funeral and his body entombed in a crypt with space for his family to join him one day.
"Hello Prompto," a voice called and he blinked, looking around. He saw a man and his eyes went wide in shock.
The man laughed and took his hands, drawing him into a warm room. "Welcome home."
"I don't understand…"
"I wouldn't put it passed a certain dragon to try and meddle so I stepped in. You'll be with them again soon, time here passes differently than in the world of the living," Harry promised gently as Prompto realised he was in no pain for the first time in years, looking down to find he looked no older than twenty again.
"You loved and protected my sister; I owe you thanks."
Hermione abdicated in favour of Aulea when she was fifty, the same year that Noctis passed the Throne of Lucis to Harry. Aulea never married and eventually the Empire would pass to Tardus and his children. Harry married Selena, uniting Lucis and Tenebrae, tying all three Royal families together. Octavio was quite happy living away from the royal life, though he did eventually marry they had no children. The Scientia and Amicitia families too remained closely tied to the Royals, even intermarrying now and then.
Dowager Empress Hermione and King Noctis, passed within a year of each other, Noctis predeceasing her at the age of eighty one.
When Hermione opened her eyes it was to laugh and hug the cold man before her. "You could have visited."
Harry laughed and kissed her cheek. "We have all the time in the worlds," he promised. "But you have some people who have been waiting on you," he stepped back and showed her the door. She pushed it open and then sobbed, Prompto catching her as she threw herself at him, kissing her. "Prompto."
"Hello Mia," he whispered, smiling happily. And then Noctis was there as well and all they could do was cry and laugh, Harry watching over them.
"So Mione, I know this world…" Harry grinned.
Yes, Harry is suggesting sending the three of them to be reborn in another world that needs fixing. If people can give some good suggestions, I may consider writing their further adventures, no promises though.
This is not marked as complete due to ffnet not bringing up the story properties page, i can add chapters but that's all i can do