Disclaimer: Don't own HP or FFXV
Noctis turned away from his friends, his brothers, and began to ascend the stairs where he'd last spoken to his Father so long ago. If he looked back he would break, be unable to continue. He was walking to his death and they all knew it. He was actually glad they would stay outside to defend the Citadel; he didn't want them to watch him die. He knew their odds too; he may not be the only one to die before the sun rose again. He leant against the wall of the elevator; eyes closed as he fought to get his emotions under control until it came to a stop and he stepped out.
His footsteps echoed eerily as he slowly walked across the Throne room and then up the stairs. He stared at the Throne, so many memories… he put his hand down on the left arm rest, it still felt the same as it had the last time he had touched the Throne as a child. "I'm home," he choked out, head bowed. "I walked tall… And though it took me a while, I'm ready now," he spoke as he moved around to stand before the Throne and then he sat down. "I love you all. Luna, guys…" he choked again, he didn't want to do this, he didn't want to die. He may look thirty but ten of those years had been spent locked inside the Crystal. On his finger, the Ring of the Lucii began to glow. "Dad…" he whispered, there'd been so much left unsaid between them, so much he hadn't known how to say. And in the corner of his eye he saw a spirit manifest beside the Throne, back to him, he knew who it was, there was no doubt at all. "The time we had together… I cherish," he whispered, just for his Dad. His goodbyes were done now, the sooner he did this, the more chance the others would survive.
Noctis lifted his head and closed his eyes. "Kings of Lucis…" he called out strongly.
Outside the Citadel, Ramuh, Leviathan, Titan and Shiva appeared floating in the air; Shiva was holding Ifrit's severed horn; they all turned to energy that rapidly flowed into the sky directly above the Citadel, where it joined with energy in the shape of Bahamut. The three outside glanced up briefly to see it, knowing the basics of what it meant, and they fought all the more ferociously because of it.
Noctis's eyes jerked open as he summoned his father's sword. "Come to me!" he commanded, stabbing the blade into the floor in front of him. as soon as it impacted the other Royal Arms descended, impaling the floor before him; the spirit of each weapons corresponding Lucii rose from the floor in front of the weapon. They each took hold of their weapon and floated into the air in front of Noctis. He stared straight at the Founder of his line, the Mystic. He was no longer in awe of him, so much of what had happened could be traced back to his rule, it was his brother that Noctis had just killed and would now have to face in the beyond. Somnus Lucis Caelum gripped his sword and then flew towards him, skewing Noctis with the weapon even as the Ring glowed, absorbing him.
Noctis couldn't bite back the gasp of pain, far worse than when he had claimed the weapons in the Tombs. One after another they repeated the action, Noctis gripping his Father's sword in an effort to remain upright, seeing his Father's spirit flinch with each hit and he wanted to comfort him, but it took everything he had to remain on the Throne and not on the floor. As the last one hit his grip weakened and he slumped forward, bowed by the pain. He could feel his Dad, still beside him, unable to watch him being killed. All that was left was the final blow and Noctis torturously dragged the sword towards Regis. Noct closed his eyes and pictured Gladio, then Ignis, then Prompto, then Luna, seeing them all whole and happy, something they hadn't been in too long. Weakly he held the hilt out to his Dad. "Dad… Trust in me…" he gasped out.
Regis' spirit took the sword, their hands brushing ever so briefly as he did. He rose in front of Noctis, and held the weapon aloft, poised to strike; but he hesitated, staring at his son, the son he had been unable to save. He had known this day was coming since Noctis was a child but had never dreamed it would be him to deal the final blow, to end his life. There was nothing he could do to stop it, not now. Noctis slowly lifted his head and their eyes met, despite the armour that now covered Regis' form, midnight blue pleading for him to end his pain. The strike was delivered at lightning speed through Noctis' chest; leaving his body pinned to the throne by his father's sword. Noctis grunted at the impact but then went limp, slumped over the blade, body going limp. The last thing he heard was the whispered words of his Dad, "I love you Noctis, forgive me".
After a moment, the Ring of the Lucii began to glow once more, then unleashed a blinding light that filled the throne room, spreading out incredibly fast. Outside Gladio and Prompto turned at the bright light, staring with wide eyes.
Noctis's spirit floated above a swirling pool of white light, his father's sword in hand; he lifted the sword and then threw it into the swirling mass below, warping to the astral plane where he had met Bahamut in the Crystal. He descended to float face to face with Ardyn's spirit; Ardyn smiled and bowed to Noctis; for the first time there was no maliciousness or mocking in the gesture. As he straightened back up, his face took on a look of confusion as he saw apparitions of Regis, Ignis, Prompto and Gladio all beside Noctis. Ardyn's head thrashed violently as his eyes turned black and an inhuman growl emerged from him; taking on his daemon appearance.
Noctis held out his right hand, and Ardyn mimicked him only to have Lunafreya's spirit place her hands on Ardyn's right arm, as she had done shortly before her death. As golden light bled up his arm, Ardyn jerked away from her, growling as though in pain. Ardyn's spirit doubled over, growling and heaving before he looked up at Noctis. A flash of light burst from the Ring of the Lucii, vaporizing the sleeve off his jacket and shirt even as Noctis grunted in pain, the skin along his arm cracking. He spasmed in further pain as blades of energy tore out of his back, pausing part way out, before the weapons of the Lucii suddenly burst from Noctis's back and swirled out into the ether, each finding a home in the hand of its owner's spirit. All thirteen Lucii stood assembled behind the young King. Noctis made a fist with his right hand, hauled back, and then directed the Lucii forward as though throwing a blade for warping. He had never imagined such pain was possible, but he forced himself to ignore it, it would be over soon. They could all rest soon, even Ardyn whom he no longer blamed for what had happened. The Astrals had used them all and the Scourge had driven his ancestor mad.
The spirits of the deceased kings fell upon Ardyn, who let out a final, fearful growl before being overwhelmed by the Lucii's onslaught. His spirit floated backward for a moment, then broke apart into crystal shards.
Noctis stood, exhausted, for a moment. "It's finally over…" he whispered and then allowed himself to fall back and fall apart gently into crystal shards. The Ring of the Lucii floated away, then quickly and completely disintegrated. In the Throne room, the crystal went dark before shattering over the Throne and Noctis' body where it was slumped over the sword.
It was over, the line of Lucis was dead, the light returned to Eos. The Astrals no longer tied to the people of the world in any way. So there was no one to witness the young woman who appeared within the swirling realm and then beside her an ageless man. "So he is the one?" the man asked, and she nodded.
"Yes," she smiled as the crystal shards gathered together before her hands.
"His life will be no less hard," he warned, and she nodded.
"But he will have the chance to live a full life and to eventually be happy. He won't be alone, though it will take time."
"Very well," the man with golden eyes took the shards from her, cradling them close. "Welcome little one," he murmured before vanishing with the shards and she smiled sadly.
"Goodbye oh King of Light, may you one day know peace and happiness," she murmured before fading away.
In a delivery ward, a young redheaded woman panted through a contraction, her husband supporting her.
"That's it Lily, you're doing wonderfully," he coached as she worked to bring their child into the world.
No one saw the golden eyed man that appeared, still cradling the shards, and he moved towards her, pressing them to her womb, watching them sink down and into the baby within, the baby that should have been stillborn. "Good luck Chosen One," he murmured before disappearing.
Lord Voldemort stepped over the body of the woman he had just killed to stare down at the crying toddler in the crib. He had promised to spare her for Severus, but she had left him no choice but to kill her to get to the child. There didn't seem to be anything special about the brat but better safe than sorry. He raised his wand and the child stared up at him with tear-filled green eyes that he could have sworn flashed midnight blue for a second. "Avada Kedavra," he spoke the spell and the flash of green left his wand to impact the child as a white flash rose to meet it. He heard the babe scream and then the spell backlashed onto his body, destroying it, forcing him to flee as a wraith.
Petunia opened the door to collect the milk and frowned to find a basket on the doorstep. She leant down and froze, eyes wide in shock, as the basket moved, revealing a waking baby. Who left a baby on a doorstep in winter? She quickly picked the basket up and brought it inside as incredible green eyes blinked up at her…familiar green eyes. She shakily unwrapped the child and found a letter…a parchment letter. She opened it and pulled the letter out, reading the words she was expecting once she had seen his eyes, Lily and her husband were dead, killed by a wizarding terrorist. She frowned, beyond unhappy at the assumption she would raise the boy without being asked. They had nothing to do with those kind, they were normal and that was how she liked it. "Vernon!" She called out to her husband. This affected them all, were protections worth the price of raising her sisters son?
"Make the breakfast boy!" Petunia commanded as she unlocked the cupboard. He would be starting school in a few weeks, much to Vernon's annoyance. He would rather not waste the money on sending him to school but too many questions would be asked if they kept him home. Thankfully there had been few signs of any Freakishness from him over the years which made their lives easier. There had been that time when she'd shaved his hair but that had been the biggest sign. She just hoped it stayed that way, she did not look forward to trying to cover thigs up with the school or neighbours. He was a quiet boy, good at keeping out from under foot, did his chores with no complaint. If not for his heritage she would actually love her nephew.
Dudley was doing very well, growing up strong like his Dad. He had a good group of friends amongst respected families in the area. She would like him to be a little more active, sports scholarships were very helpful for getting into a good university after all. No child was totally perfect though.
"Kid look out!" a voice yelled.
Harry began to turn only to feel something slam into his body, throwing him up and away. He slammed into the concrete and everything went black.
"Call an ambulance!"
People rushed to surround the small body that lay twisted on the ground, the driver of the car staring on in horror. No one dared touched him in fear of making it worse but one of the men removed his jacket and lay it over the boy to try and keep him warm while they waited for the ambulance to arrive, all thankful the boy was still breathing. The police soon arrived to take statements and then the ambulance arrived and went to work stabilising him for transport to the hospital.
When the Dursley's were informed, the police took notice of their reactions and added that to the information that the child had been chased by a gang of kids that included his own cousin. When they arrived at the hospital he was already undergoing surgery.
Harry stared out the window from his hospital bed, taking in the dreary weather, it matched his mood.
"Good morning!" a cheerful voice called, and he looked over to see a nurse pushing a wheelchair. "You're starting therapy today Harry, isn't that exciting?" she sighed softly when he just shrugged. All the nurses loved little Harry, he was such an easy kid, it hurt them all to see him so withdrawn and listless. There were no guarantees, even with the surgery and now therapy, he may never walk again, his lower back a mess of scars, his spinal cord damaged. He stayed quiet as she gently lifted him and got him settled into the chair, wheeling him away to the pool.
It was such a sad case, a child abused by his guardians and badly bullied by his cousin, friendless because of the other boy. The adults had been arrested and sentenced to prison, leaving him with no guardians. At the moment he was in the care of the hospital, but it was likely he would be placed into foster care once released as no other family could be traced. The other boy had a paternal aunt who had made it clear she wanted nothing to do with little Harry.
Albus stared down at the sleeping boy on the bed, waiting for Poppy and Severus to join him. They were going over his medical file to see what had been done to him already. No one could have foreseen this and yet he blamed himself for it. He had seen the court case against the Dursley's, and it had sickened him. he had known young Harry would face ten hard years, but he had assumed that would be due to a lack of magic, not this.
"We can take him to Hogwarts now, Headmaster. I still believe he should be taken to St Mungo's for specialist care," Poppy told him as they walked into the room. "The poor boy," she gently brushed his hair back from his face, revealing the infamous scar.
"It is too dangerous to have him in such an accessible place. I trust you both to do your best for him."
"Very well," she went to work moving him from the bed and ensuring he would be safe during transport.
As soon as they had him in the private room attached to the infirmary they went to work. Diagnostic spells were used to get a deeper look at the injuries and the treatment given by the muggles.
"His spine was very nearly severed!" she gasped in horror. "Massive internal bleeding, scarring from both the injury and the muggle 'surgery'. The nerves are badly damaged, I doubt he can feel much let alone walk at the moment."
"I shall began brewing nerve restoratives immediately," Severus told her, staring down at the tiny boy. He was not at all what he had expected of James' Potter's spawn. This was no pampered price but a badly injured, abused little boy.
"Better add advanced Skele-Gro and muscle restoratives too," she told him, and he nodded, leaving to begin brewing.
"Will he recover?" Albus asked and she glanced at him.
"It's impossible to say, even for a magical, spinal injuries are serious. I believe with time he will walk again, but this injury will be with him for life in some way."
Albus watched as the boys legs were moved to keep them toned. It had been two months since they had retrieved him from the hospital and there was progress, although it was slow. The question was, what to do with him now? He still believed he would be safer in the muggle world but there was no longer a warder property and family to care for him. Perhaps the family of a muggleborns or half-blood could take him in, so long as they kept the magical world secret from him. he didn't like doing it, but his memories of Hogwarts would have to be removed, although they had done their best to keep the magic hidden. Poppy wouldn't like it, but it had to be done.
Harry woke up in a soft bed, feeling tired and confused. He looked around to see not a hospital but a bedroom. He pushed himself up on his arms and then stared as his toes twitched. He could move! He could feel them! He tossed the covers back and watched as the toes on both feet wriggled, although he winced at the pain it caused in his left leg.
"Good morning Harry," a gentle voice called.
He looked over to see a woman in the doorway, smiling at him. "Where am I?"
"My home, your home now as well. I will be your foster mother; my name is Maria Jordan. I have a son, Lee, who is two years older than you."
"How did I get here? I couldn't move and now I can," it didn't make any sense!
She walked over and sat beside his bed. "It's alright Harry, life has been very hard for you since the accident and you've been very sick as well. They said that some memory loss and 'fogginess' is to be expected. You arrived here last night and will be staying with us permanently, unless there is a family who apply to adopt you."
"Can I walk?" he asked, terrified. He'd heard the doctors; they'd said he probably wouldn't, but he could move his toes!
"With crutches at the moment," she pointed to where they rested against a chair, "but we all hope that with time and patience, you won't need them anymore."
"I'll go get your breakfast then we'll work on getting you up for the day," she patted his shoulder and left the room. She hated lying to the child, but Dumbledore had made it clear that he was to know nothing of the magical world until his Hogwarts letter arrived.
"Come on Harry! Catch me!" Lee yelled as Harry took a cautious step onto the grass.
He liked his foster brother, he was always so cheerful, but sometimes he pushed too much. There was no way Harry could catch him, he could barely walk without support, but he was trying! Lee was away most of the year at boarding school, but he was home for the summer now and they had a lot planned. Harry's tenth birthday was coming up at the end of July and he was looking forward to a trip to the beach, if he could manage without his walking stick. It would be nice if he could go to school this year without it, some of the kids teased him about it, saying only old people needed walking sticks and he would be glad to be rid of it, even if he still had to wear a brace on his left leg. He hadn't told anyone about the weird dreams that had started after the accident, of another accident involving cars, soldiers and some massive snake lady thing. The dreams were never the same, but all seemed connected, people he felt like he should know but didn't, magic and cars and monsters and swords. It wasn't real, it couldn't be, but it was comforting.
Harry jolted awake, wincing in pain, reaching down to rub at his leg, breathing heavily. He'd been dreaming again, of a wonderous citadel and a city that never slept. Of two boys, older than him, whose faces he could never see. He thought they were his friends, maybe, he'd never had a friend before so how would he know? Maybe his new school would be different? Glancing at the clock and deciding it was too late to bother trying to get more sleep he reached over to snag his walking stick and brace, putting it into the bathroom before coming back for clothing and then getting into the shower. Once done he strapped the brace on and left the walking stick in his room.
He swallowed two painkillers and then headed down the hall to the kitchen where he went to work happily. He didn't have to cook, not like at the Dursley's, but he enjoyed it and he was old enough to be trusted in the kitchen alone. It had been weird to find out that no one else thought it was normal for a five year old to be forced to cook. Maybe it was weird to be cooking on his birthday, but he didn't feel like sitting still, not after his dreams.
"Happy Birthday!" Lee half shouted, pouncing on his gently, tickling him and Harry shrieked, pushing him off.
"Breakfast will burn," he warned, playfully slapping his hand with the spatula. He grinned and ducked as Lee went to ruffle his hair.
"I'll set the table," the teen offered.
Lee quickly set the table for three, trying not to bounce in excitement. Today was the day! He kept glancing out the window, looking for any owls. He hated not telling his little brother about Hogwarts and magic, was worried he'd be mad at them for keeping quiet. It had been almost two years since the younger boy had been brought to them and he had loved having him there, even if he was off at Hogwarts for most of the year. He could understand why it had been kept quiet, if people knew what had happened to their hero… but keeping his heritage from Harry when everyone at school would know? It didn't seem fair to him.
He grinned as he spotted a barn owl approaching, it was too early for his letter. "Wanna check the post?" he offered as he poured out juice.
Harry frowned but went to the door and picked up the mail, sorting through it only to stop on a familiar envelope.
"Mum! Post's here!" he called, knowing she would want to see him open it. He glanced over Harry's shoulder, seeing it addressed to the ground floor bedroom of their home.
"Go on Harry, open it," she smiled as she joined them and Harry looked between them in confusion but slowly opened the envelope and pulled out the letter, reading it.
"Is this a joke?"
"No joke kiddo, we'll finally be going to the same school!"
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Harry read carefully. Magic…like in his dreams?