Disclaimer: not mine
Harry let his magic flow into the young man on the bed, sinking deep into his body and mind. Argentum moaned softly in his sleep, head rolling on the pillow but thanks to the sleeping spell he couldn't wake up. Harry blinked and looked at the younger male before closing his eyes, okay then, that definitely hadn't been a moan of pain. He first focused healing magic into his body, scanning for any sign of the Scourge, relieved to find nothing.
He then began scanning his body, finding something in his right wrist and upper arm and something just behind his left ear. He encased all three in magic to be safe for the moment, scanning them fully to go over later, before focusing on the dreaming mind, looking for his memories. His Dad had never had an equivalent of the mind arts and technically, Harry had never learnt them. He'd flat out refused when Dumbledore had tried to suggest he learn from Snape.
He'd turned to Poppy to learn the healing magics of his first home, taking what was useful and adding it to what he knew. Then he'd turned to his Godfather and the other remaining Marauder to learn magical combat. Finding out he had a Godfather who had spent almost all of Harry's life in prison when innocent…well, the Ministry had not been happy when he was done. He had learnt statecraft at the knee of an Oracle and candidates for King, Fudge and his toady had been nothing compared to a ballroom of Nobles.
It had been harder with Remus; the man had been totally absent from his life until his return from Eos. He'd made no attempt to contact him or even check on him. even if he was worried about the werewolf thing, Remus spent time in the non-magical world, he could use a phone or call or even walk past him on the street to make sure he was okay, and he had done none of that. They'd eventually worked things out, combat training had been a great way to work through his anger at the man.
It had been them to teach him the basics of the mind arts, letting Harry then experiment. He did better when he didn't know the rules, they limited creativity. If you didn't know something was impossible then often it could be done. Apparently his way of viewing thoughts and memories was one of those things that everyone 'knew' was 'impossible'.
Argentum had no mental defences, nothing to even slow Harry down. He went back as far as possible, finding vague images and emotions; images of tanks, cells, cold, sterile room, all of it tinged with fear. Moving forward he began to see rows of tiny children, heads shorn, skin pale, and their eyes…he felt sick, hit by waves of remembered fear and anxiety. A new memory appeared, of lying in a hard metal pod, trying to sleep, and then it had opened, and a man was leaning over…a man Harry recognised despite the fact he was considerably younger in the memory, it was Cor.
He looked shocked but then he slowly reached down, the memory feeling of fear growing but then turning to confusion when there was no pain, a warm hand brushing against the child's cheek. Harry could see the sorrow in Cor's eyes as he stared at the boy within the pod. To Cor's obvious surprise, and Harry's, Argentum reached up for Cor and the man responded, reaching into the pod to remove the monitoring equipment before carefully picking the boy up, bringing him to his chest.
'It's alright, I won't hurt you,' Cor whispered, a flash of blue magic and then he was wrapping a child sized black jacket around him, obviously one of Noctis'. It was also apparent that the boy didn't understand the words, but clung to him, shaking.
The escape from the facility was remembered in flashes of fighting and hiding, running and then a train and boat. Cor spent the whole trip, coaxing the child into learning to eat solid food and not the nutrient mix the facility fed them while teaching him to speak Lucian. The underweight, pale, child soldier, blossomed under his care, becoming the young man Harry had run into in that hallway. Cor even named him Prompto. Then there was the Citadel, medical tests, the fear returning, Cor sometimes there, sometimes gone. A new man who watched him from a distance and Harry could see the sorrow in Regis' eyes at what the Empire was doing to children.
A full memory solidified, Cor sitting on the bed, drawing Prompto into his lap. Now a healthy weight, his hair grown out some, he looked to be maybe five? Prompto cuddled against him, clinging, and Cor gently rubbed his back. Harry listened as Cor explained that Prompto would be leaving, that there was a family who wanted a child but couldn't have their own, that he would live with them as their son. Prompto was obviously confused, scared, but he trusted Cor.
The memories continued, meeting a man and woman, being given their name, Argentum. They were a real family at first but as the years passed they were present less and less in his memories. He watched Prompto gain weight as he struggled to feed himself properly, falling back on take out and sweets. Watching him see Noctis for the first time, seeing how lonely the Prince was, the small hope that maybe they could be friends and then they wouldn't be lonely, their first meeting and how it almost crushed Prompto. His finding the Oracle's dog and her letter to him, then the years of pushing himself to get better, to loose the weight. Harry smiled as Prompto introduced himself to Noctis on the first day of high school, how they became inseparable, best friends. He saw their own first meeting, Prompto's embarrassment over colliding, his thoughts on Harry's eyes, Ignis Scientia explaining who Harry was…he pulled out after that.
He had what he wanted; Prompto wasn't a sleeper agent or spy. He may have been made to be an MT, but thanks to Cor he'd been spared that fate. Harry took a deep breath and then picked up a limp arm, pushing back his sleeve to see the stark black lines of his barcode, rubbing his thumb over it. Prompto sighed in his sleep, fingers curling around his wrist, seeking human contact. He reached out and ran his fingers through soft blond hair, Prompto pressing into his touch. No, he wasn't dangerous.
"Sleep well," he whispered before vanishing.
Gladio looked up, seeing Noctis walking down the hall with Cor's cousin, the two talking softly. He honestly wasn't sure what he thought of the new Crownsguard. He was serving as a tutor for Noctis and it did make sense, the more varied teachers he had the better. It was strange how quickly he had become trusted, yes, he was the Marshal's family, but he had grown up in Imperial held Galahd with no idea of his heritage. Yet there had been no hesitation in leaving him alone with Noct, so what did they know that hadn't been shared? His Dad definitely knew something about Peverell, something that seemed to confuse him a little, but he still trusted him.
It was obvious that the guys immediate bonding with Noct had Prompto a little on edge, worried for his place in his life. After two years of friendship, the blond was still uncertain of his place in Noctis' life, and some of that was because Noctis sucked at talking about emotions. The other part was Prompto's lack of self-esteem which Gladio blamed on absent parents and the snide remarks he'd overheard once when picking them up about Prompto's heritage. Prompto had passed the Citadel security checks so Gladio wasn't worried about him being a Niff by birth. He'd lived in Insomnia since he was a kid, no way would the Empire send such a young spy or something. Cor himself had passed the blond.
Harry flicked through the pages of information, wishing he knew more about Solheim Magitek, to see how this differed. He wasn't an engineer of any kind, but he'd picked up a few things in exploring the ruins with his Dad. He'd also worked to get to know Earth's technology better when not swamped by training. This was still well beyond his level to do a lot with.
He was ninety eight percent sure that the barcode was mainly benign, a simple identification code that Niff tech could scan. Easier for the scientist than naming the thousands of children they made, made them less likely to see the poor things as human too. So long as Argentum didn't come into contact with something that could scan it, then he'd be fine.
The one in his upper arm seemed to be a port of some kind, designed to take something in, though he didn't know what. The one he was worried about was the one behind his ear, that seemed set up to not only transmit, but receive. His first impulse was to remove it, but the brain and spine were very delicate structures, far too easy to damage and the implant was tied into both. It could also be set to self-destruct if tampered with, he wouldn't put it passed them. For now it was fine, his magic ensuring all of them would remain dormant. He'd just have to check the shields every now and then to make sure they remained in place.
The lack of Scourge was good, but why did he smell like them then? Surely those three things weren't enough to affect his scent? He'd lived in Insomnia long enough that the scents he picked up at the facility should have faded. Had they all missed something about him? Or was it something in the process of how he had been born that left a permanent mark on his scent.
Titus saw Peverell walking with several other Crownsguard, laughing and chatting. Finding out the boy was Leonis' cousin was a surprise. Losing him from the Glaive had not been good, he had shown a high affinity for the Lucian magic, something he could have used. As an orphan with few ties he would have been a good candidate to lure away from any loyalty to Lucis. Turning the Immortal's cousin would have been quite the feather in his cap if the boy had remained in the Glaive. He'd had no way to argue his transfer though, he had pointed out that Peverell would be the only Galahdan in the Guard but that hadn't been enough, and he'd been allowed to keep his braids and beads.
Prompto grinned at Noct as they left the school, seeing the waiting car. He slowed when he spotted the person leaning against it, Harry Peverell. He'd thought Noct was free for the weekend, they'd been planning games and movies, with homework to keep Iggy happy.
"Harry?" Noctis called and Harry bowed.
"Just playing chauffer," he assured them, nodding to Prompto who offered a small smile in return. "Scientia had to stay back for some class meeting or something." He opened the back door for them, and they climbed in. Peverell got into the driver's seat and started the engine. "Your apartment?" he asked.
"Yeah, thanks Harry."
"No problem, this gets me out of paperwork," he flashed them a grin and Prompto found himself snickering. "Good day at school?" he pulled away from the school and into traffic.
"Not bad," Prompto offered when Noctis didn't seem like he was going to answer, proud of himself for not getting tongue tied for once. There was just something about him that always had him tripping over his own feet and finding it hard to say anything.
Finding out he was Cor's cousin had been a shock, Cor had never talked about family. Then again Cor didn't talk a lot about himself the few times he'd seen him since his adoption. He didn't remember a lot before Cor had appeared in his life, more feelings than anything; being terrified and cold all the time, voices shouting, the pain of needles, the pitch black of the sleeping pod…then Cor had been there, the first touch that hadn't hurt. He could remember reaching for him, just wanting something that didn't hurt, he hadn't understood a word Cor said but he'd felt safe with him and he had been.
Cor had been his rock in a world of confusion, the only reason he hadn't gone insane locked away in the medical ward when they'd arrived in Insomnia, undergoing test after test. He didn't remember a lot from that time, he'd been too scared by all the strangers, his Lucian not good enough to understand a lot of what was said. Looking back though, he thought the King himself had been there at least once.
It hadn't been just Noct's comment that time that had him holding back from approaching him again for so long. He'd been scared that he wouldn't be allowed to be his friend, that the King wouldn't want him around his son. Of course, looking back, if that were the case then he never would have been attending the same school as him. Still, approaching Noct on the first day of high school had been utterly nerve wracking. Though meeting Ignis and Gladio may have been even scarier.
Now there was Harry Peverell, slipping easily into Cor and Noct's lives and yeah, it scared him. Peverell was everything he wasn't, what if they liked him better and forgot about Prompto? Maybe it was silly, but he couldn't help feeling it.
"Got a fun weekend planned or is it all homework?"
"Both," Noct shrugged, looking out the window. "HARRY!" he yelled and Prompto felt Noct's magic fill the air even as Noctis shoved himself towards him.
The car went into a spin as Harry wrenched the wheel around and Prompto shoved himself into the corner, grabbing Noct to pull him closer, a weak shield forming around them as the other car skidded ever closer. He shut his eyes, not wanting to see. The sound of metal hitting metal was loud, the car moving with the impact but…Prompto opened his eyes and stared at the solid, golden, shield around them. But Noct's magic was blue…
"Here," Noctis panted, body rigid in Prompto's arms. "Prom? You okay?"
"I…I think so?" he couldn't….what had…
"Don't try to move you two."
"Harry?" Noct called.
"Stay till I'm sure it's safe." There was the sound of shoving, shattering crystal…magic and then the car rocked a bit.
They….they'd been hit…
"Prom? Hey, come on, breath," he heard Noct's voice faintly. He felt Noct moving, struggling with something, and then they were face to face. "Look at me Prompto, you need to breath."
Wasn't he breathing? Shaking hands ran over his body and he shivered.
"You're not hurt," Noct sounded really relieved. "You need to calm down, we're okay. Just breath with me."
Harry could hear Prompto's gasping breath but Noctis had it under control, he had to keep the two boys safe. He braced and kicked his door, using magic to give his kick the extra oomph needed to force the door open. He got out and looked around, seeing the gawking bystanders and the other car, its horn blaring. He hit the emergency signal on his phone and summoned a sword before approaching the vehicle. While it wasn't likely an assassination attempt, he still needed to be on guard. His shield spell would keep the boys safe while he investigated, though he hoped he could drop it before too many people noticed since the colour would give away that it wasn't the Prince's magic.
"Crownsguard! Back up!" he yelled to the onlookers who obeyed, whispers breaking out over who might be in the car. He glanced into the car, seeing the driver slumped over the wheel, blood pouring from a head wound. He got his phone out as it rang. "We got hit by a car. The boys are shielded, other driver needs an ambulance," he said as soon as he picked up.
"Assassination or accident?" Cor asked.
"Looks like an accident at the moment but…"
"Nearest Guards are on the way already. Keep the boys with you until we're sure."
"Understood," he hung up and shoved his sword into the door, using it as a lever to force it open, swearing softly when he couldn't find a pulse.
He could hear sirens approaching and moved back to their car. He knocked on Prompto's door and Noctis shifted to hold him so Harry could open it. As soon as Harry had the door open he dropped the shield and Noctis released Prompto's seatbelt, the two of them getting the blond out of the car. Noctis scrambled out after him, crouching down, letting the bulk of the car act as a shield in case of snipers. Harry checked Prompto over, taking in his gasping breaths, wide eyes, and too pale skin. He couldn't detect any injuries, so it had to be shock. "There's a blanket under the front passenger seat," he told Noctis who yanked the door open and grabbed it, wrapping it around Prompto's shoulders.
"Shock?" he asked, and Harry nodded.
"How's your back?" he asked, knowing it was Noctis' weak point, and the Prince grimaced slightly.
Nyx looked over as Crowe touched her ear piece, listening to someone.
"Understood," she said and then looked at him. "We're being diverted to an accident downtown."
"Why us? That's Crownsguard duty," Libertus called.
"It's the Prince's car," she answered grimly.
"Step on it Tredd!" Nyx called and the van sped up, the emergency siren coming on as they all held on.
"Any status info?" Nyx asked her.
"No mention of fatalities yet."
That was a relief, if the Prince died…no, he wasn't going to think about that.
With the siren going, cars got out of their way, but it was still mid-afternoon traffic. By the time they reached the site, an ambulance was already there, pulling someone from a car. the piled out of the van, spreading out, Pelna and Sonitus warping up to watch their back just in case. Nyx and Crowe made straight for the wrecked Crownsguard car, seeing the damage on the driver's side. They moved around it to find the Prince crouched down, half supporting his friend who was shaking badly and glassy eyed.
"Harry," Nyx was surprised to see the other Galahdan, but the younger male looked up at him in relief, patting Prompto's shoulder before standing.
"Nyx," he managed a small smile.
"What happened?" he asked, glancing around.
"Looks like he ran a red light, hit us right in the side. No…the Prince saw it, threw up a shaky shield and got himself as far over to the passenger side as possible as it hit. Managed to kick my door out, hit the emergency signal, and checked the other car since they were safe in the shield, driver didn't have a pulse. Cor called then, he sent the ambulance and there's meant to be more Crownsguard coming. I got them out of the car to do a more in depth check. Prompto's in shock and the Prince's back is paining him."
"We were on the way back in from a mission, sounds like the Guard are stuck in traffic," Crowe explained as she knelt beside the two teens. "Hey there Blondie, how're you doing?"
He couldn't stop shaking, struggling not to gasp for air. It was so stupid; he wasn't even hurt! It was nothing compared to the pain he remembered as a kid. He could feel Noctis' arm around him, pressing his ear to his chest, telling him to breath with him, could see Crowe's worried look and passed her to Harry who's green eyes were dark with worry too. He was starting to see blackspots and he knew that wasn't good.
Harry knelt in front of him again, warm hands holding his head steady. "It's alright Prompto, look at me. You're okay," he murmured and Prompto found himself staring into green eyes, unable to look away. He felt strange, like he was floating, the fear fading…he took a deep breath, then another, and another. "That's it, you're doing wonderfully," he praised and slowly the world came back into proper focus, Prompto blinking in confusion. He felt fingers running through his hair and knew it was Noct, Noct who was holding him up.
"Prom?" Noctis asked.
"M'here," he mumbled, exhausted.
"Car's here, lets move," Nyx said and then Prompto felt himself being hauled to his feet, wavering. He felt an arm go around his waist and realised Harry was supporting him even as Crowe and Nyx took either side of Noctis to protect him as they made the run to the waiting car.
Noctis sat on the bed, arms crossed, annoyed. He barely had some bruises from where his seatbelt had dug in when he'd moved further than it technically reached to get to Prompto's side of the car. So far, everyone thought it had been his shaky shield that had saved them all and Prompto had been too out of it to be questioned. His best friend knew his magic though, knew his magic was blue, and there had been only one other person in the car. they'd have to tell him something but what? He glanced at the bed where Prompto was fast asleep under a heated blanket, still looking too pale as far as Noctis was concerned.
The door opened and Noctis relaxed as his Dad entered, Cor and Harry with him. "Dad," he whispered and then he was in his Dad's arms and he hugged back tight, fighting the urge to cry which was just silly cause he hadn't been hurt. It was a car accident, something that could happen to anyone.
"Noctis," his Dad whispered, relief and love clear in his voice.
"I'm okay," he was, he was, and he was not going to cry.