I do not own FMA:B or Harry Potter
Xing was a lovely country that housed more snakes than Amestris ever did but Aria found herself loving this place. It was nice in a way that Amestris wasn't, by that she meant that it felt safe or maybe that feeling was brought on by the fact she had Envy with her at almost all times now. Still, after being in Xing all these months, she'd managed to adapt to it in a way that was similar to how the Devil's Nest felt. She felt at home here in Xing although part of her wished that Envy would stop trying to dress her up like a doll, however, that was better than him going off to kill random people.
Now that she was thinking about it, both the Homunculi had really calmed down over the last few months especially Pride who now spends most of his time reading. Apparently gaining access to the royal library was enough for him to support Ling. In fact, he'd mentioned something about the library before he vanished this morning. So if he wasn't with his mom he was probably off reading some book that was boring enough to put her to sleep. She knew because he sometimes read aloud when she accompanied him. It never failed to help her fall asleep.
At the moment she was pretty happy, mainly because Ling had invited her to a cafe with only the two of them despite how many duties he now had as the official crown prince. Although it would take another year, Ling would become Emperor soon, all that was left was for him to find a wife before the ceremony. She didn't really know how she felt about that considering she got a dark feeling in her chest every time it was mentioned. It was different from the dread she'd been feeling for the last month so she couldn't simply shake it off.
"What about this blue jacket, it's cute," Envy asked taking her attention off her thoughts. Turning to face them she raised an eyebrow at the dark blue jacket they were holding in her direction. The barely concealed excitement in their eyes paired with the almost irrational grin on their face was slightly strange.
"Why are you so excited," she asked tilting her head in mild curiosity. The large grin on his face didn't change as he moved to hand her the jacket.
"This is your first date Aria, I have to be excited about it," they said brightly. Greed was probably going to kill them for not letting him know about this but they wanted Aria to be happy.
"You do know what a date is," they asked as she took the jacket. Her slow nod was enough to let them know that she did. The only issue was that Aria had never been on a date, it was likely she also didn't understand why she felt this way toward Ling. Well, it was only right as her older sibling to make sure she was happy. Grinning they asked, "Do you like Ling, as more than a friend?"
The question caused her to still. Did she like Ling? He was a good person, much better than herself. She didn't like seeing him in pain or upset nor did she like it when he spends a long time away from her. That was probably selfish of her since he was going to be Emperor, but it was how she felt. In a way, she supposed that she favored him as more than simply a friend. She liked spending time with him but it was different than how she felt about Greed and the others.
"I'm fond of him," she admitted causing the Homunculus to cackle. Cutting her gaze to the creature in front of her she wondered if he was going to start cheering.
"Oh, Greed is going to love this," Envy whispered before reaching out to pat her on the head saying, "consider this a date then."
Slipping on the jacket, she smiled softly causing the Homunculus to coo before they coughed trying to pretend that they hadn't made such a strange sound. Her amused glance was enough to let them know she wasn't going to let it go. Turning from the Homunculus she considered the open window for a moment before throwing herself forward. The wind rushing past her face as she fell was nothing compared to the roar of laughter from the Homunculus. Clapping her hands she condensed the moisture around her into a smooth slide of ice that carried her safely to the ground.
Not a single person was surprised at her display since she'd been doing this for weeks now. Jumping out windows was fun. The sound of loud clapping filled the air causing her to smile as Ling grinned at her with amusement. Neither Lan Fan nor Fu was with him today considering they were in charge of teaching the new recruits. Stalking to stand beside him, she gave a small nod that he returned.
"I caught Kimblee teaching some kids Alchemy earlier, I've been thinking of setting up a class for him to teach," he said brightly.
"He's a good teacher."
The words were said softly but were met with a loud laugh. Glancing at the girl beside him Ling could admit that he'd missed her while doing all his paperwork this past week. Although he had a lot to tell her, he was looking forward to the moment all this was over with. When he became Emperor he was going to have Envy deal with the paperwork as revenge for all the annoying comments he made. He would enjoy having the homunculus suffer.
More importantly, Aria looked adorable today. Her black hair was pinned back with a golden hairpin that bore the symbol of the Xing royal family but that wasn't the important part. There was a snowflake on the pin, it was adorable. The color matched her eyes. Stepping toward the cafe where they were going to have lunch he briefly wondered if Greed and the others were going to be stalking them today before brushing off the thought. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that the Homunculus was stalking them. It was a given that Envy would be following them as well.
Yuki Cafe was a cute snow-themed cafe that had opened up last week after a generous donation from the Imperial family, not that he would know anything about that. It was also one of the only cafe's in the capital that was run by one of his siblings. To keep with the snow theme they decorated the building in white along with dressing their servers in white uniforms. It was separated into two floors: the downstairs where most of the commoners came to enjoy the cafe and the upstairs reserved for royals. The upstairs was more like a darkened cave than anything else given that the back wall was a large fountain with fish swimming in the water he knew that his sibling had spent most of the money on it especially since it was cordoned off by a vinelike white railing that gave a full view of the floor below. He knew it was worth making a deal to clear the upper floor of the cafe when Aria's eyes lit up.
He was officially sixteen now, making him of marrying age in Xing. There was no longer any way for him to put off finding a fiance or rather he no longer had any choice. His father was bringing most of the unmarried nobles to the capital next week along with his siblings, so unless he found a bride before then he would be stuck with someone his father chose. That was why he'd decided to move up his plans while also avoiding Greed's anger. In truth, he knew that he was doing this wrong and that he should ask the Homunculus before he made any effort to talk to Aria about his situation, but he would rather not die. Not that he thought Greed would kill him but he was vaguely sure that having Aria's approval would make the situation tip in his favor.
He would also rather have his heart carved out by the Homunculus than deal with finding a noble bride.
Pulling out Aria's chair, he offered the girl a smile that was in no way fake before sitting down across from her. He knew she wasn't an idiot, it was likely that she already knew this wasn't just a date, but he also knew she wouldn't come out and ask him directly. She was far to polite to do that. Meeting her gaze, he didn't bother to stop the smile that was almost instinctive by now. Every time he smiled her eyes would light up just a little bit; he really hoped that meant she liked him too.
Watching a server bring out their lunch he offered the woman a small nod. The bright red clip on her vest meant she was a direct servant of his brother; he really hoped that meant the food wasn't poisoned. Either way, he waited until the woman left to speak. All he had to do was ask Aria to become his fiance that was it. The girl was a very blunt person and speaking around the subject would make her wary more than anything else.
"I'm glad you've adapted to Xing," he said despite meaning to say something completely different. He'd just chicked out again; at this point, he wondered if asking Envy to impersonate him to have this conversation might be easier.
"I like it here," she said softly. The small smile on her face was enough to make his own heat up.
"I like you," he blurted out causing her to stiffen. Watching the smile fade from her face and be replaced with a look of confusion he shifted nervously. Greed was going to murder him. Deciding to cut off the chance of her overthinking his confession into anything other than what it was he asked, "Aria will you give me permission to court you?"
The dull thud of her fork hitting the table was enough to snap her out of her shock. He wanted to court her from what she knew about Xing culture that meant she would become his fiance. They would eventually get married; he was basically asking her to marry him. She had no idea what to do. On one hand, she liked him but on the other the idea of marrying anyone was scary. She belonged to Greed, part of her felt he should be making this decision. Biting her lip she considered his request as her hand came up to run over her necklace.
It was the black choker around his neck that made her decision for her. The interlaced metal was the backdrop for the bright red Philosopher Stone that Greed had given him. Her Greed had long since approved of Ling so she could say with certainty that he would approve of the older teen now too. While Ling's request had caught her off guard she knew that he was someone that her father approved of as such she could make this decision without Greed getting angry.
There was also the fact that just having him ask the question made her feel warm and fuzzy but she would never base her decisions on something so trivial.
"Okay," she said causing the rapidly paling teen to relax. The agreement hung in the air between them for a long moment before Ling jolted as if only realizing now what she'd said. Taking a small bite of her sandwich Aria watched with amusement as he almost shook in his seat with a large grin on his face. The expression made him look like a happy puppy more than anything else.
Hi, so this is the last chapter of Black Ice. I decided to make the Harry Potter portion of this story its own thing, mainly because I got stuck and it's going to take me a little time to figure out how to get past my roadblock. So yeah, this is the last chapter; I've loved reading all your comments on this story and I'm honored that you took the time to read my story. I'll post an announcement once I've finished the first few chapters of the next part of this.
So, stay safe and have a good day