It was dark. It was silent. It was...empty.
But she had known that already. Had known what would happen when she died. And yet...
When she saw the light, it was only natural she went towards it. It reminded her of her friend. Of her friend, who was naturally inclined towards light magic.
The moment she touched the light, she heard something. Something strange, yet wonderful all the same. It was the squalling cry of a newborn infant.
She felt somewhat distant, yet at the same time protective of the infant girl. She seemed so happy, but then again she still had a heart.
Then the bad man came. He turned the strange wand at the baby, clearly intent on killing it. She didn't think about what might happen. She didn't care that she had been unable to affect anything in her current state. All she cared about was protecting that innocent heart from being destroyed.
Xion, Number 14 in the Organization, threw herself in front of the infant in what might as well be the most futile attempt to spare it's life.
The moment the light touched her, something strange and shocking happened.
She found herself in the Station of Awakening once again, only this time the infant was there as well. Except it's "heart" had been completely destroyed by the evil spell that had killed the mother. It would be less than a heartless, less than a Nobody like her.
It would be completely erased.
Xion approached the infant, unsure of what to do. Just picking it's silent form up made her incredibly sad.
Do you want to save the child?
Xion nearly jumped. It was the same voice that spoke to her when she first took up the keyblade, though she never remembered it after. After all, what reason would a Nobody remember a place like this once it was released from that place where all Nobodies drifted?
Do you want to save the child?
Xion didn't care about what it might cost her.
"Yes. I want to save it."
If you save it, there is no going back. It's heart shall become your own, and you'll forever be tied to it's body.
Xion looked at the tiny form in her arms. If she was understanding the voice right, then by saving it the infant's heart would become her own, and she would end up taking the infant's place... essentially binding their existences into the same person. Fragments of a broken shell that should have disappeared.
"What will happen to the infant?"
It's heart and the heart of it's parents shall join Kingdom Hearts, and be reborn anew when it is time. It shall know peace.
Xion nodded to herself, tears falling silently down her face. It was obviously too late for the infant...the curse had shattered it's Heart and there was no way to bring the 'heart' back. It wouldn't even be a Nobody.
But if she did this then it still had a chance to be reborn, as all Hearts had a chance of rebirth inside Kingdom Hearts.
"I'll take the infant's place," said Xion. It felt wrong to let such an innocent life be completely destroyed just because of a single spell.
So be it. When you awaken once more, you shall remember. Only then will your powers return to you.
Xion felt something latch onto her, and felt like she was falling once more.
All she would remember of that moment was feeling like something had grown inside her chest. Something wonderful...and at the same time, sad.
She blacked out and was awoken to the shriek of a woman she barely knew, and not with any fondness.
Petunia Dursley, the woman's sister and a rather nasty person all around. Xion had only followed the mother... no, her 'mother' Lily, once, to that woman's house, and she had not been pleasant.
The girl was strange. Some might say she was quiet, if they were being polite, and empty if they were being blunt.
Titania (everyone just called her Tania for short) wasn't exactly the most talkative of children. In fact many teachers would openly claim that the girl wasn't entirely there.
Petunia managed to avoid any suspicion by telling the truth, that the girl had seen her mother killed in front of her and she remembered the event.
Which was actually true. When questioned by concerned teachers, Tania gave a detailed account of a man coming into her room, saying something she didn't remember to her mother, and then a flash of light before her mother died.
To the police, it sounded as though her mother had been shot in front of her, and the trauma had imprinted itself rather thoroughly despite her young age. The fact she remembered the event in exacting detail said volumes of her intelligence and memory. However the doctors quickly realized that the girl had dissociated herself from the event, causing her to have what they called a "split personality".
Her name was Tania Marie Potter. She called herself Xion, but would answer to her 'given' name if she had to.
Petunia grit her teeth and bore the news in silence. She blamed those damn magic-wielding fools for dumping a damaged child on her family and demanding that she raise it. The girl was so empty that it was nearly impossible for her to treat her normally.
She didn't complain, she rarely spoke, and nothing seemed to kindle any interest whatsoever.
So Petunia did her best, and thankfully was able to give the girl something like a normal life. Primarily because she rarely, if ever, reacted to anything, so it was impossible for Vernon to take offense to her existence.
At this point she wasn't entirely sure that the girl even had magic, or if the trauma had caused it to be suppressed.
For ten long years, Petunia raised the girl as best she could. She bought her cheap, if pretty dresses that the girl wore without complaint. She taught her how to cook and clean, and many of the feminine things that she wished she could have taught her daughter, had Dudley not effectively rendered her barren when he came out. He had been a big child even at birth, and he had wrecked her up good when he was born.
So far they were on the waiting list for a little girl, once an infant became available. She was also well aware that they were watching like hawks on how they treated Tania.
Finally, after ten long years, the dreaded letter came. Except it brought something she never thought she'd see on her niece's face.
Emotion. Genuine emotion...namely confusion.
Fortunately Petunia was able to hide the fact Titania had magic from Vernon. He never would have accepted it, and it was a miracle her empty nature hid the fact she even had it.
Emotions fueled magic, as Petunia was very well aware.
While Vernon took Dudley shopping for school things, Petunia took Tania out for hers. As far as Vernon knew, the girl had been accepted into an exclusive private school in Scotland.
At least Lily had told her where to find the most popular magical alley...even if she had to hold Tania's hand in order to get in.
Tania was as indifferent as ever...right up until she heard something odd while they were passing the pet shop.
She whipped her head around, startling Petunia greatly. Tania never took an interest in anything.Well, except books and that was only to kill time. Her favorite treat was ice cream.
Seeing the odd animal with a red pom pom on it's head bound and tied inside a cage, Petunia noticed her niece was intent on it.
"You want to go inside?"
Tania looked at her and nodded.
"Alright, but you're taking care of anything we get, and that includes cleaning up after any shedding or messes it makes."
Tania went straight for the odd creature bound in the cage. It didn't look dangerous. The owner noticed her interest and sighed.
"You'd be better off looking at the cats, little lady. That thing keeps getting into trouble and brought back because it messes with your potion kits," he warned her.
Tania looked at him, and something made him flinch.
"Three sickles. Four if you want the cage too," he said.
From the rough overview of the currency, Petunia knew that he meant the silver pieces. Tania reached into her bag and pulled out three. Once she had the odd animal out of the cage, she unbound it.
"Thanks for letting me out of there, Kupo! It was getting really cramped, Kupo!"
"Shadow. Your name is Shadow," said Tania.
The odd creature paused, before looking at her properly. He seemed to know Tania, which was impossible.
"...Fourteen?" he asked carefully.
To the complete bafflement of Petunia and the owner, Tania nodded.
"Tania...do you know what that thing is?" asked Petunia.
"He's a Moogle. They specialize in creating things like potions," said Tania.
"...No brewing potions in our house, got it?" she told the odd creature. The 'Moogle' or whatever it was nodded.
"Yes, ma'am, kupo!"
"As long as he's in our house, he's to act like a doll until you're alone."
"Yes, Auntie," said Tania, hugging her new 'pet'.
"Good. Now the last items you're supposed to have are robes, your potion kit, and a wand. We'll save the wand for last and ask around where to find one, because I don't like that dodging looking one on the main street."
Ollivander might be famous for wands, but Petunia's finely honed OCD made her skin crawl just looking through the window. It looked like he hadn't bothered to dust properly in decades, and goodness knew what Tania might catch from the filth inside.
So she would look into alternatives.
Tania left Diagon with her aunt, this time armed with a strange robe that she would wear once she was on the train. However Shadow was already wearing an identical one, emblazoned with a symbol only Tania knew about.
Petunia didn't ask. If the odd creature brought her niece out of her self imposed shell, then she would tolerate it's existence in the house. At least it could speak English, which made it easier, even with that strange verbal tic.
Once safely inside her room, Shadow spoke up.
"What happened to you, Kupo? You just disappeared one day and soon after Roxas went rogue, kupo," asked Shadow, once again in the familiar garb of Organization 13. It wasn't a proper cloak of darkness, but he'd take it.
"I died. Then I was brought here by a strange light and someone asked if I would take the place of the infant that was killed. In exchange their Hearts would be restored and sent to Kingdom Hearts rather than be annihilated by that green spell," said Xion, sounding much more 'alive' than she had as Tania.
"Sounds like they were hit with the Killing Curse, kupo. Nasty thing, kupo," said Shadow, shaking his head sadly.
"I'm glad your here. At least now I won't be as alone as I thought," said Xion smiling.
"I'm glad to see you as well, Kupo. I was going bonkers in that cage and having to deal with these wizards, kupo! They actually took offense that I'm better at 'potions' than they are, kupo, and refused to listen to me!" complained Shadow.
Every time some pure blood bought him as a pet for their child, his paws would itch to snag potions ingredients to use them properly. The pure bloods didn't like that, and they really didn't like the fact he was better at brewing than they were. Eventually he kept being returned because he was a 'lesser beast that did not know his place'.
Ironically, Xion was his fourteenth owner.
At least he knew she wouldn't take offense to the fact he was better at potions.
Xion hugged the Moogle tightly. It was good to have a familiar face with her again.
Shadow hugged her back. He had been lonely too, and without his cloak he couldn't exactly leave this world.
She was falling again, but that was okay because she recognized this particular one.
The Station of Awakening.
She knew the drill, having gone through it before even if she didn't remember it. She chose the staff and the sword, as she had never been very good at defense, but she was very good at magic.
When she woke up, she concentrated on her hand...and her old keyblade appeared.
Shadow blinked at it, but dismissed it because he had already known Xion was a keyblade user. He rolled over and went back to sleep. However to Xion it was a sign. It meant that she had started the first step towards gaining her own heart, and not a copy of Kairi...her Somebody. Xion dismissed her weapon and curled around Shadow.
For the first time since being "reborn" as Titania Ivy Potter, she almost felt like she was home.
Elsewhere in the void...
Silver figures that danced in darkness all raised their heads. They had sensed the birth of a new Keyblade Bearer.
They sensed everything. Every birth, every death, every new Heartless. But it didn't effect them.
However...this was different. This was an entity like them, but not like them.
This was the rebirth of a Greater Nobody.
The lesser Nobodies chattered to themselves in excitement. Perhaps this was the moment they had been waiting for. The return of someone who could give them purpose. Something that would give them a reason to exist, and perhaps...hope. Hope that they could regain their hearts and become Somebodies again.
After all...the Greater Nobodies had slowly developed Hearts of their own, though they never recognized it.