Disclaimer: not mine
Harry swung and Noctis ducked, lunging in and Harry parried easily, grinning at the younger male. "Better."
Noctis nodded and shifted his stance. Training with Harry was different than working with anyone else. He had a scary ability to predict his moves and counter them or simply not be there when Noctis expected the bow to connect. It wasn't phasing or warping, just pure speed. He liked the change from Gladio's sheer strength, making Harry his preferred sparring partner between the two, pity Harry was often too busy.
Harry eventually called an end to the session and they sat on the benches after stretching to cool down, drinking water. "I was talking with Cor the other week, you want Prompto to join your Retinue?" he asked and Noctis straightened slightly but nodded. "You're free tomorrow after school, does he have anything on?"
"No, he doesn't work tomorrow," Noctis answered, wondering where Harry was going with the questions.
"So if I picked you both up from school and brought you back here for training, firearms to make things different…" he trailed off with a grin and Noctis blinked before laughing.
"Sneaky but maybe it'll work. I…I hate the fact being my friend puts him in danger but at least if he could fight…"
"He'd stand a chance if something happens," Harry finished for him and Noctis nodded. "We'll get him trained if I have to drag him kicking and screaming," he promised.
Prompto waved as he spotted Harry waiting for them, slipping into the car with Noct.
"Have a good day?" Harry asked as he pulled away from the school.
"It's school, is there such a thing as a good day?" Noctis complained.
"Last day of term?" Prompto offered with a grin.
"Graduation day," Noctis countered.
Prompto said nothing as the car turned towards the Citadel rather than the apartment, the King and Cor had fixed his clearance so that he could move around pretty freely, it meant that he could go back with Noct and hang out in his rooms while Noctis was in a meeting and then they could spend time together. "Meeting?" he asked and Noct shook his head.
"Training, you can be my cheering squad, I need it against Harry."
Prompto glanced between his best friend and his newest friend, at least, he thought they were friends after the whole staying in his rooms thing.
Harry glanced at him in the rear-view mirror, smiling. "It'll be fun, you can laugh when Noctis falls on his royal backside."
Prompto laughed as Noctis grumbled about no respect. "Okay," he agreed, watching them wouldn't cause any harm. He missed the pleased looks the two exchanged at how easily he agreed.
Harry ran through some Armiger exercises with Noctis, happy with the way he had improved since Harry had started working with him. It let Noct show off a bit for Prompto, getting him more used to seeing magic used. Unlike the rest of them, he hadn't grown up around it after all, not that they knew Harry had. Harry nodded and Noctis sighed, stretching and wandering over to the bench Prompto was watching them from.
"Done already?" the blond sounded surprised.
"Just with this bit," Noctis answered him. "Come on, we're switching rooms," Noctis offered Prompto a hand, hauling him to his feet.
Harry finished cleaning up and they left, heading for the firing range. While very few people in Insomnia used guns, the Guard did train with them to get a hang of the basics which was why there was a firing range in the Citadel. Harry swiped his id card and opened the door to let them inside.
Prompto froze just inside the door, looking around with wide eyes. Harry gently nudged him forward and out of the doorway so he could get in as well, shutting the door behind himself. "A firing range?" Prompto asked, sounding a little confused and…wary?
"Yeah, for crossbows and guns," Noctis tugged him over to the wall where there was a bench for gear to be left on. Noctis dumped his bag and Prompto sat down, shifting nervously.
Harry offered him a smile, putting his own bag down, before going to the locked cabinet, opening it and withdrawing a standard handgun. "Okay, show me what you've got," he put it on the table with some ammunition and Noctis mock groaned but got to work. Harry sat down beside Prompto to watch Noctis. Yeah…he definitely needed a lot more work with projectile weapons. "He this bad at the games?"
"Yep," Prompto nodded, lips twitching in an effort not to smile.
"Want to show him how it's done?" Harry offered and Prompto froze.
Wide blue eyes stared at him. "What?"
"Want to?" Harry indicated the cabinet of weapons and the other targets set up along the other side of the room.
"I…I'm not…it's not allowed.." Prompto stammered and Harry reached out to clasp his shoulder.
"It is allowed, I double checked with Cor. In fact, it would make him happier if you did. It would be a relief to a lot of people."
Prompto stared at him in what appeared to be disbelief. "It…would?"
"Of course. Your friends love you Prompto and they hate that by being your friend, they're…we're… putting you in danger. If there's an attempt on Noctis, we're bound to defend him no matter the cost," he admitted quietly, seeing Prompto's shy smile when he changed to including himself in those that saw the blond as a friend…and then Prompto paled slightly when he said no matter the cost.
"No one wants you to get hurt Prompto, we hate that you're basically defenceless. Please, give training a chance?" he could tell why Prompto was hesitating, but he couldn't say anything since he shouldn't know the truth about the blond.
Prompto stared at Harry, part of him wanting to tell him why it was a horrible idea. Who knew what programming was buried in his head? If he hurt Noct…or anyone, he'd never forgive himself. The thought of Noctis getting hurt trying to protect him or someone grabbing him and using him against Noctis…of making the others have to abandon him to protect Noctis…it made him feel sick.
He looked over at where Noctis was practising and took a deep breath before standing up. "Okay."
Harry went and got him a gun and ammo. "Let's see what you know already," he offered and Prompto nodded shakily.
He put on the protective gear and checked the gun out before loading it. He glanced at Harry who nodded encouragingly so he took a deep breath and aimed at the target. He could do it, he could.
Noctis paused in his target practice, putting the gun down, turning to look, and he grinned as he saw Prompto out shooting him. He met his cousins' eye and Harry smirked at him. Okay, so his plan had worked where all else had failed. Seeing Prompto shoot, Noctis began mentally planning how to get him to realise he was serious about Prom joining the Crownsguard.
Before he could be caught watching and make Prompto nervous he went back to his own training.
Cor looked up as a rather pleased looking Harry walked into his office. The Prince placed what he was carrying down on his desk and Cor looked at the bullet holes in the targets, most of them in the bullseye, then the ones on the human shaped targets were all kill shots except one. "Prompto?" he asked, and Harry nodded.
"Took some explaining but he finally agreed to training. He can outshoot Noctis easily. I didn't try shooting against him, but I'd guess it'd be close. Once he's comfortable, I'll move on to crossbows since they're more common in the Guard. Hopefully he'll agree to learning hand to hand and some form of closer range weapon, even if it's just a knife as a backup."
Cor nodded, it was a good plan, so long as they could get Prompto to go along with it.
Harry walked into Regis' office and the door shut behind him, his cousin looking up from his paperwork to smile.
"Harry, come, sit," Regis motioned him forward, so he took a seat, waiting patiently for Regis to finish what he was working on. He eventually finished and set his pen aside, resting his arms on his desk. "How are you?"
"Good, busy with adding training Prompto into the schedule. Gladio and Ignis are helping there in coaxing him to take up hand to hand. Noctis is getting better too which is good."
"Well, you'll need to take a break. We have some time for Co to vanish for without anyone paying too much attention."
"The next Tomb?"
Regis nodded and showed him a map with the Tombs they knew of marked on it. once that was done he sent for refreshments and they moved to the sofa to just talk. It was hard to find time to just talk and get to know each other, they were both very busy, Regis even more than he was, but it was nice.
They may say they were cousins, but it was kind of like having Sirius and Remus back, a more Uncle relationship. Didn't stop him missing his Dad and Uncle Somnus but they were long gone.
Cor sliced the throat of the last Coeurl and glanced over at the young Prince to find him hoping on one foot, his other boot the mouth of the feline he had just killed. Cor smothered a chuckle and whipped out his phone, taking a photo to send to Regis later. The kid was always so serious that Regis would love the photo, not that he didn't have a reason for how he was.
Growing up with a single parent in Imperial controlled Galahd, with a foreign name, only to then risk everything to make it to Insomnia where he learnt he was related to the Lucis Caelum... maybe they needed to organise a week in Galdin for the kid, let him relax and unwind. Sooner or later, someone would work out the truth or it would be leaked, and Harry would only be safe within the Wall, just like Noctis, so he needed to make the most of his freedom to travel without being recognised while it lasted.
They walked the rest of the way up the path once Harry had his shoe back on, Cor smirking at the grumbling of the eldest Prince, and then he unlocked the Tomb, Harry slipping inside while Cor kept watch outside. He didn't need to go inside with him, the first two Kings had accepted Harry after all. When Harry emerged Cor raised an eyebrow and the kid shook his head but obediently summoned the Shield of the Just.
"The Tall is next, right?" Harry asked as they began the trek back to the car.
"Yeah, another one out in the open, although there have been some rumours about the Tomb having been raided since Regis' visit."
"Raided?" Harry frowned. "But if the weapons react to a Lucis Caelum, how would anyone steal it? The Tomb's still there, it's not like it was destroyed, right?" he asked, and Cor nodded, wondering the same thing. "Well I guess we'll know when we get there."
Harry moved into the silent Tomb, it felt different to the others…no magic. He glanced around at the broken statues and then the damaged sarcophagus. "It's not here," he said as Cor entered, blade in hand. "There's no magic left here." He spotted something and picked it up, finding a note in a messy scrawl. "Apparently the local hunters think it was taken by the daemons of Costlemark," he handed the note to Cor.
"We aren't tackling that," Cor stated, and Harry shrugged. He doubted it was any worse than travelling the world before Havens existed, but he couldn't exactly say that.
"We don't have enough time to reach any of the others before we're missed," he agreed.
Prompto grinned as he saw Harry leaning against the car, waiting for them. He'd been gone, off on a mission or something, and even Noct hadn't known for sure when he'd be back. Harry saw them and lifted a hand in greeting and Prompto caught Noctis smiling at the older teen.
It had been scary and nerve wracking at first, but he knew now that he wasn't going to lose Noct because he made a new friend. Besides, Harry was his friend now too. He was different to Ignis and Gladio, there was never any disapproval or exasperation, in his expression. He'd listen to him babble about absolutely nothing and like Noct there was always the feeling that he was really listening and not just humouring him. He was so patient too when it came to getting him to train, working with him when he surely had a lot of other, more important, things to do.
"Hey," Harry greeted as they all got in the car.
"I'm glad you're back," Prompto grinned and Harry smiled at him.
"Thanks, me too. I definitely prefer having access to a proper shower."
Prompto mock shuddered and Noct laughed. They chatted for the drive to Noct's apartment and after a glance at him, Noctis invited Harry to join them for a game night. Harry texted the Citadel to let someone know about the car and followed them up since picking them up had been the end of his work day.
Noctis opened the door to the training room and froze. "Dad?"
"Hello boys," his Dad greeted as Harry nudged him into walking into the room. He wasn't dressed in his normal suit but in more casual clothing and in his hand was a sword. "Care to show your old man how much you've improved?" he asked teasingly and Noctis looked at Harry who looked surprised as well but then he pushed Noctis towards his Dad.
"Have fun," Harry walked to the benches and sat down to watch.
Noctis dropped his bag and took a deep breath, it was just his Dad... who he'd never actually seen fight. He summoned the Engine Blade and moved into position. All he had was stories about how his Dad fought and the very vague memories of…well, he barely remembered anything that had happened that night and the fire had made everything look strange. Mostly he remember his Dad screaming his name and the dark blue of his magic filling the air.
He shook the memories off and met his Dad's eyes, seeing him smile before becoming serious.
Harry had been surprised to find Regis in the room and was glad they didn't have Prompto with them, poor guy would have had a panic attack at the idea of the King training with them. He had the feeling that depending on how long the fight lasted, he would be next. It would be good to test himself against a family member even if he did need to hold back to keep his cover story.
He thought that maybe one day, he would be ready to tell Noctis, maybe even Regis, but not yet. Living with so many secrets sucked but he just couldn't bring himself to tell them and risk everything he had now.
He grinned, laughing, when Noct pulled a move he'd taught him, taking Regis by surprise. The King smiled in pride at his son before launching into an attack that had Noctis on the defensive. He could see how much Noctis had improved in the last few months and thankfully the nerves at facing his own Father had faded, Noct giving his all to the fight.
The fight ended how they had all known it would, with Noctis on the ground, Regis' blade to his throat. Noctis let his own sword fade back to the Armiger, panting. The King pulled his sword away and then offered his son a hand up. They joined Harry at the benches, Noctis collapsing beside him, happily accepting the water bottle Harry held out to him.
"Stretch," Harry told him and Noct nodded tiredly. He looked at Regis who was winded but still ready to fight. He stood and stretched. "My turn?" he asked. "Or do you need a break old man?" he teased, hearing Noctis choke on his water even as Regis laughed, walking back to the middle of the room.
"I'll say nice things at your funeral Harry," Noctis finally offered as Harry moved to stand opposite Regis, summoning his sword.
"Show this 'old man' what you've got cousin," Regis smirked, and Harry grinned back at him.
Regis was happy with how well Noctis' skills had improved. he was even happier that Harry was feeling secure enough in their family relationship to tease him, not that he wasn't going to make him pay for the old man comment. He knew Harry would make him work for victory though, something he was looking forward to. Cor had told him of Harry's skills and now he would get to test them himself.