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Fox Fire

Chapter Text

When Izuku was eight years old, he started seeing things. Perhaps in another life, this would simply be a product of his imagination, but magic was never so simple. He learned that very quickly- and shortly after, he realized that also applied to him. Or maybe that was the fault of the fox curled up on his bed, having just pushed him over the edge and looking smug.

With a huff, he sat up. “I have an alarm for a reason, Kazuha.” He muttered, before forcing himself to stand up. The fox just yawned and curled up with her back to him. He sighed, shaking his head as he began to get ready for the day. Throughout his getting dressed, checking his phone and ensuring his backpack was ready, Kazuha’s breathing had evened out to a slow pace- it didn’t look like she was going anywhere, anytime soon. Before he left to get breakfast, he closed the curtains by his bed. Even though it was legal to keep foxes- so long as they weren’t caught from the wild, which technically Kazuha was but she was complicated- the Midoriyas really just didn’t want that sort of attention.

As he set his backpack on his desk, once everything was packed and organized, Izuku leaned over the headboard to switch off the clock’s alarm before it could go off at the time he had intended on waking up. The last thing they needed was an angry fox spirit who’s nap was interrupted- that had been a nightmare, and he was not keen on repeating that ever .

Down the hall, Inko had just finished setting the table. “Good morning, Izuku- I heard a noise just a bit ago. Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. Kazuha just decided my alarm wasn’t good enough.” He huffed indignantly, though his frown quickly dissolved into laughter. Really, he could never stay grumpy around his mom, even if it was completely fake.

“She pushed you out of bed again? I think she just likes your pillows.”

“Probably. Especially after I’ve been warming them up all night for her.”

The two just shook their head, and took their seats. To anyone else, their house might look off- from dried herbs hanging on the wall and the hanging potted plants to the crystals and jars of various ingredients- some for cooking, some for rituals and more- scattered on various shelves and tabletops to the sigils on door frames, it was almost like a storybook. And that was just what a normal person could see. The two of them, however, had an even more fantastical sight before their eyes.

In the kitchen, three small, yellow fairies were amusing themselves on the still-cooling stovetop. One pretended to cook, miming out holding a pot and whisk the way Inko would, while the other two fawned over their skill in acting out a recipe. The three never once touched the surface of the stove or anything lingering on it however. After all, one never knew where iron hid in these modern times. By one of the pots hanging by the window, a green fairy and a blue spirit that looked like it was holding an umbrella investigated the leaves. The green one patted the soil proudly, while his companion giggled.

In other rooms of the house, Izuku was sure that there were similar occurrences. Maybe a little mushroom spirit had set up a home by the stairs outside, there’d been a lot more of the little walking mushroom caps than usual.

Had Izuku checked out the window while he ate his breakfast, he would have seen children and adults alike on their way to school and work already, passing through various creatures as if they didn’t exist- and in turn, they would ignore the humans, conversing with voices like whispers and thundering clouds alike (and sometimes at the same time, from the same source) as if they themselves were just humans stopping to chat on the sidewalk.

Really, quirks were cool and all, but Izuku felt truly sorry for anyone who couldn’t see the magic of the world around them.

Breakfast passed quickly, with an easy-going discussion about Inko’s plans for the day- really, she didn’t have much to do so it’d be nice to catch up on her favorite novels- and once the two cleared the table and wiped it down, Izuku stopped in the kitchen. The three fairies paused in their playing human and giggled almost as if they were plotting something. Izuku had long since learned that these three just sounded suspicious no matter what they did, and they truly were not malicious or even mischievous, just young and curious and enamored with the Midoriya household.

( Give it time , Kazuha had told him. All fae have their tricks, and these ones will be no different. But you provide shelter, entertainment and food they don’t normally get- no matter what, these little ones will treat you well. )

“Hello,” Izuku said quietly. “There’s some chocolate in the fridge. When I get home, we can share it.”

The one that had been acting out cooking squealed, pressing their hands to their face with a bright smile while the other two looked at him wide-eyed and awe-struck, as if he’d come from the heavens and blessed them. … Then again, they all adored candy and it was considered a rare delicacy since it wasn’t made in the courts, so to them he probably did. The trio nodded before darting off, a trail of excited chittering following them.

Chuckling to himself, Izuku grabbed a bowl from the cupboard and began plating a serving of rice. It wasn’t that he was still hungry, but every familiar had a set of rules. Foxes were no different. Every day, at the exact time of 7:15 a.m., Izuku would set a bowl of rice on the headboard of his bed where Kazuha’s small shrine was as an offering, and in return, she would lend him her guidance, her power and more.

Occasionally, on special days- be it holidays or days he just decided to make special for the fun of it, when he really needed that extra nice feeling- he’d include inarizushi, or cherry cakes. He also enjoyed just giving those to her for snacks while he did homework or relaxed, too, but the offering was important- and sometimes it was also important to spice it up a bit.

He couldn’t help but laugh as he glanced down at the fox spirit, curled up tightly still. “Enjoy your nap, Kazuha. I’ll be home soon.” He muttered, and he was met with a twitching ear but otherwise, she remained as she was.

It was time to finish getting ready, anyways.

Preparing to leave was simple enough- he already had his backpack ready, and with breakfast and the offering completed all he truly needed to take care of was his hygiene needs. Soon enough, Izuku was kissing his mother on the cheek at the door.

“Have a good day, Izuku!” Inko smiled warmly. From behind her hair, one of the yellow fairies peaked out and chirped.

“I’m counting on you to keep Mom company today.” Izuku told them seriously before returning his mother’s smile. “Tell me about your new book later, okay?”

And with that, he was out the door, sighing the moment it closed behind him. Sure, he liked learning- loved it, even. But sometimes it was hard to even think of going to school when he knew what his peers could be like. When he had first revealed that he was quirkless, everything had changed, after all. Not everyone was equal and he had been shoved face first to the bottom of the food chain. Once his magic had awoken though…

There was a certain guilt that came from lies, a heaviness in the pit of your stomach and bile in your throat. But ultimately, it was in passing his magic as a quirk that he was finally treated as an equal- a late bloomer, he and his mother claimed. And with that, it had all… stopped. Sometimes there were teasing jabs about how his ‘quirk’ had come so late, but otherwise, his classmates treated him better. Instead of weak and useless and quirkless, he was just a passionate nerd. To them, that was at least ten steps up.

But the funny thing is, when you treat someone like garbage, they have a hard time forgetting. A more bitter witch would probably curse them. Instead, Izuku swallowed his guilt and let them believe he was like them, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever truly let his guard down around his peers. Not that they would ever know.

No, he smiled politely at the boys running up the sidewalk to greet him and accompany him on their way to their school, and they’d talk about tv dramas and anime and heroes- if they were lucky they might catch a battle on the way. And to his delight, they did; Kamui Woods and the newly debuted Mount Lady teamed up, except it wasn’t really a team up and more Mount Lady stealing Kamui Woods’s thunder, and one of the other boys laughed when he started writing his observations down in the latest installment of his Hero Analysis for the Future notebooks before gently reminding him they did have to get to school.

And if his classmates hadn’t seen the near-ethereal men and women in kimonos that were two feet taller than anyone else in the crowd observing and gossiping, that was just their problem. As they passed, Izuku was sure to nod respectfully (were he not in a hurry he would have bowed properly) and offered them a smile. He was met with a similar nod and understanding whispers with no words, just a feeling of acknowledgement.

All around them, Izuku could see spirits, fae and youkai passing by, flying above or lingering in shops that the human eye couldn’t spot, and he couldn’t help but grin more- the other two boys walking with him assumed it was from the hero fight, and he made no effort to correct them. He just… really, truly adored the magical world. The mere thought of getting to see a new face was enough to make going to school worth it.

Even if occasionally some of them did try to distract him from his classes.