Transition by Firesword
Chapter Forty: Mates
Saturday, 7th October 2000. The Lovenest.
Draco wrapped his arms around Harry's waist and rested his chin familiarly on Harry's shoulder while they waited for the couple behind the door to respond.
"Come on in," Bluestone's voice replied cheerfully.
"They're up early," Draco remarked. Harry opened the door slightly and they peered in.
Bluestone was sitting rather sedately on a chair while Starkmind stood behind him and brushed his long, blue-black hair.
"And you're both dressed up," Starkmind said after several moments. "Where are you going?"
"We have a date."
"You have a date?"
"With Severus and Remus. Do you want to join us?" Draco asked.
Starkmind snickered. "I told him marrying Remus would make the two of them happy." The half-Veela looked smug for some reason.
"Although I am curious to find out how married life has changed your godfather, Draco," Bluestone lifted his face just a little so that he could look up at the wizard standing behind him, "but..."
Draco chuckled at the mischievous look Bluestone gave Starkmind. "Don't rock the house," he teased.
"Not to worry. With just a pair of wizards around, I don't think the house will rock all that much," Starkmind replied blandly.
Draco exchanged a look with Harry. "Were they hinting at something?" To his secret pleasure, his innocent question caused Harry to blush.
"And besides, we have laundry to do," Bluestone said.
"We're most likely return sometime in the late evening," Harry said uneasily.
Bluestone chuckled. "It's still the school term so where are you meeting them? Hogwarts?"
"Severus' house," Draco answered. "We're Floo-ing over to their place."
"I see. You two have fun then. Tease Severus for me," Starkmind said.
"We're getting out of your hair," Draco replied sardonically. "Enjoy yourselves."
The younger couple walked toward the stairs and Harry surprised Draco by hauling him up over the shoulder.
"Harry! Are you mad? Put me down!" Draco yelled.
"This is what you get for being too helpful," Harry muttered as they started their descent.
Draco froze. He definitely did not have plans about falling down the staircase and breaking his bones. However, it was difficult to stop from squirming since Harry was squeezing and rubbing his bottom in the most disturbing manner. "Bloody hell ... Harry, if you want to make it to Severus' house on time, you'd better stop - oh gods!" He did not know how Harry had achieved it, but Harry had given him a very stimulating spank.
"Harry..." Draco pouted sulkily when Harry set him down. His husband gave him an impish look. "You're cruel."
His dark-haired husband backed him up against the wall and Draco parted his lips in anticipation. Harry's warm breath played over them, and it drove him wild. However, Harry's lips were not quite touching him. Not yet anyway.
"It'll give you something to look forward to tonight." Harry's voice was really low, and it had sent shivers up his spine.
"Promise?" Draco asked somewhat breathlessly. The look in Harry's emerald eyes was very promising.
They were only ten minutes late for lunch. It was somewhat surprising that Snape did not reprimand them for being tardy. Instead, Snape had merely pushed them into the direction of the kitchen where Harry and Draco were able to enjoy the most incredible aromas. The scent of food cooked by the two Hogwarts teachers drove away their erotic needs and awakened their appetites. So it was not surprising that they ate more than what was probably good for them.
Harry leaned back in his chair and lazily returned Snape's sharp gaze. He heard something that sounded like 'greedy whelp' coming from the Potions Master's mouth but before he could say something, Draco stopped him. Harry stared balefully at the fair-headed wizard but the latter winked.
"You know, Severus, you look good with that ring on your finger," Draco drawled. "What's even better ... I can see Remus all over you."
Harry chuckled when alarm flickered in Snape's black eyes. "It's not something physical," Harry said helpfully since he understood quite well what Draco meant. He winked back at his lover.
Snape scowled at the two of them. "What are you smiling about?" he asked Remus Lupin grouchily.
Remus had a knowing smile plastered on his lips. "Nothing, Severus. I'm just pleased that they appreciated our cooking."
Snape snorted. "Liar," the wizard muttered. "Are the two of you ever moving out of the Lovenest?"
"We've gotten fond of the lovebird's company," Draco replied. "The need for more privacy isn't there."
"So we're staying," Harry said. "They don't want us to move away too. We're a family."
"Are you certain you are not overstaying your welcome?" Snape pressed on.
"Severus, we are not freeloaders," Draco said sharply.
Harry winced at the sharpness of Draco's voice. Remus distracted him by refilling his glass. "Thanks."
"By the way, Harry, did you know Hermione is pregnant?"
"Yeah, she told me on my birthday," Harry replied with a soft smile, determined not to show his sadness to the other wizards. He had asked why she did not come to his wedding ceremony and she had replied that Ron had threw the card away before she had gotten into the details. "I think she'll go into labor soon."
"I have the feeling that the baby will arrive very soon. Within the next several days, in fact," Remus said mildly.
"I wonder ... what if she gives birth on the tenth?" Harry grinned.
Draco did not look at him.
Harry smiled secretively.
Sunday, 8th October 2000. The woods at the back of the Lovenest.
Bluestone's expression was serious as he contemplated the cards in his hand. He sighed and drew another card from the deck. "Can you explain to me why we're playing a game of Exploding Snap?" He winced when his card did just that.
"We're playing this so that we won't be tempted to spy on Harry and Draco."
"But they're just dancing."
"I know but I really want to see their version of Veniera," Starkmind said gloomily. "By the way, did you get to see what Harry is going to give Draco?"
"Aha!" Bluestone exclaimed gleefully when his husband's card exploded. "Yes, I did. I'm sure Draco will feel like a prince."
"Lucky lad. It's so symbolic."
"I'm sure that's the reason why Harry wants to give it to him."
The fireplace started to rumble and two pairs of eyes swerved to stare at it expectantly.
"Who do you think it is?"
"I'm sure it's the twins. They seem rather fond of coming here."
"It'll be for the best if we move back a little."
They moved from the fireplace and at that moment, someone with shoulder-length, red hair slid out of the fireplace, and then joined by someone similar looking.
"See. I was right."
"Hello, Bluestone, Elaviel!" George greeted cheerfully and then he looked around. "Where are Harry and Draco?"
"Dancing in the woods. Just follow the pebble trail."
"Wait, Hermione's almost ready, and I'm sure we'll have another Weasley in the family by next weekend. Do come to The Burrow," George said.
Bluestone laughed at the twins' excitement. "I'm sure we will."
Harry felt that wild rush of excitement in his veins as he watched Draco spin to the music only they could hear. A proud smile touched his lips as his heart started to beat quickly.
"Like what you see?" Draco murmured inquisitively.
"Damn ... you're gorgeous," Harry replied with a voice thick with amazement. His eyes raked over the relaxing form before stopping to stare deeply into Draco's silver eyes. "You look ... your hair..."
Draco threw his head back and laughed. "I knew I did the right thing by keeping it long."
Harry was still acting dreamy-like but he was snapped out of it when the silver-haired Potions teacher jumped into his arms. He lost his balance and they collapsed on top of the soft pile of autumn leaves.
His breath was caught in his throat as Draco's hair had surrounded him like a blanket. He saw only Draco.
"You really make me feel special when you look at me like that," Draco whispered.
Harry grinned slightly and braced himself up using his elbows. Their lips met in a loving kiss and they kissed uninterrupted for about ten seconds.
"Sorry to interrupt you, lovebirds, but we carry a message from out mighty sister-in-law."
"The lovely and pregnant Hermione trusts us-"
"- and no one else-"
"- to inform you that-"
"- your presence is required on the day that she is in labor."
Since Draco's hair had screened his vision of their environment, he had not been aware of the Weasley twins creeping up on them. However, since Fred and George had spoken, Harry knew that they were not alone anymore and he was glad of Draco's long hair.
"Married life seems pretty exciting. Don't you think so, Fred?"
"Why don't the two of you get out from under that hair? Unless you want to play peek-a-boo?"
"Save that for your nephews or nieces, pumpkins," Draco said with a slight toss of his head. Harry groaned at the loss of cover and sat up.
"Harry, is Draco all right?"
"Pumpkins?" Fred repeated ridiculously.
"I think he is." Harry shrugged. He stood up with Draco's help and looked back at the twins. "But Ron-"
"Hermione says she doesn't care what Ron thinks, but she wants you to be there," Fred said firmly.
George gave Harry and envelope. "It says everything here."
Tuesday, 10th October 2000.
Draco was so used to Stachrin by now that he was able to ignore the discomfort inside him, especially in his stomach. He smiled ruefully as he knew that his bottom would ache once he dismounted. He sighed and turned his attention inward.
It was his birthday but he still had not received anything from his lover. He knew he should not be sulking - he still had several more hour of the night before he had real reasons to go into a sulk. I just hope Harry would not decide to stay at The Burrow too long, Draco thought worriedly.
Fred's face had appeared in the fire when the couples of the Lovenest had been warming up in the living room. In a very excited voice, Fred had urged Harry and Draco to get over to The Burrow at once.
"Get your arses down here. Hermione's baby is arriving soon. Oh, you can't Floo by the way. For some reason, Dad has disconnected it temporarily from the Network," the red-haired wizard had informed them.
Harry and Draco could have Apparated - it would have saved time, but Harry had insisted on riding Stachrin to get there.
Draco opened his mouth to ask Harry how long the ride was going to be but then remembered that talking while riding would probably make him bite his tongue. He sighed and pressed the side of his face firmly to Harry's back.
Although Draco had closed his eyes, he had not dozed off, and so he was aware of the moment Stachrin started to slow into a canter. When Draco opened his eyes, The Burrow loomed larger into view.
"Harry!" a girl shrieked.
That sounded like Ginny Weasley. Draco peered over Harry's shoulder and saw the young witch bounding over to greet them.
"Hello, Ginny. How are you?" Harry's voice was cheerful.
They dismounted carefully and to Draco's embarrassment, Ginny insisted on a huge, bear hug. Draco was about to disentangle himself from the girl and her hair when three of her siblings hurried in their direction. Trouble. The word floated in Draco's mind as his eyes focused on a charging Ron.
"Get out," Ron hissed. "You're not invited."
"Not invited by you perhaps, but we came because Hermione wanted us to be here," Draco said in an emotionless voice.
"Shut up, Malfoy!"
"I don't think I will. I don't mean to be rude, Weasel, but I want to remind you that your wife has her rights. If she wants our presence, then we are going to stay," Draco said flatly.
"You are not going up!"
His eyes glittered. "You know what, Ron? You're a bloody, selfish, little boar. Just because you have decided not to be friends with Harry, doesn't mean Hermione should follow your decision, just because she's your bloody wife. I don't know if you realize that the world is starting to accept females as equals already."
Harry was giving him a pleading look. Draco shook his head. "Shush." Then he turned back to Ron. "I really should hex you, Weasel. Do you realize that you're the only one who drifted away when Harry needed help most? I noticed that Hermione is always around when he needs someone." Draco glared at Ron, who by now had turned purple with rage. "Can't handle it that a Malfoy is reprimanding you for your attitude? I haven't finished, Weasel. As Harry's lover, I've learnt that it is necessary to be compromising, and therefore accepted you as Harry's friend. It's only right that I do so. But you, as Harry's so called 'best mate', did not even bother to be considerate to his choices."
"I don't have a problem with Harry, you git! It's you!"
"Ah. So it's me. We're all aware of that. So why did you stop being his friend?"
Ron gaped at him.
"You've hurt him, you know. But you don't because you don't live with him, and you don't have to see it in his eyes. However, I do and there's nothing I could do about it. Only you could."
He had much more to say but he was suddenly dragged away by the Weasley twins into the house. "Let go of me," he growled.
"It's almost hard to believe but you have changed, Draco," Fred said promptly.
"He spoke like a bloody Hufflepuff," George agreed.
"I'm not a bloody Hufflepuff! I'm a Slytherin!"
"What's all the shouting?"
"Nothing, Mum! Draco and Harry are already here!"
"Really?" Hermione's voice echoed throughout the house.
"Uh ... I think we should go somewhere else. Her screaming is making me nervous," George muttered.
Harry stared at Ron in silence. Behind him, Stachrin snorted and pawed at the ground before moving away to the side to graze. Ginny still stood uneasily beside him.
"Why don't the two of you go back to being friends?" Ginny suggested. "But that's my own opinion. You have to make your own decisions so I'll leave you to it." When Ginny left, Harry suddenly felt lonely.
He knew that he was going to anger Ron further but he had to say it. "I'm still Hermione's friend. You can't stop us from talking to each other," he said softly. "Ron, Draco's my lover, my partner, and I will never leave him just because you don't like him. I still want you to be my friend, I still want to be yours but I can't do it at the price of losing Draco."
Ron was silent.
Harry's eyes were shadowed again by loneliness and hurt but they were quickly replaced by blankness. "We'll go off immediately just as soon as Hermione gives birth." He turned to find Draco.
"Friendship can't be bought," a voice said quietly behind him. "Screw it. Harry..."
Warmth surrounded him as Ron's arms pulled him for a hug.
"I'm sorry ... I though Malfoy was having you on..."
Harry did not why but he started to laugh.
Ron's face turned red and he spluttered. "I mean ... taking advantage of you."
Harry swallowed his laughter. "No." He gulped. "He wasn't."
"What?" Ron yelped. "I thought it was a joke."
Harry stared unblinkingly at him.
"I thought the twins sent the card ... and they were talking and laughing about it continuously. And you didn't send one to my mum."
"No, Ron. I sent two to The Burrow, but your brothers did not receive it. So I take it that the twins read Hermione's card before she did?" Harry smiled faintly when Ron squirmed nervously. "Well, never mind."
Ron and Harry started to walk rather aimlessly about the yard.
"So did you have any problems?"
"Lots of it. Most had to do with the person connected to the Quidditch disaster. However, we did suffer some things heterosexual couples do. It's quite uncomfortable when we fight, especially if it's brought on by jealousy."
"What? He cheated on you?"
"Nothing like that! It's just that we were insecure at that time. I think that Draco had to handle the worst part of it."
"He probably deserved it," Ron snorted.
"Ron, how would you like to consider the notion that witches as well as wizards are after Hermione?" Harry asked sweetly.
"Harry! Ron!" Ginny stopped in front of them. She was panting heavily. "Hermione - she asked whether Harry can be the godfather of the first-born."
"What?" Harry gasped.
"Tell her I said all right," Ron said casually.
"Ron!" Harry's eyes went very wide.
"I'll tell her!" Ginny ran back into the house.
"We had this talk a long time ago, before you and Draco ... Anyway, I thought it'll be cool if you are my child's godfather."
"But why me? What about Fred and George? Or Bill? Or Charlie?"
"What makes you think this is the only child we're going to have?"
They came around the bend and Harry saw his husband sipping on something calmly, accompanied by the Weasley twins.
"I see that you haven't killed each other," the silver-eyed wizard said calmly.
"Since when did the two of you become friends with him?" Ron demanded of his brothers.
"Oh, don't worry. He's not a friend."
"But he's an annoying, lucky git who's like a brother."
Before Draco or Ron could start on another argument, the wailing of a baby filled the air. Fred and George started to cheer loudly and in their excitement, they slapped Draco's back and the silver-haired wizard accidentally poured the contents of his glass on Ron's chest.
"Just use magic to clean it up, you dolt," Draco growled and sidled next to Harry. "So you and him ... everything all right?" Draco asked in a soft voice.
"Yeah, we're all right," Harry. Then he leaned toward his husband and kissed Draco softly on the lips. "I love you," he murmured.
"I love you too, Harry."
"Merlin's beard! Do you behave like that even in public?" Ron asked grumpily.
"No," Draco answered.
"If I feel like kissing my own husband, I will kiss him." Draco's expression was full of sarcasm. "At least I have the manners not to grope my husband in a place where anyone could come in and witness it."
"What in the hell were you trying to imply?"
Fifteen minutes later, Ginny burst out of the backdoor with a huge grin on her face. "Harry, Draco! Hermione wants to see you!"
"What about me?" Ron asked anxiously. "Is she all right?"
"Don't be silly - of course she wants to see you!"
The medi-witch who had helped with the delivery was coming down from the stairs when Harry, Draco and Ron reached the bottom of the rickety steps. Harry glanced at his fair-headed lover. Although Draco looked a little dubious as he regarded the staircase, the blonde chose not to comment.
Harry did not see the babies wrapped in the huge, lime green blanket at first because his attention was on Hermione. He assumed there was only one child. "Hello, Hermione."
"Hello, Harry." The witch smiled weakly. "Come over here. You too, Draco."
"There's a bit of a problem, Ron, but I know just the way to solve it. Harry can't be godfather to all of our children ... too much to handle, I think," she said blithely. "Harry," Hermione handed a baby to the raven-haired wizard carefully, "this is Fabian."
Mrs. Weasley, who was still in the room, aided Harry how to hold the newborn.
"Draco, this is Morgan."
"Hermione!" Ron exclaimed, his voice rather strained.
"Yes, Ron?" Although Hermione sounded weak, her eyes twinkled brightly with mirth.
"Harry," Draco's face was a little pale, "is your friend serious?"
"I am, Draco." Hermione chuckled. "I should have expected I'd be having twins."
"What? You mean - didn't you go for check-ups or something?" Harry asked curiously. Hermione shook her head in response.
Hermione gave Ron that particular stare and Harry chuckled slightly, amused by its effectiveness.
"Yes, dear," Ron gave in.
Harry and Draco looked at each other, and became mirrors of a kind as the stood beside the bed. The tranquil moment broke when loud voices demanded to be let in to see the newborn babies. Draco anxiously handed Morgan back to Hermione while Harry gave Fabian to Ron. They acted just in time, for the room suddenly became crowded with red-haired individuals.
In the confusion, Harry and Draco managed to slip out of the room and the couple proceeded to the kitchen. Harry left a note, weighed down by Draco's presents, on the kitchen table.
"Shouldn't we tell them that we are leaving?" Draco gave him a look of confusion.
"It's all right, Draco. They will understand. I've left them a note."
"I hope you won't mind that we're coming back on Saturday." Harry chewed on his lower lip and hoped that Draco would not be irked by his plan.
"As you wish," Draco said in a resigned tone.
"Just how did you know Hermione would be having twins?" Harry asked curiously.
Draco shrugged. "A hunch."
It was close to ten at night when Harry and Draco got home, and they were instantly bombarded by questions from Starkmind and Bluestone. After an hour or so, Harry hinted to Starkmind that they were tired. When the Veelas started to take on mild expressions, Draco gave Harry a very suspicious look.
"What?" Draco growled low.
"Care to join me in the tub?" Harry asked meekly.
Starkmind and Bluestone sniggered, and Draco frowned at their impishness. Then the gray-eyed wizard made a soft noise at the back of his throat and stood.
Harry followed his husband and held Draco by the waist as they ascended the staircase.
"I wish we don't have to work tomorrow," Draco sighed as they entered their bedroom.
"Me too," Harry agreed. "One of these days, we'll take a vacation." He started to undress and negligently threw his clothing into the laundry basket. "For now however..." He approached Draco with a feral look in his eyes, and that evoked a similarly naughty expression from his husband. He put a slight sway in his walk and Draco seemed mesmerized by the movement of his naked hips.
Harry fixed his eyes on Draco's face while he skillfully undressed his lover. By the time Draco was naked, Harry found that both of them sported erections. For some reason, it seemed highly possible that they would engage on some late night activities.
He kissed Draco briefly on the lips and backed off. "Come," he said huskily and walked backwards to the bathroom. He chuckled softly, because Draco followed him with a somewhat fascinated expression.
"I don't know if you know this, Harry, but you look delicious."
"Thank you, Draco." Harry climbed into the tub and Draco carefully straddled his lap uninvited. He arched his eyebrow inquiringly.
"Hey, I have a permit."
Harry snorted in amusement and waved his hand at the tap. Water began to flow and as the tub filled up, Draco dropped some scented oils into the water. The flow of water stopped when Harry used his magic to turn it off. Then he studied Draco thoughtfully and rather absently, Harry scooped up some water in his hand and bathed Draco's back gently.
Soon, they were bathing each other tenderly, and their caresses were loving and exploratory. In Harry's thinking, it was also frustrating and exciting at the same time.
"I think we've been in the water long enough," he said hoarsely and pulled the stopper using his toes.
Draco only nodded but Harry noticed that his lover's eyes were unfocused.
"Love?" Harry tilted his head to one side and regarded his husband questioningly.
"What? Oh - sorry." Draco started to stand and Harry's animalistic side nearly made him grab Draco's knees and worship the curved length above his face. However, he got out of the tub and stood motionless because Draco began to dry him carefully using a towel.
"You smell good."
He licked his lips as Draco started to nuzzle his neck. "We smell like cinnamon."
Draco chuckled against his damp skin. "I guess we do at that."
Harry's breathing quickened when Draco's tongue licked him from the base of his ear and down to his shoulder.
"Come," Harry said softly and tugged gently at Draco's hand. "I have something for you." He smiled loving at the hopeful glimmer in Draco's eyes.
They stepped out of the bathroom and Harry made Draco stand in front of the full-length mirror.
"I need to blindfold you."
Draco's eyes widened in horror.
"No, love. Don't look at me like that. I just don't want you to peek."
"Oh." Draco looked slightly sheepish.
Harry grinned and muttered a spell. Thick, black cloth appeared and wrapped itself around Draco's head. "Is this okay? Is it too tight?"
"No, it's okay."
"Can you see what I'm doing?" Harry waved his hand repeatedly in front of Draco's face.
"I can tell you're waving at me, but I can't actually see your hand."
"Okay." Harry opened the drawer and muttered a spell to reveal his gift.
Draco wondered if Harry knew how excited he was, although the gift was simple and predictable. Harry had given him a necklace and Draco could not wait for his blindfold to be removed.
Finally, finally, Harry magicked the cloth away and Draco saw the loving look in Harry's eyes reflected in the mirror first. He smiled and lowered his gaze, and stared.
A dragon coiled around the full moon hung on the chain made of unicorn hair, something garner-colored, and strengthened further by white gold.
Draco stared at his reflection. His cheeks were slightly pink out of happiness and embarrassment. He could not believe his eyes and he wondered why the simple present was able to make him look like a prince.
"A magical prince clothed in moonlight," Harry murmured.
"Harry..." Draco turned around slowly. He blinked but tears kept coming and they blurred his vision. "Harry, thank you."
His husband chuckled, a deep, vibrant sound that lifted Draco's soul and enveloped it with happiness. A second later, Harry hugged him for additional effect.
"Happy birthday, Draco."
"Thank you," he repeated again in a hushed voice.
Dragon coiled around the moon. You make me feel so special.
"Do you like it?" Harry asked him anxiously.
"I do. Very much." Then Draco leapt and made Harry yelp in surprise. "Damn it, Harry. I am supposed to be twenty-one years of age, but this present of yours made me feel as though I'm ten," he said ruefully.
Harry looked down and looked up again. "I don't think you're ten anymore," Harry said demurely and with that, he pressed Draco's lower back forward, and Draco suppressed a groan of pleasure as his erection brushed deliciously against Harry's chest.
The raven-haired wizard laughed again. As Draco was carried to the bed, a thought filled his mind,
I think Harry laughs more often now that he's with me ... and I think I have as well.
He landed on the mattress with a soft grunt that quickly transformed into a moan as Harry kissed him.
I guess change, this time, is not a bad thing.
Then Draco shoved his thoughts away and focused on rolling Harry over instead. Since it was his birthday and Harry had given him such a wonderful present, he thought it was only right to give Harry something in return.
About fifteen minutes later, Harry's frustrated voice filled the bedroom.
"Draco! If you don't stop licking, I swear - damn ... Oh yes. Just like that..."
Draco's amused snort went unheard, but Bluestone and Starkmind thought they heard wet, slurping noises. However, since they had mated while the young couple was out, they were not so affected by the activity. Their only worry was whether their younger companions would have energy left for their classes in the morning. After exchanging a brief glance with each other, Bluestone and Starkmind shrugged and went to their bedroom to rest.
Saint Mungo's Hospital.
That was all he could remember.
"I still don't understand why you have to share my ward," the charming but insane Lockhart spoke.
He felt like it was something that he wanted.
"It's late. Aren't you going to bed? Or do you want to help me write this book?"
His eyes swept and focused on the man who sat cross-legged on the floor. He stared at Lockhart's golden hair. His body moved on his own accord and within seconds, he pinned his companion to the floor.
"Oh! Do you want to sleep on the floor with me? I'll get a blanket!"
"Mine," Knight growled. "Mine." Then he pressed his lips against Lockhart, who fortunately had enough sense not to speak. "Mine. To protect," he said harshly and he looked deeply into Lockhart's confused eyes.
"Do I know you? Do you know me? Who are you?"
Knight shook his head and Lockhart fell silent.
Blonde. That was all he remembered.