A/N: Well it took me long enough and I have no excuse – I just suck. I'm not completely happy with this chapter but considering it took about 7 months to write… ACK! I cannot believe I let this sit one chapter away from being done for 7 months!(HEADDESK!) Anyway – hope you like it, let me know either way! "Pet" is in the works.
Harry stared down in horror as the ridge that had formed across his lower belly started to split. Terrified eyes shot up to the people around him, silently pleading for help before a scream of pain escaped between panicked breaths.
"Easy Harry," Lucius crooned, gently wiping the brunette's sweat dampened brow with a cool cloth, "we knew this would happen."
"No we didn't," he squeaked. "You had a theory, an assumption, a GUESS!"
The last word was another scream and Lucius saw the muscles of his mates' stomach contract, pulling the sides of the small split apart.
Merriweather looked concerned… but calm as he examined the widening opening. Charlie Weasley, their dragon expert guest for the last month and a half seemed calm, if a little pale, while Tom was close to tearing off the arms of his chair in the far corner of the room.
Harry screamed again and Lucius winced at the crack of breaking wood – that had been his favorite chair. Vainly trying to comfort his struggling mate he decided the chair was a small price to pay; all things considered, Tom was being very well behaved. It was obvious to the Draconians, if not to the Wizards, that the elder Drake was having a hard time dealing with the fact that his mate was in pain and there was nothing he could do about it.
They were all uncomfortable with Weasley and the Medi-Wizard's presence, even if intellectually they knew it was necessary.
Lucius personally found himself wanting to toss the Wizard across the room and have Tom kill him. Luckily his inner dragon seemed to understand that the man was helping so the urge wasn't overwhelming – but it was still there.
Harry's back bowed with the next contraction and the slit pulled fully open. Severus leaned over the panting brunette to block the view of Merriweather reaching in.
Lucius watched the man hesitate and then pull out a small bloody… balloon.
The blonde shot a quick glance at Weasley but the man looked puzzled – which did not ease the Slytherin's mind.
"Poppy," Merriweather called, "if you would be so good as to remove the sacs."
The woman slowly approached and Lucius narrowed his eyes at her while the Medi-Wizard removed another balloon. He couldn't stop his growl when the woman picked up a scalpel.
"Be calm Mister Malfoy, I believe the individual placentas around the babies did not break as they normally would and I am merely having Poppy remove them – we wouldn't want the little ones to suffocate."
Lucius nodded and tried to discretely cover the fangs that had formed over his eyeteeth at the scalpel's proximity to his children.
"Babies," Harry squeaked. "There's more than one?"
"Three so far Harry and we're not done yet!"
His little mate sounded a bit shell-shocked and Lucius himself felt rather faint. He sponged Harry's forehead again in an effort to distract himself as Merriweather removed another balloon.
Both Lucius and Severus however watched the nurse like a hawk as she quickly but carefully removed the thick membranes and then Lucius could see… his child. His and Tom's and Harry's child. The nurse used some sort of sucking device and the baby cried out.
Tom was across the room in an instant but before he could injure the Witch she slid the tiny towel wrapped bundle into his clawed hands and started on the second child.
Lucius found himself going back and forth between watching Merriweather clean up his small mate after removing a fifth babe, and watching Tom's stunned face as the darker man stared at the tiny bundle in his hand.
And they were tiny.
From butt to head the children fit in a single hand. Fear slid through the blonde, making all the tiny hairs on his body stand up.
The Medi-Wizard had just finished whatever after-birth things he had to do and covered the dozing Harry with a blanket when Lucius grabbed his arm.
"They're so tiny."
He watched Poppy wrap the fifth fussing child in a towel, "Are they healthy? Will they live? I've never seen a baby so small, and five-"
The blonde knew he was starting to lose it but the Wizard in him was starting to panic. Infant mortality rates were high in the Wizarding World; Harry wouldn't be able to cope if one or, Merlin forbid, all the children perished.
Merriweather's voice was calm and quiet, as if he knew the blonde just might fall apart, "Everything is fine Lucius. They are small but from what I've seen they look strong and healthy. Let's help Poppy clean them up and we can get opinion as well, hmmmm?"
Tom still held one child, three more were merrily trying to escape their swaddling on the padded tray table and Poppy was frowning slightly at the fifth.
"What," Lucius gasped out. "What's wrong?"
Poppy shook her head and then swaddled the infant, "You sirs are the proud fathers of two boys, two girls, and… one hermaphrodite."
The three Slytherins froze and Charlie crowed, "I knew it!"
"What do you mean a hermaphrodite," Tom asked.
Lucius found himself gasping like… well like a bloody Gryffindor!
"A Hermaphrodite Tom, is an individual having the reproductive organs of both the male and the female. We'll have to wait a few months for their magic sensitivity to die down before we can tell if both sets are functional or not."
"Why wouldn't they work?"
"Well there's always a chance – Muggle hermaphrodites have only one functional set. Most of the time the male organs are removed so that the child can live a 'normal' life."
"That's… that's barbaric!"
"That's the way it is – but I doubt you have anything to worry about. Between Harry's power and the Draconian heritage I'm sure this little one will be healthy in every respect. And the first Wizarding Hermaphrodite born in over four hundred years."
"And how would you say their health is," Merriweather prompted.
"Oh excellent! Of course we still need to wash them up a bit and weigh them and such but they all seem rather… robust for newborns."
Lucius felt the panic that had constricted his chest slowly unwind at the Nurse's words – of course, watching his children still trying to escape their blankets helped too.
A small, high pitched growl made them all jump. Looking down, Lucius spied the fifth baby, red-faced and angry struggling much harder than the rest. Carefully the blonde lifted the tiny, annoyed bundle and nuzzled it.
"You're going to drive me to distraction, just like your Mother aren't you, little one."
Tom chuckled, "I would say that's a safe bet."
Blinking down at his twice blessed child he noticed something else surprising… slit pupils.
He felt his dark haired mate come to stand beside him to examine the child, "Looks like we won't have to decide whether or not to use the Radix Acclaro spell after all, eh?"
Lucius quirked an eyebrow and looked over at the child in Tom's arms and saw Dragon's eyes there as well.
"Indeed," Poppy concurred while gently sponging down one of their daughters, "they are all displaying their eyes and this little dragon," she nodded at the bundle closest to her, "is trying to use his claws to escape." A small rip followed the Witch's words making them all chuckle.
"May I," Severus asked, gesturing to the escaping infant.
Lucius nodded to Tom who in turn nodded to the Potions' Master.
Severus gently lifted the squirming bundle while Poppy deftly maneuvered her now clean charge into an oversized sleep suit.
Lucius shook his head in disbelief.
Five infants all at once.
He had a feeling sleep had just become a thing of the past.
Harry lay on his stomach on a raised, padded platform – a daybed of sorts – with heavily carved, removeable, sides. It had been a gift to celebrate the birth of the five Malfoy-Riddle-Potter children, and was Harry's favorite place to spend time with said infants.
He'd had the piece set up in a sun drenched room closest to the moat; the water lapped gently at the stone walls of the room a mere three feet below the sill of a large arched window that he kept open most of the day allowing the moat monster to pop her head in and chat in parseltongue with him.
The moat monster, a young female Dragon Carp was almost as fascinated with the new babies as Harry was, something that amused the Gryffindor to no end. Of course it was no surprise really when every time the creature visited the children were doing something new. They were only two weeks old and already starting to roll around and coo.
Then too, each of the children had their own Queen 'Drachnid' as the spiders had been dubbed, and they would often converse with the lesser dragon.
The spiders and the Dragon Carp were the only creatures Harry could bear to let enter the room with the children. Not Lucius, not Tom, not anyone but himself, the children, and their pseudo-dragon guardians.
It was a compulsion that, while he now recognized, could not resist. The hour before the first dawn after the children's birth had seen the boy secreting the children into the room and sealing the doors. His mates had tried to force their way in but he'd paid them no mind until just after sundown when he'd unlocked the doors and returned the children to their nursery.
Luckily, by that time Tom and Lucius had calmed considerably and consulted, at length, with Charlie Weasley. The Dragon Handler had been with them for roughly three months now studying the Draconian's behavior and trying to put together the few remaining historical clues. He was putting together a treatise on their species, a handbook, to help not only themselves but their children.
Apparently Harry's behavior was perfectly normal. In nature Dragons no longer formed trios, there were too few left, but back in their heyday the Drake would go out to hunt during the day while the Egg Bearer would move the 'chicks' to the furthest reaches of the den leaving the Nest Guard to lay in the entrance. The few predators that could tackle a dragon attacked during the day when the larger Drake was away. Humans were the most successful hunters, having numbers on the side and greed for the valuable dragon parts to make them brave.
Harry was doing just as his ancestors had done, looking to the safety of his chicks while his Drake should be out hunting. Weasley had been intrigued that the Dragon Carp and the Drachnids were tolerated and had no real answer to the riddle other than that Harry did not see the creatures as a threat. They would have to wait and see Hermione's reaction when she birthed.
The birth of the hermaphroditic child, Syna, confirmed Weasley's theory that Harry was descended from the Hungarian Horn-tailed Dragon, or at least a close relative of it. The black scales of the wing that had formed during Harry's near assassination had narrowed the possibilities and the birth and confirmed it. Very few species had the ability to produce hermaphrodites and only one was black.
Harry hadn't realized that male pregnancy was not that common a thing in the Wizarding World. There were potions that made such things possible but they were dangerous. The fact that he'd become pregnant without the benefit of either potion or hermaphroditic traits demonstrated to everyone just how powerful the teen was, even if he didn't really see it himself.
Charlie had theorized that, based on the Horntail's breeding cycle, that Harry shouldn't go into heat again for roughly eight to ten years – assuming the Draconians shared the Dragons life span. That bit of news had relaxed Harry greatly, considering how few spells and potions worked on them it was doubtful that a contraception spell would have done anything and another year long pregnancy was not something he was looking forward to anytime soon.
So far they didn't have any theories on what dragon species the others had descended from – Harry was the only one who had managed to transform so far. Draco and Lucius were researching ways to induce a full transformation but work on that front was cautious, after all, no one wanted to get stuck as a ten ton reptile.
Hermione was busily rebuilding the education system of the Wizarding World, proposing bill after bill that were being legislated into law with very few, if any, protests. Next year would see the opening of the very first Wizarding Primary School where children from ages five to ten would begin their magical education with a firm foundation of history, theory and culture – both Muggle and Wizard. Their world may have to hide out of necessity but they could not blind themselves to the world outside their own.
The future was looking bright and for the first time in a long time Harry felt peaceful. He had his children, Syna, Xeven, Leander, Lucy and Josalyn; he had his mates Lucius and Tom; and he had his friends, Severus, Draco, and Hermione. He had a home. The war was over and he had everything he had ever wanted.
Life was good.