The dessert I mention on this chapter was found at but I must say I haven't tried yet, but that is something I soon intend to remedy.
Healer Redwood came out of the luxurious bedroom to face four very anxious pair of eyes. He was relieved to see that his young patient had people who cared for him. Merlin knew how much he needed.
"He is fine," he assured them, "He had a few shocks lately and that made his blood pressure oscillate a bit. He is eating his breakfast and I recommend bed rest for the rest of the morning at the very least. The whole day would be preferable."
"Of course, Healer," Narcissa volunteered, the three men in the room just nodded. "Is there anything else we could do?"
"Just make sure he has as little excitement as possible. His stay in prison did a great damage to his nervous system. His mood swings might be more accentuated than average and his emotional control will be in an all time low. Try keeping him happy and take things with him as slow as possible."
The grown-ups exchanged an odd look between them and Redwood sighed. His patient was Harry Potter, of course something out of the ordinary was bound to happen and by the look he had seen things were already in motion.
"Is there something I should know about?" he asked hoping to do some damage control in his patient health.
"You must understand, Master Healer," Lucius started carefully, "that everything said in this house is to be kept a secret."
"Of course." He nodded.
"I'll go check on Harry," Narcissa got up and went to Harry's bedroom.
"I'll go with you." Offered Remus holding the door for her. This was a matter for Sirius and Lucius. Narcissa and Remus would stay in the background allowing them room to do whatever was necessary while making sure Harry got all the attention he needed.
"It has come to our attention that the magical world was not the only place my son-in-law received unjust treatment." Started Lucius.
"My godson has let slip that while he was at his muggle relatives he was severely abused by those people. We knew his childhood had not been ideal, but we had no idea things were as bad as he told us." Sirius added.
"How bad? If I may ask."
"Very bad. Verbal and psychological abuse, neglect, physical abuse, starvation... the list goes on. We believe we need a mind healer."
"How long was he exposed to this sort of treatment?" Redwood was already in healer mode, considering possible candidates to offer the job. He knew a few very competent mind healers at St. Mungo's and there was a fellow or two in Germany making great progress in the field.
"Every day for about ten years and every summer ever since." Sirius answered with a dark expression on his face.
It took all of Redwood's training not to show how shocked he was. It was worse than he expected.
"Yes, Mr. Potter-Malfoy would probably benefit from the expertise of a mind healer. Let me suggest a colleague of mine who is a specialist on children. I know it's not the case but with the pregnancy adding to an already stressful situation, and since his traumas seem to be rooted in his early childhood, perhaps it would be more beneficial to secure the aid of a professional who is extra careful and patient." Redwood wrote down the name of a mind healer at St. Mungo's. Lucius took the time to explain to him about the upcoming investigation and possible muggle trial of young Harry's relatives. There was no time to overcome a language barrier and gain trust on the mind healer, even if the said barrier was due only to accent. In a situation like this it was always better to gain trust as soon as possible.
When the healer left, Sirius turned to Lucius with a tired face.
"So, are we doing this?" he asked.
"Yes, I do believe is for the best." Lucius sighed looking out of the window, "I don't know what surprises me more. That he lived through all this or simply that he lived."
"I know. It is rather much for one so young."
"It would be too much for anyone older too," Lucius looked at the name and floo address in the parchment in his hands, "if he is going to do this and be ready in time for the trial he will need all the support he can have."
"What are you talking about, Lucius?"
"Perhaps it's time for Narcissa to become ill," said Lucius with a strange smile.
"I don't think I understand where you are going with this." Sirius stated.
"If Narcissa becomes ill, we would need a healer to make frequent visits, what would explain the comings and goings of a healer in this house." Lucius made a pause letting the information sink in, before adding another important detail, "Also, we could call Draco back home for a few weeks. I do believe Harry would be pleased to have him here for the birth of their child."
"That, cousin, is a great plan," complemented Sirius with a large smile on his face.
Over the next few days, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy were seen twice in St. Mungo's and healer Redwood, the Malfoy family healer, let it slip that one of his patients was coming down with a rather obscure illness and that he would need to make more frequent visits to their house, also he started to take a colleague mind healer with him ostensibly to 'give some support' for his patient.
No one had said a word about who this patient might be or what kind of illness was afflicting the poor soul, but the social drums of the wizarding world were already beating, Narcissa Malfoy had fallen ill and it was serious. She was not been seen in public and Mr. Malfoy was not talking about it.
Wizarding high society respected the unspoken wish and sent their support in the form or flowers or letters. No one came for a visit. Not surprisingly, in a few days the heir of the house Malfoy took his leave from Hogwarts. His school work would be handled by owl and a tutor for a few months.
Harry was dreaming of Draco again, only this time he knew it was a dream because it had that cotton candy warm feeling only dreams can give you.
lying down side by side in the thick rug under blinking lights of the
Christmas tree. Draco ran his soft hands over Harry's large belly,
caressing him while they talked about their baby. Tons and
tons of gifts where everywhere wrapped in all shades and colors, low
soft music played in the background and two mugs with hot steamy
cocoa sat in the coffee table near by. A little giggle caught Harry's
attention and he turned to see a girl, just a toddler, running up to
him with a toy broom on her hands. She had jet black hair, full rosy
lips and mischievous grey eyes. "Daddy, daddy, father and
I are going flying outside, you have to come with us." She said
pulling him up to his feet. "So, he let you open that
present already, huh?" Harry laughed and turned to Draco "What
ever happen to 'we should wait until after Christmas'?" "Baby
Kate here decided that she couldn't wait to try her broom and I'm not
the one who will ever keep a Potter from getting airborne."
Draco was wearing his Slytherin Quidditch uniform and holding his
broom as well. "I'm not the baby anymore, father,
remember?" asked Kate running to a small crib adorned with blue
laces on the side of the room, "Bernard is here. He is the baby
now." "You're right. You are my big girl Katherine.
How could I forget that?" Draco grabbed Kate by her waist and
spun around making her giggle even more. Harry walked to the
crib and picked up a bundle of white blond hair and sparkly green
eyes. He looked out the window to see the ocean, it was the most
amazing blue he had ever seen with clear see through water. On the
grass just outside the house Draco was playing with a dog and two
black haired boys, Bernard looking like a little over 12 was running
up to the house still dripping from the sea and a 15 year old Kate
was sitting under a tree reading a book. A hand come down on
his shoulder and made him turn around. The room was lit by many
candles and he could see it was dark outside. He kissed the twins
before a house elf took them to their rooms and turned to the other
people sitting around the room. He could see Lucius, Narcissa, Remus,
Sirius, Draco, Kate looking a bit older and Bernard looking almost 15
now and a few people he didn't recognize. They were all dressed in
full battle robes and had a somber look on their faces. Draco walked
up to him and kissed him on the lips. "It's time, love.
We can't wait anymore, we have to go back," and turning around
he entered the green flames in the fireplace and yelled, "Ministry
Tons and tons of gifts where everywhere wrapped in all shades and colors, low soft music played in the background and two mugs with hot steamy cocoa sat in the coffee table near by. A little giggle caught Harry's attention and he turned to see a girl, just a toddler, running up to him with a toy broom on her hands. She had jet black hair, full rosy lips and mischievous grey eyes.
"Daddy, daddy, father and I are going flying outside, you have to come with us." She said pulling him up to his feet.
"So, he let you open that present already, huh?" Harry laughed and turned to Draco "What ever happen to 'we should wait until after Christmas'?"
"Baby Kate here decided that she couldn't wait to try her broom and I'm not the one who will ever keep a Potter from getting airborne." Draco was wearing his Slytherin Quidditch uniform and holding his broom as well.
"I'm not the baby anymore, father, remember?" asked Kate running to a small crib adorned with blue laces on the side of the room, "Bernard is here. He is the baby now."
"You're right. You are my big girl Katherine. How could I forget that?" Draco grabbed Kate by her waist and spun around making her giggle even more.
Harry walked to the crib and picked up a bundle of white blond hair and sparkly green eyes. He looked out the window to see the ocean, it was the most amazing blue he had ever seen with clear see through water. On the grass just outside the house Draco was playing with a dog and two black haired boys, Bernard looking like a little over 12 was running up to the house still dripping from the sea and a 15 year old Kate was sitting under a tree reading a book.
A hand come down on his shoulder and made him turn around. The room was lit by many candles and he could see it was dark outside. He kissed the twins before a house elf took them to their rooms and turned to the other people sitting around the room. He could see Lucius, Narcissa, Remus, Sirius, Draco, Kate looking a bit older and Bernard looking almost 15 now and a few people he didn't recognize. They were all dressed in full battle robes and had a somber look on their faces. Draco walked up to him and kissed him on the lips.
"It's time, love. We can't wait anymore, we have to go back," and turning around he entered the green flames in the fireplace and yelled, "Ministry of Magic"
Harry woke up with a start. He was lying on his bed, his big belly firmly in its place. Kate, baby Kate was still inside him, waiting to be born. He ran his hands down on his belly only to find another set of hands already there. He turned around in bed to find a sleeping Draco lying next to him.
Moving slowly not to wake his husband, Harry got up and waddled to the bathroom as fast as he could. Baby Kate was being particularly found of his bladder lately. He did his business as fast as he could, washed his hands and waddled back to bed. He laid down and placed Draco's hand back on his belly, ready to go back to sleep, only to hear an amused voice close to his ear.
"You look like a very happy cat, love." The low voice sent shivers down Harry's spine and he pressed himself against his husband, "planning on going back to sleep?"
"Oh, you're awake. Sorry, didn't mean to wake you up," Harry smiled in his husband's embrace, "and the thought did cross my mind. I've been very sleepy lately."
"Our son is giving you a hard time, isn't he?" Draco murmured caressing Harry's belly.
"Our son happens to be a very healthy girl who likes to practice sports around my belly."
"A girl? Really? When did you do the spell?" Draco perked up, "I thought you said you would wait for me. What changed your mind?"
"I didn't change my mind, silly," Harry laughed at the mock hurt face Draco was putting on, "I just had a dream and Kate was complaining that you still called her a baby when we already had Bernard in a crib near by."
Draco opened a huge smile. "Really, did you just dream of them? Kate and Bernard?"
"Yes, well, actually they were Katherine and Bernard, and a couple of twins, but I didn't catch their names." Harry corrected.
"Tell me more about this dream, love." Draco pulled Harry against him and they started to talk about Harry's dream. Draco agreed with Harry that the end was a bit disturbing but couldn't stop asking all kinds of questions about the other, happier, parts of the dream.
"Draco, not that I'm not happy and all, but how come you're here?" Harry asked.
"Well," Draco sighed, "the rest of the family is a bit worried with this being your first pregnancy and all the trouble you went through in the first few months, so they decided to cut us some slack and I'm allowed to stay with you until the baby is born."
"Oh, thank Merlin. I was so scared to go through birth without you here." The relief in Harry's voice was obvious.
"What? And miss the single most important event of the year? Not a chance, love, I'm a Malfoy. Remember?" Draco asked in mock shock.
"How could I ever forget?" Harry laughed in his husband's embrace and leaning to kiss him. The kiss started out soft and gentle but heated up almost instantaneously. "Do we have to get up now?"
"Merlin, I hope not. I've been missing you so much." Draco had his hands running all over his husband now. He couldn't believe how beautiful Harry looked pregnant with their child. He was beautiful before but now he had this dream quality like an aura of happiness and... life. That was it, Harry was life itself and he had been without his husband for way too long to even contemplate not touching him now.
Harry had his mobility seriously reduced because of the pregnancy, so he let Draco run the show. Draco hovered on top of him kissing and touching him all over, not a single inch of skin was left untouched. His nipples were so over sensitive that he had to beg Draco to stop touching then, Draco's revenge was to lie between Harry's legs and take him whole into his mouth.
In two seconds Harry was too aroused to form words to beg or deny Draco anything. Draco smirked around Harry's manhood in his mouth; an aroused Harry was definitely a very nice Harry and that afternoon Harry was a very nice Harry in bed, in the shower and in bed again before they were finally called for dinner.
Family dinner that night was a quiet but happy affair. Harry was happy to have his husband back with him but he could notice a few looks being exchanged around the table and knew something was going on. He waited as long as he could for someone to drop whatever bomb they had until the house elves started to remove the used dishes and started to serve desert.
"So... is there anything new in the wizarding world that I haven't heard of yet?" he asked in his best 'I know you are hiding something and I'm letting you know that I know' voice.
"No," Draco answered just a bit too fast while the others hesitated, "same old, same old."
"I see." Harry was really getting pissed now, his mood swing driving him from his happy lingering afterglow to a full fledge anger tantrum, "and there is nothing any of you think I should know about it?"
A choir of 'No, of course not' started immediately, raising Harry's temper another notch.
Lucius was the first to notice the sudden change in Harry's tone of voice and demeanor; he had been on the receiving end of Narcissa's mood swings too many times not to notice. She would have the dinner table on fire in two seconds flat when she lost control of her emotions and she was only an average witch. Harry, on the other hand, could give Voldemort and Dumbledore a run for their money. If he lost control he would flatten the house like it was made of paper, not to mention strong emotions were bad for his grandchild.
"As a matter of fact, there is something we need to discuss," he made sure to speak over the others attracting Harry's attention and making him falter in his resolve to redecorate that part of the country, "but I would prefer to do so after dinner. It's a serious matter but not urgent, and adding indigestion wouldn't help matters."
"But what is it?" anger defused, Harry was more curious now and a bit worried thinking he had done something to annoy his family.
"It's just a matter of dealing with some unsolved details of a few... unpleasant episodes of your life, Harry, like I said serious but not urgent and since you will have to make a few decisions, I would prefer that neither yours nor my grandchild's health suffer the added stress of a poorly eaten dinner." Lucius explained without giving out too many details. He knew that would calm Harry down for the time being and a nice cup of tea with some mild calming draught and Draco's presence would do the trick afterwards.
"Oh. Of course," Harry blinked with the unexpected explanation, a thousand questions about what did they still had to discuss after so long were now running through his mind.
"Harry said he already knows the baby gender." Draco suddenly said attracting everyone's attention.
"How? I thought you didn't want healer Redwood to perform the charm yet." Asked Sirius who was dying to know the gender of his honorary grandchild.
"It's not for sure; I just had a dream..." Harry murmured blushing.
"I had a dream too when I was expecting Draco." Narcissa offered with a smile.
"And was it accurate?" Remus asked.
"Of course! I dreamt I was in a garden with Lucius and there was a crib under some trees, when we looked inside the crib we saw this beautiful baby dragon sleeping. It was pure white and when it woke it let me pick it up and looked right at me with the most gorgeous grey eyes I had ever seen, just like Lucius'. That is why we gave him the name Draco."
"Oh, that was beautiful," sighed Harry.
"What did you dream about, Harry?" Remus' voice brought Harry back to reality.
Harry and Draco started to laugh making the others raise an eyebrow to them, so they hurried to explain.
"I dreamt that baby Kate came running in the room with her toy broom saying that she and her father were going flying and then she complained about being called a baby because her brother Bernard, who was in a crib at my side, was younger than her."
"Kate? Isn't that a bit... muggle?" Lucius asked taking a bite of his Pear Clafouti with star anise serving. Harry couldn't help noticing that for someone complaining about the use of a muggle name, Lucius seemed very comfortable eating a French recipe that rouse a few eyebrows by itself for the use of Asian ingredients. He really should thank Narcissa and the elves sometime for the cooking lessons.
"Katherine, father, her name will be Katherine," Draco corrected his father, "and the boy will be Bernard and sometime in the future we will have a couple of twin boys, but we don't know their name yet."
The whole table was silent, the four adults looking shocked at the young couple.
"What? Is there something wrong?" Harry asked squeezing Draco's hand under the table.
"It is just that..." Lucius' eyes were suspiciously moist, "I... I never told you this but I had a younger sister once. She died as a child and your grandparents were so upset that we never mention her name again... our little Katherine. She was beautiful." Narcissa took Lucius' hand in hers and offered a smile to the young men.
"It's a beautiful name. Very well chosen." She said.
"I take it you knew about this," Harry stated looking at his godfathers.
"Wh... no, not about Katherine but..." Remus gulped.
"What?" urged Harry.
"Your grandfather's name was Bernard," Sirius explained, "we just... I just don't remember his name ever coming up on a conversation before. I'm surprised, that's all."
"My grandfather's name was Bernard? You never said anything about him... or about my grandmother either. What were they like? What was her name? When did they die? What did they do for a living? Where..."
Sirius threw his head back and laughed at Harry's eagerness.
"Calm down, pup. One question at the time or we will never get all the answers straight."
And just like that the conversation stirred to family and the rest of the dinner was enjoyed amongst many tales of how the marauders almost drove James' parents crazy and James as a child with a few of Katherine's stories that Lucius could remember, making Harry feel all warm and happy again sitting at dinner with his family.