Disclaimer 1: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Warner Bros, Bloomsbury. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Many thanks to Periculum for her beta work.
This is the last chapter of this story, but I have a feeling down the road, that I will write the sequal. I know I left enough loose ends in order to do so. Thank you for your time and patience in my infrequent updates.
Much love to you all. Vbollman
Fawkes, being the lovable bird that he was, dropped Harry off at Kings Cross Station an hour before the train was scheduled to leave. This gave Harry all the time in the world to pick out the compartment that he wanted, before making himself comfortable with a book, ready to enjoy the only real 'quiet' time that he had. Losing himself in a story all about Middle Earth, Harry didn't notice the passage of time, until a familiar drawl made him look up in surprise.
"Well, well, well. Who knew Potter actually knew how to read? Or are you just looking at all the pretty pictures?"
"I love you too, Malfoy. Now go away and let me read in peace."
"You wound me Potter, really you do."
"I'll wound you, if you don't sit down so the rest of us can get in," Ginny threatened from behind Draco.
Sneering over his shoulder at the petite redhead, Draco leaned against the doorway, completely blocking the way in. "And who says that I want to go in?"
"I do, now move it, Blondie," Hermione answered, giving Draco a shove to get him out of the way, moving him further into the compartment.
"Are you always this pushy?" Draco demanded to know.
"No, you're just a special case," Harry replied absentmindedly, already half lost in his book once again.
Before Draco could say anything else, a new voice entered the conversation. "Hey guys."
"Neville! Come take my spot." Ginny stood, grinning widely at the newcomer.
Properly entering the compartment and seeing a bewildered Draco sitting next to Ginny's empty spot, Neville tried to back away. "Um, no that's alright. I'll just find somewhere else to sit."
Harry finally looked up from his book and gave his roommate an easy grin. "Trust me when I say he doesn't bite."
Giggling, Ginny grabbed Neville's arm. "You're not getting away that fast."
"If Longbottom takes your spot, where precisely are you going to sit?" Draco sneered, trying to keep his amusement to himself.
"You just had to ask her that, mate, didn't you?" Harry sniggered, while Ron and Hermione just shook their heads.
Ginny dropped herself none to gently in Draco's lap, and turned her big brown eyes on the blond. "Didn't you miss me at all?" She pouted.
"NO! Now get off, you have a bony arse," Draco spat back and when Ginny just proceeded to squirm in order make herself comfortable, looked over at Ron. "Come on; Weasel, tells your sister to get off me."
"Sorry, Ferret, but you're stuck."
"Nope, you're on your own with this one."
Realizing this was not going to get him anywhere, Draco tried the pout that Ginny attempted on him, and turned big silver puppy dog eyes on the only other person there. "Haarrry, my legs are going to fall asleep before we get back to the school."
"Sorry, Dray, but there's nothing I can do."
"Yeah, right, Scarhead. I don't believe you for a moment. She's going to cut off all the circulation in my legs, so that I'll never be able to walk again, and it's all going to be your fault! I mean, really, I don't see the reason that we had to take the train to the school, when we were already there to begin with. All that you had to say was that you didn't want to be that far away from the girls, and we could have stayed there, but nooo, you wanted to take the train!" He peeked at the Boy Who Lived through his eyelashes, trying to see if it would work.
Harry sighed heavily, rolling his eyes. "First of all, Draco, are you or are you not a wizard? Use your wand and cast a lightening charm on Ginny and a cushioning charm on your lap, and voila! No more problems. Second of all, stop acting like a two year old; you're going to set a bad example for the girls. Third, you had no choice but to ride the train, considering the fact that you're Head Boy this year, and you'll have to get up in a few minutes to go to your meeting, which Ginny will be attending, and if you're lucky, you won't have to carry her, and she'll decide to sit on her own during the meeting. As for it being my choice to take the train, I just want to know what kind of drug-like potions you're on. I made the comment about staying at the school, and I had your parents, the Headmaster and each of the Heads of House glaring at me like I was some monster from the black lagoon. Your mother demanded that I take the train, if only to give her some 'alone' time with her defacto granddaughters." Taking a deep breath, Harry glared at the now laughing blond. "Personally I blame Snape. He just wanted to get rid of me so he could spoil the girls without anyone else knowing!"
By this time everyone but Neville was laughing so hard they were crying. Neville a huge look of confusion on his face looked at Harry for answers. "What?"
Sighing once again, Harry marked his place in his book and settled in for a long train ride, and with the first glimmer of humor on his face, proceeded to explain his summer to Neville.
Harry was forcefully reminded of the fact that he was supposed to conjure himself an umbrella before entering the school when he felt the water balloon land on his head and shatter. "PEEVES!!"
Peeves snickered at the now purple-haired boy and blew a raspberry. "Sorry, Potty, I was aiming for the blond next to you!" He said with an attempt at looking innocent, before throwing the next balloon, which landed right on target. "There, now you almost match," he added before zooming off in search of his next victim.
Harry tried to hold on to his anger, but the sight of Draco Malfoy now sporting bright pink hair sent him into a fit of giggles. "I did try to get him to leave us alone this year. I don't think that it worked any."
"You think?" Draco muttered, casting a charm that should have turned his hair back to its natural color, but only caused it to become streaked with a darker pink.
"That has yet to be determined," Severus muttered, coming up behind the group standing in the entryway.
"Hey, I resemble that remark," Harry retorted with a grin.
"Indeed you do." Throwing a dark glare at the balloon-happy poltergeist, Severus sneered viciously. "Let's just hope that I never find out who taught that menace the spell that he's using on those balloons," he growled.
Harry wasn't sure if he should be holding back a whimper or a laugh, knowing that sooner or later his mate would figure out that he was the one to help Peeves. "We should go. Don't want to miss the sorting this year," he said as naturally as possible. Turning to lead the others towards the Great Hall, Harry stopped for a second. "The girls?" He questioned softly.
"Are sleeping, Mr. Potter. No need to worry for them."
"Right up until Peeves carries them into the Great Hall," Harry growled under his breath.
"Can he do that?" Hermione asked in astonishment.
"Yes, he has the ability to carry them around. Apparently since he is bonded to the Castle and the girls, he can use the magic of the Castle to supplement his own when it comes to caring for them. He almost gave the so called adults posing as Professors in this school heart attacks when he brought them in one day during lunch."
"Great," Ron grumbled. "What else will he be able to do with all that extra magic?"
"Who knows? I'm still trying to figure out what this all means when it comes to his redemption," Harry complained.
"He won't tell you?"
"No, Hermione, he won't. All he said was that he made a deal so that he would be able to make up for his life, but other than that…" Harry trailed off.
"I'll look, Harry, now that I have access to the library once again."
Just as the dessert selection appeared on the long tables, the doors to the Great Hall opened, and the wail of a child vibrated in the sudden silence. Heaving a sigh, Harry stood from his spot and started to walk, reaching the doors just as Peeves showed up with the twins in tow. "Peeves be thinking the twins are teething, Potty," the poltergeist stated as he calmly floated Summer into Harry's arms, and continuing on to the head table so he could settle Crystal into Severus' arms.
"Yes, the poor things." Harry murmured, conjuring up a cold cloth for his daughter to gum on as he followed after the ghost. "Hopefully they'll be over this soon."
Harry reached his mate just as a house elf popped into with the medication for teething and two bottles, and Harry thanked the creature with a grin. "So much for not having to deal with the students finding out about all this until tomorrow," he commented with a small grin.
"Did you really think you could?" Severus asked, his voice soft, as he dosed the twins.
"No, but it was a hope." Picking up one of the bottles, Harry started to feed Summer, rocking gently back and forth, as Severus did the same for Crystal.
"Did you want me to take Summer while you finish eating?" Lucius asked from Severus' side.
"I was hoping…" Harry started only to be cut off by the Headmaster.
"No, Harry, you need to stay for the rest of dinner. You won't be able to go and hide in the dungeons. I think it's a grand idea for Lucius to take the babe, so you can catch up with your friends now and for a little bit after in the common room as well."
"Then I think I'll…"
Narcissa cut him off this time. "No, Harry, I don't think you should bring Summer to your table with you. At least not until the shock wears off for your classmates."
Sending a mild glare her way, Harry maintained his position rocking his daughter.
"Go on, Harry, hand Summer over to Lucius. You can fuss over the children later," Minerva added.
"I don't think it's the girls Harry wants to fuss over," Flitwick said, with a pointed look at the Potions Master.
Harry went bright red, giving the Charms Professor a horrified look. "Oh, sweet Merlin!" He groaned in embarrassment, causing the table to laugh. They laughed even louder when they noticed the two spots of color blooming on Severus' cheeks.
"Evil, evil little man," Harry growled, and placed a gentle kiss on Summer's forehead, before laying the mostly asleep child in Lucius' arms, and kissing Crystal as well.
"Now, Mr. Potter before you get carried away..." Sprout teased.
Harry's face flushed once again, as the staff table continued to laugh, and quickly made his way back to his friends in Gryffindor. "Evil, I tell you, the two of them," Harry groaned as he sunk back into his chair.
"Of course they are! It's Snape and Malfoy," Dean called.
"No, Sprout and Flitwick are the evil ones this time," Harry called back. Feeling a cool weight settle in its spot on top of his head, Harry got an evil look, and glanced back up at the Head Table. Noticing his gaze, the two Professors in question started to look a little nervous.
"Peeves, my friend, how would you like to do me a favor?"
"Peevsie can't hurt Professors, Potty. Not even for you."
"Oh, I wasn't thinking of hurting them…Just connecting their names, if you know what I mean…"
"Ohhh I like the way you think Potty… I need to go think on this," Peeves stated in glee, before rushing away, straight between the two professors and out the back wall, causing the two cream pies to splatter all over Sprout and Flitwick.
"Harry, really, there's nothing they could have said that would justify setting Peeves on them!" Ginny commented, holding back her laughter at the unfortunate professors as they tried to clean up the mess.
"Yeah, and I was under the impression that it was impossible for anyone to say something that would make Snape blush," Harry shot back.
"Speaking of that, Harry mate, who are the brats and what was that up there?" Seamus asked.
Harry looked up at the Head Table and gave his soul mate a questioning look, knowing the man would understand his question, and received an amused nod in response. "Bloody git doesn't have to deal with the fallout of this, sitting up there with his protection as a professor," Harry snarled, sending the man a glare. Combing both hands through his hair, Harry looked around at his curious classmates. "The girls are mine and Ron and Hermione are their godparents. Lucius and Narcissa are standing in as grandparents, with Draco as their Uncle. Severus…well Severus is my soul mate," he finally said in a rush, placing his elbows on the table to cradle his head as he waited for the fallout.
Harry's voice, quiet as it was, still reached every corner of still-silent Great Hall.
Knowing it was coming; Severus placed silencing charms around the girls just in time as the hall exploded into noise.
"Well, that went well!" Harry's voice was heavily laced with sarcasm, as he and Severus finally settled the twins into their cribs.
"Indeed, it could have gone a whole lot worse, but it did go better than I expected it to," Severus commented, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist, and pulling his younger mate up against his chest.
"Oh, it will get worse. The Gryffindors are just going to let this sink in for a bit, and then they'll decide to retaliate. I fully expect your Slytherins to start the harassment first thing Monday morning. Ravenclaws will be extremely jealous, figuring that I'm getting extra help and the Hufflepuffs are going to feel even more betrayed than the Gryffindors because apparently the fighting between the two of us portrayed me as more of a Hero in their eyes then being the Boy Who Lived did," Harry mumbled into Severus' chest, soaking up the warmth and love being given him.
"It will get better, Harry," Severus stated, pushing Harry's chin up so that those green eyes could see just how serious he was being.
"I know it will, but it will take weeks, if not months. Until then, don't be surprised to find me hiding out here," Harry replied, a small smile working its way on to his face.
"Ah and there would be the real reason why you didn't want to move out of the dungeons. Peace and Quiet."
"Better believe it."
"You can't hide down here all the time, Love." Severus whispered.
Harry sighed once again, "I know. But for the first little while at least, this will be my refuge, as I put everything else out of my mind."
Severus just nodded, and pulled Harry even closer. Both of them stood there in silence, watching out the enchanted window above the two cribs as the last rays of the setting sun, faded away.
Yes, for a little while, they could use these rooms as a refuge and put everything else out of their minds.