See disclaimer in Chapter 1. I don't say I own them; you don't sue. Thanks go to Kamerreon for her awesomeness!
December 28, 2010
Harry was exhausted. The kind of bone numbing tired he'd only experienced in his hunt for Horcruxes and after the final battle. His muscles ached, his head throbbed, – it even felt like his teeth hurt.
What in Merlin's name was I thinking when I agreed to this? Harry wondered, his stomach clenching at the sound of uncontrollable giggling outside his door. His brief reprieve was over.
"Why are you out of bed?" He bellowed, forcing his tired body up off the bed and wrenching the bedroom door open.
Two rambunctious boys, one with black hair, the other with pink, were hopping around the hallway. Literally hopping, since their legs seemed to have been turned into frog legs.
"Ribbbbbiiiiittt!" Caleum screamed, reaching Harry in one large hop.
"We're frogs," Teddy said calmly, flexing his slimy green legs as though nothing was wrong.
"You're frogs," Harry repeated flatly, his headache blooming even more.
"They wanted to be frogs!" Victoire whined from the stairs. She was sitting on the top step, her silvery blonde hair brushing the ground.
She was Bill and Fleur's oldest, just a year younger than Teddy – and apparently very magically talented. She and Teddy were the only ones who had wands. He was a second year, and she a first. They were staying at Grimmauld Place – where Harry, Draco, and Cal stayed when they were in London – for a few days over Yule break.
"You gave them frog legs on purpose?" Harry asked, forcing himself to keep the hysteria out of his voice.
"Not just us!" Cal piped up, hopping further down the corridor. A door creaked open and Percy's oldest daughter, Molly, hopped out. The seven year old bounced down the corridor to Harry, her tight red ringlets jumping with each movement.
"And Fred and Roxie?" Harry asked, afraid of the answer. George and Angie's twins were a right menace, and he had a hard time believing they hadn't played a large role in this fiasco as well. It had been Draco's idea to have all the older cousins over for a few days, saying it would be fun for Cal and Teddy.
Harry glowered at the group, a sour expression on his face. Fun. Right.
"No, they don't have frog legs," Cal said seriously, and Harry breathed a sigh of relief. It was going to be hard enough to end Transfiguration Spells on the others, though how a first and second year had managed it was beyond him –
"They wanted frog tongues instead, so that's what they got."
Harry groaned, letting his head hit the doorframe with a 'thunk' at Cal's words. Perfect.
"Draco Potter-Black, so help me Merlin, if you ever desert me on another Weasley weekend we're finished, eternity bond or no," he muttered darkly as he Summoned his wand from his bedside table, stalking out into the hallway to set the children to rights. He'd use a Sticking Charm to keep them in their beds if he had to.
March 14, 2011
"Luna, I don't know what to say. She's –"
Luna smiled softly, nuzzling her face against the warm bundle in her arms before handing it over to Harry. Draco stood behind him, a look of complete awe on his face.
"She's perfect. Absolutely perfect, and one hundred percent yours," Luna said, her eyes sparkling with pride and unshed tears. "You two are excellent fathers, and I know she'll be loved and cherished."
"I have no words for what you've done for us," Draco said softly, and Harry could feel his frustration at not being able to thank the woman properly through their bond. He sent back a pulse of love and excitement, hoping to calm his husband. "This is more than I would ever have asked of anyone. Thank you."
Luna watched the little family, knowing she'd made the right choice. It was hard to give the little girl up, but she'd come into this knowing she wouldn't be the baby's mother. Harry had been stunned when she'd approached him nearly a year ago with the offer to bear a child for him to continue on the Potter line. With her blonde hair and light eyes, there was a good chance the child would look like a blend of Harry and Draco, just like Cal did.
Harry buried his nose in his daughter's tufts of blonde hair, inhaling the sweet scent of baby that was more intoxicating than anything he'd ever smelled before. He loved Cal, and that wouldn't diminish one bit with the arrival of their daughter. He met Draco's eye, seeing nothing but love reflected back. He'd worried, back when Luna had first approached him, that Draco and Cal would be upset if he chose to have a child. He'd been blown away by their response – both father and son had been enthusiastic from the start.
They're amazing, these Malfoy men, Harry thought, smiling when his son walked into the room with Narcissa. He came straight to them, pressing a soft kiss to his sister's downy head before doing the same to both of his fathers.
Luna startled everyone when she cleared her throat, clearly fighting back tears. Her husband, Rolph, sat at her side, stroking her hair lightly.
"Have you decided on a name?" She asked, wiping away a stray tear with the back of her hand.
"We thought we'd let Cal make the final decision," Harry said, his voice hoarse with emotion. "He's been there for all of our discussions about what to call her."
Cal beamed, stroking a finger down his sister's cheek. He looked at her speculatively, his brow furrowing as he thought.
"She doesn't look like a Lyra," he said quietly, studying his newborn sister's face closely. "Vela isn't right, either."
He looked up at his fathers, hesitating briefly. He'd paid special attention to his Astronomy lessons with Mamie over the last few weeks, eager to learn more about his and his father's namesake constellations. When he'd learned he was going to have a sister, he'd focused even more on learning some of the more obscure ones. He'd liked his parents' choice of Lyra or Vela before he met his sister, but neither of the names seemed to fit the blonde-haired, green-eyed baby in his dad's arms.
"How about Carina?" He offered, his eyes returning to the baby.
She looked so much like his father, just like he looked so much like his dad. Caleum smiled, happy that their family was complete at last. He and his father had been waiting for this moment for years, though apparently dad hadn't realized it. He smirked at the memory of his dad worrying they wouldn't want to take Aunt Luna up on her offer – how could he not have known they were missing a piece of their family?
"Carina Luna Potter-Black," Draco said, his voice clear in the silent room. "Heir to the Potter family name. I think it suits her."
Harry could feel the hot prick of tears, but he made no effort to stop them. Everything he'd ever wanted was right here in this room.
"It's perfect," he murmured, pressing another kiss to his daughter's head before handing her to his husband so he could gather his almost-too-big son in his arms or a hug.
"You could wait another year. You're not technically eleven yet," Harry said, shifting Cari to his other arm when she began to kick, begging to be let down.
"Dad," Caleum hissed, his jaw set angrily. They'd already had this discussion several times, and he was so embarrassed that his dad was bringing it up again – this time in public.
Harry grinned, letting Carina down so she could run across the crowded train platform to see Teddy, who was walking toward them. He was a fifth year, and a Slytherin prefect to boot. Cal watched his approach warily, worried his older cousin might take up his dad's case.
"Harry," Teddy said, his deepening voice startling Harry. When had the skinny little boy become a man? He leaned in, returning Cari to his arms and pecking him on the cheek.
"Cal," he said, earning Caleum's eternal gratitude for extending a hand for a manly shake instead of giving him a kiss as well. After all, he had his reputation to think of.
"Aunt Hermione said to tell you they'll all be waiting for you back at Grimmauld Place," Teddy said, shifting nervously from one foot to the other. He agreed with their plan, but he worried what affect it would have on Caleum. He'd be the one to bear the brunt of it, Teddy knew.
Harry nodded, settling Cari on his hip. He looked around the platform, wondering if Draco would make good on his promise not to come or not. He couldn't imagine not being there to see Cal off, but he knew they had said a private goodbye earlier that morning.
"He's not coming, dad," Cal said, sounding as exasperated as an: I'll-be-eleven-in-two-days-I'm-not-a-baby-dad, could.
"I just thought he might," Harry said easily, returning his emerald gaze to his son. He was already dressed in his Hogwarts robes, too excited to wait until he got on the train to change. He had a small cage with a tawny brown owl, a large trunk filled with books he couldn't wait to study, and all the supplies he could possibly need.
"Aunt Minnie said you two were coming tonight for the Sorting anyway," Cal said, rolling his eyes.
No other parents got to see the Sorting. He sighed, well aware of why they were coming. He could only imagine the shocked whispers and rumors that would start when his name was called out. His fathers had managed to keep news of their marriage and his adoption quiet, but he'd decided he wanted to go to Hogwarts without a cloak of secrecy surrounding who his family was. He was proud of both of his fathers, and he wanted the world to know who they were.
A shrill whistle blew, and Teddy grabbed the handle of Cal's trunk, motioning for the younger boy to follow him. Cal wrapped his fingers tightly around his owl's cage, giving his father and sister an awkward one-armed hug before dashing off after his cousin.
Harry watched until the train pulled out of the station, full of pride and anxiety. As the heavy smoke cleared, he saw most of the other parents had left. No one had recognized him, thanks to a light glamour that hid his more recognizable features. Cari had laughed when he cast it, filling his bedroom with delighted giggles and cries of 'Silly daddy! Silly!'
He indulged himself for a few more seconds, already missing his son terribly. He wasn't surprised when Draco materialized next to him, his bright hair spelled brown and his distinctive eyes hidden by sunglasses. He handed their daughter over wordlessly, knowing his husband needed the comfort her small, warm presence could provide.
"I knew you'd be here," he muttered, wrapping his arm around Draco's waist as they made their way through the barrier into King's Cross Station.
Harry fidgeted nervously in the small room behind the staff table. He could hear the Sorting begin out in the Great Hall, his body rigid with anxiety as he waited for his son's name to be called – and the uproar that would likely follow.
"You're driving me spare," Draco hissed, glaring at him from the corner. He'd pulled back the velvet curtain that separated the room from the Great Hall, watching the students surreptitiously.
"I can't help it," Harry muttered, his brow creased in a deep frown. "He's so young. We should have held him out a year. He's only ten!"
Draco groaned, letting the curtain fall back into place. The hat had just placed Elphias Abbott in Hufflepuff, so he figured they had time to rehash this old argument for the last time.
"He'll be eleven in two days," Draco said, his tone exasperated.
He knew Harry wanted to keep Cal close as long as he could. Hell, he wanted to keep Cal close, too. But they couldn't keep hiding him away, especially when Cal wanted the world to know who he was and who his fathers were. Keeping him back a year from Hogwarts on a technicality would have done more damage than good; Cal was much too smart to wait another year to start his formal education, and it was past time he had friends his own age. He had Teddy and Victoire, who were older, and scads of younger cousins, but no one who was close to his age.
"I know," Harry whispered, his shoulders slumping.
This wasn't about Cal going off to Hogwarts, not entirely. He was just so worried about what the press would do when they found out who Cal was, and by extension, that Harry and Draco were married. They'd enjoyed several blissful years without the spotlight of the media on them, but that would all change in just a few minutes.
"He can handle it," Draco assured him, resting his hands comfortingly on his husband's shoulders. "We can handle it."
Harry stood at a podium outside Grimmauld Place, his vision spotted from the myriad of bright flashes in front of him. He'd avoided public functions – as Harry Potter, at any rate – for five years, and the wizarding press was absolutely desperate for new photos of him.
He cleared his throat, casting Sonorus so the throng of reporters who had gathered on the front step could hear him easily. Hermione had called a press conference after last night's Sorting so Harry and Draco could control the information that got out. They were having it at Grimmauld Place because neither Harry nor Draco planned to reveal where they had been living for the past five years, keeping the chateau a safe place for their family to retreat from the public eye.
"Thank you for coming today," Harry began, glaring at several reporters who started shouting questions about Cal. "I have a statement to give you, and after that will be available to answer a few questions. I will only answer reasonable questions, and this will be your only chance."
The crowd quieted, cameras and Quick-Quotes Quills ready.
"As most of you probably know, my son began his first year at Hogwarts yesterday," Harry said, pausing until the wave of shouting died down. "Questions at the end. My son, Caleum Potter-Black, was Sorted into Slytherin with nine other students. His father and I were pleased, especially since it means his older cousin, a Slytherin prefect, can watch out for him."
Harry sent another glare at the reporters when they began shouting out questions again, waiting until they had stopped before continuing. He murmured something in Hermione's ear, and she disappeared inside the house, returning with Draco and Carina.
The reporters went wild again, shouting questions at the small family. Hermione lifted her wand, blanketing the crowd with a strong Silencing Spell.
"I'm sorry that was necessary," Harry said, the smug tone of his voice assuring them he was not the least bit apologetic. "This is Draco Potter-Black, my husband, and Carina Potter-Black, our daughter. She is two."
He saw several reporters, Rita Skeeter among them, desperately trying to shout out questions. The Silencing Spell held, and Harry smirked.
"Draco and I want our son and daughter to have normal lives. We ask that you respect our privacy. Hogwarts' wards have been strengthened, and the Hogsmeade Council has passed an ordinance that requires all members of the press to have a permit to conduct any interviews or take any photos in the town."
Harry's smirk grew when he saw the outraged faces of many in the crowd. Luna, standing toward the middle of the pack, was the lone exception. She was smiling broadly, sending the occasional wink to her goddaughter.
"I can tell you know that permission will not be given to photograph or speak with Caleum, and the same will go for Carina when she reaches Hogwarts."
He turned to Draco, who nodded tightly. A short question and answer period was necessary, or else they risked an irate press that would dog them for the foreseeable future. They were sure to be besieged with crowds wherever they went, but they hoped that by giving the press conference they might have some semblance of peace from the press.
"I'll allow six questions," Harry said, studying the crowd carefully. Every reporter there had raised their hand, eagerly waving it to garner his attention.
"You in the green coat," he said, pointing to a short man in the front row. Hermione lifted the spell, allowing him to speak freely while the rest of the reporters were still Silenced.
"T-thank you, M-mister P-Potter," the man stammered, clearly out of his league.
Harry smiled, taking pity on him. "It's Mr. Potter-Black, actually. Which paper are you from?"
The man blushed, and even his Quick-Quotes Quill trembled as it hovered next to him.
"Wizarding World News, s-sir."
"Alright, then," Harry said, nodding to him. "Your question?"
The man straightened, pulling the courage to address the Boy Who Lived from somewhere.
"Sir, are you really married to Mr. M-malfoy?"
Draco shot them all a wolfish grin, quirking an eye at Hermione. She cast Sonorus on him, since his arms were full of a squirming toddler.
"It's Mr. Potter-Black for me, as well," he said, smirking when the man actually flinched when he looked at him. "Harry and I aren't just married, we share an eternity bond."
He relished the stunned looks on everyone's faces, already predicting what tomorrow's headlines would bring. "Boy-Who-Lived to spend eternity with Death Eater," was his best guess.
Harry grinned, pressing a quick kiss to Draco's lips before turning back to the crowd.
"Ms. Skeeter, why don't you have a go?" Harry said, waiting for Hermione to lift the spell on the woman.
"Harry, many have said you left the wizarding world five years ago because you couldn't handle the pressure of being the Boy-Who-Lived. Is that why you took up with a Death Eater? Are you rebelling against the society that has made you an emblem of national pride?"
Harry laughed, shaking his head. "You never change, do you Rita?"
She merely shrugged, not looking the least bit ashamed of herself.
"I am no longer the Boy-Who-Lived," Harry said, his voice strong and clear. "I did my duty to the wizarding people of Britain during the Battle of Hogwarts. Today, I stand here as Draco's husband and Cal and Cari's father. Hermione's friend. Nothing more."
Skeeter looked as though she was about to follow up with another question, but Hermione's quick Silencing Spell stopped her.
"I'm sorry, we only have time for one question per reporter. As it stands we won't even be able to give everyone that chance. I'm sure you understand," Harry said, shooting the woman a wicked grin. "You in the black cloak. Your question?"
The large woman stepped forward so she'd be close enough for Harry to hear.
"I'm Nellie Ireson from Witch Weekly," she said, nodding her head politely toward Harry and Draco. "Our readers would like to know what you've been doing since the war, Harry. Have you simply been living off Mr. Malfoy's – er, Mr. Potter-Black's – money?"
Harry chuckled, and he heard Draco's rumbling laugh next to him. Honestly, Harry thought ruefully, fighting the urge to roll his eyes. Everyone has to know Draco and I only started dating a few years ago – she can't have forgotten the Delibero Pergo already, could she?
"I have my own inheritance, Ms. Ireson," Harry said, giving her a cheeky grin. "But I do have a job."
He and Draco had agreed he might as well reveal his identity as James Evans if the opportunity presented itself. His books had risen in popularity over the years, and he couldn't go anywhere in his glamour without being mobbed. It was almost as bad as going out as Harry Potter.
"I'm a writer. You've probably heard of me – I go by the penname James Evans."
More shocked looks and frantic scribbling. He almost felt sorry for them. He and Draco were dumping so much newsworthy information on them all at once that they'd likely have a hard time figuring out what to lead with.
"Since this press conference is about our family and not my career, I'll have to ask that any questions about my books be directed to my agent," he said, nodding toward Hermione. "Hermione Granger-Weasley can answer any inquiries you may have."
Hermione nodded, cringing inwardly at the influx of Fire-calls and owls she knew her office would be getting over the next few weeks.
"Alright, who's next?" He looked around, pointing at Luna. She grinned back at him, asking her question before Hermione had a chance to pretend to lift the Silencing Spell. She'd been exempted the first time around.
"Harry, is there any truth to the rumor that you and Draco plan to have more children?"
Draco laughed out loud, shaking his head at the blonde. He couldn't believe she'd asked that. Then again, it was Luna. She rarely did things like that, without good reason, and he figured she must have foreseen that this was a good time to share their news. He shrugged at Harry. Why not? What did they have to lose, after all?
"Yes, that's true," he answered, his eyes sparkling as he looked at the woman currently carrying Draco's child.
Luna nodded serenely, making a note on her legal pad. He was sure it was either a doodle of one of her mythical creatures or a reminder to pick something up at the market – after all, she already knew she was pregnant with their next child. She had no reason to be scribbling furiously like all the others.
Draco's hand found Harry's under the podium, squeezing it tightly. Just a few more questions, and they could head back to France. Neither missed living in London, though they did make it a point to stay in one of the Malfoy flats in the city several times a year. Never Grimmauld Place; that was why Harry was so willing to have the press conference there. With any luck, the media would camp out in front of it, hoping for a glimpse of the family, never realizing they didn't actually live there.
"You in the purple hat. You have a question?"
–The End –
Author's note:Thanks to all the wonderful readers who left such enthusiastic and supportive reviews all throughout MLQ. They really motivated me to keep writing and updating as quickly as I could! I'm still in awe of the number of you who followed (and reviewed!) this story – I'm so happy you found MLQ and stuck around until the end! *grins*
I'll be focusing on finishing the WIP "Resolutions" now, as well as adding chapters to "Hogwarts: A Hedonistic History". You can find both of those fics – and more than a dozen other H/D stories – on my author page. I also hope to start posting another multi-chaptered H/D fic in a few weeks. It's tentatively titled "Honeymoon", but that's not set in stone yet. It'll feature jilted!Harry and lawyer!Draco. Hope you'll all take a look when it starts posting!
A special thanks to Kamerreon for fixing my errors and soothing my ego throughout MLQ. You helped me think through plot lines and kept my grammar in-line. Thanks!