~ Chapter Seven ~
When Harry woke next, his memory was a little foggy. He remembered great pain and being in the library. Severus had been there as well though he had been angered by his friend for some reason. Why, Harry didn't have a clue. The only time Harry had even come close to being angry with Severus was when he had abandoned him and listened to Lucius. They had all worked through that however and the anger that he felt here was nothing compared to that.
Looking around the room he realized that wasn't even close to his location. He was laying in his bedroom not the library. The curtains were closed and a light breeze blew through keeping him relaxed and calm. As always the room that Lucius shared with him was perfect. Nothing was out of place. Also, no one else was in the room. But he couldn't quite shake this feeling inside him.
Yet something wasn't right. He felt as if he was missing something from him. A part of him that had previously been there and it was rather disconcerting. Sitting up was a slow process. It felt wrong to move around like that but the house-elves popped in and adjusted the pillows behind him before leaving without a word. He was grateful to them but they hadn't given him anything to answer his questions.
Looking down at his stomach, Harry had flashes of memory. Lucius was hugging him from behind, his hands always on his abdomen. Draco cooed at his stomach tracing circles around and around. Even Severus was there staring at his stomach like he'd never seen anything quite like it before.
The baby, he'd had his baby.
Lifting, his shirt up, all that remained was a tiny faint line that continued to gradually disappear and his flat stomach. Harry was rather distraught by this. He hadn't even been able to see his baby before it was taken away from him. Though the bond from the baby remained, it only caused Harry more grief.
Why wizards couldn't actually have the baby naturally instead of via C-section was unknown to Harry. After all males weren't meant to become pregnant either yet the baby bump had said otherwise. If he'd had the baby naturally he would have been able to see his little one as soon as he was born. He could only hope that Lucius was with their child when he couldn't.
A yawn escaped him. He hadn't quite realized it at the time but he was exhausted. The birth, even though he was unconscious at the time, must have taken more out of him than he first thought. With the pillows supporting him, Harry fell back into a blissful sleep.
The next moment Harry woke, he was gifted with a beautiful sight. Lucius sat beside him cradling a little bundle wrapped in blue. Harry smiled at them. Their child was cooing at Lucius while his husband cooed back. He truly was grateful that he could give Lucius this precious gift.
Lucius had always loved Draco and wanted a family for him. Now he had one. Harry had given him the gift he had so longingly desired. A laugh bubbled up inside him as they both cooed at each other, catching his husband's attention at last.
"Hey little lion…" Lucius said softly as he noticed Harry.
"Hi yourself, Merlin he is precious." Harry said sitting up gently.
The pillows were still supporting him so he couldn't have been asleep for long. Lucius and their newborn child were the only other people in the room. Even the house-elves were no longer present to help him. Harry cared little for that however. All of his concentration was focused on his little boy and the husband that held him close.
"He is perfect Harry. Healer Voltaire said he is in perfect health and that you will be fine as well tomorrow."
Harry nodded taking in his first sight of his little boy. The child couldn't have been more perfect. He had Harry's shining emerald eyes and Lucius' platinum blond hair. He was small, delicate and pale and everything that Harry had been hoping for.
"Has anyone else seen him?" he asked, perfectly content allowing his husband to monopolize their child. The pair just looked adorable together not that he would ever tell.
"No, other than Healer Voltaire, no one has seen or heard from any of us though I'm more than aware they are all patiently waiting outside to see us."
Harry laughed delighting in the ambiance around him. Nothing could have been more perfect than this moment in time.
"I suppose we should at least allow Draco a glance at his new baby brother."
Lucius stern gaze met his.
"Only if you are up to it, Healer Voltaire said you should rest for the day."
"There is nothing wrong with me other than I'm tired. Besides, we'll only allow Draco in today. Tomorrow we'll take our little bundle around for the others to see. Today, dear Lucius, today is about family and nothing more." Harry informed him.
Finally Lucius accepted he wouldn't have it any other way. He knew that more than likely both Severus and the Dark Lord would be outside waiting for the news. However he didn't want to think on that. Family came first. Close friends could be informed tomorrow. The news could be informed up to a week later depending on how they felt.
Handing their son to him, Lucius went to the door and left to gather Draco.
Harry's smile was blinding. He was holding his son for the first time. The babe could only coo and cry at him currently, he understood that but it was such a blessing. He had a family, a family that loved him that cherished him. There was nothing that could destroy that for him. Well nothing that was alive or that was here with him to give their opinion. Nevertheless Harry couldn't help but ask what Sirius and his parents would think.
His parents, Harry believed, would be disappointed that he hadn't been able to marry out of love like they had. He knew however that as long as he was happy with his husband and that he was healthy and well cared for, they wouldn't have it any other way. James might make a joke about it now or then and Lily would scold him before encouraging him with what he was accomplishing while married. They would be one huge oddball family. Or at least that was what he liked to believe.
Sirius was another matter entirely. He wasn't pleased with the marriage now though that varied on what he wanted. If he wanted something from Harry than the marriage was good yet if there wasn't anything at all he wanted than he despised the very nature of his marriage along with his husband. What Remus thought as well would mirror this as long as Dumbledore was head honcho.
It was very depressing that the only close friends that his parents had didn't want anything to do with his marriage. Harry highly doubted that his son would remain off that despised list. As far as Sirius would be concerned, his son was entirely a Malfoy.
The door flung open and Draco rushed in immediately followed more sedately by his father. Draco pounced on the bed before crawling up to them, cooing much like his father. Harry raised a brow at Lucius who blushed lightly before his family.
"He's adorable, Harry!" Draco exclaimed tickling the newborn.
"Thanks Dray. Do you want to hold him?" Harry offered.
Draco paled a little, nervous at the thought of holding his baby brother for the first time. But as soon as he had the baby in his arms he smiled and gained some confidence. Harry turned to Lucius.
"When are we going to reveal him to the Wizarding World?" he questioned.
"Soon, I think we should do it as soon as possible otherwise people might think that we are keeping important news from them." Lucius replied.
Harry felt the words include their marriage of important information. He knew it was silly but he was disappointed. Why couldn't those blood sucking vultures just be happy reporting news on the Ministry? All he wanted was a private life away from the media. Lucius sensing Harry's grief pulled him close careful not to jostle Draco and their son.
"Harry, soon the Dark Lord will rule the Wizarding World of Britain. You won't need to worry about the media interfering with our lives. They will have so much more to be concerned about than that."
Harry nodded feeling reassured. Lucius wouldn't lie to him.
"What have you decided to name the little wonder?"
Draco cut through their private moment.
He smirked, knowing that Draco would be frustrated about what he was about to say.
"We're going to reveal his name tomorrow when both Severus and the Dark Lord are present. That way I won't have them bitching to me about my decision to leave them out today."
Draco pouted, handing over their little bundle. He hadn't really expected them to decide on anything else really though he had to admit he was slightly disappointed. His baby brother was nameless until the gathering tomorrow. He couldn't even whisper the name to himself. All he had was the knowledge that his baby brother was healthy and so was Harry. Well at least that was more than most including the Dark Lord.
"It will definitely be a moment not to miss." Lucius commented, staring into green eyes the belonged to his husband.
"Oh I wouldn't miss it for the world." Draco answered.
Lucius took care of everything that night. Every time their child woke wanting something, Lucius would caress Harry's face before happily moving to their child. He was really taking everything seriously especially Healer Voltaire's orders to keep Harry resting for the entire night. Harry had little to do except sleep.
The following morning however, Harry was the first to see their beautiful child. He was the first to cradle him and the first to feed him. Together they dressed their child and knowing everyone was waiting for them, moved towards the receiving room. It held their guests until they were ready to see them. From what the house-elves had told them, Severus and the Dark Lord hadn't moved from that location since they arrived yesterday. It was quite endearing knowing that they both thought so much of them that they would push everything aside just to see their child.
Harry giggled as he entered the room. Now faced with him, Severus appeared to be very mortified by his actions in the library. Harry would never allow him to forget it either. Pensives could be a curse and a blessing at times. This wouldn't be a blessing for Severus.
The Dark Lord however wasn't fazed by any of it though he did have a certain pinched look to his features that often meant he was angered by something he wanted to hide.
"I see that you have finally decided to grace us with your presence." The Dark Lord scowled.
"Oh, please, as if you weren't hanging around to see our child all night just so you could brag to the other Death Eaters."
Voldemort narrowed his eyes in warning. Obviously he wasn't going to tolerate a lot of back talk from him since he was no longer pregnant. Harry didn't care. No one else challenged the Dark Lord in such a way and he wasn't about to stop.
"What is his name?" the Dark Lord enquired.
Lucius looked at Harry and nodded his acceptance. It had taken a while for Lucius to agree that their child would be named after his father. However he at least realized that it wouldn't be the child's first name. That had been the winning factor for Harry.
"His name is Eltanin James Black and we plan to allow him to inherit the Black Family fortune when he comes of age."
The Dark Lord nodded his head in approval. Draco was the Malfoy heir and Harry would inherit the Potter and Black family monies. Their children would obviously inherit what they would pass down so they hadn't merged all of their monies together at the time of their marriage. It appeared as if they had thought of everything.
Severus however sneered. Not only was the child named after his enemy but the brat would also be getting the Black fortune. If that didn't spell disaster he didn't know what did. That inheritance could only bring trouble considering where it had originated. Luckily however the child had Harry and Lucius to steer him in the right direction. He could only hope that the brat would listen.
Draco cooed at his baby brother having just entered the room. Lucius twitched and Harry snorted. Of course he would still be embarrassed about that. Yet another thing that Harry would be adding to the Pensive later.
Eltanin gurgled and everyone smiled.
"I think it's about time to introduce the latest member of the Malfoy family to the remainder of our group and I have a job for the pair of you." The Dark Lord said, speaking to Lucius and Harry.
They nodded knowing it would have to do with the numerous prisoners they kept hidden from view. No one had spoken to them yet. All had been left to rot in the dungeons until Harry had finally given birth.
"Let's deal with the Death Eaters first shall we?" Harry replied.
Those at least he could handle being around having so much practice when he was in a tiff with Lucius. The others he hadn't seen in nearly a year. That would definitely be an awkward meeting.
The Death Eaters as it were, were thrilled to have another little Malfoy running around. When they introduced Eltanin to the group they all began to cheer. Most called the house-elves for drinks for a celebratory drink that would turn into several by the end of the night. Harry still couldn't quite grasp how becoming blind drunk was a fun way to celebrate something. Especially when one wouldn't even be able to understand why they were so drunk in the first place come the next morning.
None were too game however to greet the newborn as the Dark Lord stood protectively over Harry and the child. Harry would have welcomed them but even Severus and Draco were very protective of the infant though surrounded by their colleagues and friends. This child would have to be one of the most protected in all the land. Not even a royal could top anything they dished out.
"When do you want Lucius and I to head down and speak with the prisoners?" Harry questioned later in the day.
Eltanin had been placed in bed. The newborn could only handle a few hours awake at a time. As it was, Lucius was checking on him now, making sure that he was alright in the nursery attached to their bedroom. Even the house-elves had been checking on the child numerous times delighted that there was another Malfoy to serve.
"I would like for you to complete the task as soon as Lucius returns. Also, don't do anything rash. I will know if you make an attempt." The Dark Lord warned.
Harry nodded accepting the terms. He knew what the Dark Lord meant.
"I'll go straight there. Direct Lucius there when he returns, alright?"
He didn't expect a verbal acceptance though he knew the Dark Lord would keep his unspoken word. Though he had been living with Death Eaters on a regular basis, he was still watched in case he did something foolish and Gryffindor. Harry didn't blame him however as if their roles were reversed he would do the same.
Walking down the stairs and into the dungeons hadn't been that difficult. What he had struggled the most with was the thought of facing them all again. Every time he came with a face he didn't want to speak with he would pause before shaking himself out of it and continuing. This was a test the Dark Lord had given him and he would pass it. He would remain with his family.
"Why do you think they are celebrating?" he heard Remus ask.
The noise had been continuous since ten that morning so it wasn't a wonder why they were questioning it. In fact he was unsure why many of them hadn't simply asked the guard stationed at the door. Humph, probably didn't want to associate with a Death Eater, Harry scowled.
"It obviously won't be good news for us." The voice was familiar but he couldn't recognize it.
Finally, he nodded to the guard who slide the door open so he could walk down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs there was a door of metal bars to keep them separated. Malfoy's didn't take any chances when it came to their safety.
Everything went hushed. The whispers that he had once heard from the other side of the cell were quiet. All he could hear were the cheers and shouts from upstairs. Then slowly but surely people began to step forward into the light to see their visitor.
Harry looked at all the captured fighters for the Light. Their eyes, once realizing who was before them, begged him to free them but he couldn't even if he wanted to which he didn't. He no longer felt an urge to help them when they did very little for him. He only felt that he should protect his family. Nothing else truly mattered to him.
"Harry! Harry my dear boy please free us and then we can escape and keep you safe from these dark, horrid people." Dumbledore said in a grandfatherly voice yet the pain behind it was unmistakable.
He'd been under the Cruciatus and numerous other painful curses by Severus, Lucius and Voldemort all in revenge for him and the lifestyle the old man had placed him through. They had believed they could keep it from him but he had overheard them on more than one occasion. The three of them weren't exactly subtle about these things.
"Harry mate come on hurry up! We can go play Quidditch after this is all over."
"Prongslet! We'll get you out of that loveless marriage. We'll bargain with the ICW ourselves if we have to!"
"Harry, I hope you've been well. Now get us out of here."
A flare of pain crossed his scar. It was Voldemort's warning should he attempt to free them from the dungeons not that he planned to. He didn't need the warning. All of these people were liars. All of them had told him that they would do anything for him. But they had lied and they continued to do so through false promises of "freedom". Ha, freedom, he didn't need to be free when he was already.
While his once friends were crying in pain and suffering Harry couldn't help but smile he felt truly free in that moment. His tormentors were in cages where they deserved to be and he was with his husband. He was beginning a family, something he had always dreamed of doing. His family were the only thing that mattered to him and these people had almost ruined it after creating it in the first place.
"What are you smiling for my love?"
Harry turned to see Lucius standing behind him. Lucius had his gaze firmly on the traitors behind him as if they would attack from behind the bars. They couldn't. They didn't have any weapons or wands to even break down the door. Nothing would help them from the inside. The only way they could be freed was someone on the outside.
"My life is perfect, did you know?" he asked, moving to his husband.
"You have me in your life, of course, I knew it was perfect." He boasted.
Harry heard gagging behind him and knew it to be Ron. He was always such an immature prat. Everyone else however was in disbelief. Some had figured it out. Yet others still held out hope that he would aid them.
"Harry, you have your wand, stun him!"
"Get us out Harry!"
"Come on mate!"
Harry turned around, Lucius wrapping his arms around him. The pair couldn't have been more different from each other in appearance. However their acceptance of traitors was dead on. They couldn't stand them. Of course, they weren't there to kill them off. Harry and Lucius were merely present to give them their options.
"Actually I'm here to inform you the Dark Lord has given you two choices. You can either swear an oath to never start another war or you will be executed as traitors after your individual trials."
That shut everyone up. They were in shock. No one could believe that their saviour, their last hope, had just informed them to either give up or die. He was the Boy-Who-Lived. He'd practically survived through everything anyone could throw at him. Why was it now that the Chosen One decided to finally give up?
"Prongslet, what are you talking about?" Sirius whispered in disbelief.
He was the only one that spoke up. The others could barely find their voice.
"I thought he was speaking clearly," Lucius snarled. "You have only two options to leave this dungeon. It is up to you which of those you decide."
Frustration was beginning to build within Lucius. They had still pinned all of their hopes on the one person they threw away without thought. What did they expect from him? Did they believe that Harry would drop everything and return to them? They were kidding themselves if that were the case. Nothing would be able to convince Harry away from his family, nothing.
"He wouldn't just abandon us for any reason!" Hermione insisted. "You must have done something to him."
Harry winced at her screeching voice. They higher it got the more unbearable it became as many around her knew all too well.
"Listen here mudblood. I have done nothing to Harry that we haven't previously discussed. Everything I do to him is with his permission. I will never sully my husband in such a manor!"
Harry placed a comforting arm on Lucius'. He could understand why Lucius had snapped like that. Originally he had been concerned that Harry wouldn't accept everything that he did. He had worried that if he attempted something he was familiar with and Harry was not, he would only push Harry further away. Throughout their relationship however they had come to small agreements about what they liked and disliked. Lucius would only ever do what Harry wanted. He wouldn't risk it any other way.
"Look you have two choices, pick one, that is all there is to it. Now if you'll excuse me, we have a party to re-join." Harry finished.
"What are you celebrating, a victory of another hundred dead?" someone in the back snarled.
"Actually if you must know, we are welcoming a new member into the family. His name is Eltanin James Black."
With that Harry led Lucius away from his once friends. He didn't want to remain to hear them discuss their options. Nor did he want to hear them badmouth his family. All he wanted to do was celebrate his baby boy's birth with his friends and that was what he planned on doing.
In the dungeons, everyone shuddered as the steel door slide shut once more. The only light they were offered was the minimal light that came from the one candle in the room. No one could remove it and no one could the blow it out. Not that they wanted to either it was the major heat source within the room.
"What now Dumbledore, who are you going to place your faith on now." Moody snarled.
Dumbledore merely dropped his head in defeat. Their saviour had abandoned them and they had only been given two choices. Live or die and to them both as dying.
"You have a choice to make and I can't make it for you." Dumbledore's voice told them wearily.
Those who knew him could tell he had made his decision. The rest all lost themselves in thoughts. Sirius however had been staring at the door since Harry had left.
Eltanin Jame Black… the newest member of the Malfoy family. From what he could gather, they both sounded like happy parents. What was it about that which caused him feelings of guilt? He certainly hadn't felt this way when Harry had first been married off to that jerk. There hadn't even a twitch when he stopped speaking to Harry or when Harry refused to speak back to him. Now, this guilt was eating him up inside.
Why was it that he felt this way? If he asked, Remus would reply that he was guilty for the pain that he had undoubtedly forced upon Harry whether he realized it or no. Either way it didn't really matter Harry was far away from him.
Or maybe not…
Truly all he needed to do to rekindle his relationship with his godson was swear an oath. Where was the difficulty in that? From what he understood Harry was happy enough with his way of life. If he was being forced to use Dark Arts he wouldn't have been very pleased with anyone around him. Also if Lucius was doing something he didn't approve, Harry would fight back. He wasn't weak and he knew exactly what he was doing.
This brought the question on what he was meant to do. If Harry was truly happy then why was he fighting it? It may not have been the way he believed Harry would find happiness but to actually have it was something Sirius had never achieved. He'd never found someone that he could spend the remainder of his life with. He'd never had that amazing connection with someone like that. Harry had found it however and he was pushing his godson away because of it.
Sirius wanted to Harry to have the life he never had. He wanted his godson to have a family like they both had been denied. Did Eltanin, the next Black heir, have Harry's eyes? Did he have James' hair? There were so many things he didn't know and many that he wasn't likely ever to find out if he decided to remain with Dumbledore.
In the end it all came down to the single question, did he want to live or die?
After a week of deliberation, only a few decided life was worth living under the Dark Lord's rule. The rest had remained as far back as possible not uttering a word as they were released after speaking their oaths. Harry hadn't had the heart to watch the people who had agreed to the oath. Instead of wondering if his godfather had chosen life he shut himself up with Eltanin and Severus as Lucius actually had to work that day.
Draco had gone as a witness but he hadn't said anything when he returned, choosing to grace them with a warm smile before heading off to bed. It hadn't given Harry a high hope. Eventually, he chose to focus on the important things in his life and ignore everything else until he could deal with it or was forced to. Life was just simpler that way.
Of course once the trials rolled around he could ignore that no longer.
The trials began on the eve of the New Year coinciding with the Dark Lord's birth. No one knew that, no one except Harry and he thought it hilarious. These prisoners' sentencing would be Voldemort's gift to himself. If that rather smug expression on the Dark Lord's face was anything to go by then he was rather proud of himself as well.
The first on trial was Dumbledore. The old man had definitely seen better days. His skin had sunken with the little food he had been given in the dungeons. Even his robes were ripped and dirtied. It almost seemed better that he had gone this route than live with what little health that remained.
"Albus Dumbledore you have been charged with one account of treason against the Dark Lord, three accounts of child abuse and one account of falsifying evidence. How do you plead?"
There was no emotion in the man's voice though his emotive blue eyes continued to scan around the room. Harry could see the regret in Dumbledore's eyes as he noticed the four of them, a happy little family with a bouncing infant. His son seemed to be the undoing of everyone for some unknown reason. The toughest of men caved before him, Dumbledore included.
In that instant, Harry knew that he Dumbledore was asking for forgiveness. Yet he was seeking something that Harry couldn't currently grant him. There was simply too much pain that lingered for him to do so.
"Albus Dumbledore for your crimes you are to face the Killing Curse on the next following Monday. Til then you are to await your time in the cells of Azkaban."
Dumbledore's eyes remained focused on Harry. He couldn't look away even if the Dark Lord were staring him down, making sure he didn't slip and do something that could ruin him. Like he would, with Eltanin in his lap he wouldn't risk anything. Harry was merely here to sit and watch the proceedings like a loyal follower nothing more.
The old man was soon dragged away in chains. After that everything went alphabetically. Yet it was once they reached Diggle that Harry realized Black hadn't been called. Sirius wasn't in the line-up that would face certain death. Scanning, the remainder of the group, he realized Sirius wasn't even there. He wasn't present at the trials. Could that mean…
"Where is he?" Harry said, his head snapping to Lucius.
Lucius didn't need to ask who Harry was speaking of.
"He agreed to take the oath, Harry."
Confusion, spread over his face as another was sentenced this time for the Dementor's Kiss.
"Why would he do something like that? Why did he take the oath?"
"That is a question for him, don't you think?" Lucius suggested, his eyes never leaving the Light fools below.
Harry accepted this. He really should be asking Sirius but he'd just been lost as to why he'd chosen not to follow his leader's choice. Everything he had done or said had been directly against what Harry had chosen to live his life by. Why now would Sirius accept it? That was if even had accepted this. If he hadn't, why had he chosen to remain behind?
He remained patient through the remainder of the trials. Week after week there were numerous trials all with the Dark Lord presiding and the Death Eaters along with their families watching. It certainly didn't become any easier as each person, some Harry had once trusted well, were lead out to face their sentence.
The sentences didn't really change dramatically for every person. They were basically the same. This was because they all faced the same charges. A few were different but it didn't alter the sentences at all unless they were significant charges. But that was why Dumbledore had gone first.
The adults amongst the group were either sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss or a life sentence in Azkaban in a high security cell. Many of them were hoping for the Dementor's Kiss. It was definitely preferred over a life sentence in that prison with them feeding off the poor wizards and witches trapped there every day.
Everyone underage was sentenced to a life in Azkaban with the Dementors as guards in the medium security cells. If they misbehaved they would instantly be moved to the high security cells. If they behaved they could be moved into the low security cells where only humans would watch over them.
The two major sentences carried out where terrible and frightening but Harry didn't dwell on what might have been for him should he have remained with them and lost. He couldn't handle something like that. As it was he wasn't handling these trials very well. Those that knew Harry well were calling to him, begging him to do something, anything, to save them. It was downright frustrating to have everyone's attention diverted to him constantly. He kept his attention on everything, not allowing them to get to him.
Another person Harry realized wasn't with the group was Remus Lupin. It had taken five weeks to reach that far in the alphabet but it was still rather shocking. Many of those that he didn't really know had chosen to take the oath. Those he knew well had all decided to face the consequences. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin weren't amongst them. But as usual Lucius remained tight lipped on everything.
By the end of it all and the death of Albus Dumbledore, Harry knew what he desired to do.
"You are going to speak with them aren't you?" Lucius questioned, as they headed towards the floo.
The last of the trials had just taken place and they were all free to leave. Of course, those that were needed remained behind to aid their Lord in the task of moving the remainder of the prisoners.
"Not right now. Perhaps in a few more weeks when Eltanin is comfortable with me leaving for a few hours."
The parents smiled. Eltanin had begun to fuss when either of them was away for any length of time. Currently, they could only get away with half an hour before he began to realize they weren't with him. Even Draco was of little help. Though blood related he simply wasn't what Eltanin was searching for. His cries would only be calmed by his parents.
"I'm sure they will welcome you regardless of how long you desire to wait." Lucius comforted.
The corner of Harry's mouth rose. Yes, he also had the feeling that they would wait for any length of time just to see him again.
"Come, let's return home. I'm sure Draco has had enough of his squirming little brother."
"Don't you mean screaming?" Harry joked.
Wrapping an arm around him, Lucius stepped with Harry into the floo and after two words were whisked away from the Ministry of Magic.
Harry was standing before the last place he expected that day, Grimmauld Place. He wasn't sure why he had chosen today to face them. Eltanin was one and a half now. They had been handling everything well since the trials had ended. He hadn't even spared them a thought until that morning. Something that Draco had mentioned briefly had sparked them within his mind and he'd taken the day off from helping the Dark Lord to come here.
No one knew he was here. He hadn't thought it wise to tell anyone that would storm the place within seconds if he was late by a few minutes. So he had simply asked for the day off and ended up taking muggle transport to get here.
There was the smallest possibility that Sirius and Remus weren't even here any longer. Draco had mentioned that many of the people that had taken the oaths had either chosen to take simple jobs or had left the country. However he needed to know that they still wanted to give him a chance. He needed to know if they would explain their choices to him.
Stepping over the threshold, he walked up the path and knocked on the front door. The instant screams by Walburga Black were certainly revealing. Harry knew instantly that they were here.
"Don't know how many times I've told people not to knock on the…door." Sirius stopped rambling as soon as he realized who was standing on his doorstep.
It was rather a tense silence. Neither was entirely sure what they were meant to be doing or saying to one another. They both drank in the other's appearance marvelling at how well they appeared to be given the circumstances which led them there. It was almost shocking at how much they had changed in a few years with the help of the war.
"Oh for Merlin's sake, Sirius, stop standing there like a statue and let Harry inside." Remus huffed.
Sirius looked sheepish but stepped aside. Harry awkwardly stepped inside well aware of what this house meant to all of them.
"You look well." Harry commented to Remus.
In fact he'd never seen the Werewolf look this healthy before. His skin had a golden tinge to it and he no longer looked sunken and grey. His hair was greying at the temples but all in all he was well.
"As do you, Harry, for what you have gone through."
Harry assumed he meant the pregnancy and didn't comment further. He loved his baby boy and the father that had aided in his birth. Nothing was about to change that even subtle hints from Sirius and Remus.
He politely accepted tea in the lounge room. Memories resurfaced simply being in the house. They weren't pleasant. They were part of a time Harry wanted to forget. But this was necessary so he was going to get through it as swiftly as possible.
"Why did you do it?"
Sirius and Remus cast each other a significant glance.
"What are you asking Harry?"
Harry took a deep breath. He needed to figure out what he wanted to start with. There was much he wanted to ask and not long before Lucius would begin to suspect something was wrong.
"Why did you firstly side with Dumbledore?"
Remus placed a hand on Sirius to indicate he was more comfortable speaking first. Harry didn't care he merely wanted answers.
"My decision is rather obvious. Back when I was young and first beginning Hogwarts, many Headmasters wouldn't have allowed a Werewolf anywhere near the other students. Dumbledore was different. He accepted me and allowed me entrance provided that every full moon I lock myself away in the Shrieking Shack." Remus explained. "That was his only condition and my parents practically jumped on it to allow me the chance to be around other magical beings."
"Ever since then, Dumbledore became this great figure to me that couldn't be beaten. He kept everything about my condition under control and even granted me a job when I truly needed it. I believed that he accepted everything about my condition. But I was mistaken. I was greatly mistaken to believe that anyone could be that pure. I didn't believe it when numerous people told me about your troubles at home because I thought Dumbledore would take care of it. I placed all of my faith with him and that wasn't the correct thing to do, cub, I'm sorry for what I have put you through."
Harry nodded, not necessarily forgiving him just yet but accepting that he had seen where he had believed he was mistaken. Of course, Sirius didn't look half as honest with his response than Remus did.
"My excuse isn't half as grand as Remy's." Sirius said mournfully. "Though I also heavily relied on Dumbledore's trust and his beliefs the majority of my mistakes are placed on me. I'm not the same person I was before my stint in Azkaban and that has greatly affected my reasoning. Cub, I'm not asking you to forgive me for this. It might take a while for me to regain my true self. I have start but it will take a lot of sessions with my psychologist."
Harry nodded. He understood that Sirius wasn't the same. At times when they had remained at Grimmuald Place back in fifth year, Harry had realized that Sirius didn't quite see him. He knew that Harry was there but occasionally he acted like Harry was James instead. Not many could have picked it up but it was still there.
"If that is the case, then I don't think it would be a good idea to introduce you to Eltanin. I will send you pictures of him but until you're better I won't risk it." Harry told him.
Sirius and Remus had no other choice but to accept this. After all they could tell that like Lily, Harry wouldn't allow anything to happen to his little boy even if it cost him his life.
"Why did you choose to take the oath?" he continued.
"That is an easy one to answer. We didn't want to take the easy way out. We're Marauders. What would we have said to James if we met him up there and hadn't given it our all to protect you and to fix up everything we had screwed up?" Remus said.
"More than likely he would have us kicked back to right everything."
Harry gave a small laugh, enjoying the image of his father they created for him.
"How is your son doing?" Remus enquired.
"He is well considering whom he has attempting to influence him. Draco has decided that it is his job as big brother to make sure he knows everything a Malfoy should. It's rather humorous to see. Eltanin is one and a half and has mastered walking albeit slightly wobbly. He's a long way off what Draco has in store for him."
They all shared a laugh. Remus knew what Draco could be like when he wanted something. Of course Sirius was merely thinking of his cousin's son and the little toddler he remembered seeing on the odd occasion. However at least it was something. Perhaps one day they could see the young man he had become.
Suddenly the house shook. It wasn't violent but it alarmed both Remus and Harry who had never witnessed anything like it before.
"What is that?" Harry asked.
Sirius stood sighing.
"That would be your husband poking at the wards."
Harry blushed. It certainly hadn't taken him long to figure out where he had disappeared to. Perhaps next time he should lie and give them more time to speak. At least then they might actually have a proper conversation instead of just simple talk and explanations.
"He's probably just worried about me." Harry answered as the wards shook again.
"Why, it's not like we would have done anything!" Sirius said indignantly. He even added a pout.
"I didn't tell anyone where I was going when I left." Harry said sheepishly.
Remus laughed behind his hand as Sirius gaped.
"There's still some Gryffindor in you yet." He exclaimed fist pumping childishly.
Harry just shook his head at his godfather.
"Sirius just because I'm living with a bunch of snakes doesn't mean I will chance any time soon. Though I may become more sneaky so you should beware of what might befall you should you do something like this again."
Sirius barked out a laugh excited for this new round of life they had been given.
"Indeed dearest godson indeed. Now I think you should be on your way just so the wards remain intact for the next few generations."
"I'll come and visit when I can."
Hugging them both, he walked out the door and directly into Lucius arms. The man immediately apparated them to back to Malfoy Manor before standing back, holding him by his shoulders' to get a better look at him.
"Are you alright?" Lucius scrutinized.
"Yes, Lucius, I'm fine."
Lucius hummed before dragging him back for a hug.
"Did you find your answers?"
"That and more, Lucius, that and more."
Five years later…
Eltanin rushed down the halls. He knew that Draco was behind him attempting to keep up with him. However his mumma had always said that he was much faster than anyone he knew. His father agreed. Draco had no hope of catching him. Besides this was important! He needed to get to his mumma!
The back door to Malfoy Manor swung open drawing the attention of those gathered nearby. He ignored them all. Many of them were important people or so his father said. Mumma simply rolled his eyes so he didn't think they would mind him interrupting for this.
His mumma was standing with his father, the man with the red eyes, Sev, Siri and Remy. They all looked happy but he knew that at one time they hadn't been like this. He didn't remember a lot but he could tell that they didn't always see eye to eye on some subjects. Siri and Remy more than the others.
"Eltanin!" his mumma called as he realized he was weaving his way through people.
It merely made him run faster before throwing himself at his mumma's legs and burying into the green robes he was currently wearing.
"Draco you were meant to watch your brother for the smallest of times." Their father scolded.
"You try keeping up with that little rascal!" Draco exclaimed finally catching up with him.
Eltanin didn't pay any attention to the however as his mumma kneeled down before him and picked him up.
"What's the matter Eltanin?" he asked.
Leaning in, Eltanin whispered, "Mumma, why is Draco saying you're gonna look like blimp soon?"
The first time Eltanin had called Harry mum, Draco had split his sides laughing. This had upset Eltanin, not knowing why his brother was laughing at him. Harry had retaliated by turning Draco's hair violet for a month. He'd never laughed at anything like that again.
Harry glared at Draco though everyone else appeared interested in what the little six year old had said.
"That was meant to be private, Draco!"
"What? It's not like I knew he was going to run to you as soon as I'd told him!"
Lucius wrapped his arm around Harry and pulled them close.
"What is going on with my little one?" he asked.
"He simply found out the news we were planning on telling everyone today."
Lucius smiled and hugged Harry closer. Everyone else looked confused. Draco however was smug. He'd been the first one Harry had told. Not even his father had been aware of it until a week later when Harry had come home with an ultrasound.
Harry turned to his baby boy, ignoring the curious looks of everyone gathered.
"Well baby, soon you will have a new baby sister to play with."
Eltanin tilted his head, confused as everyone congratulated his parents. Why did he have to wait a few months? Why couldn't he play with his sister now?
Lucius sensing his confusion said, "We'll explain it to you later little one."
"What name do you plan to give her?" Sirius asked, smiling.
He and Remus had only been part of the group for two years now but they wouldn't have traded it for the world.
"Have you even chosen a name?" Severus enquired.
Lucius looked down to Harry in acceptance before they were all told their little angel's name.
"Her name will be Elladora Lillian Potter and she will inherit the Potter Family fortune."
The newest addition to the Malfoy family wouldn't happen for a few months but in that time they would be ever the more grateful for having everyone by their side. With all of their support they could get through anything that was sent their way. After all a Malfoy was only as a good as the company they kept and in this case their company, their friends, were golden.
I finally finished one of my Harry Potter stories! Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed this story! I hope you enjoyed it.
*Special thanks to Sanome who took the time to send me copies of the original chapters after I lost them. Without you this story would have been lost forever~