Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling. This story is merely my way of saluting her. I do not own any of these characters; I just manipulate their thoughts.
A/N: I'll try and make this as canon compliant as possible (up until the final battle, that is). Can't promise it, but I will try.
Thanks to LunaParvulus for the story. Entirely her idea, I am merely changing the mood and dialogue.
"Timetables," the Heads of Houses announced and floated the parchments towards the students. They whined and groaned their way through the list, looking over their friends' shoulders to see what classes they had together.
Hermione Granger seemed to have the only beaming face in the crowd. Her bushy hair was pinned back so her wide grin wasn't hidden away behind the brown curtain. "I have Charms in the morning! What about you guys?"
By guys, she meant her best friends, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. They were sitting on either side of her. Ron didn't bother replying as he brushed his red hair back while stuffing his face with sausages. So Hermione turned to Harry, the raven-haired boy with thin-rimmed glasses. He was busily skimming his schedule. Then he made a noise of frustration.
"Charms, then double Potions. What the hell?" he complained, slapping the parchment onto the table. The rest of his days were filled with Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic, Divination and Transfigurations.
"I'm in most of your classes, Harry. Nothing to get all huffy about. We do this every year," Hermione muttered, glaring at her moody friend. "Besides, I'm also taking Arithmancy."
Ron had just finished gulping down his food. "And," he interrupted, "all the houses are in most of the same classes."
Harry sighed despondently.
After the Battle, the animosity between the houses was all but blurred. Being in eighth year was confusing at best. Most of the students hadn't bothered returning, their education having been completed over the summer. Of the handful that had returned, there were a total of seven Gryffindors, ten Ravenclaws, six Hufflepuffs, and four Slytherins. It had been due to Molly's furious insistence that Harry and Ron returned to their school. It was only the second day back and the boys were already feeling much too antsy.
"It's just so – awkward with them, you know?" Harry said brokenly, flicking a glance at the Slytherin table.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You guys are so immature," she muttered, taking final nibbles out of her toast. "Well," she sighed, getting up from the table. "I'm off to grab my stuff. I'll meet you guys in Charms. Don't be late." With a kiss on Ron's salty lips, she walked off to her dorm.
"I have no idea why she's so happy," Ron said, returning to his bacon.
"Me neither. But in all seriousness, can you believe we have Double Potions?" Harry asked.
"And speaking of shit, look at who's staring at you," Ron murmured vehemently.
Harry knew that his friend reserved that tone for one person alone – Draco Malfoy. The Gryffindor looked towards the Slytherin table and sure enough found the blond boy staring at him. They looked away at the same instant. Ron glared murderously at Pansy Parkinson, the brunette sitting beside Draco. "What's her problem?"
"If you stop staring at her, she won't have any problems," Harry said, picking at his breakfast. His appetite was lost now because of the abysmal start to his morning. "You done eating?"
Ron looked at the spread before him with desperate eyes. Then he met Harry's amused gaze. With a sigh, he nodded. "I guess I had better anyway. Hermione said I'm getting pudgy."
That got Harry snorting with laughs. The two boys got up from their seats and shouldered their bags. As they were leaving the Great Hall, they didn't notice the slight glint in the eyes of one of their classmates. A glint of jealousy.
Professor Flitwick assigned partners for the first day of classes. "We'll be practicing the Flame-Freezing Charm. I trust all of you remember how to do this, since this was part of your OWLs. One person will cast the charm while the other will test the accuracy. Don't worry about getting your hand burned. The flames will feel warm to the touch if the charm is not set properly, and it will feel cold to the touch if it is."
A large fire pit was set in the middle of the room. The students made a wide circle around it. Flickers of orange fire floated along the edges, sixteen in all. Harry was paired with Theo Nott, the silent Slytherin with a closed expression. Nothing ever got past Theo and nothing ever got through. Harry had always been slightly unnerved by the boy.
"Um – What do you want to do first?" he asked Theo. The boy shrugged. Harry glanced at the rest of the class, most of them working on the fire already. "I – I'll cast the charm first then?" Again with a shrug. "Okay," Harry murmured to himself, thoroughly uncomfortable by the Slytherin's passive gaze. He flicked his wand at the fire and chanted, "Incendia congelo." Then he looked at Theo expectantly. The boy stuck his hand in without inhibition, holding it for a few seconds before nodding. Harry smiled unconsciously. "It worked," he remarked. Theo nodded again, returning the vague smile. It caught Harry unawares.
As he moved his flustered eyes away, he caught Draco and Parvati Patil working on their fire. Her hand was in the flame and her eyes were wide as saucers as she waved her fingers through it. Draco's smirk turned to Harry and it slipped away in an instant. They stared for a brief moment before looking away.
Theo garnered Harry's attention by saying, "My turn…"
The class ended after Professor Flitwick had checked every group's result. As expected, all of them were able to cast it well. Once homework was handed out, the professor let the students leave. Theo gave Harry another faint smile before exiting the room with the rest of the Slytherins. Harry's brows went up slightly at the gesture. He stared after the boy in bewilderment, which meant that he was unprepared for Ron's hand smacking him over the head. Harry sputtered indignantly as he turned to face his friend.
"So how did it go?" Ron asked casually.
Harry scowled at him as he rubbed his head. "Fine. Where's Hermione? Did she leave already?"
"Yeah… She said something about first day of class and not wanting to be late…" Ron shrugged carelessly. "It's Slughorn's class next…"
"Double the Slug, double the fun," Harry teased.
"Ugh!" Ron said in revulsion. "Forget being an Auror. I'm housing with George."
Harry laughed and hefted his book bag onto his shoulder. As he and Ron walked out, Parvati appeared out of nowhere and matched her steps with Harry. He stopped talking with Ron when he noticed her.
"Hey, Parvati! I thought you had left ," Harry greeted the dark-skinned girl. "So, partnered with Malfoy, huh? Just your luck."
Parvati's brown eyes grew hard for a second. But as she blinked, they returned to normal. Neither boy noticed.
"Oh. He's very good at Charms," Parvati said vaguely. "We didn't talk much. All he said was he was going to do the spell and I would test it."
"Ah… I see," Harry murmured. Parvati scowled but it turned into a smile when Harry looked at her. "Well, at least he's nicer to you. When we're partners, we do nothing but yell at each other."
"Like having a lovers' spat," Ron snickered. Harry punched the redhead on his arm.
"I think Malfoy is just an outright bastard," Parvati said haughtily. "Harry, you should just forget about him. You don't have to treat him special."
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked, laughing. "I don't treat him –"
"Oh, enough with talking about Malfoy," Parvati snapped. "We should hurry to Potions." With that, the girl walked past the two teens, not looking back once.
"What's up with her?" Ron asked.
"No idea, mate…"
"That was horrible…" Harry whined as they left the dungeon classroom. Ron nodded glumly, wholeheartedly agreeing.
"It was the longest class of my entire life!" Ron grumbled. "Three whole stinkin' hours of 'Oh, don't forget this' and 'You're mighty good at that' and 'You'll never get anywhere in life with this attitude, Mr. Weasley'."
Harry guffawed in amusement at Ron's imitation of their Potions Master.
"I enjoyed it," Hermione said. "The Sleeping Draught wasn't that hard to make."
"Easy for you to say, Hermione! Your potion didn't boil over and turn into sludge," Ron sniped. "Damned Ernie is even worse at Potions than I am!"
"Oh, Harry, watch out for –"
"You think you had it – what was that, Herm – oof!" Harry grunted as he collided into someone. Harry was the side of his head as he glanced up; he winced when he saw a pair of gray eyes glaring at him.
"Sorry," Harry muttered and tried to sidestep the blond. Draco was quicker. He blocked Harry's step.
"Potter. You have your dreadful glasses on and you still manage to walk into things. Do you enjoy being this close to me?" Draco smirked when the smaller teen darkened.
Ron growled and shoved Draco back. "He apologized, you git! Get out of the way."
"I wasn't talking to you, Weasley," Draco drawled. "I don't believe Potter needs you to talk for him."
Harry's eyes flashed in fury. Draco met the fierce look with his own steely eyes.
"You watch yourself, Ferret!" Ron hissed.
"Are you threatening me, Weasel?" Draco snarled, his gaze never leaving Harry's challenging stare. "You should be ca-"
Before Draco had the chance to finish his sentence, a jet of bright blue shot out from somewhere to the left of the arguing group. Harry saw the beam and gasped. He grabbed Draco's arms and tried to shove him away, but was too late. The jet of light hit Draco in the chest. Harry lost his balance and toppled over, landing right on top of Draco.
Hermione's shriek pierced Harry's ears. Then from somewhere above him, he heard Ron cursing colorfully. Harry sat up gingerly as he felt a goose egg forming on his head. He frowned as his head spun, only to find himself sitting on a pile of clothes.
In the midst of chaos, nobody noticed a soft, white orb settling on Harry's stomach and disappearing as it sunk into the boy's abdomen.
"Oh my god… Malfoy!" Harry scrambled away and lifted the robes. There was nothing underneath them, not even a strand of blond hair. "Fuck! Where is he?" He shook the clothing, hoping there was something left of Draco.
Hermione knelt down next to Harry. "Ron went after the – where's – where did he go? What spell was it? Did you hear?"
"Did you see who it was? I couldn't hear anything," Harry said frantically. "What happened to him? He's gone… There-there's nothing left!"
Hermione tried to remain calm. "Ron's going to get him and then we'll see, okay?"
"What if some –" Harry suddenly hissed in pain and doubled over. He wound an arm around himself while the other was pressed against the ground, holding him up. "Fuck," he muttered through gritted teeth.
"Harry! Harry, what's the matter?" Hermione said in alarm.
"It hurts," Harry gasped, his hand splayed over his stomach. He cried out as the pain hurtled through him, starting in his core and flowing to every part of him. He couldn't breathe.
"Can you stand? We need to get you to Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said urgently.
Harry couldn't understand what Hermione was saying. His sight blurred as involuntary tears formed from the agony. It felt as though his gut was being wrenched out of him. He shook his head against the torture, his arm no longer holding steady. He fell onto his side and curled up, quelling the urge to throw up.
"Harry, please," Hermione pleaded. "We need to –"
"I can't," Harry whimpered, convulsing one last time before going limp.
"Wake up, Harry…"
Harry groaned and turned his face the other way, away from the voice. All he wanted to do was sleep…
"Harry, you must wake up. Please!"
He slowly opened his eyes. Before he could open them all the way, he hissed and threw one arm across his face. Somebody clucked their tongue and Harry heard curtains closing. A warm hand took his arm and lowered it away from his eyes. Harry blinked blearily at the person. His glasses were handed back to him.
"Hermione… What happened?" Harry asked as he struggled to sit up. She reached behind him and propped a pillow against the headboard.
"You fainted from the pain in the hallway," Hermione whispered. She sat down on the chair by his bed. "You're in the hospital wing now. Ron came back with… He caught her and then saw you on the ground… He helped me with getting you here."
"Who was it?" Harry asked. He looked and saw that a screen was drawn around his bed.
"Um… It was Parvati," Hermione answered. "Ron and I took her to the Headmistress' office while you were still unconscious. She admitted to casting the spell on Malfoy."
"Why – why did she…" Harry shook his head. "How long was I out? And what was the spell? Where is he?"
"Parvati said she wanted to make Malfoy disappear… Well, apparently she did, but in the wrong sense." Hermione fidgeted on her seat. "You see, Harry, Malfoy isn't really gone."
"What do you mean? There was nothing but his robes!" Harry said helplessly. "You saw it! He wasn't there!"
The screen around Harry's bed was pulled aside and Madam Pomfrey stepped in. "Mr. Potter. I see you're awake. Quite intent on disturbing the entire ward, are you?"
Harry blushed. "Sorry, Madam. We were just – talking…"
"Which is what I am here to do," she said solemnly. The nurse walked to the bedside and lifted Harry's shirt, baring his belly. Harry looked at Hermione but all she did was shake her head. When Madam Pomfrey pointed her wand at Harry's stomach, the boy's gaze was concentrated on the wand. With a muttered spell, she brought up a projection right above Harry's belly. In the middle of the projection was a fuzzy mass. Harry squinted at it and arched his eyebrows.
"Is that my stomach? What's wrong with it?"
"The spell that was cast on you – Vita suscipio – means 'begin life'. It was cast on Mr. Malfoy with a vague intention to… make him disappear," the nurse explained cautiously, making sure to gauge Harry's expression. "It is a spell that helps an individual relive his or her life. It was used to help patients who had suffered abuse as children. It gives them a chance to lead normal, or seemingly normal lives."
Harry frowned in confusion. "So he's – wait, where is he?"
"That is the next part of the spell. Once it has been cast, the individual is transferred into the body nearest to him or her. In this case…" Madam Pomfrey trailed off.
Harry blinked at her to continue. But he saw her lips pursing. "In this case?" he prodded. She merely looked at him.
He grabbed Draco's arm and tried to shove him away…
"What?" he breathed, paling with terror. "Wh – what are you saying?"
"Mr. Malfoy will relive his childhood, from birth to the age of eighteen. He will not remember his past. He will not remember his birth parents."
"Please, I don't understand," Harry said, finding himself gasping for breath as fear choked him.
"You were closest to him when the spell struck him, which –"
"NO!" Harry shouted, scrambling away. "This can't – no, you're lying." He stumbled out of bed, his heart hammering.
"You shouldn't be moving!" the nurse exclaimed, walking around the bed towards Harry.
He grabbed his wand from under his pillow and held it out, casting a silent Protego around him. "What are you saying? What exactly are you saying?" he asked shakily, not letting the nurse get any closer.
Hermione surged towards the shield. "Please, Harry, you mustn't strain –"
"Oh god," Harry moaned, clutching his stomach. "What's happening to me?" he whimpered, dropping to his knees. His shield held strong. All Hermione and Madam Pomfrey could do was watch.
"Mr. Malfoy is in you," the nurse explained.
Harry's wand dropped as he let out a strangled cry. With the shield dissipated, Hermione ran up and held Harry's shaking body against her. "What?" he asked in shock.
"Five weeks pregnant."
Another bout of pain had Harry slipping away from reality. "No. I'm not," he said faintly, his vision flickering.
"He will be born in less than two weeks."
"He will be eighteen in June."
"He is in you."
"No…" Harry sighed as he fell away into the darkness.
The second time Harry came to, he found that it was Hermione and Headmistress McGonagall standing by his bed. The girl quickly handed him a glass of water.
"Harry, how are you feeling?" McGonagall asked. She shifted her robes and sat down on the chair next to the bed. Harry gulped down the water and set the glass on the bedside table.
"This – it's not – please, I can't –" Harry felt tears pricking his eyes.
"If there was a way to undo what has been done, don't you think I would do it in a second?" the Headmistress asked softly.
"It's not natural," Harry choked out, tears streaming.
"But it is what must be done. There is no other way. Do you understand?"
"I don't want this. I don't want any of this," Harry sobbed jerkily. "I can't do this. Please, don't make me do this. Why is this happening?"
Hermione watched on helplessly as Harry fell into despair.
"You must stay strong, Harry," McGonagall said. "You mustn't let this weaken you."
"You don't understand!" Harry shouted, clenching his fists against the covers. "I don't want this. I don't want him!"
"Harry, please," Hermione pleaded.
"I don't have to do this," Harry said, suddenly growing quiet. "I don't have to do any of this."
"You must and you will," McGonagall said firmly.
Harry lunged for his wand, but the Headmistress was quicker. Harry's pained eyes turned murderous. "Give it back," he growled.
"Not until you are level-headed."
"How the fuck do you expect me to be level-headed? After this? After – I can't – I –" he swallowed painfully. "My wand," he said, holding out his trembling hand.
"No, Harry," McGonagall said firmly.
"I am going to get rid of it," Harry spat out. "Even if that means killing myself."
Hermione stifled a cry behind her hand. Harry was staring at the old witch with fury and anguish.
"Which is why I can't let you have your wand. You don't seem to understand me, Mr. Potter," she said sternly. "You are now capable of endangering two lives, both yours and Draco's. I will not let it happen."
"I don't care. I don't care what happens to Malfoy. I don't care what happens to me. I don't want this."
"But this has happened and now you must do as I say."
"Please," Harry pleaded.
"No, Harry. You will listen. You will let this play out. If not for your sake, for the sake of Draco," she explained. "You will not punish him for what is not his fault."
"And I'm being punished for what's not my fault?"
McGonagall softened at Harry's question. "If you see it as a punishment, then that's what it will be," she said.
Harry looked disgusted now. "How is this not a punishment?" he asked.
"It rests on you alone, Harry. I am so sorry that this has happened…" she said morosely. "You will be kept here for as long as Poppy sees fit. You have been excused from school for this length of time. You do not need to hand in assignments unless you want to. And just remember," she placed a hand over Harry's cheek, "I will help you in any way I can."
On cue, Madam Pomfrey appeared behind the Headmistress. Harry's eyes fell on the round woman. She smiled sympathetically. "I am sure you have questions, Harry. I'll try and answer them the best that I can," the nurse said.
Whatever questions Harry was supposed to have, he didn't. He was all but catatonic now, the shock taking over his body. Headmistress McGonagall moved away from Harry's side, letting Madam Pomfrey sit on the chair.
"This spell was created more than five thousand years ago. Once the spell is cast, the individual reverts to his earliest life form – a fetus. The developing bundle is then transferred to the nearest individual. In most cases, the individuals need to be in physical contact with each other. This ensures no accidental transference. You were touching Mr. Malfoy when the spell struck, hence he is in your body now." At this the nurse paused, letting the information sink in. Harry merely looked through her, eyes dilated and face expressionless. Madam Pomfrey sighed as she absently brushed her hair behind her ear. "Vita suscipio – begin life. When the spell is cast, you may have seen a white glow enter your abdomen. It will grow inside you. It grows at an abnormally fast rate – nearly twenty times faster. The nine-month gestational period is cut to about ten days. He will then age around two years every month until he reaches the age of eighteen, which was when the spell was cast on him. I will perform the surgery myself. No one has to know…"
Harry blinked at her. "No one has to know…" he echoed.
Both Madam Pomfrey and Headmistress McGonagall shook their heads.
"If they ask?"
"Quarantine. Both of you."
"After two weeks…"
"You are free to go."
"Only two weeks."
"Yes, Harry. Just two weeks."
Hermione saw the familiar hardening of firm resolve in Harry's eyes. He was coming to terms with everything. He nodded curtly and looked away, an indication that he wanted to be alone. The women took their leave, letting the door fall shut behind them.
Harry woke up to the feeling of being extremely nauseous. His stomach was rolling and he could taste the bile creeping up his throat. Slapping his hand over his mouth, he tripped out of bed and ran into the bathroom. The moment his knees contacted the tiles, he retched and heaved his stomach contents, dinner from last night coming back out. He closed his eyes against the nausea, heaving in cold air as his mouth and nose burned from the acid. An instant later, he felt hands on his back. He heaved into the toilet again. The hands ran soothing circles across his back. Even as his stomach emptied, his body insisted on making him gag. The ache in his stomach had now grown into a rampant throb. The hands held him upright as he dry heaved. He didn't realize he was crying until the gagging stopped. He fell backwards into Madam Pomfrey's arms, curling up against her as he sobbed in fear and pain. "I can't do this," he gasped, his voice croaking against the soreness in his throat.
"It will pass in a few days," she said quietly, holding the shaking boy close.
The nausea was leaving Harry a shaking mess. He couldn't think of anything but his urge to vomit. It kept him up at night and it threatened to undo him in the day. He couldn't eat or drink without having to throw it up no less than an hour later. Madam Pomfrey had finally given up on feeding him. After the third try, he had thrown a tantrum fit for a king, resorting to hurtling the platter of food against the wall.
He didn't want visitors. He made that fact clear to the nurse. He couldn't handle it, not even his best friends.
He lay in bed for hours, arms wrapped around himself and eyes gazing off into the distance. At times, he was so passive that Madam Pomfrey had to cast spells to assess his health status. He slept in fits, whenever the sudden urge befell him. And whenever he ventured out of the bed, he was seized with cramps and pain. His body was morphing to accommodate for the new being inside him.
Harry awoke to resplendence. No queasiness. No bile. No shaking. He opened his eyes and stared out the window, the blue skies reflecting in the green. He sat up in bed in an instant, letting his body relax. No nausea.
His breath came in spurts as euphoria filled him. He let out a surprised laugh, pumping the air with his fists. He was famished. He slid out of bed and padded towards the door. He opened it and stuck his head out.
"Madam Pomfrey?" he called out.
The nurse leaned back on her chair from her office, surprised at hearing Harry's uncertain voice. She looked out the doorway and saw his face sticking out. "Yes, Harry?"
"Um… I was – hungry…"
Her face split into a wide grin. "Really?" she asked, placing her quill in the inkwell and pushing away from her desk. Harry nodded as she walked to his room. "What did you want?" she asked. He shrugged. "A little bit of everything then?" she said with a wink. Harry gave her a faint smile. "I'll be back in a jiffy," she said airily, motioning for Harry to return to his room.
He sighed as he sat on his bed, rubbing his aching temple. He brushed his elbow against his stomach and jerked. He dragged his shirt up to his chest and let out a startled cry. His stomach was slightly distended. He ran to the bathroom and whipped his shirt off. He stood with his side facing the full-length mirror. The bump was small and unnoticeable, but it was evident to him. He kept his fists clenched by his sides as he looked at his reflection. He made noise of frustration as he jerked his eyes away and pulled his shirt back on.
Madam Pomfrey entered the bedroom at that moment. Harry met her by the bathroom door. Floating beside her were plates of toast, waffles, bacon, cheese, fruits, bowls of cereal, cups of juice, and utensils. She placed them on the empty table by the corner of the room, facing the windows. "Here you go," she said pleasantly. "Dig in."
Harry rearranged his troubled expression as he smiled thankfully. Madam Pomfrey gave him a reassuring squeeze on his shoulder before she left. Harry sat down heavily in the chair, his eyes roving the table. It was like heaven.
"Look, mate, I don't care what you say, you can't stop me from seeing you."
Harry groaned in dismay as he hid himself behind the covers. Ron stormed into the room, followed by a highly wired Hermione.
"Look at me."
Harry didn't respond, choosing to stay silent with his back against his friends and clutching the covers against his head.
He tried to tune them out, mindlessly thinking about History of Magic and Professor Binns.
"Harry!" Ron barked.
He covered his ears with his hands and curled up into himself.
"Stop ignoring me, you twat!"
With that, the covers were wrenched away, leaving Harry visible. "Go away."
"No way! It took me way too long to get here."
"Please, just – leave."
"Please doesn't work on me. I'm your best friend."
"I'm not kidding, Ron."
"And I'm not kidding either, Harry."
"I don't want you here."
"Oh yeah? Well, I want to be here. What are you going to do about it?"
"Ron, you don't –"
"Stop being a shithead."
Harry sprang up in bed, his eyes blazing and his jaw clenching. "Fuck you," he snarled viciously.
A small smile ran across Ron's lips. "Fuck you too," he said distantly, pulling Harry into a hug.
Harry held Ron close, relief crashing through him in waves. Hermione was left on the wayside, gawking openly at the two.
"You're getting fat," Ron stated as he unwound his arms. He earned a hard smack on the head for that comment. He scowled at Harry as he flinched away. "What? It's true!"
"Try some tact once in a while," Hermione muttered, sitting on the bed hesitantly. "How have you been?" she asked Harry.
Harry shrugged, self-consciously dragging the sheets over his stomach. "I can finally keep the food down," he said.
"Good. How are you handling it?"
Harry remained silent. Ron sighed. "That bad, huh?" he asked as he took a seat in the chair.
"Yes, that bad," Harry responded heatedly. He took a deep breath to calm his rapidly increasing heartbeat. "Let's just – talk about something else."
"What else is there to talk about?" Ron asked casually. The glares he got would have caused him to turn to stone had he not been expecting them. He gave them a cheeky grin. "What? Can you think of something better to say?"
"How are you so happy?" Harry asked in disbelief.
"You'd rather have me be sad?"
Harry frowned. "Well, no, of course not… I was just wondering…"
"Since you two have decided to cry yourselves to sleep at night, I figured I might as well try a different approach."
Harry flicked his eyes at Hermione, who was blushing profusely. "I don't cry myself to sleep," she grumbled.
"This isn't worrying you?" Harry asked Ron, his voice betraying his incredulity.
"Can I do anything about it?"
"Then no, it's not worrying me."
Harry sighed as he fell back onto the pillows. "You are so weird."
"Says the pregnant guy."
Harry was showing quite prominently now. His shirt bulged out and his toned body was stretching to accommodate for the fetus. He was no longer able to sleep on his stomach due to discomfort. Unfortunately for Harry, he was only able to sleep when he was on his stomach. So that night, he lay in bed while staring at the darkened ceiling. His mind was filled with immense frustration.
It had been a confusing day for him. He could feel his stomach stretching to accommodate for the fetus' unnaturally speedy growth. It was no longer painful. But it was just as disconcerting because he could feel the added weight in him. It pushed against his stomach and back, adding fullness to his body.
Headmistress McGonagall had come to visit him that afternoon. Harry looked up from his magazine when he heard the door opening.
"May I come in?" the woman asked. Harry nodded as he put down the magazine. "How are you?" she asked warmly.
"And the baby?"
Harry froze, his stomach dropping into the abyss. "Huh?" he asked unintelligibly.
"Draco. How is he doing?"
Harry blinked at her. "I – I don't know," he stammered.
"Hmm. I'm sure he's fine. Poppy's been doing daily checkups, right?"
"You are eating well?"
"Drinking plenty of fluids?"
"No more morning sickness?"
Harry colored at this question. He had never thought of it as morning sickness before. "No," he mumbled.
"And how far along is he?"
Harry was struck dumb again. "I – er – what?"
"How many months along?"
He shook his head faintly. "I don't know," he murmured.
The Headmistress moved her eyes away to her lap as her mouth moved. "Five," she said, finally looking up at Harry with a smile. "I think he's probably five months along. Four or five more to go. You're halfway there, Harry. I'm so proud of you!"
As Harry stared up at the darkened ceiling, he realized that his hand was absently prodding his stomach. He quickly pulled his arm away. He looked at his bulge in revulsion and… curiosity. Five months along, McGonagall had said. Draco Malfoy. Halfway there. Almost done with the nightmare and the pain. His hand went back to touch his bump again.
"You owe me big time."
Harry dragged the covers up to his chin at the sudden intrusion. Theo and Blaise Zabini were at the door, the latter looking positively hell driven and the former seeming concerned.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked, his eyes wide and his mind racing.
"We want to know where Draco is and you are going to tell us, Potter," Blaise said threateningly.
"He's – not here," Harry said lamely.
"Yeah. We see that, moron. Where is he?"
"How the fuck should I know?" Harry scowled.
"Because you're supposed to be in quarantine together. What did you do to him?"
"I didn't do shit to him."
Blaise's wand was out in a flash and it was trained at Harry. "I know you're lying, Potter. You never were good at it. Tell me the truth, or so help me Merlin, you won't know your head from your arse."
"Get. Out," Harry said, his expression closed and his eyes defiant. The next second was a blur…
"Fuck," Theo swore as he pulled out his wand.
Harry felt a sharp thud against his diaphragm. His arm wrapped around his stomach while the other stretched out towards the red jolt of light.
Everything slowed to a halt.
Then it started up again.
Theo wrenched the wand out of Blaise's hand and hurled it to the ground furiously. Blaise couldn't look away from Harry. Theo gasped when he saw the pale blue bubble around the bed. Harry's head was turned away but his hand was held out, palm facing Blaise. The magic crackled slightly as it enveloped the boy on the bed.
"Potter," Theo said softly.
Harry's eyes shot open at his name. He felt the magic pulse through him, draining him at an incredibly fast rate. He reigned in the power, closing his palm into a fist and dragging it back to himself. He let his arm loop around his stomach, the same as his other one. The panic slowly died down as he heard himself breathe again.
"The spell was Vita suscipio, wasn't it?"
Harry looked at Theo in bewilderment. "What?" he asked.
"I thought it sounded like it. I wasn't sure until now."
"I – I don't – what?"
"Draco… He's here, isn't he?" Theo asked gently.
Harry couldn't answer. He didn't know what was happening.
"When is he due?"
Harry's eyes widened in shock. "Huh?"
"A few more days?"
The boy nodded helplessly, his eyes flicking towards Blaise, who had a perplexed expression on him. Theo stared at Harry for a while longer before breaking the gaze. "Sorry about – him," he said, jerking his head at Blaise.
"It's fine," Harry exhaled weakly.
"We'll go." And with that Theo grabbed Blaise's discarded wand and pulled the Slytherin towards the door. "Keep well, Harry."
Harry was too stunned to reply to this. He blinked at the door as it fell shut. Another thud hit his ribs, causing him to gasp. His arms tightened around his stomach as his eyes closed. "You're safe."
A/N: I have vowed to myself that I would never do an MPreg. Just like I had vowed to myself that I would never do a Twilight/HP crossover. I really should stop taking oaths.
Anyways, this story is written by LunaParvulus. Her fic is called Mommy Dearest. She's almost completed it, right up to the happily ever after. So give her lots of hugs and kisses. And read it. It starts off the same; I give full credit to her for making up the spell and its characteristics. I am just changing the mood the revolves around the spell. My story is darker while her story is of acceptance and love.
I'll be writing this at my leisure, so don't expect hardcore updates. I still have four stories that need to be worked on. No, I haven't forgotten about those. It's just a crazy month and I needed this to let it all out. It helps that the crux of the story is already written out for me.
Also, flamers, go ahead and flame me. I want to know all your thoughts on the controversial topic of MPreg. I kind of hinted on abortion as well. I know this offends some people, but it's what I feel Harry would be thinking about. He progresses a month almost every day, so maybe three or four more days before his contractions begin. We'll see how that goes. I still haven't decided on what to do with Draco afterwards. Nothing horrific. If you're worried about that.
Think Harry was reasonable with his reaction? Unnatural or do you think men should be able to carry children?