"Filius will be arriving shortly, so you will reread your vows to Kingsley to him. He'll be able to help get everything sorted," Minerva explained to the concerned Alastor.
"Do you really need to add more people to this kettle of soup?" Alastor asked. He tilted his head and looked down at Minerva. "You're easily as smart as Filius. I seem to remember you had the longest Hat Stall ever recorded. It's in Hogwarts: A History, as the Sorting Hat wasn't able to decide where you should end. I was not able to reckon - does a Hat have a mind? Even if it's a talking hat?"
"You remember my Hat Stall?" a surprised Minerva exclaimed.
"Yes, because I was the next student Sorted and I wished to be in your House. I hoped you'd be in Slytherin," he admitted. "When it was my time to be weighed and wrapped like a parcel, I struggled to talk the blasted Hat into making me a lion. Its response was that Slytherin needed me more than the lions ever would."
"You never told me that," Minerva said. "You wished to be in Gryffindor?"
Alastor looked embarrassed. As well he should, being a pure blood Slytherin of the old traditions.
"Only because you were a lion. If you had been an eagle, I would have wished to have been one. You never knew that I fancied you from the moment I first saw you. For years, I was convinced that if I was the orator my father was, the Hat would have agreed to let me into your House."
"No, I never knew," she whispered. "You never told me."
"I never told you near enough," Alastor softly admitted. He heavily sat down on the couch and he began massaging his right leg.
Minerva decided that boldness was the best course of action. She sat next to Alastor and put her hands on his leg. There was a knot in his thigh muscle and with an industrious efficiency; she began to attack the misbehaving muscle.
"Minerva…" Alastor softly protested as he moved his hands away from hers.
The fact that he didn't wish to touch her, stung.
"We won't end horizontally," quipped Minerva in what she hoped was a gentle, loving tone. "Not with Bryce and Lee in the next room. You've been overdoing it and your leg is bothering you. Taking care of Bryce is exhausting at the best of time, let alone when he's ill. Can you stretch your leg?"
Alastor stretched and he growled an obscenity.
"Language, Alastor. I would prefer if Nora didn't learn that particular word until she's at least four," Minerva snipped.
He nodded his shaggy head once. Alastor then closed his eyes and sighed.
"When we are all sorted, I'll ask Kingsley to share Nora's birth," promised Minerva. "I'd share my experience with you, but I fear your reaction. You'd never wish to have sex again."
"Make love," was his tired, rote response. "How many times have I told you, it was always lovemaking, never just sex for me?"
"I wasn't sure of your reaction if I use that term," she admitted. "Least you refrained from vowing that we'd never make love again."
"I've made enough promises that I've shredded. I know how our twisted relationship will end, with me in your bed again, Minerva. I will do it, even though I know that I will hurt Kingsley."
"The only way we will hurt Kingsley is if we don't invite him to join us," Minerva advised Alastor.
"Bloody hell," growled Alastor. He leaned towards Minerva and took her hands off his leg. "Why do you desire to ruin what you have with Kingsley? I see the way he looks at you; why pull me into it? I'm no fecking good. I don't remember anything and I've hurt you both repeatedly."
"Truth be told, I love both of you. I also believe that I am woman enough to handle both of you. At the same time," Minerva firmly stated. "However, you and Kingsley need to get straightened out first."
Kingsley rolled on his side and saw a set of very serious dark eyes staring at him. Combined with the riotous dreads (apparently Alastor Moody had decided his version of child care was limited to sweets, not hair care) and the assortment of very dangerous looking dragons, it could only be one person. When the little boy clambered onto the bed, Kingsley was nearly clobbered by Bryce's beloved book, but he said not a word. Instead he moved over so the little boy could sit next to him.
"Bryce?" he murmured
The little boy stared at him intently. As though he was looking for something.
"No spots, Lee," insisted Bryce. "No spots!"
"I don't have the Plague," Kingsley informed Bryce. "I'm very tired. I just need a long nap and I'll be as right as rain. When I'm feeling better, you and I will go for ice cream. Just the two of us plus a dragon or three."
The entirely too grave little boy nodded his head.
"How about you? Are you tired, Bryce? What about your dragons?"
"Sleepy," was his soft confession.
"Let's get them all comfy," Kingsley suggested. "Tuck them in."
Before long, wizard, child and the assorted stuffed dragons were asleep.
"Semper amabo te non dubito cuncta meo. Tu mihi optimum…" Alastor slowly pronounced the last of his bonding ceremony and then expectantly looked at Filius Flitwick. His shoulders were hunched, as though internally preparing himself for ridicule. It was something Alastor the student had traditionally done after he had answered a question.
It had taken much patient tutelage from Filius before Alastor ceased that instinctive twitch.
"Oh my," whispered a tearful Filius. "I never knew you were such a romantic. That was … beautiful."
An extremely embarrassed Alastor self-directed a disparaging, growled comment.
Once Filius composed himself, the Charms Master smiled. "Good news. Your pronunciation was impeccable. You didn't differentiate the dipthongs. Your pitch was perfect; your gliding of the monothongs was gorgeous. Your syntax was superb. You have crafted a Bonding Ceremony suitable to be added to the Lexicon of Bonding Ceremonies."
"Then why the bloody hell is Kingsley on the verge of physical collapse?" growled Alastor.
"The Bond between you and Kingsley was never consummated. Repeated physical contact helps strengthen the bond….It doesn't have to be sexual contact, but your Bond has been woefully neglected. Since Kingsley Bonded Minerva and we didn't balance his Bond with you, his magical essence is off kilter as it's feeding two Bonds. Bluntly, I think your Bond with Kingsely is fraying from the strain. Since you're alive, the Bond was meant to be death to you part; Kingsley's neglected Bond is voracious as it's been starved for the last year and more. Add in the entire Timey Wimey incident when Kingsley took Minerva back a year in order for her to have the baby, and it's gone completely pear shaped. We need to balance the bond and do it expediently."
"How," Minerva asked.
Filius turned pink. "Skin to skin contact. Doesn't have to be sexual contact, but it would help re-align it faster."
When Alastor said not a word, Minerva took command. "How much time do we have?"
A confused Alastor mouthed, "We?" and Minerva repeated it louder. "Yes, WE. How much time do we have?"
"I'd say… twelve hours," Filius admitted. "At the most. If the Bond isn't stabilized, it will be a peaceful end for Kingsley, as he'll simply fall asleep."
"Get undressed," ordered Minerva. She walked towards the stunned Alastor and with swift, expert motions; honed by years of erotic exercise, Minerva began pulling his shirt out of his trousers.
He slapped at her hands, gently but still forcible enough so that she'd cease manhandling him. "Not in front of Master Flitwick."
"This is no time to be bashful, Alastor." Her tone was brisk, but she tried to be compassionate. "Drop trow and get into bed."
"Must you order me about?" Alastor growled. "I do know how to shuck off my clothes!"
"Yes, I must instruct you as I'm terribly frightened about losing Kingsley and you. When Kingsley dies, the Bond will recoil back to you. If you're fortunate, it will kill you instantly, else it will be an excruciating death…" Minerva spoke quietly, yet intensely.
"And what about you?" Alastor asked. "If Kingsley dies and I go with him, what about you? You are Kingsley's bondmate."
"I'll be alone," Minerva stated with a quiet dignity. "Witches, being the stronger sex, usually can survive the abrupt severing of a Bonding. Plus, I have the children to tie me to the earthly plane."
"I'm going in," Alastor growled. "I'll undress in there."
"I want to come in also, so I can take Bryce. I won't say goodbye to Kingsley, because he's not going anywhere. Kiss for luck?" Minerva quipped.
"Not yet," inserted Filius. "Don't kiss Alastor and most importantly do not kiss Kingsley. The bond is failing due to a lack of magical essence to continue it. Physical contact with either one of them may cause it to latch onto you."
Alastor kissed two of fingers and then blew on them so the kisses were sent toward Minerva. The surprising gesture brought back old memories and Minerva had to wipe her eyes.
"You did that in Glasgow on that night we reconnected. We hadn't talked in years after we had dissolved our engagement… and there you were … in Glasgow. We were at the same boring function. I was a guest, you were guarding someone. I looked at you and you did that. It was so… unexpected… yet so undeniably you… It all came back... how much I loved you," she whispered.
"I never…." Alastor began.
"No, no, no, no, no! Kingsley! Focus on Kingsley!" Filius interrupted. "Kingsley! When that's sorted, you two can hash out old times. Not before!"
"Come on, Bryce. Little dragons need to sleep in their own cave," Minerva said. She held out her arms and Bryce went to her. However, he first embraced Kingsley tightly. Kingsley and Bryce exchanged a few soft words, and then Bryce left with Minerva.
Kingsley grinned a knackered, though pleased smile.
"Once I'm sorted, we'll have… an ice cream shufti. My chance… to be… brill."
That murmured quip failed to earn an answering smile from Alastor. Instead, Alastor pulled the covers down from Kingsley and began unfastening his dressing gown. "What's this? A dressing gown and a nightshirt? You always insisted on sleeping in the altogether when we came down here."
"Cold," admitted Kingsley.
"Need to get you undressed, Lee." Alastor's tone was brusque but his hands were gentle.
Again, Alastor was rewarded with a sleepy smile. Once the dressing gown and night shirt were removed, Kingsley roused enough to query, "Why?"
"What's with the one word questions?" barked Alastor. "You were always the chatty magpie. You always nattered on and on; I was the taciturn one in our partnering."
As now he was absolutely starkers, Kingsley moved his hand to cover his bits. Alastor, trying to be the proper sort, ignored the fine view and re-covered Kingsley.
"Feeling… pithy." Again Kingsley smiled and then he shivered. "Cold, too."
Alastor moved to the other side of the bed, pulled the covers down and then sat down. He began to unbutton his shirt. He did so quickly, as time was of importance. Trousers and pants were next… then his leg. The trow were easy. He swallowed once, took off his big boy pants and also the artificial leg. Gracelessly, he rolled into the bed and realized that Kingsley was watching him. Lee had turned on his side and watched the raree show.
"Must be dying…" Kingsley murmured.
"Stop nattering," growled Alastor. "You're not dying."
Alastor pulled Kingsley into position, so that the younger man was lying on top of him. Kingsley's head was on his chest and the other bits were more or less aligned. The positioning completed to Alastor's satisfaction, he then wrapped his arms around Kingsley.
"The Bond will realign and everything will be fine." Alastor insisted. "We both need to be starkers so the bond can realign faster. I never realized Master Flitwick was a traditionalist. Doing magic sky-clad indeed!"
What if it's not? What if this doesn't work?
"First time I've seen you undress… Always insisted… had to be done with the lights off… in the dark… because you thought I was…. fickle minded. It always hurt that you couldn't trust me." Kingsley's voice slowed and his breathing became slower and heavier as though he was about to fall asleep….. Permanently asleep.
"Come on, keep talking," growled Alastor. "Tell me how angry I made you because I wasn't faithful. Just keep talking, Kingsley."
"I'm not angry… not anymore," Kingsley slurred. The younger mage made an obvious effort to rouse. "It's who you are. I'm honored you let me in as far as you did."
More silence. Alastor was debating about the propriety of giving Kingsley a proper pinch in a vital area, for his own good, mind you, when Kingsley spoke.
"I can hear your heartbeat," he whispered. "Steadfast, that's my argy bargy Alastor."
Kingsley shivered and Alastor carefully rolled him onto his back.
"Topping me, just like old times," Kingsley whispered. "You always had to be on top. I'll agree to it this time, just because it will warm me."
"Unless I crush you," Alastor growled even as he carefully positioned himself just so.
"You never did before and you're far thinner now," was the teasing response. Then in a more somber tone, "Alastor…If this doesn't work…"
Kingsley stopped talking and a very somber Alastor inserted, "I'll get Minerva..."
"Promise me, you stay with her," insisted Kingsley. "She'll need you. They'll need you."
"You're not going anywhere," growled Alastor. He couldn't tell Kingsley that if the younger wizard died, the old warlock would soon be visiting Amentet in the Land of the Dead, bearing a container of ginger bikkies for his arrival party.
"No…. I'm not…" was Kingsley's easy agreement which meant that he was humoring Alastor. He brushed Alastor's shaggy hair out of his eyes and his smile faded, revealing that the normally serene Kingsley was far from composed. and in fact, was terrified. "A proper kiss for old time's sake. Please."
It started off properly, if a bit prissy, Kingsley decided. A brief brushing of their lips. When Kingsley murmured his disapproval, Alastor kissed him again. Harder and with a great deal more oomph.
"Filius," Minerva carefully and deliberately enunciated to Filius. "I'm grateful that I'm next to the window. There's a bit of a cooling breeze."
"Not helping is it?" a sly Filius asked.
"No," she admitted. "I'm on the edge of silver potion knife right now. I'm not sure if I'm annoyed that I'm experiencing everything second hand, or admiring their carnal restraint. It was a whole fifteen minutes before…"
Minerva looked at her former professor. With his rather amused smirk, Filius Flitwick reminded her of the dearly departed Dumbledore. Well, Minerva had extensive experience puncturing an inflated Albus, so she held nothing back in what she informed Filius.
"Alastor rediscovered the joys of giving oral sex. Kingsley seems to have no complaints."
There was no question that Minerva had scored with her quaffle quip as Filius was fuchsia. And speaking of scoring, Minerva was feeling rather warm, tingly and hankering for some co-ed naked Quidditch. No one had warned her how she would experience… second hand… Kingsley…. Well… Kingsley receiving a furiously, fabulous fellatio.
"Minerva, Minerva, Minerva," chastised Poppy.
"Well fortunately, you didn't tell Alastor he needed to drop trow," continued a merciless Minerva.
"No, you did," Filius reminded her.
"No, you kept it all above the belt, as it were. I put the thought in his mind." Minerva inhaled slowly and closed her eyes. "Actually, it seems that the idea was already in his mind. Very, very much in his mind. In fact, I think he's rather fellatio-ly fixated."
"Minerva, you'll need to join them in a bit," began Filius.
"The boys know where the parts go." That comment would have been funnier if her retort had been a tad bit faster. Unfortunately, her lightning wit was bogged down in illicitness and she then undulated like an itchy cat.
"Kingsley's bond is suffering because he's torn between the two of you. You, Kingsley and Alastor will be needed to stabilize it."
"By jumping in bed with them?" Minerva half-heartedly protested as Alastor was doing something to Kingsley that had Kingsley in a state of near ecstasy. Really, she must remember to ask Alastor exactly what he was doing to Kingsley because... really... Kingsley was quite appreciative.
"Kingsley is extremely depleted, Minerva. He may…." Filius began slowly.
"Don't you say it, Filius," protested Minerva. She knew how precarious Kingsley's situation was. She even had discussed the matter with Alastor, however to hear Filius Flitwick admit his concerns... She couldn't lose both men. Not after finding them.
"I must. Alastor isn't firmly here. If Kingsley…. I believe…." Filius stopped. "Get undressed, Minerva. I'll watch Bryce."
The Charms Master went toward Bryce's bedroom, leaving Poppy and Minerva alone. The two witches embraced quickly and then a teary eyed Minerva nodded her head. She had made a decision, and it was time to go full tilt after the snitch.
"Poppy, I'm drinking the potion. If Kingsley and Alastor…. I'll still have Nora and Bryce. However, I'll want part of Kingsley. I know you told me to wait, until we tried the natural way but… "
"Don't tell me that I didn't warn you," Poppy snapped. Her voice was curt but her eyes were compassionate. "With your luck, you'll have triplets or more."
He had tried his utter best with Kingsley. Used every trick he might have known, even attempted a few sexual positions he didn't remember, but Kingsley was becoming more and more difficult to rouse.
"Don't leave me, you bloody bastard," growled Alastor. "I can't live without you."
In more ways than one, Alastor knew.
There was no response from Kingsley. Not even the crooked grin of wry amusement that he rarely gifted Alastor. The door to the bedroom opened and Alastor quickly ensured that Kingsley was covered. Didn't wish him to catch a chill from the draft. Best pretend that he had just worn out Kingsley… not that Kingsley was dying… because of him.
When Alastor realized that the visitor was Minerva, he was filled with both relief and dread.
She knew. She knew that I couldn't fix the damage I caused…. That Lee's a goner because of me…. but at least, she'll be here….. at the end.
Minerva closed the door, and then she walked until she was next to the bed.
"How is he?" Minerva spoke in a soft whisper. Her tone wasn't accusatory, because she had long accepted the bitter truth that Alastor Moody was a colossal cock up.
He shook his head and Minerva began to undress.
"Budge over," she ordered. "I'm joining you boys. We both love him…."
Really, all he could do was nod his head in weary agreement.
"And I love you, Alastor Moody. Never stopped, even after all these years."
"He never stopped either," weakly inserted Kingsley. "Just figured that I'd let you know… He's too busy gawking at the fine view to do anything more than praise God repeatedly."
Moody and McGonagall looked at each other and then at Kingsley. Who was smiling slightly and appearing distinctively more alive since Minerva had decided to pop in and pay her sky-clad respects to the dearly debauched duo.
"Stop gawking, I'm cold," protested a shivering Kingsley.
"Demanding bastard," spat a grateful Alastor.
"Minerva must be cold. I can tell because…" Kingsley's report on Minerva's two personal thermometers was fortunately silenced by Minerva kissing him. When he had been properly kissed, she buzzed Alastor.
"In to bed with you," she ordered Alastor. "Lee's quite cold, you can tell because his…"
"Is not," protested a mock offended Kingsley. "No shrinkage!"
"You can do better than that, Minister Kingsley," Minerva informed him tartly. "Alastor… I think we need to show the Minister that he could do much better with his proclamation of passion."
Minerva was sleeping, something that was all too rarely accomplished these days when an excited Bryce stampeded into the bedroom. From the assortment of arms resting on her, it seemed that Kingsley had ended in the middle once more, which meant Alastor was on the right. Fortunately, from what she could see, all the adult dragons were dressed for once. Kingsley always seemed to end in the middle, as Alastor still wasn't comfort with receiving physical affection.
However, Alastor was becoming more comfortable with expressing affection. Minerva knew that he watched the younger Kingsley like a hawk, seeing what he did and how he did. Then Alastor would struggle to copy it. Not in public because people gossiped. The Daily Prophet had already run a scandalous story on Minister Kingsley's alleged sexual deviancies as they were convinced that something wasn't quite proper with the Minster's relationship with the Auror guarding his children. Kingsley had then read the story in front of a departmental meeting, laughing uproariously at the more illicit sections.
"Really, I was rather insulted," he later informed Alastor and Minerva. "Our alleged sexual exploits were just so… tame."
However Bryce was busy staring at his Mum now, so she needed to focus on him. After Bryce had been given a rather explicit explanation by Alastor… Merlin help them all, on where little baby dragons came from, Bryce had become quite adept at sneaking past their various barriers to see if the baby dragons had arrived.
"Mum!" Bryce whispered. "Is it time?"
His question was repeated by Nora who had followed her brother's sortie into the Adult Dragon Cave.
For a moment, Minerva wasn't sure if they meant their sisters' arrival or Bryce and Alastor's Bonding ceremony. Alastor had decided that he'd officially Bond Minerva during the same time as Bryce's Adoption Bonding ceremony. That was it was the two of them who were the odd ones out, not just Bryce, he had explained to Minerva.
"Bryce, not yet," Alastor growled. The warlock grumbled and growled as he found his leg. That done, he pulled himself out of the bed and limped towards Bryce. "Your Mum needs her sleep, Nora. Let's do a shufti for brekkie. We've got another eight hours before the party."
"Eight?" Bryce repeated.
"Yes, eight. Eight more hours before we all become one big dysfunctional family."
"Alastor," protested Kingsley. Then in a softer voice, Kingsley explained to Minerva, "Alastor never was a morning person."
"Dys… fun…." A serious Bryce repeated slowly.
"Fun. Before we become a fun family," Minerva said. In a waspish tone as truly she wished that she was still asleep, "Though I find it impossible to believe that we could be more fun than we are now. You and Alastor will belong to us in eight hours. No one will ever be able to take you away from us."
That earned a bright smile from Bryce.
"My sisters?" Bryce then looked at Minerva and she answered his questions quickly.
"No, your sisters won't be at the party. Hopefully, they'll wait until tomorrow to arrive," Minerva assured him.
Bryce pouted for a bit before Alastor reminded him that his sisters' late arrival meant there would be more cake for him. His sisters were promptly forgotten as well baby sisters were sisters, and cake was cake with fairy icing.
"I know a lovely way how to convince them to make their arrival," purred Kingsley.
"Touch me and die," Minerva snapped. In a softer, more controlled tone that meant she was close to hexing off the smug Kingsley's bits, she added, "I don't think Bryce would appreciate his Bonding Ceremony being delayed because I'm in labor."
"You need help getting upright?" a cautious Alastor asked Minerva.
"While you both are here, I should get upright."
It took some effort, a muttered curse or three, a deflected Hex she had half-heartedly threw out just to keep the boys on their toes, but she was soon perched on the edge of the bed. There was Kingsley on her left, Alastor on her right and they were both embracing her and her expanded equator. To her surprise, Bryce and Nora had also sneaked into the group hug.
It had taken a great deal of time, effort and a few strategic kicks to Alastor's arse to get her family re-orientated and stabilized to their new norm. Two Dads, one Mum, a big brother, a big sister plus the latest additions who were now overdue.
Their family was a work in progress and would continue being a work in progress, as sometimes the old ghosts visited and required exorcism. Alastor would emotionally and physically withdraw when the pain from his old injuries flared anew, Kingsley would be slightly disconcerted when Minerva would remind Alastor of a cherished memory and… well… Minerva had been more than a tad bit jealous when she had told the boys that she was in no condition to entertain the troops and go have their own fun. She had given her permission (not that they had needed it, she had reminded herself) but still, must they return to their group bed, appearing so bloody sexually sated and carnally conceited while she was so blasted uncomfortable?
And while Kingsley thought Alastor was the biological father, and Alastor firmly believed that Kingsley had done the honors, Minerva knew the truth. And since no one had bothered asking her opinion, she was quite content to wait – and see their reaction when each man was handed their daughter.
She just hoped Alastor's daughter wasn't ginger because Kingsley's daughter would probably have the dark hair of her two parents.
Even The Quibbler would be able to figure what THAT meant.
Thank you for reading.