"….yes. Well, he's an idiot like that….oh, yes, we'll be naming him after family. Eh? Hmm, you think, Granger?..I don't."
What Harry heard were but bits and snatches; what he felt were arms and a chest, rising softly at his back, heart beneath beating a steady soothing rhythm. All was well, then—he could sleep.
"Uh-huh, uh-hum, yes, Mum. No, not at all. I'll be sure to let him know. Tomorrow, likely. Very well, thank you. Blue eyes and a sparse coating of black hair. Looks like nothing from our side—oh! Maybe Black, then. Yes. Um, I think six pounds, 4 ounces, the Mediwitch said. Oh, very short and stubby yet…mmm, right. Well, we'll be feeding this one, that you can count on—yes, I will—promise."
Harry didn't bother cracking his eyes open to check. He knew it was evening; he knew Draco was there—oh! And there as well was a tiny snuffle and the slight sound of sloshing; the unmistakable sounds of an infant sucking. Warmth all down his side like a hot water bottle, except it was muscled and smelt expensive. Must be Draco, then. Harry was grateful as all get out—magic was lovely, really, but he simply could not imagine himself lactating.
….maybe only in a dream. Which he gladly slid into, quick-sand quick, to the faint sounds of Draco shifting about next to him and exclaiming something cutting along the lines of: 'Baby Potty nappies, by gawd! You've barely had a thing to eat, you sly boy, and look at this mess! Where does it come from?'
-and dark, pleasant green velveteen curtains of it, faling softly, so softly. Harry slept on, undisturbed.
"….No. No, Weasley, I don't think 'James' is a good idea. A fresh start is what's called for here—you know Harry. He'll not want to be naming the tyke after a whole lot of dead people—now, a nice astronomical reference would be pleasant. 'Sirius'? No, Weasley. No, no. no. Been used up, that one. …..Ah? Certainly, feel free to speak to him about it—when he wakes up. Right. Right, yes, and Granger. Tell her not to work too hard, will you? And to you, arse. Ta, now."
That was a blatant lie and Draco knew it. About the 'dead people'…the constellations. Harry knew that he knew it, too, but he couldn't be bothered to open his yap to object. And he would most certainly be objecting, stridently, just as soon as he felt as he'd had enough sleep….
No one had ever mentioned to Harry (nor Draco, for that matter; he'd have said) that the production of offspring would be so very exhausting, damn them. And—thinking of it— damn and blast the ruddy git, too, for he likely did know and hadn't said, deliberately. Buggering Pureblood!
A glimmer of light, in the far off and away…and Harry turned his face towards it, sleeping—sleeping. Heard small noises, like fabric rustling and a burble that might've been human.
"He's well—still sleeping, but that's to be expected. Three days gone, yes. No, I've not gone home yet, Molly. You—you did? Why, thanks—thanks so much. He—we'll—that's just—yes, yes, it is. But you needn't have. I…think, erm…. perhaps maybe another ounce gained since yesterday?" Harry was shifted slightly; his nose was full of the smell of warmed milk and talcum powder. If he could just bring himself to open his eyes, he'd likely be able to see what all the fuss had been about…
He very much wanted to, but….Draco was speaking and it was rather nice, just to lie still and listen. He'd always admired those clear, clipped tones, that tenor. Even grating on his last nerve, it was nice.
"Hum. That'd be marvelous, thank you. My Mum would like it, I'm sure. If you could just floo Pansy Parkinson, also? She's likely waiting on word from us and I've not had a moment to my—oh, yes. Lovely. Thanks so much, Molly."
Oh, sweet-scented dark, redolent of lime and starched sheets…and was that lavender? Must be. Harry did adore lavender…yes. If he could but wake the bugger up—
If he but could. But he couldn't, not yet, as the old body wasn't near geared up for anything like true consciousness and Draco had them both well in hand, any road. Or in arms, rather, as Harry was toasty-warm, what with the limbs pressed all along and against Harry's achy abdomen and legs and chest. Temples, though—one fuck of a headache resided there. Smarted. Potion would be dandy for that.
But…the vastly reassuring smell of fresh nappies was very close indeed.
Afternoon dark and the swish of blinds being lowered and curtains drawn. He missed the sight of theirs, were he in the position to open his eyes and actually not see them there.
Hospital, was it? Oh, yeah…St. Mungo's.
…Least not Spell Damage, this time.
"Rest, prat. Stop tossing; you'll wake the baby."
Harry slept on, dreaming of Draco clad only in an apron, brandishing a very large bottle of formula, and a great many very small booty-sized elf slippers, dancing about the environs of a familiar gold-and-green decorated nursery.
A small sacking of lips and a warm weight approximately the size of a kneazle kitten in the general vicinity of his crooked elbow lulled him.
"I can, I think. No—don't schedule it, Father. Not till Harry's out of this godsforsaken place. We'll have to wait a bit, yet. The Healer says a week at least, Father….news to me, yes. No—not happy a'tall, If you must know! Fine, fine. If you must, then fine. Ah….Gringott's, naturally. We've already been to open one; the Goblins were most obliging as to that." Draco let out an inelegant whistle; Harry started, then slumped back asleep. "Whoa—really, Father! I hardly think he'll be need that sort of allowance! Hum—hmmm…yes, yes, I see. Tolerably well enough, thanks. I get by. Plenty. No—I've not been home at all since. No reason to go, is there? Right—right; à bientôt, then. Love to Mum."
Day or night? Harry wasn't positive. Whatever—there was Draco, right on schedule, talking away. Talking, talking, talking—as he never really quite shut up.
"Now would be nice, Potter," Draco was muttering. "It's been absolute days; I'm completely bored stiff of simply watching you breathe," Draco's voice was softly scolding. "Really, Potter. Any day now. You're missing out, you know? Let me tell you—"
And it went on and on, like a river flowing.
"He's in desperate need of a proper name, you know—our son. They keep on blathering at me, all the Staff and then everyone else, too, Potter—most irritating—and it's not as though I can simply choose without you. So—so! Today would be good, yeah? Fact is…."
Harry swum in and out of dreams fleet as a fish, ducking shoals of nightmares, buoyed up by the bubble of sudden sparkling excitement in Draco's tone.
"—fact is, Potter, he's rather special. Oh, I knew he would be—but this, Harry! You need to see this! Tiny, tiny toes and fingers; never seen anything like it. Didn't know they even came in sizes that small, eh? And his hair—Potter, I just have to ask. Were you born this same way? For there's no rhyme or reason to it, y'see—it's just—just rumpled and it sticks up and there's this one sweet curl….Potter.
Harry held his breath, swimming hard for the mercury-bright surface he could see just above him—
"Potter." Draco's voice was a little sad, a little lost—Harry hated that. It must be later on; the light outside of his eyelids had altered, dimming. He was squeezed tight by one strong arm and vaguely—far away still, it seemed, but also closer—he felt the rap of a rattle against his sternum. "Potter, don't make me come in there to drag you out, git. I can guarantee you won't like it, alright? Besides...you want to wake up, don't you?"
Oh! But he did! Harry did, so very much-but it was too much, too soon. He wondered when it would be possible again…just before he tottered off the brink of sleep.
"Mister Malfoy, as I mentioned, at least five days for that part of the recovery process. You'll simply have to be patient—"
"It's been six! Six, I tell you," Draco was not being patient, no; Harry could definitely hear it. "And that's well in excess of the original estimate, Healer Burns! We were told two, three days of this—this sleeping— at the very most—it's been six! That's not acceptable, don't you see? Potter can't be allowed to sleep his life away! And I expect you to rectify the situation immed—"
Harry grinned. Or dreamt of grinning.
Good old Malfoy, tearing strips off hides. Go get 'em, tiger, he thought sleepily—and passed out, his persistent headache fading finally into sweet oblivion.
Mouth. Mouth. His mouth was full of cotton-wool, his lips so dry they crackled, so he licked at them. Was surrounding in a puff of mint-scented breath.
"….Harry. Harry, wake up. Harry," the voice in his ear coaxed stubbornly. Harry had the impression it had been speaking for quite some time, already. Malfoy was never one to be succinct when he was on a tear. Words, words, words…so many words. Harry loved the chatter; reminded him of Hogwarts. "He wants to see you; fuck, Harry—I want to see you. Talk to you—kiss you. Stupid git. This is growing very old, very fast, Harry. You owe it to me, you know? All the changing, all the feeds—haven't had a real bath for days now. Come on, Harry—do wake up…open your damned eyes, will you?"
There was a very long pause—Harry almost pried open his lids, yes, but not quite, and then he heard it.
The smallest of sobs, of sighs.
The hitch in the voice that spoke volumes more.
Because it did—because they'd committed this amazing act in the first place for the sole sake of each other—because of all things in life, he wanted to see Draco again. That smirk, that twisty smile—those eyes.
….Because there was a scrap of magic with unruly hair—just like his—and blue eyes that would like go grey, like Draco's….Harry did.
"Mmm," he murmured, and attempted to roll closer. Failed miserably at it. Was yanked—gently—closer. "Nhn?" he grunted, sniffing.
Understandably enough, he was instantly scolded.
"About time, Potter!"
And squeezed half to death, till he was sure his ribs were cracking. Snogged, though his lips were so dry, they felt sealed shut.
"Where the fuck have you been, all this while?"
And subjected to at least three more very hard snogs, interspersed with words, many of which were nonsense.
"D'you know—" Draco panted, pecking away like a nutcracker on a very obtuse tree, "do y'ou know, he's six pounds, ten ounces now? All due to me, Potter—my arse, bustling away at it, whilst you were slacking off, there in Dreamland, I was—oh fuck, Harry, don't you dare!"
His lashes fluttered—fluttered—fell still.
"Fuck this, Potter!" he heard, vaguely. "No more sleeping!"
They spoke of princesses woken by princely snogs; of spells broken to bits by true love. Hah! This was nothing like that. No—not nearly so romantic. Princes in fairytales didn't leave tooth marks, for one. Nor did they glower quite so furiously nor flare their aristocratic nostrils quite so wide.
Harry opened his eyes fully—seven days post-partum to the dot—to see a furious silver swirl dancing before them and the very small pores on Draco's pointy nose, up close and quite personal. And to feel—everything, all at once, but most particularly a tongue, sharp canines and thrust, full-stop, literally prying apart his slack mouth and his sleep-sodden mind all at once.
"Don't you—fucking—well—dare—Potter!" he was informed nastily. Like a hound, snapping. "You close your eyes again and I'll damn well hex you; don't think I won't!"
"Bugger…" Harry groaned, blinking heavily. "Draco. Stop…stop." He struggled feebly as an old man to raise himself on the banked pillows, but he felt pretty decent, nonetheless. "Where—where is he, git?" Because of course the first thing he wanted to see (other than Draco's nose and flashing teeth) was the baby. "The ba—baby, Draco?" he huffed.
'Unnamed Baby Boy' Malfoy-Potter, that was. Unnamed as of yet, but that could be dealt with soon enough.
"Oh—damn your eyes, Potter! Can't you even kiss me back, git? Fuck!"
"…And no silly constellations, Draco!" Harry muttered, clumsily taking the infant as Draco abruptly ripped his lips away, glared fiercely at Harry for the space of ten silent seconds and then abruptly shoved a very miniaturized Wizard excessively carefully into Harry's limp arms.
"Here—damn you!" Draco snorted. "Joy of him!"
"—either," Harry continued, eyes on the bundle. "Bah! Malfoys! Ohhh! He's ever so lovely! And—" he sent a knowing glance his partner's way, "and don't think I wasn't listening in earlier, git, 'cause I was! No constellations!"
"Oh…shut it, Potter. There!" his partner-in-crime announced, eyes on the small layette he was busily folding about both Harry's chest and the napping infant. "See? He's been wanting you, so have at it, alright? Are you happy now, Potter? And no—no. Don't bother with a simple 'hullo, how are you?' to me or anything. Don't spare a moment to snog me back, 'cause I'm just dandy, thanks. Never been better!"
"Oh…bugger," Harry smiled like a loon, glancing alternately from resting baby to angry-as-a-hornet Draco, and blinked as hard and fast as he could, swallowing like the dickens. "Bloody—hell." As he felt he might rather spill over at the edges, and how unmanly was that? "I'm…I'm sorry…."
"I'll say!" Draco snarled. "Took you long enough, didn't it?" he kept his eyes on the infant, refusing to look at Harry. "Would think you didn't want to be here, what with all that bloody snoring you were doing…stupid Harry. Kept me up, too. Annoying brat. Both of you."
Harry…who felt very full, oddly, even though he was now quite, quite empty, after nine long months.
Enough so that he did, actually, spill over…just a bit. Just sufficient to cast a few damp spots of saline on the blanket—more than enough to haul Draco out of his sullen snit.
"Oh, hell, Harry," he groaned, scrabbling his lean length inelegantly onto the hospital cot. "Shit! C'mere, twat—I didn't mean it, you know that, don't you? I'm just so—I've missed you, alright?"
"Dr-Drac—Draco!" Harry wailed in reply, because yes, he'd borne a baby recently and fuck! Fuck the inherent unmanliness of it—bloody magic, wasn't it? He'd still bollocks a'plenty; Draco would attest—and there was certainly plenty to cry about (he was empty, wasn't he? Empty!) and much of it was due to nerves and the rest could be attributed to the sheer awe he held for them both for accomplishing it…too, he missed (now that he was awake)—he missed so very much that warm familiar lump in his swollen abdomen. And he'd missed Draco, too. So much so…but then hadn't he been there, all along?
All along, talking away.
"Dra-Draco?" he sobbed, poking at the layette, staring at it as if it were the single most important thing in the entire world. "He's alright? All…there? I—I can't look, Draco!"
"Nitwit, twat, idiot man—" Draco was muttering darkly, whilst littering everyone in his straining arms with damp sloppy kisses—"fool, arsewipe, prat—of course he is! Look at him, Speccy! And why'd you have to take so long to come back to me, huh? I was dying here, Harry—dying!"
"So-sorry!" Harry sniffed and cried even more copiously, his nose running, and was glad of the clean nappy Draco handed over promptly. "I'm—so—sorry!" he gulped, and rocked the baby. "Sorry!"
"Pfft! Whatever for, Potter?" Never one to coddle (or so he claimed, anyway), Draco barked instead. Though his hands were soft as thistledown upon them, straying here and there, fiddling away. "You did it, didn't you? Look at him—he's bloody perfect in every way, isn't he? What in Merlin's name is there to cry over, git?"
"Prat." Draco snorted; Harry's lank hair ruffled under the force of it. "You did ever so well; I'm very proud of you. He came out like a charm, no worries."
"Sheesh, Potter; d'you never stop blubbering? Healer didn't say anything about this! Oh—I should call them all in now, come to think—have you checked over. It's been ages since you woke and you'll need—"
"No…I just want," Harry gulped. "I just want it to be us, for a little while. Us three. A-Alright?" He sniffed again. Peered at Draco with a million questions writ small and large in the green.
"Well." Draco pursed his lips—hiding a smile, of course—and went about sorting them all out, making them cozy-comfy. "Here." Harry was distributed between his legs, and baby Potter-Malfoy was perfectly adjusted against Harry's heaving chest. "That's it; good, good." The quilt was drawn up and the lights dimmed. "Well…." And Draco bit his lower lip at last and sighed. Rolled his eyeballs, too.
Harry wrinkled his nose at him.
"Well. I s'pose, if we must—"
"We must," Harry was quick to say, lounging back at his ease now he'd been sorted, eyes trained upon and brilliantly full of baby. Baby! "Oh, we must, love. Please."
"…Then we shall." Draco swallowed; Harry felt his throat bob against his sleep-mussed hair. "But just for a moment. You really need Healer to look you over, Potter. There's the incision—and I want you out of here and home again soonest. No dawdling. No…malingering."
"Yes, dear," Harry jibed, not minding. "Whatever you say, dear."
"Little git," Draco pinched his thigh through the quilt, but lightly. Swallowed again—held his breath for a second, lungs expanding, then let it out with a great whoosh. "I…I did miss you, you know," he remarked quietly. "It's dreadfully silent when you're not bounding about, jabbering at me. Even here."
"What? Me, jabber?" Harry was appalled. It certainly wasn't him who never shut his gob—oh, no! That was Draco. Assuredly. "Hardly! I do not jabber, Draco!"
"Bosh. You do, Harry. All day long; yammer, yammer, yammer."
"Like hell I do! You were the one who never stopped, not all the while I was sleeping!" Harry glared up past his one shoulder, craning his neck to do it. Narrowed his eyes at the offensive Malfoy in a very nasty 'this Potter means business' fashion. "In fact, I couldn't very well sleep, could I? Not with you talking all the time, Draco! You never—once—stopped!"
"Hmph!" The jaw was offended; it rose three inches abruptly. "Hah, Potter. I had reason. More than you ever do—chatterbox."
"Oh?" Harry crooked an eyebrow awkwardly. "Really?" The baby snorfled suddenly, reminding them both that sleeping infants should never be woken before they were ready—Healer had said, most sternly, at the last pre-birth visit. "…Which was?" he added, softly.
"To wake you, Harry. Of course," Draco returned, equally softly. "I…I did mention I missed you, didn't I? So…er. Talking. Used your tactics, Potter. 'Side's, I thought you might want to hear what you missing, yeah? You know how you hate missing things, Harry. It's the bloody Auror in you, I swear."
"…Oh. Well….if that's all it was," Harry had to smile. Was forced to, just as much as he was obliged to kiss Draco on his stubbly-pale chin—and then kiss the baby's head. Lovely baby. Worth everything, really. "Okay. I forgive you, then."
"Shush! You'll wake him up, git!"
And then there was much connubial hissing, a few glares, some very awkward over-the-shouder, dropped-chin snogging—and a nap, had by three. Three, the Potters-Malfoy.