A/N: As you have likely guessed, yes I saved the heat chapter for chapter 69, just because I could and it makes me giggle.
If you would like to read the full version, you should know where to go by now, just hop on over to AO3 or AFF because most of the first half of this chapter is going to be pure, hardcore smut.
Harry left no room for argument as he cuddled Braiden, who clenched his hands tight into Harry's shirt. Harry sat back on the floor by his cup of tea and he sat Braiden in his lap, who was now quiet and content to bounce on Harry's lap, cooing and babbling. Harry held him more securely and let him carry on as he basked in his family, looking around at all of his children, all of his lovers and he felt happy, content and he reached over and handed Braiden the shape sorter. His son screeched in delight and started playing with his current favourite toy and Harry was very happy to play with him, the play increased when Draco slipped to the floor and joined in, helping to teach Braiden his shapes, even if he was far too young to actually grasp much, it never hurt to start early.
Chapter Sixty-Nine – An Insatiable Ache and a Visit
Harry refused to let his children go any earlier than absolutely necessary and on the very morning that his heat was due, he still didn't want to say goodbye, even though they were all packed up with every possible essential and nearly every toy and item of clothing they had.
They had flooed over to Alexander's home early that morning and Harry couldn't help the tears as he hunched over Leolin, refusing to let him go, even as Nasta knelt in front of him and tried to coax him into letting go of the baby that he clutched so desperately.
"Harry, he has to stay here, love. He can't come with us. When you go onto heat, we will not be able to look after him. He needs to stay here, where he will be safe and loved."
"I can't, he needs me!" Harry stressed.
Nasta shuffled closer to him and gripped his waist, getting Harry to make eye contact.
"Harry, Leolin will die if you bring him back with us. He cannot survive a day without someone looking after him and we won't be able to."
"I know." Harry said softly. "I don't want to leave him though, why did I have to start my breeding cycle again? I don't want to be pregnant."
"I know you don't, love. I know you didn't want to start a breeding cycle, but you have and you could slip into your heat at any moment, we should have done this yesterday, just in case, but we have left it to the absolute last moment. Please hand Leolin to Alexander and we can go and relax in our rooms, I'll get Max to make you those fruit tarts that you've become fond of and I'll try and massage your back to ease your stress, okay?"
Harry nodded and he sniffled, kissing Leolin gently and handing him off to a patient, understanding Alexander, feeling like the majority of his heart went with him and his other five babies. He felt bereft, knowing that he would be going home without them, knowing that he was passing their care to someone else while he had continuous sex for six to ten days. He felt sick and guilty.
Nasta stood up and pulled Harry into a hug as his small shoulders shook from his sobs. Nasta scooped him up and nodded his head towards the fireplace, giving the others a hint to get moving. He carried Harry through the floo and he made good on his promises, giving Max a look and sending the big man into the kitchenette to make the fruit tarts that Harry liked, even if he did only eat the fruit from inside the tarts and left the pasty cases for one of them to eat.
He laid Harry gently on the rug, stoked the fire to get it burning once more and rubbed his hands together, using the friction to warm them before slipping them under Harry's jumper and just rubbing light patterns onto his back to relax him and let his body get used to his touch to comfort him.
Blaise went about cleaning their rooms, cleaning their bedroom and making sure anything they could possibly hurt themselves on was removed from anywhere they could potentially have sex. Draco wasn't bothered with doing the 'menial tasks of a house elf' and instead he sat by Harry's head with a brush and gently pulled it through the tangles, flinching every time the brush caught one of the numerous snags, itching to tug the brush through the hair to remove them, but wanting to just relax Harry with the soothing motions of hair brushing, massaging his scalp at the same time.
Harry felt so loved and so pampered, he loved his mates, he did, but he wanted his children. Nothing and no one came before his six children and he wanted them back, he wanted them home. He was surprised his Dracken was so calm with them being missing, especially Leolin, as his Faerie baby smelt strange and he would always smell strange to him due to his Faerie inheritance, and he did not like Leolin being out of his sight, or somewhere that he couldn't see him or reach him if he cried, where he couldn't check on him at will. He hated it, but the quietness of his Dracken helped relax him, helped sooth him, if his Dracken could put up with it, then so could he.
It would seem longer to his children than it would to him after all. For all he would remember, he would have a few hours of patchy sex and he would wake up six or ten days later feeling like his body had been beaten with a club for a week. He wouldn't remember right away what had happened when the red haze took over him, he would only remember later on, but his babies would feel every single moment that he wasn't there with them. Braiden would be especially upset and he wondered how Alexander and Kimberly would deal with him. He had absolutely stressed that he wouldn't allow anyone to hit, smack or shout at his children, not even spanking or a telling off, he had strictly forbidden Ashleigh to be in the house while his children were there, had forbidden his children from being taken off of Alexander's premises barring an emergency and he had said no to any chocolate, snacks or inappropriate foods. Alexander had made a show of writing it all down seriously, pinning the note to the fridge, which had pleased his Dracken that he wasn't being made fun of, laughed at or brushed off because of his rules and demands. Now he just hoped that they were followed, because if they weren't…there was going to be hell to pay.
Harry's heat hit him at early evening this time, one moment he was stood in the kitchenette peeling an orange for a snack, the next moment he was throbbingly hard and so hot that he wriggled in his light clothing. He abandoned his orange and slipped his sleeping shorts and boxer-briefs down together, rubbing his hands over his tingling skin and gasping softly at the hyper sensitive sensation. He gripped the hem of his tee-shirt and tugged it off, rubbing his chest and moaning lightly.
"Harry?" Draco asked.
Harry turned at the sound and Draco swallowed as he saw those wide open, lust blown, emerald green eyes pinned on him. It was only a moment later that the sweet, fertile scent of Harry's calling pheromones reached him and his mind was just gone, his wings burst from his back, taking his shirt with it, his claws came out and ripped off his lounge trousers, and his fangs appeared as he leapt over the settee and pinned Harry to the counter trying to suffocate him with his tongue as he pushed himself at Harry.
Harry woke up feeling awful. He groaned deeply in the back of his throat and consciously held back the distressed whine that would have brought his mates running from wherever they were.
He didn't feel as bad as he had done in the past and certainly not as bad as he had when he had had a heat period when pregnant with Braiden, but it wasn't really about which one was worse, he felt terrible here and now and that's what mattered and he groaned again.
He rolled over and found the edge of the bed, using it to get himself sitting up by swinging his legs over the side of it. He stood up when he felt able to, but his legs were like liquid, he knees wouldn't lock and his lower back felt like it had been cleaved in two.
He padded naked down the stairs and made his way straight into the bathroom to relieve his swollen bladder, which Harry was sure was causing most of the discomfort in his abdomen.
He washed his hands once he was done before padding out into the bedroom and going to the chest of drawers to get a pair of Blaise's pyjama bottoms, he needed something loose but would still stay on his body without tying the drawstrings tight, which was sure to make sitting down uncomfortable.
He padded out into the living room and smiled at Max and Draco, who were lounging around, not doing much of anything. Harry wondered if they were as sore as he was, Nasta had been on a personal vendetta to make sure absolutely none of them were able to walk once the heat period was over.
"Blaise and Nas gone hunting?" He asked as Draco pulled him into the circle of his arms, throwing a leg up so that Harry was lying on his belly, on Draco's chest, between his legs. A large hand pressed gently against his back and rubbed softly and Harry groaned as it helped to ease the pain in his lower back.
"Yeah, they should be back soon." Max's voice was rough, rough. Almost like he had swallowed sandpaper which had now lined his throat.
"I feel vile." Harry complained. "I hope it's another decade before I have to do that again."
Harry felt Draco shift and he looked at the big blond, who sighed and looked at him with guarded silver eyes.
"Harry, that heat period wasn't fertile. It was a dry heat. It's only been seven days since you went onto heat, six days for the actual heat, this is the seventh."
Harry felt like all of the air had been knocked out of him. He drew in a calming breath as the full weight of the situation sunk into him.
"I'm going to have another heat period in two months."
"Well, technically in one month, three weeks and six days, but yes you will. Today is classed as the first day of your new breeding cycle." Max croaked out.
"Fucking brilliant." Harry groaned, letting out a sigh and resting against Draco, he'd deal with it when it came, but he really didn't know what was worse at the moment, an endless string of dry heats where he and his mates fucked for six days bimonthly, or being pregnant once again with a possible set of multiples.
Harry was interrupted from his inner thoughts when the portrait door opened signalling his mates' return, then the smell of fresh meat and blood hit him and he sat up and stared at the dead and skinned animal that Nasta was carrying. A small sound slipped out of his throat, part demanding growl, part subservient whine and Nasta smiled at him, flashing a deadly looking fang at him as he dumped the body on the floor for Harry's inspection.
Harry didn't bother inspecting it, anything that his mates brought back for him was good enough for him, he already knew it wasn't poisoned or off, his mates would never do that to him, so he instead took his claws to the tender meat, carving out a bite sized cube to eat as his mates watched him take his fill.
The blood was still hot, so it was a recent kill, but Harry hated that it started cooling so quickly and he ate faster, chewing less and swallowing bigger chunks. Nasta sat behind him and spread his legs to put on either side of his body, hands falling to his hips as his chest framed Harry's back. He rested his chin on Harry's shoulder and turned to nuzzle at his cheek.
"Slow down, Cariad, or you'll choke." He coached softly, his cheek was almost completely clean shaven, he must have shaved only just before he went hunting to be this smooth, it wouldn't last another hour.
"The blood goes cold." Harry said back just as softly.
"Eat the meat and if you want blood afterwards, you can take it directly from me, my blood is very hot."
Harry moaned slightly at the thought of sinking his fangs into Nasta's arm to take blood straight from the vein. He ate slower, hating the blood which came with his food, which had once been hot and was now merely warm.
Once he had had his fill, he didn't even feel like taking blood anymore, he just wanted to sleep so he curled up in Nasta's lap, letting Draco and Max eat their fill of the prey that Nasta and Blaise had caught as Nasta stood up and away from the partially eaten carcass to cradle him on the settee with Blaise, the both of them had already eaten their fill and were content to curl up with Harry, who once all of his needs had been met, started getting a niggle in his brain about something. He kept pushing it away, but it was getting louder and more insistent and as soon as the niggle became a thought, his eyes widened and he sat up suddenly, almost catching Blaise's jaw with his shoulder.
"My babies." He gasped out, looking around the room quickly, as if hoping to find them hidden away in some corner.
Nasta sat up and held his shoulders lightly. "They're safe, Harry, they're with Alexander remember?"
Harry calmed down and deflated slightly as he remembered where they were as soon as Nasta told him. His brain supplied the memory of the morning that he had dropped them off and he sighed in relief.
"I hope they're alright, we need to go and get them."
"Tomorrow, love. You need more rest and its coming up to eight at night, they'll all be asleep anyway and I'd hate to disturb them with a travel through the floo."
Harry swallowed and nodded. "Okay, but first thing tomorrow we'll go and get them."
"Right after breakfast, I promise." Nasta assured him. "I want our children back as much as you do, but we need to recover some more and I don't particularly want to eat an animal in front of the children, so after breakfast is ideal."
Harry couldn't argue with that logic, even if he didn't like it, so he nodded and settled down. Watching indulgently as Draco and Max play fought over bits of meat, or at least Harry thought they were play fighting. He cocked his head and watched more intently. It was like it was a real fight, but it wasn't, Max certainly wasn't using his whole body or strength to fight and Draco barely moved as he batted Max away.
"Are they fighting or not fighting?"
"They're fighting, Caru, but a fight over food is common ground when there are two or more dominants. Max pulls rank, but Draco won't settle for second best, so they slap at each other a bit, but you know Max, he's a true feeder, he likes feeding us all, so he's not fighting too hard to keep Draco away from the best parts of the meat. He's letting Draco have it, but telling him at the same time that he still pulls rank and that it's only because he's letting Draco have it that he's getting the prime parts of the animal that you left."
"That's sweet." Harry smiled, Max flashing him a grin, which showed fang before scowling as he slapped at Draco's hand again as he took the chunk of meat that Max had just carved out from his hand.
Blaise let out a soft breath and Harry turned to him, only to find him fast asleep. He grinned before wriggling down to lie beside him, cuddling in. Nasta rubbed both of their shoulders, kissing each of them on the cheek, before leaving them to sleep.
"Hunting took a lot out of him, he caught the first animal, our own meal, but after that he was fucked." Nasta said as he pulled down the blanket from the back of the settee and threw it over them.
Harry hummed and with his very full belly, the scents of his mates still ingrained in his mind and the warmth from Blaise and the blanket, it all worked together to pull him off to sleep to recover a little more before tomorrow. He couldn't wait to see his children again.
Harry was so happy to be surrounded by his babies once more, he was sat on the settee, Calix and Leolin in his arms, Braiden sat leaning against his one side, Farren was propped up on the other, Tegan was on his lap, her head supported by his knees and Regan was sat tummy to tummy with him, resting against him as Harry reclined back to make sure Regan didn't topple backwards onto Tegan.
He was being laughed and cooed at by everyone, had already had a hundred photos taken of him, but he didn't care as his babies were nearly all awake, the exceptions being Regan and Leolin, and they were all grinning and huffing at him and he felt so happy, though he was saddened to see how big they had gotten while he had been away.
He had sniffed each and every one of them deeply, searching for injuries, illness, bruises and scents. So many scents had been on them, Alexander and Kimberly, Richard and Myron, Aneirin, Marianna's scent was in there faintly. Then there was also Talia, Alayla and Julinda, other scents that were slighter and fainter of people he had only met once, like Cassander and Alaric, Cepheus and Nicodemus, Julius and his lovely Wife Claire, who he remembered because she had helped him and had been the one to tell him that he was pregnant with the quintuplets, but the one scent he was searching for was missing. He smiled happily and cuddled his children tighter. Ashleigh had not touched or been near them while he was away.
"You've been hogging them for an hour!" Blaise whined as he came and snatched Tegan from his lap, sitting next to Farren and nuzzling her gently.
The next moment half the babies were gone and his mates were all sniffing, kissing, nuzzling and holding their children, leaving Harry with Calix and Braiden.
"How were they?" Harry asked Alexander.
"They were as good as gold, Harry. Braiden had some problems being away from you, but he broke on the third day." Alexander assured him with a smile. "Your little five are getting bigger and stronger by the day, though Aneirin had to assure me that nothing was wrong with little Leo. I've never had to look after a Faerie baby before, it's worrying if you don't know what's going on, but he's easy to care for once you know what you're doing."
"She never came to see them did she?" Harry asked, unable to keep back the snarl or the question, even though he knew she hadn't been near them or touched his children, that didn't mean she hadn't been here or tried to be here.
"No." Myron assured him. He looked tired and ragged, but otherwise happy. "She did try and see them on the very first day, but I threatened to lock her in the attic if she tried it again."
"I blocked her from the floo in any case." Alexander told him. "As soon as I heard what she had done I made sure she couldn't get into this house without me knowing, I won't have any daughter, or son, in-law acting that way towards my family."
Harry caught the added son in-law and bit his lip, wondering what he had done to get in Alexander's bad books, thinking that maybe the whole thing with Ashleigh was getting to Alexander and that it was his fault. Myron was his youngest son after all, of course that would make him protective towards him; maybe he shouldn't have asked the man to babysit after all. He swallowed and looked at Braiden; he wondered who he'd ask in two months' time when he went onto another heat period.
"Mama." Braiden cooed, patting his face.
Harry couldn't help but smile as he threw an arm around Braiden and pulled him in close to his side, kissing the top of his head and the wild jet black hair that was silky and shiny. It hadn't been brushed yet today; Draco was sure to notice soon and take over, getting Braiden's hair just perfect.
"Stop with the miserable look, Harry, Granddad isn't talking about you." Talia assured him. "Of course he's not; he loves you more than us sometimes! Uncle Alexus' boyfriend walked out on him the other day."
"What?" Max demanded. "Sean just upped and left Uncle Alexus?"
"Yes, Lex has been heartbroken since." Kimberly sighed unhappily. "He's sleeping in his old bedroom, he can't stay in the house that he shared with Sean, he says there are too many memories and bad feelings."
"Did he say why Sean left him? They've been together for forty years!" Max snapped, pacing angrily.
Alexander came and sat by Harry, wrapping him in a hug and pressing a kiss to his temple.
"Alexus thinks that Sean left him for another man." Myron answered Max, his own angry scowl on his face.
"I'd never hate you, Harry." Alexander whispered to him, ignoring the other conversation. "You're a wonderful, lovely boy and I'm thankful every day that you choose my Maxie for a mate, he really lucked out. But it seems my sons and daughters aren't fairing too well. Myron is having problems with his mate, my Alexus has been left for another man by his life partner and my sweet Lydia is having arguments with her Husband Adam and all of this is overshadowed by my Mother's declining health."
Harry blinked. "You're Mother is still alive?" Harry asked shocked, then he realised how it had sounded and clapped a hand over his mouth.
Alexander chuckled and squeezed his shoulder, Braiden happily sat between them looking at them both in turn and gurgling, drooling excessively.
"I'm her youngest son, I have two younger sisters, but my Mother is two hundred and thirty-six, she has been unwell for a while and her health is rapidly declining, I fear she won't last much longer."
"What's your Mother's name?" Harry asked curiously.
"Evelyn." Alexander said softly. "My Father's name was Angelo, he died several years ago. They were both Drackens. Half of my children were named after them both in some way, but unfortunately my little Aya died at just a year old. Twenty-four children and three of them are dead already. Aya died when she went to the hospital with a serious chest infection, she caught Dragon Pox from another patient and there was nothing they could do. My Rosella died next, she was eighteen and always so opinionated, she went out to South America to explore other countries, she never came back alive and my son Benedict was put to death by the Counsel, he was forty-six."
"You're a very strong man and Kimberly is a strong woman, I wouldn't know what I'd do if I lost a child. It was bad enough almost losing Calix and Leolin at birth."
"You'd carry on, Harry. It's all you can do when you already have a family depending on you. You work through the pain and the loss, you grieve in private where none of the children can see you fall apart because that's not what they need from you at that moment, they need support and comfort and you can't give into your own desires to break down with them, you have to be strong for them."
Harry smiled. "I hope that if a time comes when I'm in the same situation, and I pray that I never am, but if I do, I hope that I can be as strong as you are."
"You'll have endless amounts of support if ever it came to happen, Harry. It's always harder on the younger children, but it was my quintuplets and Myron who were hit the worst, they were younger, Myron more so as he had a sister that he never knew as she died two years before he was born and my quintuplets were only eight months old. Kimberly and I never had the option to break down, we had such a large family and they depended solely on us, we're sure that Aya's death directly resulted in Kimberly's ability to conceive, it took a year and a half after Aya's death before she had another heat period and thirteen months of dry heats before she conceived our very last child, our miracle baby, Myron. It's been fifty-four years since Kimberly's last heat period and we're sure at this point that she won't have any more, so we'll have to surround ourselves with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Harry smiled as Alexander rested a hand on Braiden's head.
"I'm sorry I won't be giving you any more great-grandchildren just yet." Harry said. "I didn't have a fertile heat."
Alexander nodded. "I knew as soon as you came through the floo this morning. It wasn't long enough for a fertile heat, but that's alright, Harry, no matter how long it takes, I'm very happy with the six that you've given me so far. They're wonderful children."
Harry beamed at the praise and he cuddled Calix and Braiden tightly. He loved his children and knew they were the best babies in the world, but hearing others saying the same made him all warm and prideful inside.
"Look at you, you little peacock." Richard teased, easing himself down by Harry's legs.
Harry grinned. "Of course I am. People are praising my pride and joys."
Richard wiggled one of Calix's legs and kissed the bottom of a tiny foot. "My little Grandchildren are always a source of pride and joy. They're going to rule the world one day."
Harry snorted. "If you teach any of my children any stereotypical 'bad guy' quotes or actions I'll string you up by your ankles."
"Aww, not even sitting in a swivelly chair stroking a butt ugly cat?" Richard pouted.
"You give my children any animal or even put it in their heads, you're dead." Harry threatened.
"I wouldn't. Julinda took in a stray cat when she was four, that beast scrammed hell out of near newborn Alayla. Myron almost killed it before Max rescued it and took it to an animal centre."
"He would have been what, eight?" Harry asked.
Richard nodded. "He was a right humanitarian before he turned sixteen and started killing animals for food."
"He was a vegetarian?" Harry asked, a grin taking over his face.
"Not as such, but he never liked eating much meat, red meats were the hardest to feed him, he could cook and eat a chicken by the time he was fourteen, but mention that we were having steak for dinner and he let his Mother take over. That lasted only until he was sixteen, but he truly got into meat cooking at eighteen, no idea what changed his mind."
"Talia pointed out that I'd have a submissive to feed who would want meat in the first phase of their breeding cycle, so I started learning how to cook meat, never intending to like it." Max shrugged. "I always try what I cook to test it and as I ate more of it, I just never stopped eating it and eventually I started to enjoy it. Now you couldn't keep a nice steak away from me."
"I wonder if any of our children will be vegetarian." Harry frowned thoughtfully looking at Braiden.
"It's far too soon to tell love, Braiden's only just being weaned."
"I want to try him on textured foods next, maybe rice puddings and biscuits to teach him to chew."
"I can do the rice pudding, but for the biscuits we might be better off buying rusks or baby biscotti."
Harry nodded and snuggled Braiden. "Would you like that, Braiden? Some rice pudding and biscuits to nibble on to help your teething."
Braiden cooed at him and Harry grinned.
"I'm sure that baby understands you." Alexander laughed. "You have a very tight, special bond."
"I hope it'll last longer than his babyhood though, right through his entire life, no matter what."
"I have no doubts that it will."
Max squeezed himself between Harry and Blaise, causing Blaise to growl unhappily as he had to shift right up against the arm of the seat. Harry thanked god that there was space on the settee for four of them, even if it was a tight fit with Braiden sat on the settee himself.
"I'm so tired." Max groaned.
"As long as you got in first." Alexander scowled at his Grandson. "You need to practice getting in there, I need more Great-Grandchildren from my Grandchildren. I swear all of you are so lazy, I had twenty-four children."
"Granddad, I've given you six Great-Grandchildren in a year!" Max gaped.
Alexander huffed. "It's not enough, get on with making babies."
"You have thirty-six Grandchildren, Father." Myron reminded as he wandered over. "And twenty-four Great-Grandchildren, you have enough for now."
"I'll never have enough." Alexander waved him away. "Tell Caesar's Wife that I want to see that new bump of hers, has he got her under control yet?"
"He hasn't, but Harry has." Richard laughed. "Caesar wrote to us the other day, her pregnancy is going well. She's just starting to get morning sickness; I don't envy her getting it this early on, she's only a month gone."
"And how is Eleonora?"
"Fine, she's eight months old now and apparently she's started bouncing around the floor."
Draco scoffed. "Braiden's been doing that for the past month." He boasted.
"He's also a Dracken and Nora isn't." Nasta reminded him. "He'll be crawling before her, I can guarantee it."
Harry slid to the floor, using Richard as a crash mat, pulling Braiden with him and handing a still sleeping Calix to Alexander.
He set Braiden on his hands and knees and tapped his bottom; Braiden started giggling immediately and bounced on his hands.
"It's so cute when he does that!" Alayla cooed.
"He wants to crawl." Harry insisted. "You want to crawl, Braiden."
But his baby still didn't want to move; he went as far as to sit back on his feet and happily looked around him curiously.
"He's a very curious boy." Kimberly praised happily. "He wanted to know what was in every single cupboard the fifth morning that he was here as I was making him his baby porridge. He'll be a very bright boy."
Harry couldn't help it as he swelled again at the praise, unable to keep the grin off of his face. Nasta chuckled at him and Harry grinned wider.
"I can't help it!" He insisted as Richard started teasing him. "My Dracken is very close to the forefront and I'm very happy to have people praising my children."
Draco yawned and Blaise followed his lead. Harry couldn't have stopped the long, lingering yawn that almost unhinged his jaw if he had wanted to.
"I think it's home and to bed for you three." Nasta said sternly. "A small nap won't kill you."
Harry nodded and the five of them said goodbye to the Maddison family and bundled up their children and their things and they headed home.
Blaise went to curl up on the settee, Draco dropped where he stood, onto the rug in front of the fire and Harry checked all of his babies were alright before kissing Nasta and Max, who were on baby duty and he headed into the bedroom so that he could grab a long nap in their bed. He startled and almost screamed when he shut the door and turned around to find someone sitting on the purple settee. Though he quickly and thankfully recognised the familiar face of Amelle and Eleonora, who was on her lap with a stuffed toy.
"Amelle? Why are you here, is everything alright?" Harry asked as he pressed a hand to his rapidly beating chest.
"Are your mates here?" She asked softly.
Harry nodded. "Blaise and Draco are taking a nap and Max and Nasta are on baby duty." He said as he sat down beside her and took the beautiful baby girl from her and giving her chubby cheek a soft kiss, holding her gently.
"I…I needed someone to talk to. Caesar has been driving me mad, he was bad with Eleonora, but he's so much worse since I've been…"
"Less of a bitch?" Harry questioned with a grin after the pause stretched on.
Amelle gave him a wan smile. "Yes. I'm only a month pregnant, Harry and he won't even let me get out of bed by myself. I just needed to get away, I'm still at odds with his family, my family will be the first place he looks and you were the only other person I could think to come to."
"So you haven't told him where you've gone?"
Amelle shook her head. "He wouldn't have let me come, especially not through the floo and not by myself."
Harry nodded. "That's understandable."
"So you won't tell?"
Harry shook his head. "Of course not. If you want to hide out here until he hunts you down that's fine."
Amelle gave him a bashful smile, her hands playing restlessly in her lap.
"Hold on, I'll go get us a cup of tea."
"How can you get two without them knowing that I'm here?"
"Please." Harry grinned. "Watch the master."
Harry handed Eleonora back to Amelle and he went back out into the living room, leaving the door open a crack.
"Harry, I thought you were going to sleep? Are you okay, can't you sleep?" Max asked softly, careful not to wake Blaise or Draco.
"I'm fine; I want a cup of tea though." Harry replied. "I'm so wound up from seeing the kids that I can't sleep, so I want some relaxing tea."
Harry went into the kitchenette and filled the kettle, setting it to boil.
"I can make it for you if you want." Max offered.
"That's alright. I won't take long." Harry gave a fake yawn.
He poured two cups of tea and got a plate of biscuits before heading back into the bedroom.
"Why do you need two cups?" Nasta asked with an indulgent smile and a raised eyebrow, like Harry had done something particularly quirky or cute.
"In case I need another one after I finish the first one and still can't sleep." Harry replied as if it was obvious. "I don't want to get back into bed, all warm and cosy, only to have to get back out again for another cup of tea."
Max snorted. "Alright, but if you get biscuit crumbs in that bed I'll kill you, I absolutely hate crumbs between the sheets."
"I'll be careful." Harry said as he slipped into the bedroom and kicked the door closed. He gave Amelle a grin and she had a grudgingly impressed look on her face.
Harry set up a wandless silencing charm and handed Amelle a cup of tea and offered her the biscuits, which she nibbled on.
"That was impressive." She mumbled.
"You just have to know how to play them, Amelle. Surely Caesar has to work sometimes?"
She nodded. "Yes but he comes and checks in on me every hour. It really is becoming too much now. I have about six more months of this, I can't take even another week of his behaviour, Harry. I had to get away, just for a while."
"If I wasn't in school still I'd offer a weekend holiday away, submissives only." Harry grinned. "Though I don't think even I could get away with that." He murmured ruefully
"You just had a heat period didn't you?" Amelle asked curiously.
Harry scowled. "Unfertile. It lasted six days."
"I've heard that sometimes happens with the very fertile submissives, if they have a large clutch so close together, their next heat is usually unfertile, I'll guarantee your next heat will be fertile, how long are your cycles?"
"Bimonthly." Harry frowned distastefully.
"Really? Wow, we'll be pregnant together again." She grinned.
Harry chuckled. "Yeah, and once again you'll give birth before me."
"I might not if you have another five."
Harry's face fell. "Don't even go there. I couldn't have another five that was the worst I have ever been and almost losing two of them because of how under developed they were, I wouldn't wish that on anyone."
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to bring it up."
Harry nodded. "That's alright, I know you didn't, but it's still a very sensitive subject and with my Dracken being so close to the surface."
"You're right, I shouldn't have brought it up, but did you hear about Alexus and Sean?"
Harry nodded, letting the subject be changed happily. "I don't think I met Alexus personally, though I know he and Sean were at Alexander's birthday last year, it's terrible, forty years they've been together."
"That's not all though, Lydia's having trouble even though she's pregnant and Myron and Richard are having trouble with Ashleigh, I told you she was strange."
Harry smiled sadly. "I wanted so badly to believe the best of her."
"Some people just don't deserve that, Harry; some people don't deserve people to believe in them because they don't believe in themselves."
Harry bit his lip. "I feel so stupid, Amelle. I trusted her, I fought for her when you kept Nora from her and this is how she treats me after everything?"
"What did she do, Harry? I don't think Caesar knows it all, but he is upset."
"There have been little comments that made my Dracken peek up…"
"I know what you mean." Amelle cut in. "It started when I was pregnant, she was just so interested in the pregnancy, but it was easier on me because I live outside of Britain, it's harder to get an international Portkey or floo access for such a long distance, but whenever I saw her, she was always more interested in the pregnancy than in me personally. I thought it was because Nora would be her first grandchild, but it still put me on edge."
Harry nodded. "Both of my pregnancies she was like it, but when I mentioned the selective reduction, it was then when I started perking up. She was more concerned with me terminating a child than she was if I lived or not afterwards, but it was when she actually forgot about…well you know what my childhood was like don't you?"
Amelle nodded. "Caesar told me little parts, but I don't know the full extent, but she forgot about that? That's not something you ever forget about a person."
"It was then that a year's worth of hints and clues and suppressed instincts worked together and I saw the bigger picture, she didn't actually see me as a person, but as a way to give her babies. I felt sick and I feel a fool to have ignored my instincts when they were right all along."
"Those instincts are there for a reason, Harry." Amelle told him softly.
"I know, but those same instincts told me to keep my children away from Remus too, but I know he would never, ever hurt them."
"Are you sure about that? Can you say with any certainty that an accident won't happen and he'll hurt one of them?"
Harry shook his head. "He wouldn't, Amelle. He's a lovely, kind man."
"Lovely men have accidents, Harry."
"I know, but if that was the case then I wouldn't let anyone near them, you can't go through life isolating them away from everyone. It just doesn't work like that; sometimes you just have to take a chance."
"But what if they get hurt?" Amelle asked in a small voice.
"Then you pick them up, dust them off and set them back on their feet, it's all we can do. They need to get a few colds and infections, a few bumped heads and scraped knees, Amelle; don't you remember your first scraped knee?"
Amelle thought long and hard, her mouth puckering and a little wrinkle appearing between her eyebrows. "The earliest I remember was when I was five, it wasn't a scraped knee, but I was at a play park just around the corner from my house, it was a regular family outing. My Mother and Father would sit on a bench while I and my brothers would run wild. I was on the monkey bars and my hand slipped, I landed on my bottom, but I banged my elbow hard and had a graze and a small cut, my Mother tried smothering me, talking about diseases and infections, my Dad just licked the cut and graze to close them up, turned me around and told me to get back on the monkey bars. The pain was gone before the tears had even dried on my cheeks."
Amelle smiled at the memory and Harry smiled too, slightly sadly that he didn't have any normal incidents like that, he had never been taken to the play park and his first injury that he could remember was a slapped hand and he couldn't have been any older than three.
"You need to remember that memory, Amelle, remember how your Mother's actions made you feel compared to your Father's, think of Eleonora in your place, having fun in that park on those monkey bars, she needs that fun, Amelle, she needs to interact with other people, other children. She needs to scrape her knees a few times and every bug or cold she gets will only strengthen her immune system. She's going to be fine and your new baby will be just as fine."
"I still hope I have a little girl."
"You need another little girl." Harry teased lightly. "There are too many men and boys in this family, it doesn't need us adding to it."
Amelle chuckled. "That's true enough. I have been getting better you know. I was even looking for a small job, just a few hours a week, but time to give Caesar time with Nora alone, without me hanging over them, but then I got pregnant and he said there was no way I was leaving the house."
"You shouldn't put up with that; I say get a job regardless, if he doesn't like it then tough. He can't control you like this, just like you can't control him, you've been doing better, he should reward that with space, trust and privacy and he should absolutely not treat you like a prisoner regardless. That's not right and it's not fair."
"I knew you would understand." Amelle smiled widely. "I don't want to be far away from Eleonora, but there was a nice little café in the town where we live. I would serve a few people, wipe down some tables and then go back home again. A little space and time outside of the house, it would have been fine."
"You shouldn't stand for it, I completely agree, if you need help wrangling him, I'll happily do it, I'm not pregnant and I have two months to get him into touch before the next heat period."
Amelle giggled. "You can't wrestle Caesar, Harry, he's a dominant."
"I used to wrestle with Blaise all the time when it was just the two of us." Harry said fondly. "It stopped as soon as I was pregnant, then I got pregnant again right after and I guess we're too busy to do it now."
"You should do it if it makes you both happy; he doesn't need to be the one to initiate it, does he?"
Harry grinned. "I guess not." He laughed happily before they both heard Draco yelling and the unmistakable sound of Caesar's voice shouting, before Myron's voice joined in.
"Oh well, it was only a matter of time and I couldn't hide forever." Amelle smiled. "I liked our talk though, Harry, we should do it more often."
Harry nodded and stood up and strode out into the living room.
"What is all this noise, why are you shouting around my babies?" Harry demanded sternly, picking Farren up and cuddling him.
"Amelle and Nora have gone missing; I need Max to help me find her." Caesar said, speaking far too fast, completely panicked.
Harry rolled his eyes. "You worry too much."
"Harry, Amelle going missing is very serious, especially with Nora too." Max told him. "Where was she last?"
"At home, I went to work and I checked in on her and she wasn't there, I've been everywhere and I can't find her, I need your help, please."
"Was there any sign of a struggle?" Nasta asked.
"Then how do you know she didn't just go to the shops or the park or to a library?" Nasta asked with a frown.
"I told her to stay in!"
"Wait, you told her to stay in?" Max asked. "Why would you do that, that's not taking care of her, is she unwell?"
"No, but she's pregnant…"
"That's no excuse." Draco glared holding his chest and stomach area, Harry deduced that Caesar had landed on him when he had flooed in, he made a note to massage Draco's front for him later.
"If I wanted to go anywhere when pregnant I would." Harry said. "Besides you don't need to go all psycho or anything, Amelle's here and I assure you she has Eleonora with her."
"She's here?" Max and Caesar said together and Harry couldn't help but smile at them.
Amelle stepped out of the bedroom and even though she was inch taller than him, she still stood behind him when Caesar rushed to her and Harry shoved him backwards.
"There are going to be some ground rules set down, Caesar, you can't treat Amelle like a prisoner, no matter your reasoning's or motivations, it's not right." Harry said sternly. "She's pregnant, so what? It's not like she's ill or dying or disabled, she's fine and she'll still be fine if you leave her alone for longer than an hour."
"Why didn't you tell me, Amelle?" Caesar asked.
"You weren't listening, Caesar. I'm a month pregnant; I don't want to know what you're going to be like in six months' time. I can't take this anymore, your behaviour is stifling me, so I'm putting my foot down. It stops today, I will be taking that café job and you are going to give me the space that I've earned, I don't want to move back in with my parents, but I will if you carry on."
Caesar looked shell shocked and Myron clipped him behind the ear, muttering about his stupid children before excusing himself and flooing away, saying that he didn't want to be involved, but that if he heard another word about Caesar treating Amelle as he had then he'd go over his knee.
"I…I promise, just, let's go home okay. I've been out of my mind with worry."
"Just calm down, Caesar." Max coached his baby brother, wrapping an arm around him. "She's your mate and your Wife, the Mother to your children, she deserves respect just for putting up with you, fuck knows no one else would."
Caesar gave a wry smile and Harry hugged Amelle and Eleonora hard. "Don't be strangers alright, you can come any time."
Max kissed Nora and then much to her surprise, he kissed Amelle's cheek.
"Harry's right, every time you go home it's like you've dropped off the planet but for a few owls, don't be strangers to family." He told her, chucking Nora under the chin to hear her gurgled giggles.
They said their goodbyes before heading to Alexander's to say goodbye to him, apparently Caesar had panicked him too.
Harry sat on the settee with Farren and sighed, his tiredness from before hitting him like a ten ton weight.
"Are you ready to actually go to bed now or are you hiding any more fugitives in your bedroom?" Nasta teased him with a smirk.
Harry snorted. "She just wanted to talk and get away from Caesar for a little while, I was hardly going to deny her the chance to offload the heavy weight on her chest. She wanted someone to tell her that it was alright for her to have a job and that it wasn't alright for Caesar to lock her up and check on her every hour like a prison guard."
"I'll have words with him about that." Max shook his head, coming to hug Harry and give him a sweet kiss. "The only reason I would lock you up and I mean the only reason, would be to have my wicked way with you in the bedroom. I'd keep you as a pleasure slave, you'll be unable to leave my bed, you'll be supplied with absolutely everything you needed and I would have my fill of your luscious body every night when I got home from work."
"What fantasy land are you living in?" Blaise snorted. "You have four of us to live with."
"You'd be right on the bed next to Harry." Max leered. "And so would Draco, Nasta would have to be locked in a dungeon."
"You can't lock Nasta in a dungeon just to have unlimited sex with me, Draco and Blaise." Harry grinned.
"You just can't. Besides Draco and Blaise would have something to say about being kept as your pleasure slaves."
"Damn right I will." Draco grumbled. "I am no one's pleasure slave."
"Oh please, Draco; it's only a mental fantasy."
"Not even then." Draco replied snobbily. Harry chuckled.
"Hold on, does that mean you wouldn't mind being my pleasure slave?" Max asked, realising what he had said.
Harry winked. "Give me unlimited access to my babies and you can have all the fantasy slave sex that you want, but I want to be fed, by hand."
Nasta chuckled and ruffled his hair. "I think it would be the other way around. We'll be Harry's pleasure slaves, at his beck and call twenty-four hours a day, feeding and bathing him, being roped into sex whenever he pleases."
"As if you'd begrudge me sex." Harry laughed. "Roped into it my arse. You'd love every minute."
Nasta grinned and nodded. "No doubt I would, but I refuse to wear a thong."
"I wouldn't dream of making you wear a thong, you'll wear nothing when around me and a sheer robe when not around me."
All of them laughed and Draco shook his head. "This is insane; we're talking about enslaving one another."
"It's alright, it's only fantasy, Draco, there is nothing wrong with fantasising about it as long as you don't actually do it. I wouldn't really dream of enslaving you all, though when I've given you all a billion babies and my tight, firm body is completely and utterly ruined, saggy and scar ridden, I want a special fantasy recreated on my birthday."
Blaise smiled and bent to kiss him. "I'm sure we could manage that." He whispered against his mouth.
Harry smiled and hugged Blaise one armed, but Farren was getting fussy, even though it wasn't time for a feed.
"I wonder if he's been thrown out of sorts by the week away from us."
"He's just a growing boy, he needs more food."
"I'm dreading when he's weaned; I can see his food ending up halfway across his face."
"That's my boy!" Max replied proudly and Harry shook his head, even with the smile on his lips.
"Do me a favour and go and pick a few things up for me from your place, I left them there thinking that we wouldn't want or need them, but now we do."
"Alright, what do you need?"
Harry wrote down a little list on a piece of scrap parchment and Max went to floo to his house after kissing them all goodbye. Harry felt so lucky to have so many mates who loved him so much and unconditionally too. It was just as well, because he loved them all just as much and just as unconditionally, he couldn't see himself without any of them anymore, no matter what he had thought or believed in the very beginning, he had quickly changed his mind and he was so very, very happy with his choices and he would not ever change a single mate, no matter what they did or what they said, because to change them would be to change himself and the dynamics of his forged family and his children. He couldn't imagine life without all six of his children, again no matter what he had thought in the beginning.
He could not give up any of them now and if he had had to have a selective reduction he would not be able to name which children he would have preferred to be 'taken', he shivered and cuddled Farren tighter, just the thought that he might not have the baby in his arms to hold made him feel sick, but it was worse if he allowed himself to linger on what had gone on in that bedroom, when he almost never had Calix and Leolin to lose in the first place. He felt cold.
Blaise wrapped an arm around him and pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth.
"You're shivering, Prezioso, are you well?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine, just thinking."
"If those thoughts make you shiver so, then cast them away, Bello." Blaise encouraged and Harry smiled, wishing that it was that simple to forget that two of his children hadn't been breathing at birth.
A/N: Sorry about the rather rubbish heat scene, but it's all I could get out at this time and knowing I have to write another one in a couple of chapters is making me dread when it comes up, though I hope you've enjoyed the rest of the chapter.
Chapter 6 of Damaged Bodies should be out next, but I'm not sure when, but I'll see what I can do before work tomorrow.
Absolutely massive thanks to IceNecromancer who was the 9,000th reviewer for this story. We actually made 9,000 reviews and I'm so happy about it, thank you to all of you who have reviewed for helping me reach this massive milestone.
KatieMalfoy18: I know, but do you really see Nasta letting Harry have a sauce made with wine when pregnant even if he knows logically that the alcohol has burnt off?
aramistw: It depends which grandparents you mean, Marianna's parents still see and speak to Blaise, Maximiliano's do not. So yes, it's entirely possible that Blaise's maternal grandparents will appear in the fic, but there is no chance of his paternal grandparents making an appearance.
Dvfan28: You have obviously missed the point completely, every single interaction with Ashleigh was over the babies, she has not done anything for Harry as a person without it being connected to a baby or a pregnancy. Her forgetting about his childhood was the last straw, it was the catalyst to Harry figuring everything out and cluing him in to her past actions, though it was her reaction to the selective reduction that started opening his eyes to her behaviour. He's not going to stand for it and neither are his mates, no matter what strife or pain it causes because it's all on her, not on Harry. It's her fault this is happening, her fault that the family is falling apart, not Harry's. She only has herself to blame.
XxXBloodyAngelSakuraXxX: Because they're still females, even if they are dominants. They give birth like every other female in the world. Female dominants are mutations and male submissives are mutations, which means they take something they shouldn't have and have become something they were never meant to be. Male submissives took the ability to conceive, even though they're not female and female dominants took the aggressiveness and instinct irrationality of the male dominants. Make sense?
Common Muggle: Poachers are a maybe, but they are not going to affect Harry directly. Voldemort hasn't been brought in because he's dead; Harry killed him in his fifth year, as mentioned in chapter 18.
Wyldehorse: It's impossible, all of them slip into a feral, primitive state of mind, all they can think about is mating one another, they don't have the mental capabilities of knowing or understanding much of anything and if they get thoughts during the heat, they often forget them very soon after.
kit: Harry put up very extensive wards, but you wouldn't be able to smell the baby's scent outside of a door anyway, you have to be right near the baby in order to smell them, especially over the heavy scent of blood that would have been in the room.
I hope you have all enjoyed this chapter! I'm sorry if I've missed out your question, my inbox is messing me about. I'll be seeing you all soon, but the next update will be either Lycanthrope Factory or Damaged Bodies.
StarLight Massacre. X