A/N: Dedicated to my Facebookers, who put up with so much from me and so many of my whining's and ranting's about everything when I'm having a bad day, this chapter is for all of you, to say thanks, and to make up for all the teasing excerpts I give you that drive you all insane. I'm not sorry about those, but I'll say thank you for putting up with it and with me and I hope you can forgive me for this chapter.
Harry bit his lip, it sounded to him like Myron was trying to convince himself more than anyone else. He looked at Richard and saw the stress and strain on his face, which was red and flushed, the veins in his neck puffed up and visible through his skin, the scar tissue looked inflamed and tight. Richard looked worse than Harry had ever seen him and his mind slipped down that dark and dangerous road of what would happen if one day, Myron wasn't there to help Richard through an episode like this one.
Chapter Seventy-Two – Betrayal
Harry was practically dragged to meet Marisa's mother, Janine, who was pregnant and standing with her Husband and mate, Rory if he remembered correctly, who was pressed almost completely against her side.
"Mummy look!" Marisa exclaimed.
"Who is this, darling?" She asked, giving Harry a dark look that softened when she clocked Braiden on his hip.
"He helped me with my beads and I put beads in his hair last year." Marisa exclaimed.
Janine's eyes widened in recognition as Harry smiled at her.
"Oh I hardly recognised you without them!" She laughed. "This would be the contents of that little bump of yours?"
Harry smiled with a nod and handed Braiden over to her happily and picked Marisa up when she demanded it.
"Oh we can swap." Janine laughed. "She's a little terror; I wish she was this little one's age again."
"Braiden's just learnt to crawl and he's already showing signs of wanting to be on his feet, I'll happily swap all of mine for Marisa. I don't think I've slept properly for over a year."
"All of yours? But, do you not only have the one?" Janine shared a look with her Husband who was looking at him critically.
"No, I have six."
"But last year you didn't have any and you were only a few months pregnant."
Harry nodded. "I had Braiden in August and I fell pregnant immediately afterwards in a freak accident when Braiden was only four days old. I had quintuplets that were born at the end of December."
"Oh you poor man!" Janine laid a soft hand on his shoulder. "You have a nine month old and five, four month old children and you're still in school aren't you? My word, how do you get anything done?!"
Harry smiled. "The benefit of having four dominants to help out, though I admit it's a struggle for all of us. So if you'd like to collect the other five, I'd happily swap you for this little wonder." Harry brushed Marisa's nose with his index finger and she giggled in delight.
"That's alright; I'd rather have two Marisa's than look after six under one year olds." Rory told him, he looked astonished.
"Did you have any daughters? I know it's difficult for all males to have little girls. You did have an all-male group didn't you?"
"Yes, I have all male mates and yes, we have one daughter and five sons, she's the third oldest and we believe she's a fraternal twin with one of her brothers, they look like mirror images of one another and her brother was clutching her thumb as I birthed them."
"Oh, she sounds adorable, but five sons, my word, your mates must be proud."
"I dare say they'd be proud if I birthed a three headed octopus with no eyes. Our lives revolve around the children now and it does make it difficult, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Ma ma?" Braiden called out curiously, his indigo eyes searching him out and a grin taking over his face as he spotted him. "Mama!"
"Ooo, look, Mummy! The baby's talking!" Marisa exclaimed excitedly. "Will my new brother or sister talk to me?"
"Not for a while, Marisa Princess." Rory told her, the gooey look on his face that most doting Father's got when their 'Princesses' did something suitably adorable or pride worthy.
"Newborn babies don't do very much of anything." Janine explained. "We have to be very careful of the new baby for a long while and baby won't be talking for at least five or six months."
"Months?" Marisa cried. "That's forever!"
Harry chuckled. "I'm glad it's not, these last few months have been terribly difficult, but they've flown by, I look at all six of them and I can remember clearly what they were like at birth and I can't help but wonder what happened and where the time has gone."
Janine nodded understandably. "I know what you mean, it seems…seems like only yesterday when I had my little Marisa and I've blinked and suddenly she's this wonderful, gorgeous five year old girl." The woman sniffed and Harry had the same horrified look on his face that Rory did as she started tearing up.
"I…come on, love, it's alright. It wasn't actually as short as a blink; we have photos of her growing up."
"I know, but I'm pregnant again now and we're having our second child, what if this baby grows up as fast as our Marisa?"
"I'm sure the baby won't be able to help it." Rory explained, at a complete loss as to what to actually do or say to his mate.
Harry put Marisa down when she squirmed and then she darted off as soon as her little sandaled feet hit the floor. Harry blinked and felt a thrill of fear for her running around on her own.
"She'll be fine." Rory said understanding the look on his face. "My family have a trust policy, we have always had it, we won't let our submissives ruin our children, so we teach them to let the children go. So far Marisa has been absolutely fine, she's probably seen one of her friends is all."
Harry nodded. "I won't let myself act like some of the submissives I've seen and I believe the Maddison's at least follow the same sort of policy…"
"You're mated to a Maddison?" Rory asked his eyes widening.
"I…yes. Max, Maximilius, he was my third mate."
"Oh dear Merlin."
"It's alright, he won't do anything." Harry frowned.
"No, it's not that. It's just…no one gets on Myron Maddison's bad side. No one. And everyone knows that the best and fastest way to get on his bad side is to hurt or upset one of his family, mates of children and siblings included."
"Well you haven't upset me, so it's fine."
Rory nodded. "The Maddisons are very highly respected Drackens, what they went through…" Rory trailed off shaking his head. "Alexander helped reform the mating rites to make it safer for both dominants and submissives to come together in the same room without deaths and Myron helped reform the Submissive Protection Act in nineteen-eighty-seven, the Elders were considering asking Alexander to become part of the Counsel, but he refused. He wants to spend every moment he can get with his family, not be pulled away by Counsel business."
Harry smiled. "That sounds just like Alexander."
"Oh, I think this little one needs a change." Janine cut in sniffing Braiden delicately. "Do you want me to take him?"
"Oh no, of course not, I wouldn't subject you to that in your condition." Harry chuckled taking Braiden from her carefully.
"The changing rooms are just outside the doors, next to the bathrooms." Rory told him as Harry looked around for the changing rooms that Nasta had mentioned were here.
"They need sign posts or something." Harry muttered as he thanked them both politely and wandered off with an uncomfortably squirming, stinky Braiden.
Harry found everything that he could have possibly needed in the changing rooms, located in between the male and female toilets, there were piles of different kinds of nappies, from disposable to cloth, wipes, talc, medicated creams, potions and even spare briefs for children who had gotten a little overexcited and had an accident. He understood now why Nasta had insisted that it was not necessary to bring a nappy bag with them at all.
"There we go, all clean and fresh." Harry exclaimed as he pulled up Braiden's smart trousers and smoothed down his dress robes.
Braiden giggled at him and Harry couldn't help smiling at him as he cuddled him into the crook of his arm, cleaning up the changing station that he had used before heading back out into the corridor to rejoin the meeting halls.
"You think you're so special!"
Harry turned around curiously, not actually expecting to be the one that comment was aimed at, but he saw Rebecca Silvermoss chug back a glass of white wine and teeter towards him on her too high heels.
"Excuse me?" He asked, turning his body away from her slightly to shield Braiden more.
"Max was supposed to be my mate! That's supposed to be my child!" She slurred looking at Braiden with a gleam in her glassy, unfocused eyes.
Harry took in a deep inhale and looked around, out here was nearly deserted, though there was a guard watching them closely. Harry stepped back a bit, more towards the guard.
"You're not having my child." Harry said loudly and the guard pushed immediately off from the wall, his gun coming out from under his open blazer as he approached them.
Rebecca had shoved him hard in the chest and tried to snatch Braiden quicker than Harry would have thought she would be able to and he panicked, sending off a distress call as he felt Braiden leaving his arms. He lashed out from where he had fallen on the floor and he caught her knee with his foot as he lurched up to snatch Braiden back into his own arms and the guard was suddenly upon them, expertly separating them off from one another and pinning Silvermoss to the wall with his gun pressed tight over her throat.
Braiden was crying hysterically and Harry curled over him, supporting and comforting him, sniffing him desperately for any injuries he might have gained, clutching him tightly before the familiar scents of his mates were surrounding him. Large hands touched his back, more tried to lift his face and he let them manoeuvre him until they could see his face, into his stricken eyes.
"What happened?" Myron asked in a deadly tone, hunched in front of him.
"She tried to snatch Braiden from me." Harry told them as he refused to let Braiden be parted from his arms. "She said that Max was hers and that Braiden was hers and she tried to take him. She almost got him from me!"
Myron stood up to his formidable height of six foot ten inches and Harry almost cowered back from the look in his black eyes as he turned to Rebecca Silvermoss and stood so close to her that they had to have been touching. Harry could hear soft hissing and harsh whispering, but he couldn't make any words out, but he trusted Myron to look after them, no matter what, or from who.
"Where are the other children?" He asked as he realised the only baby around them was Braiden; even Leolin had gone from the sling on Nasta's front.
"With Marianna, Narcissa, Lucius and Max's sisters." Nasta informed him as he sat on the floor and pulled Harry onto his lap. "You don't bring your children to the battlefield; you leave them safe with family."
Harry nodded and he breathed deeply to calm his Dracken down, it helped that his mates were all calm around him, soothing him and bringing him back from the edge of irrational behaviour.
"Do you want to go home?" Blaise asked him softly, but his hands were clenched in anger, his nails biting into the palms of his hands to keep himself grounded.
Harry shook his head. "No. I'm fine. I won't let her ruin a once a year meeting, though I swear right now if she tries for Braiden, or any of my children again, she's dead."
Nasta stood up with Harry in his arms before placing him gently on the ground.
"Do you want her removed from the meeting halls, Harry sweet one?"
Harry looked over at the familiar voice of Elder Quintalus Trintus and he smiled at the kindly man who had been his grounding rock during his meetings, who had taught him and looked after him. He had liked Elder Trintus and he had missed the man.
He shook his head. "That's alright, Elder, she can stay as long as she knows that the next time she goes for my child, she'll lose her life and quite possibly her eyes and head too."
The group of seven or so Elders nodded easily, as if Harry hadn't just threatened to blind and behead someone, and Harry went to Elder Trintus happily and allowed the man to coo over Braiden, though he couldn't bear to let him out of his arms. He was holding him so tightly that Braiden could barely squirm, let alone move, but he would rather that than have him snatched and gone from him.
Harry caught up with Elder Trintus, he met Elder Midate and got to know Elder Kirrian better, Max stood like a silent shadow protector at his back, his body stiff with tension as if expecting an imminent attack. The Elders seemed to approve of Max and his actions if their proud looks were any indication.
After a while Harry said his goodbyes to the Elders and he moved back into the meeting halls, where everyone was looking at him, oh they tried not to, tried to do it inconspicuously and subtly, but Harry still caught the glances and the not so subtle stares.
Harry blinked at the large man suddenly in front of him, not as tall or broad as Max, Nasta or even Draco, but an inch or so taller than Blaise, but still, he was impressive and handsome. Something flashed in his mind and he grinned widely, moving to carefully hug the man in front of him, who he recognised from the familiar facial scarring.
"Arsenio. I haven't seen you in ages, how have you been?" He asked happily.
He was still tall, about six foot three, but he had more grey hair than the last time that Harry had seen him at his own mate meetings what seemed like forever ago. He was still handsome, despite the claw marks going down the one side of his cheek and he was still as well dressed as he had been in his mate meetings.
The man nodded curtly. "I have been well. Are you alright? I recognised your distress call from your meetings, but the guards wouldn't let anyone but your family and the Elders through."
Harry huffed. "Some widowed hussy thought that she could get with my mate and snatch my child, she almost got him away from me so I sent out the call, but I got him back."
"He is very cute." Arsenio complimented.
Harry smiled happily at that.
"Is the 'widowed hussy' still alive?"
Harry nodded. "Yes. If she tries for him again though I won't be so lenient."
"Most wouldn't have been lenient in the first place; you truly are different from every other submissive in every way."
"I'm taking that as a compliment." Harry teased with a smile.
Arsenio smiled back and inclined his head. "It was meant as one."
Harry caught up with Arsenio for the next hour, much to Max's annoyance, though he didn't show it, but Harry could feel it in the way his body pressed against him.
Arsenio was still unmated and at forty-six, he now expected to remained unmated for life, Harry cheered him up and told him that not every submissive was the same and that someday, one submissive just perfect for him would pop up and he'd be happy that he had waited and hadn't mated to anyone just for the sake of it. That had made the weary man smile and Harry felt happy enough to leave Arsenio and let Max steer him towards the bar.
"I need another drink after that; do you want a grape juice?"
Harry shrugged. "Do they have just fruit juice? I don't think my stomach could handle anything sparkling right about now. It's so tight and knotted that anything bubbly is going to make me sick."
"Of course they do." Max smiled at him. "What juice did you want?"
Harry shrugged again. "Any, I don't mind as long as it's not sparkling."
"Hey, I heard what happened, everyone's talking about it." Steffan greeted with a worried look.
"It was Silvermoss, do you remember her?"
Steffan's face screwed up. "I think so. Arrogant bitch, got rid of everyone over the age of twenty and rejected you because of your tiny wings."
Max grinned. "Yeah, I'm so glad that she did too, I wouldn't have had my gorgeous Harry otherwise. Imagine missing out on this?" Max pulled Harry into his body and kissed him before turning back to Steffan with a grin. "Oh wait, you did."
Steffan grinned. "Good thing too or you'd still be without a mate."
Harry snorted and bounced Braiden higher. "Can I get an apple juice please? Non-sparkling."
"Sure thing, sweetie and who is this cute little guy?"
"This is our firstborn son. Braiden."
"Zabini's kid yeah?"
Harry nodded, accepted his chilled apple juice and wandered off towards where he had last seen the family. He found them before he reached where they had been before and he snuggled into Draco's side, sipping his apple juice.
"Are you alright, Harry?" Draco asked.
Harry sighed. "Yes, I'm just tired and everyone staring at me and talking about me doesn't help."
"Where's Max?" Alexander cut in.
"Over by the bar talking to his friend Steffan. I'm sure Myron will be able to see him."
"What makes you say that?" Richard asked, his voice was almost gone, but he managed a whispered croak.
"They have to be the tallest people in the room, all they have to do is look around and they'll spot one another because everyone else is head and shoulders shorter than them."
Myron snorted and gave a smirk. He looked around and he nodded.
"I see him; I see the top of his head by the bar."
"See? I told you. When you're near seven feet, no one else can compare, you must be head, shoulders and half your chest taller than everyone else."
Myron gave him a sly grin and Harry's smile faded as he was grabbed and hoisted up on those shoulders with Braiden, who screeched in absolute joy.
"How does it feel to be over seven feet?" Myron asked him, holding him securely.
"Disorientating, how do you manage this all the time? It's horrible being up here."
"Braiden likes it." Myron told him, listening to the happy coos and screeches.
"Yes he does. I could do without it though. Oh! I really can see Max." He giggled.
Myron snorted and slipped him down into his arms, kissed his temple, kissed Braiden's cheek and set him back on the floor, all without spilling his apple juice.
"You've done that before."
"Of course I have. I had five very active, very boisterous children who loved climbing all over Daddy and being up high. Caesar loved it, he hated being shorter than Max, whenever we went for walks, he had to be up taller than Max, I'd usually have Caesar and one of the girls on a shoulder each and Richard would have another of the girls. When he was older, and taller, Max would carry one of his sisters around to copy us, do you remember that phase?"
Richard nodded with a happy, reminiscent grin.
"We couldn't help climbing on you, Daddy." Alayla smiled.
"I know, love. But having a clump of my hair yanked out because you and your sister started fighting on my shoulders is not the most pleasurable of experiences."
Richard choked out a laugh. "I remember that!" He gasped out.
"Stop talking until your voice comes back, Richard."
"Myron is right, Richard." Kimberly chastised. "Rest your throat."
Richard frowned, but he remained silent, he did sidle up to Myron and lean against him though and Harry smiled as almost unconsciously, Myron's arm wrapped around him and held him tighter even as he carried on his conversation with his Father.
He hoped that nothing else happened to their family, he couldn't stand to have them broken up or destroyed, it was bad enough with Max's attitude towards his own Mother, though Harry would admit, out loud too, that he wasn't happy with her himself. Especially as she had outright refused the help of a mind Healer, without seeing the Healer once, it just dragged up all his stubbornness and anger with her and he firmed himself not to let her near his babies until she got help, until she got herself sorted out. He would be happy to include her in his life and his children's lives, but only once he was sure that she was in her right mind and not a moment before.
Harry collapsed onto the bed with a sigh and he spread his body over it. Blaise fell next to him and shoved him over.
"That was a horrible night, I blame you!" Blaise hissed at Max.
"I can't help it if I'm irresistible!" Max laughed.
"He couldn't have known Mossy would have gotten even more pissed drunk on white wine and tried to attack him." Harry grinned; using his new nickname for Rebecca Silvermoss, who had thoroughly disgraced herself at this year's meeting and likely wouldn't be invited for next year's meeting.
"She didn't attack me, she sort of fell short." Max giggled.
Harry laughed with him, remembering her screaming and shouting like a lunatic, approaching Max intent on hitting him, only to slip on her high heels and end up at his feet.
"Women fall at my feet!" Max declared, spinning around and falling on the bed.
"As long as you don't expect us to." Draco muttered, shedding his dress robes.
"You've had far too much to drink." Nasta shook his head, giving Max's bum a playful swat.
"If you want to make anything of it, you've gotta spank me harder than that."
Harry chuckled and slipped out of his dress robes.
"Oh, never mind, I have a sex slave stripping in front of me." Max chuckled, putting his chin on his folded hands to watch him.
"Sex slave?" Harry snorted. "You're my slave, lover boy."
"Do you wish for me to strip, Master?"
Harry shook his head with a laugh and he tossed his robes to the side, throwing his uncomfortable, formal trousers after them.
"Oh now that's a better view." Max said as he dragged Harry towards him by an ankle.
"Hey!" Harry called out, laughing as he found himself being covered by Max and having his neck bitten and sucked.
"Alright, alright, pack it in. Harry and Blaise have a big day tomorrow, they need their sleep." Nasta told them, breaking them up.
Harry chuckled and snuggled into Draco and Blaise, leaving Nasta to wrestle a drunken Max from his clothes and tuck him in.
"I guess I'm on the night feeds then." Nasta rolled his eyes. "Stay in that bed and get to sleep, Max." He ordered as Max tried to get out from under the duvet.
"I'm not tired." He whined.
"Yes you are, you just don't know that you are."
"How is that even possible?"
"Sleep now or you'll be on the settee with a sleeping potion."
"Fine." Max huffed.
"I've never seen him like this." Harry chuckled.
"It's what he's like on champagne. It makes him act different than when he's drunk on wine and he's different again when he's had too much beer." Nasta shook his head. "You're not twenty anymore, Max, you have to stop doing this."
"You…you're not my Mother." Max declared sleepily.
"Thank Merlin for small mercies, now just get to sleep." Nasta answered.
"Are you coming to join us, Nas?" Harry asked as he realised that Nasta wasn't getting into the bed.
"I'm going to check on everything, check the kids and then come to bed, I'll be ten minutes." Nasta said softly.
Harry nodded and snuggled back into the warm pile of bodies. He was fast asleep before Nasta came back almost exactly ten minutes later to strip out of his clothes and slip into the bed with the rest of them.
Harry woke up early the next morning and didn't know why until he heard loud retching in the bathroom. He looked in the bed, to find Draco and Blaise cuddled together, but Max and Nasta were missing.
He groaned and checked on Leolin in his bassinet beside the bed. He was still sleeping soundly.
Harry padded down the stairs carefully and into the bathroom to find Nasta comforting Max, whose head was buried down the toilet.
"Is he okay?" Harry asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes to try and wake himself up a bit more.
"It's early, love, go back to bed. Max'll be fine, his body is just reminding him why it's a bad idea to drink so much in one night." Nasta told him very softly, telling Harry that Max probably had a banging headache from the violent vomiting and the onset of a very bad hangover.
Harry shook his head and came to kneel beside them, patting Max's naked, sweaty shoulder.
"I can't sleep now, it's too early to be awake, but too late to get any decent amount of sleep, I'll end up feeling worse for any more sleep." He explained quietly.
"Go and get some tea then, Max could certainly use a cup to sooth his stomach."
Harry nodded and he went out into the kitchenette, sending a short wave of magic to the fire to set it going, it was freezing this early in the morning even if it was almost summer.
He boiled the kettle and poured three cups of tea, he carried two into the bathroom, to find Max leaning fully against Nasta, looking pathetic, tired and unwell.
"You brought this on yourself." Nasta told him as Max groaned weakly. "Thank you, Harry. Here, drink this, Harry made you tea."
"Thank you, Harry." Max replied, sounding terrible.
"That's alright, you get better in time for the match, you hear me, Blaise and I will never forgive you if you miss our last ever game. The last one at Hogwarts at least." Harry grinned.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world." Max answered before he gulped the tea down.
Harry went to the bedroom and checked on his children, picking up Regan as his eyes were the only pair open, before checking on Braiden in his new room, who was also just waking up.
Harry carried them both out into the living room and placed them on the carpet with a pile of toys as he made Braiden and Farren baby cereal for breakfast and got the others' bottles set up ready. He kept a stern eye on the two over on the rug; Braiden was showing off his crawling skills to Regan, who was on his belly, pushing up with his arms to look around himself curiously and with more than a little interest.
Harry made breakfast, only some eggs and toast, he didn't have the time to mess about with doing a big, fancy breakfast as well as feeding Braiden and Farren and doing four bottle feeds on top of that. He put a warming spell on the plates and made up four bottles, letting them cool down as he went to check on the four babies left in the bedroom, Farren, Calix and Tegan were awake and gurgling to one another, or to themselves, he wasn't entirely sure as he moved them into the living room, before climbing the stairs in the bedroom to the huge platform above and checking on Leolin who was still fast asleep in his bassinet, but Draco was stirring on the bed.
"Breakfast is ready when you are, Draco." He said quietly as he picked Leolin up, he got a soft grunt of acknowledgement back so he carried Leolin carefully down the stairs.
Harry placed him into the bassinet in the living room and spared a look for his children, hauling Braiden back with his brothers and sister when he went out of the circle of safe space that he had set out for his children, Braiden was disgruntled, but his head was level with all manner of table corners while he was crawling and Harry couldn't take that chance.
He boiled the kettle again to make more tea before he put Farren into Braiden's highchair, because they only had one at the moment, and he fed the very happy boy his smooth cereal.
Harry had noticed that Farren opened his mouth very wide for the spoon, as if he didn't want to waste a single spoonful of food, where Braiden barely opened his mouth at all and Harry had to manipulate the spoon into his mouth, getting most of his food onto his cheeks and chin in the process.
Harry fed Farren happily, Braiden not so happily, before Calix started grizzling for his own breakfast.
"Two minutes, love!" Harry called out as he scraped Braiden's bowl for a last spoonful. "Come on baby." He pleaded, trying to get the spoon through barely opened lips. "Just a little wider Braiden baby, please."
Harry forced the spoon into Braiden's mouth, letting him nibble on it and swallow the cereal, before using the spoon to wipe his face; he fed him the last bit as Calix started full out crying.
"Alright, Calix love!" Harry said as he used a cloth to wipe Braiden's face and hauled him from the highchair and settled him back on the floor.
Harry scooped up Calix and rocked him gently. He tested the bottle against his forearm and then, relieved at the warm temperature, he shoved it into Calix's wailing mouth.
Draco came out perfectly showered and dressed, but he looked uncomfortable.
"What's the matter?" Harry asked curiously.
"I need a piss, but Max has his head buried down the toilet and every time Nasta tries to move him, he starts vomiting again." Draco grumbled.
"Ah. Can you hold it or should I remove Max's head for you and give him a bucket?"
"I can hold it for a little longer; I have more self-control than that, but I did drink a lot last night."
"If he's not out after you've eaten, I'll drag him out. He's been in there for over two hours. Is Blaise awake yet?"
"He's getting there."
Harry nodded and finished feeding Calix, burped him and settled him back on the floor before hefting up Regan and shoving a bottle in his mouth. Tegan was next and then Harry tried to wake up Leolin for his feed, but he wasn't having any of it, so he left him and ate his own breakfast as Blaise came out, partially dressed in his Quidditch uniform, his gorgeous legs were encased in greyish-silver leggings, his muscled chest covered by the same colour vest.
"You need to get ready, Harry." Blaise told him.
Harry snapped out of his daze and groaned. "I know, give me a minute!"
Harry scoffed down the last of his breakfast and he almost broke the plate by throwing it into the sink and of course Leolin took that moment to wake up crying.
Harry sighed and picked him up carefully, holding him tightly as he held the teat of the bottle out to him and watched as he latched on.
"When do you have to take him to meet the stupid Faeries?" Draco asked.
"Don't call them stupid, Draco, Leolin's a Faerie too. But it'll definitely be after graduation, I can't even think at the minute, let alone plan a trip to the Faerie city. I want to be settled and secure first, until then, there's not a chance, no matter how many demanding letters they send to Aneirin and Nasta."
"Who's sending me letters?" Nasta asked as he supported Max into the kitchen gently.
Max inhaled once, then dived back towards the bathroom. Harry rolled his eyes as he finished feeding Leolin, burped him and settled him on a little beanbag, so he wasn't flat on his back, but was upright somewhat and still fully supported.
"Eat your breakfast, Nas, I'll go and see to him." Harry sighed.
Harry went into the bathroom and found Max lying flat on the floor, he checked him over and bright blue eyes blinked open at him.
"Oh, you are conscious then."
Max just groaned. "Don't sound so upset about it."
"You did bring this on yourself. You drank a hell of a lot last night." Harry replied. "How are you feeling?"
"The world is spinning." Max laid his head against the tile floor and sighed. "The floor is cold and so nice."
"Please tell me you can shake this off before the match." Harry begged. "You still sound drunk."
"I think I might be." Max groaned. "Go and get me one of those potions that stops it."
"I don't think Nasta will let you."
"I don't care, I want one." Max groaned pathetically. "I'll be able to watch the match fine if I have one as well."
Harry sighed. "Okay, give me a minute. Don't go anywhere."
Harry chuckled as he looked at Max spread out on the floor by the toilet, wearing only his loose boxer shorts, pressing as much skin against the cool tile as possible. Max wasn't going anywhere without help for a while. Not without a potion at the very least.
He went back into the living room to find his three mates scoffing their breakfasts, watching the time and watching the babies, who still needed their baths and dressing for the day.
"Is Max alright?" Nasta asked as he came into the kitchenette and pulled down the first aid kit, though it was more like a large jewellery chest.
"He wants a sobriety potion. He's going to get hell for doing this on our big day!" Harry huffed, mock angrily as he found the little vial labelled as a sobriety potion, grabbed it, put the first aid kit back before stomping back to the bathroom.
He grinned as he found Max curled up around the toilet.
"I got it and I think I managed to convince Nasta that I was angry with you, so it should be fine. Come here."
Max crawled to his knees and sat up slowly, looking very pale and sweaty at the movement, no matter how small and slow. Harry unstoppered the vial and brushed Max's hair with his fingers as he swallowed the contents of the little bottle down in one go.
Potions were very potent stuff and fast acting, Max looked visibly better within minutes, but the difference between injected potions and orally taken potions was dramatic. Orally taken potions took a few minutes to work, injected potions, as they went directly into the bloodstream, acted in seconds.
"Oh I feel renewed!" Max exclaimed happily, stretching his aching body and rubbing his face.
"You had better be, the kids still need to be bathed and dressed, I'm not ready and Blaise is still eating breakfast, we're going to be so late!"
Harry stripped quickly and hopped into the shower, ignoring Max, who was washing his face in the sink to wake up a bit more and to refresh himself. Harry washed as quickly as he could and when he got out, Draco and Nasta were bathing the kids while Max dressed the washed and dried babies.
He grabbed a towel and rubbed himself dry quickly, wincing as Braiden started screaming as soon as the water touched his bum.
"He's going to have this bath over one day; I think we should start putting him in the big bath." Nasta sighed as he tried to hold Braiden still, while Draco washed him with a soft cloth.
"I'm sure I saw bath seats in that store we went too." Max replied. "We can get him one of those now that he can sit up properly. Maybe some toys would help calm him down a little so he's not such a monster in the water."
"If it'll help, I don't care what you do." Harry replied as he threw the towel into the hamper and walked naked into the bedroom.
Blaise was just finishing off getting into his Quidditch uniform, though he dropped his armguard to the floor when he saw Harry.
"Don't even think about it. We don't have time." Harry warned him as he dug out his pale yellow leggings and dragged them on to his still slightly damp legs, forgoing underwear. Blaise's leggings and vest were a greyish-silver, overlaid with emerald green robes, it was a stunning contrast.
He bent over the dresser to find the rest of his uniform and Blaise pinched his bum, making him jump and almost hit his head.
"Hey! I'm trying to get dressed here, Blaise!"
"I can't help it, you're so gorgeous."
Harry snorted and pulled on his skin tight, pale yellow Quidditch vest, before dragging on his bright red socks with the two bright yellow stripes at the top.
"You look stunning like that. I swear I get hard every time I see you in those damnable uniforms." Max told them, coming out of the bathroom carrying Regan and Calix, who were dressed up warmly in jumpers, but they had forgone the snowsuits, what with it being May this time around.
"Maybe if you're good we'll all wear our Quidditch uniforms for you, Draco still has his." Blaise winked.
"We'll treat you and Nasta on the night before our graduation." Harry chuckled, catching on as he slipped his bright red robes on over his vest and leggings before fishing out his shin and arm guards and strapped them into place before stepping into his knee high flat boots and lacing them up tightly. He found his steel boned gloves that protected his fingers from breaking and tucked them into the waistband of his leggings and picked up his gorgeous son, Calix.
"Are we ready?" Nasta asked as he slipped the strap of the fully packed nappy bag over his shoulders.
Harry nodded as he got Calix and Leolin into his arms, making sure they had everything they could possibly need and that no baby had been left behind.
"Right, let's go rally the team and remember, Blaise, you can't forbid them from involving me in the game."
Blaise gave him a dark look that said that he had planned to do just that.
"I mean it; I want your best game, not a handicap." Harry said sternly as they made their way down to the Great Hall. "I won't go easy on you and I don't want you to go easy on e either."
Harry went to the Gryffindor table with Nasta, while Blaise and Draco headed for the Slytherin table with Max, who was in a deep debate with Draco over the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and who he believed would win based on what he had seen so far. Personally Harry thought he was trying to avoid Nasta as much as possible.
"Hey Harry, how are you feeling?" Ginny asked in her own uniform and finishing off a hearty breakfast.
"Fit and ready to destroy Slytherin once again. Gryffindor are winners in points, all we need to do is get this match won and we'll get the Quidditch cup. Slytherin are goners."
Ginny snorted and grinned at him. "Of course they are. Your lover is the Captain."
"Hey, Blaise is bringing his best game, don't you think for one minute that just because we love one another and share a bed and a child that we've automatically won this match, he's going to give us his all."
"If any of his team hurt you, they're dead." Ginny said seriously. "He wants to win, but he won't have you hurt, even I can see that."
Harry rolled his eyes and took a last drink of pumpkin juice, shifting Calix as he cooed softly, lashing a foot out at Leolin.
"Calix, don't do that, love." Harry said softly as he handed Leolin off to Nasta, who slipped him into the sling that he was wearing.
"Can I hold him? Is this one Nasta's?" Ginny asked as Harry handed him over.
"No, Max's. Leolin, Regan and Tegan are Nasta's."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I can never keep them straight, I knew Leolin was Nasta's though, Faerie baby right?"
Harry grinned and nodded. "Yeah, Faerie baby with his gorgeous Gryffindor gold eyes."
"I bet they look stunning, he hasn't ever been awake to show me those eyes yet."
"You'll get plenty of time yet to see them, he needs a lot of sleep. I don't want to do anything to disrupt his development, he's started earlier than most Faerie babies, I want to keep it that way."
Ginny nodded understandingly. "Hermione's been filling me in, she borrowed some books on Faeries from the library and I think you gave her some, she's been overloading herself with Faerie information because she doesn't want to research the other thing in case someone asks her why or digs deeper into it, so she's waiting for graduation and a trip to Flourish and Blotts."
"Who told you about that?" Nasta asked suspiciously.
"My Mum let it slip, she didn't realise I didn't know, she thought it was only Ron and Bill, but your secret is safe with me, don't worry and I'll even forgive you for not cluing me in, I can understand why and Hermione and I have been having little conversations, it's fun to make up code words for it, we've been calling it your Charlie for the last week. But she does want as many books as she can get on the matter."
Harry snorted. "She'll need more than Flourish and Blotts. The amount of information on that subject is very limited."
"What are you talking about, Harry?" Seamus asked.
"What rates of Muggleborns have a born squib ancestor." Ginny replied quickly and easily. "Hermione was interested, but she can't find anything on it."
"Well, all of them do." Seamus replied confused. "You can't have a Muggleborn without a magical ancestor."
"I think what Hermione wants to know is how far back her magical ancestor was, so she's looking for the average amount of generations the Muggleborn's squib ancestor was before their birth to see if there is a pattern so she can apply it to her own family." Nasta explained easily, as if that was truly what they were talking about before Seamus joined them.
Harry squeezed his thigh and smiled at his quick thinking. He loved that he had smart, quick thinking mates; they could protect him and his babies better.
When it was time for the teams to move out to prepare, Harry gave a kiss to Leolin and to Calix before he handed the latter over to Nasta with a kiss, taking the brooms he had been carrying in lieu of a baby and walking to the Slytherin table, he kissed Tegan, Farren, Regan and then Braiden, before kissing Max, Draco and Blaise, handing the latter his broom.
"He's done something to your broomstick!" One of the Chasers of Slytherin burst out.
"The one in my leggings maybe." Blaise shot back scathingly.
"You wish I had." Harry grinned. "Give me a kiss for luck."
"I would, but I think I need it more." Blaise told him seriously.
Harry smiled and kissed Blaise. "For luck." He said sweetly as they broke apart. "Now I have to go and prep my team to pummel you into the ground. Have fun."
Max's laughter followed him as he walked to meet the rest of his team at the doors, shouldering his Firebolt happily. He loved flying and he was so happy to be able to take part in this match, it had been touch and go with his heat periods, but he was unpregnant and not due another heat period for at least another month and a half. He'd be out of school by the time he went on his next one and that had made Draco very, very happy indeed.
Harry next saw Blaise on the pitch, he had given a riveting speech and loved how his team trusted in him and rallied around him, he hadn't had a single comment about him going easy on Blaise because they were lovers. His team knew him better than that, though Blaise's face told him that his teammates weren't as convinced and had given him a right going over about it.
He and Blaise shook hands, though far from the usual pre-match, break the opponent's fingers grasp, Harry didn't want to let go of Blaise's hand for an entirely different reason, and when Blaise pulled him into a kiss, the crowds went wild.
"I think that must be a new thing, I don't think any Captains have ever kissed before a match in the History of Hogwarts." Harry smiled.
"We're not like other Captains." Blaise winked back.
"Is this proof that the outcome of this game is already decided? With that kiss between legendary Captain and Seeker Harry Potter, who has led his team into victory a record of nine games since his appointment of Captaincy in his sixth year, after a very successful seven years on the Gryffindor team and his lover Blaise Zabini, who took over Captaincy of Slytherin this year after the position was declined by Harry Potter's other lover, Draco Malfoy." The commentator, a Ravenclaw seventh year, announced far too seriously.
"Well that was long winded and unnecessary." Blaise snorted. "You had better bring your best game, Potter."
"You're damn right I will, Zabini, but I do plan on making this my tenth win of my Captaincy career, so you had better have brought better than your best to the pitch."
"Mount your brooms." Madam Hooch told them.
Harry threw his leg over his Firebolt, watching Blaise do the same, only with his Nimbus two thousand and one.
"On my whistle. Three. Two. One." A sharp blast of the whistle and Harry kicked off from the hard floor, first as always, and he forgot everything else. He forgot that he was playing against Blaise, forgot the crowd and the commentator, nothing matter but the feel of the wind in his hair and the snitch.
It was a good game, despite what the commentator called 'boring' seemingly because Harry wasn't being battered by Bludgers. Gryffindor were fifty points up on Slytherin, who only had ten points to their sixty, but their Chasers were trying, Blaise especially, who had scored Slytherin's only goal.
Harry kept an eye on the young Seeker they had replaced Draco with this year, she was good apparently, but she hadn't been in Draco's league, let alone in Harry's. She wasn't doing much of anything, but her eyes were alert and watchful. Harry kept his eye on her as he drifted around the pitch lazily, waiting for the snitch to make its first appearance of the match.
Despite his warning to Blaise, not a single Bludger came his way, though that didn't mean they were safe from the Slytherin Beaters, who were aiming instead at their Chasers and their Keeper, of course the commentator picked up on this and started pointing it out.
Harry flew up to Blaise and punched his shoulder.
"Hey! You said no holding back!"
"I'm not going to let them hit Bludgers at you!" Blaise said angrily, swiping the sweat from his forehead.
"Chances are they wouldn't hit me anyway!"
"I'm never going to take that chance! I love you, you're my lover, the Mother to my one and only child, I never want anything to hurt you; it's just a game, Harry. It's not worth a night in the hospital wing."
"If I had a Beaters bat I'd clonk you on the head with it, then you'd see the hospital wing in a better light."
"Harry, I'm sorry, but I'm not risking them hitting you. People die from Bludgers if they're hit wrong."
"I'll hit you wrong! What would you do if I refused to seek the snitch?!"
"Hold up the Quidditch cup." Blaise said stonily. "If you throw the game, your team will never forgive you, if I throw the game, I won't give a shit what they think."
Harry gave him the look he deserved and flew off and signalled time out to Madam Hooch, ignoring that he had been talking in the middle of the pitch for three minutes while the game was still going on.
He landed angrily and waited for his team to land around him.
"What's the matter, Harry?" Ginny asked. "What was with the domestic?"
"He's told his Beaters that he'll curse them if they aim for me." He spat out furiously.
"That's good though, isn't it?" Hendix asked innocently.
"No it's not good!" Harry snapped. "I told him to treat this like any other match!"
"Harry, he's not going to. Of course he's not." Ginny told him gently. "It hasn't been said, but what would you do if Jimmy and Ritchie hit Blaise with a Bludger and he fell thirty feet to the floor?"
Harry's fists clenched automatically and his face pulled into a snarl.
"Exactly!" Ginny said, smacking him. "He doesn't want to feel like you just did, he doesn't want you to get hurt. I know you can avoid them, but not always. Leave it and let's crush him anyway, if you don't get the snitch, I don't know if we'll win, the Beaters are leaving you alone, but they aren't leaving us alone, Jimmy and Ritchie are doing well, but it only takes one hit, Harry and our front technique will fail and we'll lose. It'll be the same if Paulie gets hit, that'll be it, game over. Blaise is too good a Chaser and without a Keeper…just get the snitch, please."
Harry sighed and calmed down somewhat. He nodded.
"Yeah, I think I can get the snitch, I have no idea what the Slytherin Seeker's name is, but she doesn't seem very good. She'll be good in a few years, but not this match, and not against me."
Harry signalled that he was ready to get back in the air to Madam Hooch and he had a group huddle with his team, before getting on his broom and getting back in the air.
The Slytherin team took to the air as well and Harry took a deep breath, sent a smile to Blaise, got a smile back and the game was on. Neither of them sent Bludgers at each other, but Blaise getting hit by a Bludger didn't affect the game as much, they had two other Chasers, maybe not as good, but still two other goal scorers on the pitch, the Gryffindor Beaters were aiming for the Slytherin Seeker, which would mean that Slytherin would have next to no chance at winning the game if one of his Beaters hit her.
Harry couldn't help smiling as he saw the formidable forms of Max and Nasta in the crowd, the platinum blond head of Draco next to them, six babies surrounding them.
Harry dove back into the game, ignoring the commentator screaming about the 'injustice' of having two lovers as Captains for opposite teams. Harry rolled his eyes at the dramatics. Quidditch die hards always annoyed him, though it had been funny with Oliver, though he knew now that telling a young kid to 'get the snitch or die trying' was more than a bit harsh, especially as it was an interschool match and not even a league game or world cup.
Another hour into the game and the commentator had moved on to exclaiming that Harry was purposefully not seeking the snitch to give the Slytherin Seeker a chance, which was just untrue, he hadn't seen the snitch once all match, though he was proud that Blaise had gotten two more goals, and equally proud that Hendix had stopped twice as many as he hadn't been able to save. He was a very good Keeper, maybe in a few years he could even be as good as Oliver, who was now a permanent, first team Keeper for Puddlemere United having moved up from the reserved team.
Gryffindor led seventy to thirty and the Slytherin players were getting dirty, despite Blaise intervening and giving them a shout out about it. They had promised one another a good, clean game.
Harry wasn't going to give them a chance though, he flew up high until everyone were little specks, though the magical megaphone allowed him to hear the commentator claim that he was going up high so that he could claim that he hadn't seen the snitch if it popped up, which wasn't true as Harry had a feeling that the snitch was hiding up here as he hadn't spotted it once down at game level and he had long since learnt to trust his Seeker's instincts.
He was right and Harry grinned as the chase started. He loved this part of a match, the high speed, hairpin turn chase after the nimble, winged, golden ball. He followed it, twisting and turning through the air, then the snitch went down, straight down and Harry followed it, all the way back down to game level, down further, the concentration was effortless for him, he was breathless from the plunge straight down with the wind forced through his hair and he sucked in as much air as he could into his protesting lungs and as the grass came up, the snitch zipped off to the left and Harry followed it as if he were as small as the snitch himself. His knees did scrape heavily on the ground though, he had left it a bit late to pull up from the sheer dive, but any earlier and he could have gone in the wrong direction and he would have had to double back on himself, if he hadn't lost the snitch completely that was.
"Harry Potter's Wronski Feint has failed to engage the clever Slytherin Seeker into crashing into the hard, unyielding ground. What tactic will Captain Harry Potter come up with next after this recent tactical failure?"
That made Harry smile ferociously. The Slytherin Seeker wasn't giving chase, she, and everyone else, thought that he had been Feinting, as he did in nearly every match that he played in because he just loved diving, but that was against good Seekers who knew how to play the game, this young girl couldn't even see the snitch dancing in front of his fingertips, she wasn't good enough to play, not yet.
Harry urged his broom on faster, quicker, twisting and turning after the snitch, going back up to game level, weaving through players and flying balls after the snitch and only then did the Slytherin Seeker realise that perhaps he wasn't Feinting at all and she turned to give chase, only for Harry to pull sharply upwards after the ball and swipe it from the air. He held it up screaming and yelling and the sharp blast of Madam Hooch's whistle ended the game and Harry was converged upon by his teammates.
Noise and sound came back to him in a rush and he couldn't stop grinning, he felt renewed, reenergised and so very, very happy. When he was handed the Quidditch cup by a smiling Dumbledore, Harry flew it around the pitch, holding it up over the Gryffindor stands and laughing happily. Today had been amazing, to make up for the horrors that awaited him further down the line and the upsets of yesterday, today at least, had been incredible.
Harry actually went to the after party this time, being almost forced to go by Max and Nasta, who told him that it would be his last chance and that he deserved to go and celebrate his tenth win as Captain and his final ever win as Captain. He enjoyed it immensely and he had a great time with his friends, his team and his housemates.
He and Neville had taken two second years, three first years and a third year to the kitchens and told them that it was a Gryffindor tradition for them to know where the kitchens were and how to get into them and that when they were seventh years they had to pass on the tradition to the younger years too, but not all of them, just in case the secret got out and the kitchens were reinforced with a different portrait.
Laden down with baskets of snacks, drinks and cakes, they headed back to the party to feed everyone and the party was set to last well into the night, seeing as they had the Head Girl at their party and the Prefects couldn't say anything like Percy had in their third year.
Harry didn't stay all night, he stayed for a few hours before saying his goodbyes, claiming saucily that he wanted to carry on his own party with his lovers, before turning to his friends and telling them he missed his children. He hugged them and said goodbye, before walking happily through the school to the other side of the seventh floor and his own personal rooms.
He took out his wand and tapped the keyhole of the door in the portrait of the empty classroom and he slipped it back into its holster as he pushed open the door and walked into the happy, calmness that was his personal rooms.
Max was cooking and had his back to him, but the other three and the kids were missing.
"Hi Max, where is everyone?"
Max startled and turned to look at him. Harry was aghast to see that Max had a bruise forming on the side of his mouth, which was slightly bloody. Harry gasped and rushed to him.
"What happened?" He asked, utterly horrified.
Max sighed. "I riled Blaise and Draco up too much about the credibility of their Quidditch team, Blaise finally hit me one and stormed off to have sex with Nasta and Draco to make himself feel better. I wasn't allowed to follow, so I'm making dinner instead to distract me from what I'm missing."
"What did you say to him?"
"A lot of things that I shouldn't have, but I didn't realise that I was actually upsetting him until he hit me, I thought it was all in good fun, but you know me, I always manage to shove my foot in my mouth."
"Did you apologise?"
"Several times, but he seemed to think that it was just because I wanted to be included in the makeup sex. I'm not that sex mad, I was sorry I had upset him more than anything, but he didn't believe me."
"I believe you." Harry smiled and hugged him. "You never mean to hurt anyone, you're a big softie. No matter how angry they are, they shouldn't use sex as a weapon. That's wrong."
Max smiled at him and hugged him gratefully.
"Where are the kids?"
"They're down for the night. Leolin's due a feed in an hour, but the others have been put to bed for the next three hours at least."
Harry nodded. "Is dinner alright to cook itself for a while?"
"Yeah, I was just standing over it because I had nothing else to do." Max admitted bitterly.
"Come and cuddle then." Harry offered, moving to lay on the rug by the roaring fire. It was May, so it was slightly too hot by the fire, which is what Harry wanted.
Max came and laid next to him and they cuddled together, just talking, before it got almost too hot to bear and Harry started stripping off his Quidditch robes, Max joined him in shedding his long sleeved shirt and jeans.
"Leave your socks on." Max requested with a naughty grin.
Harry grinned. "You like the socks far too much."
"I like the leggings and the vest too, but I won't give up an opportunity to see your gorgeous, sweaty skin."
Harry stripped naked, leaving on only his bright red socks with their two yellow stripes around the top. Max was naked too and they happily cuddled, sweating profusely in front of the fire, rubbing together. It wasn't about sex, mostly wasn't about sex anyway, but more about the bond and connection they had from skin to skin contact, laughing and cuddling, rolling around as much as they could on the rug, which was more than a bit arousing.
"What in the name of Merlin are you doing out here? I can hear you laughing from the bed…room." Draco had come out and he looked around the room for Max as he spoke. He found them just as he finished his sentence and his mouth dropped open.
"What is he doing, Draco?" Blaise asked.
"Having sex with Harry." Draco replied.
Nasta and Blaise just appeared and looked at them, they were all fully dressed and Harry knew what he and Max looked like, he had counted on it, as he smiled innocently at them.
"When did you get back?" Nasta asked.
Harry made a show of looking at the clock on the mantel piece.
"About an hour and a half ago. I left one party and had another one with Max, seeing as you three weren't here to join us."
"I thought you would have spent longer at your victory party."
Harry shook his head. "I missed my lovers and I missed my children. I wanted to come home."
"And then Max convinced you to have sex." Blaise deadpanned. He looked angry.
"No, I convinced him to have sex with me." Harry corrected. "I wanted victory sex."
"He told you what he said, did he?"
"Actually he did and you should have all known that Max wouldn't have meant any harm, he thought that he was teasing, if you didn't like it, then you should have told him way before you got angry enough to hit him, which I sincerely hope was not in front of my children, or it'll be my turn to be angry. Now kiss and make up and let's eat, I'm still hungry."
"After what?" Nasta asked confusedly.
Harry grinned. "I snuck into the kitchens to get snacks and cakes for the party. I passed on the legacy of Moony, Padfoot and Prongs to the younger years, so hopefully, even after graduation, future generations of Gryffindors can enjoy victory with sweets and pastries too."
Nasta just shook his head and came to them; giving Max a kiss after Harry rebuffed his advance with a pointed glare. Draco did the same and then Blaise, who also apologised for hitting him.
"Wonderful! Now dinner yes? Exercise makes me hungry and I've had a lot of it today."
"Are you going to get dressed?" Draco asked with a slight hint of trepidation.
Harry grinned and pulled on his leggings, but only his leggings. Max groaned and tugged on himself through his boxers and Blaise thunked his head on the table.
"Who knew that leggings could be as bad as that horrible skirt?" Draco sighed, closing his eyes and breathing deeply.
Harry just laughed and sat down as Nasta helped Max dish up dinner. He ate happily and heartily and the conversation, though quiet and studded with silence as they ate, stayed well away from Quidditch. Harry knew that Blaise didn't mind, and that they all knew that he was excited to have won, but he wasn't insensitive enough to rub Blaise's face in his loss, he'd had his victory party and that was enough for him. He didn't need to talk about it endlessly or to relive the entire game, he was just happy to know that he had won and now he was back with what was important, his lovers and his children.
The next morning Harry dragged himself out of bed to get ready for lessons, he hated that the weekend had gone so quickly and that he was now back in lessons for another five days. He calmed himself, two more weeks and the exams would start, it would be over soon and he'd never have to do it ever again.
He scoffed his breakfast, ignoring Draco's horrified look, just so that he'd have time to play with his children for half an hour at least before he had to rush around getting ready.
He built a tower of blocks with Braiden, helped Regan figure out the shape sorter puzzle that had once been Braiden's favourite toy, clapped at Calix as he bashed a little toy truck about laughing, stopped Tegan from putting a corner of a cushion in her mouth and bounced Farren on his knee. All the while Leolin slept happily on his beanbag.
The morning was alive with the sounds of baby screeches, laughter and cooing, the sounds of flashy, musical toys and Harry loved it. He laughed right along with his children and joined in their games where he could, grinning over his shoulder now and then at one of the others when they laughed at something particularly funny that a baby had done.
"They're growing up so fast, it's almost unreal." Max shook his head as he carefully stepped around toys and babies alike, the ease of such an action proving how often he had had to do it.
"I know, Braiden's almost a full year old. Just three more months and we'll be having our very first birthday party for our child. It doesn't seem like a year."
"I know what you mean." Max nodded.
"It's strange that he's almost a year old." Blaise said softly. "It doesn't feel like he should be that old. The time has rushed past and it's like we've completely missed it."
"We haven't." Nasta assured. "It's seemed so fast because we've got very full schedules and no time to actually step back and breathe for a while, to just look around and see what's in front of us, that makes it seem like the time has gone all the quicker. It'll be better once we're out of this school."
Harry sighed. "It'll be Christmas again soon, then the quintuplets first birthday. How do we handle five one year olds, on their birthday, all together?"
"Throw in a year and four month old and we have a disaster waiting to happen." Draco groaned.
"Plus any more children we could have by Christmas." Harry's eyes widened and he pressed a hand self-consciously to his belly, which was still slightly rounded, but was steadily firming up and slimming down.
"It's going to be worse at their fifth birthday party. Five, five year olds all running around, smearing cake everywhere, shouting, screaming…it's going to be a nightmare."
"Please stop speaking." Harry begged. "Let's take it one birthday at a time. I can't think about my little babies being five years old, not yet."
The welcome distraction came in the form of three owls bearing letters. Nasta collected them, shooed the owls away to the Owlery and snorted at the one letter, throwing it directly into the fire.
"Faerie court?" Harry asked.
Nasta just grunted in affirmation as he handed a letter to Max, who tore it open.
"It's from Caesar, he's checking in, Amelle's pregnancy's going great, he's included a scan photo for us."
Max handed the grainy photo around and Harry grinned at the little white mound that made up a baby.
"Caesar says that Amelle told him to write 'I'm still holding out for a girl' for you, Harry." Max informed, his eyes tracking the letter until the end, where he folded it up and put in on the counter, Harry tucked the scan photo into a frame on the mantel piece. He made a mental note to dig out his photo album later, after lessons, to put it in safe.
"This letter's for you, Harry." Nasta said, handing the last letter to him, after checking it extensively with his wand first, making sure there were no hidden curses or potions inside.
Harry opened it and checked the name at the bottom, but he needn't have bothered as the first line 'Dear Harry cub' would have clued him in to who it was instead. He smiled.
"It's from Remus. I haven't heard from him in ages, it has to have been at least five months, not since the quintuplets were born, I've just been so busy, I hope he's okay." Harry frowned at the thought that Remus might be hurt or ill.
"I'm sure he's fine and has just been busy as well, Dumbledore would have said something if Remus was hurt or unwell." Nasta said, doing that thing he did where it made you think he'd read your mind.
Harry nodded, his smile coming back, which slipped from his face the further into the letter he read. He was shocked at the contents of the letter and by the end, he didn't know if he should be livid angry or upset and crying.
He threw the letter at Nasta, who caught it automatically on a reflex and stared at him in confusion.
"Tell me what he means!" He demanded of Nasta, who blinked at his demand and his behaviour towards one of his only remaining family members. Harry's shock was fading away to settle into anger. Anger had always come easily to him, ever since his fifth year.
"Dear Harry cub, it's been a long time since we last spoke, too long, and for that I'm sorry, but things here have been pretty hectic. Nymphadora and I have moved into a house together, out in the quiet countryside. It's beautiful, Harry; I'll show you around when you have time for a visit.
This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but Dora and I got married in February, it was a quiet affair, not many guests, just Dora's family and a few others, I knew you were swamped and busy with your school work and your family, so I didn't invite you, I hope you're alright with that. Dora and I are planning to renew our vows in a year next summer, hopefully by then you will be able to come.
I've been so happy these last few months, Harry, I'm glad I gave Dora a chance, she's really brought out the best in me and I couldn't be happier to have her with me now. I've gotten a small, part time job in the town, they're all Muggles so they shouldn't look too deeply into why I take every full moon off from work, if they do notice a pattern, I can always claim I'm wiccan, I'm wearing a pentagram just as a precaution as I need this job, it's not much, but we need everything we can get now.
Which brings me to my last point; Dora and I rushed the wedding mostly because she fell accidentally pregnant over the summer, August 20th, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last month, on the 18th, who we named Teddy, after Dora's Father. I'm so proud to be a Father; I really am, even though I worry so much for Teddy and Dora being landed with a werewolf as a family member. He's doing great and I was hoping that you'd be his Godfather, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather ask than you, I hope this summer you'll be able to come and see him, all the best, Remus."
There was silence from all of them as Nasta finished reading the letter out loud; the noise and shrieks from the children fell into the background as Harry felt a tight squeeze in his throat and the corners of his eyes burned. He staved the tears of betrayal off viciously.
"What does he mean?" He asked again, biting out the words, hoping that someone made more sense of the letter than he had.
"I…how could he have gone off, gotten married and had a child without telling you?" Blaise asked softly. "He didn't tell you did he?"
Harry shook his head, his body clenching to keep control of himself.
"This is the first that I'm hearing about it. I knew he liked Tonks, I knew she liked him, the last I heard they'd started a tentative relationship and Remus had promised to invite me to the wedding, though he said it would be a long way off! Now the next I hear they've gone and gotten married quickly, without even telling me let alone inviting me or giving me a chance to accept or decline the invitation for myself and they've had a baby!" Harry's voice shook under the strain of his anger and the light headedness he felt at this sudden news.
"This…we don't need this right now." Draco bit out sharply.
"He does see me as family doesn't he?" Harry asked softly, unsurely. "I mean, he's the only one I have left, I know we're not related by blood or any official titles, but I saw him as family and I thought he did too. You don't go and get married and not tell your family because you thought they were busy, you don't get someone pregnant and not tell your family! You don't have a baby and not tell your family!" Harry lost the battle with his body and the first hot, scalding tears washed over his cheeks. He swiped them away roughly and angrily and backed away from Max who tried to hug him. "Don't. If you hug me now I'm not going to be able to leave this room, we have class in twenty minutes."
"You're not going." Nasta told him firmly. "You're staying here with me, you've had a huge shock and I'll tell Dumbledore myself why."
Harry looked up at that. "Dumbledore. Remus tells him everything, I wonder if he knew. I won't be able to handle it if he knew and he didn't tell me either."
Harry quivered and Nasta pulled him into a hug, even as Harry tried to fight him off.
"You're in shock, Harry." Nasta told him, holding him tighter. "Just breathe and try to calm down."
"Calm down? How the hell can I do that, Nasta?! He didn't tell me he was getting married, he didn't tell me he was expecting a baby and now he tells me, via a letter, that he's married with a two week old son and he just expects me to be okay about everything!"
"I know it's difficult, love, but try. Please."
Harry sucked in deep, ragged breaths and tried to calm his weak, rapid heartbeat. He swallowed and tried to think past the shock, tried to understand, but he couldn't. He just felt a complete sense of betrayal by one he loved so much and it sent him quivering again.
Nasta held him tighter and rubbed his back and arms to warm him up after a touch to his skin revealed that it was cold and clammy.
Max waved a muted, greyish-white potion in front of him and coaxed him into drinking the mild calming draught, he needed it and as his body stopped quivering and started warming up again, he realised exactly how much this had affected him and how badly.
"I just don't understand, how could he have done this to me? He knows I hate secrets and surprises, how can he just spring this on me in a letter?" Harry said, the potion forcing calm over him, when he knew he was angry inside. It was a very strange feeling.
"It'll be alright, you've had a bad shock, but once it settles, we'll ask him exactly why he thought this would be a good idea, why he believed that keeping this from you would be a good idea, I thought he had a modicum of intelligence, but it seems to me that he doesn't."
"He was probably just excited." Max sighed, then gulped as several glares were sent his way and he backtracked quickly. "Not that that's any excuse, of course not, he should have told you, he should have, it was wrong of him to do this and I won't condone it."
"Draco, Blaise, you need to go to lessons or you'll be late, don't worry about chasing down Harry's Professors, I'll sort that out." Nasta said softly, brushing Harry's hair gently. "Harry, would you like to go back to bed?"
Harry shook his head. "I want to ask him what he was thinking! You don't keep this from family! Maybe he really doesn't see me as family anymore, now that he's got Tonks and his baby he doesn't need me to be his family. He's got a proper one of his own now."
"I'm sure that's not true, love. We'll get to the bottom of this; just put it from your mind." Nasta winced as soon as he said it.
Harry glared at him, as Nasta knew that he would.
"How am I supposed to put this out of my mind? He's married with a child! Just five months I haven't seen him, she was pregnant when they were at the house when I had the quintuplets."
"They might not have known then." Max tried weakly.
"She would have been four months pregnant! What sort of person doesn't know they're four months pregnant?!" Harry demanded.
Draco pulled him into a hug and kissed him.
"We'll sort it out, don't worry about a thing, we have to go to lessons, but we'll be back for lunch." He assured him.
Harry sighed. "Thank you, Draco. I love you."
Draco kissed him softly and lingeringly before Blaise took over; letting Harry get one gasp of air, before kissing it right back out of him. Harry couldn't help but smile at that, which is what they had wanted.
"Thank you. I love you both. Be careful and don't stress over the exams, you'll be fine, me on the other hand, have no chance, I've missed so many lessons this school year."
"You'll be just fine. You are intelligent so stop putting yourself down, just calm down, get some more sleep and let Nasta sort this; it's what he's our top dominant for."
Harry managed a small smile as Max muscled and man handled him onto the settee. Forcing a cup of honey tea into his hands and smoothing a blanket over his lap.
"We can't take any chances with shock, even psychological shock can cause complications, even though it's rare, I won't risk it. So we'll warm you up, keep you calm and wait on you hand and foot."
"I like the sound of that." Harry grinned easily.
"You just want a bunch of gorgeous man slaves to do your bidding."
"That too." Harry grinned. "If you could go out and find me some gorgeous man slaves, that would be brilliant."
"Oi, cheeky." Max mock scowled. "You're lucky you're so adorable or I'd have to throw you over my knees and spank that cute bottom of yours."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm not cute, no part of me is cute, stop saying it is, I'm a grown man damn it."
Max just grinned at him and Nasta settled beside him, holding him wrapped in his blanket.
"I'm alright, the potion is working perfectly. I'm very calm." Harry explained.
"We will sort this out, love. I promise."
"Why is our family so dysfunctional?" He asked. "Everyone seems to be working towards completely destroying us."
"They'll never succeed."
"It's our own family trying to destroy everything! Think about it, Max, your Mother, now Remus, the dominants at the meeting, hell the submissives at the meeting tried to get you away from us."
"They'd never succeed." Max replied firmly.
"That's not the point; it's that they'd do it in the first place. She tried to snatch our child! How can I ever let them run free in the meetings if every submissive who wants you is going to try and hurt them or take them?!" Harry demanded. "They don't respect us, they won't stop because they don't want to and threats alone aren't enough."
"Are you regretting not making an example of Rebecca Silvermoss and killing her to warn off everyone else?" Nasta asked him softly.
"I think I am." Harry said sadly. "That's a terrible thing to say about someone, wishing them dead, wishing that you had killed them just to make a point, but it would have worked. Just like when Blaise killed that dominant who watched us having sex made a point to the other dominants. Words don't do anything with Drackens, actions make them think twice. No one would have dared touch our children again if I'd killed her when she almost snatched Braiden."
"Don't worry, love, they'll all know soon enough."
"What do you have planned?" Harry asked Nasta curiously, his eyebrows lowering.
"It's a surprise."
"I don't like surprises." Harry pouted.
"You'll like this one." Max assured him.
"You're in on this too?" Harry asked.
Max nodded with a grin. "I found out accidentally when I came home earlier than expected and caught Nasta in the act, I've been in on it since then. Blaise and Draco don't know about it either, it's a surprise for them too."
Harry narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "Just what are you planning?"
"You'll have to wait and see, but you will like it."
"How can you be so sure?"
"We just can, love, I promise and everyone in the wizarding world will then know we're together."
"It's already been in the papers and some Drackens still don't know."
"It's only been in the British papers, love, not all Drackens that go to that meeting are British or live in Britain. You saw Demetrius there, he's Greek and he lives in Greece, he wouldn't have read any of that shit in the papers. Steffan is Scandinavian; he was born in Norway and now lives on the border between Norway and Sweden with his family, he wouldn't have read anything in the papers about you or us, so not everyone will know, but after this, they will."
"I don't think I like the sound of that."
"You will, you won't have to wait too long either. We're almost done." Nasta assured him.
Harry rolled his eyes. "I hate secrets and surprises, can't you just tell me? We can all surprise Draco and Blaise then."
"No. It's your surprise." Nasta said stubbornly. "Now drink some tea and we'll see about sorting this out with Remus."
"I'll sort things out with my Mother too. I'm so angry with her, but I didn't realise how much it was destroying the family. I've never seen my Dad Richard have an episode as bad as he did the day before yesterday at the meeting, if it really is stress and strain doing that, then I'll do all I can to help him, even if it means talking to my Mother when I don't want to." Max said, before adding quickly and sternly. "But the kids aren't going near her. Not yet, she hasn't got that right."
"I can't believe she refused to see the mind Healer."
"I'll get on that too, she loves all of us. I'll owl Caesar and get the girls onto her. She can't ignore us, even if she thinks she can ignore my Dads'. If she'd just agree to get help, then I'm sure I'd stop being so angry with her, but I can't let it go, I can't have my Mother treat my mate like that! I won't stand for it."
Harry pulled him into a kiss. "Thank you, Max. It means a lot to me that it's me that you stand up for, especially against your Mother. I don't like her attitude, but I never wanted to break up your family, but it does feel good to have you with me and not just ignoring the issue."
"I wouldn't have ignored it, even if he had." Nasta insisted.
Max smiled. "It's her doing all the breaking up, Harry. It's not us, it's not you, it's her. I never would have ignored this behaviour, not from anyone, especially not one of my own family members, not towards you, not towards our children, not towards the other mates. No way. I won't stand for it."
Harry smiled and cuddled into Max. He wanted all of this gone and sorted out. He was calm now, he could think. He'd ask Remus exactly what he was thinking by not telling him about the wedding and the baby, okay so he was busy, but Remus was family and he found it easy to keep up with Amelle and her pregnancy along with Eleonora's progress, how difficult would it have been to keep up with Tonks' pregnancy and Remus's new son, Teddy?
He just wished Remus that had bothered to tell him, he felt so betrayed and hurt that he had been sending every scan photo he could to Remus and to Molly and his mates' families and that he had kept up with them all, only to find out that Remus had not only hidden a wedding, but a pregnancy and a baby too. It hurt and Harry clutched his mug of honey tea tightly, letting his mates look after their children, letting them look after him as he sat there and stewed over the hurt he felt from Remus.
A/N: This chapter is for the one year anniversary of this fic being ripped down from Fanfiction, exactly one year ago today. Those who were with me before it was torn down would remember clearly what I'm talking about, those who were on Facebook will remember my distress and upset from that time, those who have recently found this fic or joined under a year ago, you will not remember this horrible time, but fanfiction could have destroyed everything by tearing down this fic and I could have stopped writing this amazing story that I love so much, I'm glad I got over it and I'm so happy to see my old readers back and new ones who have joined since and I'm glad I got over the hurt to re-post this fic back up on this site, I would have regretted it if I hadn't, so thank you to all my Facebookers who kept my head up and got me to start writing again and posting the story back onto Fanfiction.
Thank you to Kyurengo for being the 9,300th reviewer.
For the Facebookers who saw this excerpt on my page;
'Draco gasped and bent double as the woman caught his stomach with her claws, he choked back a scream and twitched. She had used her venom, he needed Nasta.
He stumbled back away from her as she tried for his face, before she suddenly dived to the floor, it confused him and before he could so much as draw in a breath, she had sliced the front of his trousers and the blinding agony of it forced him to vomit, his eyes rolling into his head.
A roar had him looking up to see Blaise and for the first time he was relieved to see his best friend, standing over him protectively.
Draco swallowed his pride and let out a distress call for Nasta. They needed help; this woman was insane, he never would have believed it of one of the people he trusted so much. He felt sick and the agony running through his body had him convulsing. He gripped himself through his trousers, only to find shredded skin and lumps attached to strings of flesh and the shock of it sent him convulsing again, he knew what he was touching, but he didn't want to believe it, his mind didn't want to make sense of it, he couldn't…this wasn't how it was supposed to be, this wasn't supposed to happen.
His breath shuddered out, he felt cold and listless, he tried to breathe, but it was painful and his one hand pressed against his lower chest, just above his stomach, where another wound was. He wondered idly if this was it, if he was going to die from this and the thought caused him such distress he let out another call, he'd never had to use it before today, never knew how it would work or what it would sound like or how he would manage to get the call out, but now he did know, he knew that it just came when he was feeling such distress, it was almost an automatic reaction and he wished he'd never had to use it.
Blaise went flying over him, feet catching on his body and Draco saw the gouge in his chest, almost identical to his own, if she went for Blaise's genitals as well, she was trying to do the same to all of them and he had played into her trap by calling Nasta here. He felt sick, so sick.
Draco knew that voice, Nasta had arrived. The snarling he heard clued him into Nasta's rage and knowing that Nasta loved him and Blaise enough to be so angry and upset about this warmed some of the chill of the shock away. What would he tell Harry? How could he tell Harry that he was now ruined?
A head went rolling past him and Draco startled, trying to writhe away, but the pain was too great, he thought for a moment that it was Nasta's head, fully believed that the insane woman had killed him outright, but the head that rested a little away from him was female, was the head of his attacker and Blaise's attacker, and the hands that suddenly touched him were Nasta's. A bloody arm was shoved under him and he sucked deeply, aware that Nasta had dragged Blaise over and he was feeding him blood from his other arm. They were both going to survive, he was going to live, but at what cost, he thought as his hand pressed tighter to his ruined genitals.'
HAPPY BELATED APRIL FOOLS! Yes, it wasn't real; I was just teasing you to make a point. Lay off on the Draco baby issue or I WILL make this excerpt a reality. I hope this has let you see exactly how sick of the issue I am. To those who have never pestered me or demanded anything of me, thank you and I'm sorry for this evil joke. I hope you can all forgive me for it.
Twipotterfreak28 and lil joker 1989: Richard got injured in the rescue attempt of Ashleigh, he had his throat slit by the poachers and Myron healed him, but it only healed so much because it was such extensive damage. I believe it was mentioned in the Scaled Bits chapter 16 – Natural Hunter.
midnightmoon195: Revision is just that, revising all the course material you've done during the year in preparation for the exams.
Feline Wings: No sorry, I've never heard of the Harlem Shake to end all Harlem Shakes. Tantrum to end all tantrums is a common saying here. It means the worst tantrum you can think of or several tantrums thrown into one.
starlight-wish: They want what they can't have, so they chase after it even though they know they can't have it, some don't know or haven't heard the news, there's no way to really tell unless a submissive is pregnant or a dominant is hanging all over his submissive. They release pheromones, but purposefully, they can switch them on and off. The unmated dominant Harry ran into was leaking his pheromones so he could attract unmated submissives and uninherited submissives to him. If you get under the skin of a young submissive and they remember you in their meetings, you automatically have an advantage over the other dominants and a better chance of being picked because of it.
GuestAnon: If they were both Drackens, no consequences would come of them sleeping together, even though it would be considered 'illegal' though underage sex and pregnancies happen all the time, so nothing is ever really done about it.
If that were to happen, then they'd either be picked off by poachers, because they don't know enough to hide themselves from others, or they'd be executed as Drackens by the Ministry, again because they don't know any better and have told the wrong person or tried to get help from someone who ratted them out. But they probably would not survive for very long not knowing what they are, if they did somehow find someone who could help or knew what they were, very small chance of that happening, they'd be taken right to the Counsel and the Dracken Elders where they would be protected, educated and left to settle into their new creature status, but that would be rare, it's more likely that they'll end up dead.
No, no Muggleborn can be a Dracken, the squibs, with no magic, would have destroyed the Dracken gene, which is a mutation of the magical gene.
lilly n.g.k: Harry isn't a Healer, he doesn't know how to heal anyone. Harry is not the most powerful wizard in the world, if anyone in the world could have healed Richard, Myron would have found them by now. His scar tissue is just something he has to live with.
Dc: As Harry conceived the quintuplets off of a heat period. It was a freak accident that Ashleigh got pregnant in the dinghy boat, being out on the ocean under the very hot sun.
All the best lovelies, I hope you have enjoyed this anniversary chapter,
StarLight Massacre. X