A/N: A huge happy birthday to Lizzie! Thank you so much for my gift fic, Fragmented Soul, you get this whole chapter dedicated to yourself! Have a very happy birthday and I hope you're having a wonderful day, you deserve it!
Harry didn't reply. He just snuggled in tighter to Draco and heard Max groan in his sleep as he shifted tighter to his back. He settled himself down and stopped himself thinking too much, he'd think about Leolin's development and his want to copy everything he did tomorrow, for now, he ached pleasantly in all the right places and he wanted some sleep before he had to wake up again tomorrow morning. He'd had a fucking brilliant birthday, his surprise was even better and he was very, very happy. He couldn't have asked for any more than he'd gotten and he was thankful every single day that he had these four amazing men with him to share in everything his life held. He loved them so much and he would be sure to tell them that tomorrow, after some decent sleep that was. He didn't even care that Max had forgotten his Dreamless Sleep potion, because after that, he was sure his sleep would be too deep to dream of anything at all.
Chapter Eighty-Two – Birthday Baby
The thirteenth of August saw Harry rushing around like a blue arsed fly. It was his baby Braiden's first birthday tomorrow and he was getting everything ready for his big day.
He had told Nasta to check the little party foods he and Max had brought from the supermarket to make sure there were no nasties in them, Max was scouring the kitchen, including the floor, he'd put Blaise and Draco on watching the babies and he was cleaning every single room in the house, his wand blurring with how quickly he was casting cleaning spells.
He just wanted everything to be perfect and of course being a month pregnant really didn't help. His mates had freaked when he'd told them. Usually after his heat period he'd have a down time of eating cereals and grains, light foods to help him get used to eating again after a week or more of just a liquid diet of mainly blood, but even though he ate what Max made for him and everything he was encouraged to eat, even the light soups, he wanted meat.
He'd finally had enough of wondering and he'd packed up Calix and Tegan, told his mates he was going to visit Mrs Weasley and from there he'd begged her to watch the two babies while he went to Saint Mungos for a pregnancy test. She had been absolutely delighted to watch them for him and Harry was only gone for a mere half an hour.
He didn't usually like getting things through the fanfare surrounding his name, but he was glad of it this time as it got him in to see a Healer quicker than he normally would have and he didn't much like the idea of spending all day sat in the hospital.
"Are you?" Mrs Weasley asked him as soon as he flooed back to the Burrow. She had a knowing smile on her face, as if she already knew without him having to say anything.
Harry nodded, his suspicions confirmed. "Three weeks pregnant." He shook his head. "I really wish there was a contraceptive for Drackens."
"If ever you need a break dear, you know where I am."
"I have six babies Mrs…Molly." He said with a grin as she went to glare at him. "I'll have more soon. What if I have another set of quintuplets?"
"Then you have another set of quintuplets." She'd told him firmly. "You'll love them just as much as your previous six, I have no doubt of that and you have family who love you dear, call us when you need us, even if it's to give three babies to me and Arthur and three to someone else. We'll look after you."
Harry had smiled at that and hugged her tightly, scooping up Calix and Tegan and saying his goodbyes.
"Oh, before I forget, next week is Braiden's first birthday. The fourteenth and we're holding a party at our house. It goes without saying that you're invited. It's just going to be a few hours for the kids, I doubt they'll be up to much, but still. My first baby's first birthday."
"Of course I'll be there; I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Harry had grinned then and had flooed home to feed Calix and Tegan their lunch and then settle them down for their nap. Braiden was already upstairs sleeping and Leolin was in and out of sleep. Harry was very excited because he seemed to be sleeping less and less each day, but he still spent the majority of his time sleeping.
His original plan had been to find out if he was pregnant or not and keep it to himself, but he found that he couldn't. He had a fiercely burning desire to share his news with his mates and as soon as all the babies were tucked up for their naps, he got a cup of honey tea and got his mates to sit with him.
"What's this about?" Draco asked carefully. "Did Wea…Ron say something you didn't like? Was it about the kids?"
Harry shook his head quickly. "No, nothing like that." He explained. "Ron wasn't even there. I had an ulterior motive for going to the Burrow. I went to get myself checked out at the hospital and I wanted to do it without an entourage."
As he had known they all started speaking at once and the gist of it was that he should have told them and let them escort him or at least let one of them go with him for protection, that he was possibly pregnant and needed a shield with him at all times.
"I'm not possibly pregnant." He told them and they had all shut up.
"It's not a big deal." Max said quickly and encouragingly, even though he looked a tad devastated. "We can try again in two months' time, now that you've had a fertile heat; your next one will be fertile too and so on until you are actually pregnant."
Harry had pulled a confused face, looking at them all and wondering how they had come to the conclusion that he wasn't pregnant just from the vague answer he'd given. He had chuckled and shaken his head at them for jumping the gun to reassure him. He hadn't wanted to tease them with the news, but it seemed they were teasing themselves, but now that they thought he wasn't pregnant, he was very happy to see no joy in their faces at thinking he wasn't pregnant, but he hadn't wanted or expected to see the disappointment there either and that's all he could see in four sets of eyes.
"You misunderstood me Max, love." He had told him calmly. "I'm not possibly pregnant. I am pregnant. Confirmed at three weeks and four days along. I conceived on the third day of my heat cycle. I'm very healthy and there are no problems as of yet according to Healer Almus."
He had been clamoured and hugged and treated like a porcelain figurine and he enjoyed it, for all of an hour at least.
He grinned as he thought back to when he'd told them and the following week where he could barely take two steps without one of them being there offering him something or holding an arm out for him to hold on to. He was exasperated already and it had been a week, but he had warned them all that if they fucked up Braiden's first ever birthday then they were going to be thrown off the roof with a rope tied to their ankles and left dangling there until he took pity on them, which wouldn't be for at least a week.
"Harry, come down for something to eat!" Max called up to him. Which was at least an improvement from just last week when Max had come up to get him just to carry him back down.
"Damn it Max, I'll eat when I'm fucking hungry!" He shouted back.
"The babies want you to feed them!" Max called back.
Harry grimaced at the low blow. If anything could have gotten him down those stairs and into the kitchen, it was telling him that his children needed him. Cursing under his breath, Harry cleaned up the very last room he had to clean before he headed out of the door and down the stairs, ignoring that Max was almost buzzing to rush up them to help him down.
"You touch me and you're dead Mister Maddison." Harry threatened with a smile. "I'm fine for another couple of months yet."
"Can I at least hold your hand? I did that before you were pregnant and I liked it. I don't want to lose that contact just because you are pregnant. Not every touch is meant to rip away your independence Harry, sometimes we just want to touch you because we like touching you. I don't want to only be able to touch you when we're in bed and going to have sex, though I do like that." He stressed with a grin. "But I miss just touching you. We all do."
Harry bit his lip and screwed his eyes closed. He'd been on such a vendetta against them mollycoddling him during his pregnancy that he'd stopped noticing what was just an innocent touch between lovers and what was actually mollycoddling him during his pregnancy.
"I'm sorry." He said softly. "I didn't mean…I didn't realise that I was acting this way. I just don't want to be smothered and I was so against it that every touch became oppressive. Can you forgive me?"
Max laughed and pulled him into a tight hug. "Of course I can. I love you; it's what crazy people mated together do."
"I'm going to ignore that I was just called crazy and ask for a hug instead."
Max hugged him even tighter and Harry wrapped his arms and legs around Max, who bumped him up and carried him into the kitchen where five babies in highchairs were giving Draco the run around and Nasta was trying to suppress his laughter by biting his lips as he fed a lazily suckling Leolin.
"There you are! You can't leave me with five of them! They're all hungry and Farren's upset, Tegan's throwing her dinner at me and the only happy one is Braiden because he can feed himself!" Draco hissed.
Max kissed the side of his head and set him on his feet and took over feeding Tegan and Regan, leaving Draco to focus all his attention on Farren, who was always going to be a guzzler and left Harry to supervise Braiden while feeding Calix.
"How did your cleaning go?" Nasta asked as he stood looking like a sexy pin up from a Mother's magazine, hip cocked against the counter, legs tight in jeans, Leolin cradled lovingly in one arm to a bare chest as he fed him watchfully from his tiny bottle.
"Fine, all done and everything's clean. It's just the living room now when the kids are in bed and any mess they or we ourselves make until then. Did you find any unsuitable foods?"
Nasta shook his head. "It's all aimed at babies in their age group and you did well picking the organic foods, there's nothing in them that shouldn't be."
"I found that recipe you wanted, for the little mini cakes for them to share. There's perhaps a bit too much sugar in them, but nothing harmful and they have no icing, just something similar made with cream cheese and powdered sugar, but we can leave that off of the kids ones if we wanted, it'll just a sponge cake with shredded carrot in them then." Max informed him.
Harry nodded. "I'll make them later tonight. I don't want to miss a single thing tomorrow."
"I've put the camcorder on charge; it'll be on him all day tomorrow." Nasta assured him.
"Caesar wrote me back. He, Amelle and Eleonora will be here for the party." Max told him. "Half my family are coming too, so it's a good thing we're setting up outside. There would never be enough room for everyone who's coming inside."
Harry nodded distractedly as he fed another little spoon of grey goo to Calix.
"What is this?" He asked Max.
"Potatoes, chicken, peas, carrots and gravy. It looks disgusting, but tastes like a full meal in one bite."
Max proved it back taking the next spoon of food for himself.
"It doesn't look like this in the supermarkets." Harry frowned.
"If you read the back of the jar you'd know why. They colour it to make it look more appetising with paprika or tomato puree or spinach extract. It's all natural, but it doesn't need to be in there, it's included just for aesthetics."
Harry was so curious that he had to take a spoon for himself after watching Max do it. It wasn't bad, but it was strange and the texture was strange too, with small, soft lumps in it.
"It's okay. I still prefer adult food though." Harry grinned.
Calix giggled and Harry looked at him, his mouth and cheeks a mess, his mouth open to show off his several little teeth and a covered tongue as he bashed little hands against his tray.
Harry gasped and exaggeratedly pulled back. "Do you not like me eating your food Calix? Do you want it all to yourself?" He teased as he loaded the spoon up and went to put it into his own mouth only for Calix to bash the tray again and gurgle.
Harry laughed and fed the spoon to Calix, who worked it with his mouth and tongue, mashing up the little lumps with his tongue before swallowing and opening his mouth again.
"You're such a good boy! Who's going to be so big and strong when he grows up?"
Calix giggled as Harry fed him the last of his little bowl of food before he run the spoon over his cheeks and chin and fed the last of the food to Calix before he sat back and sighed.
"Are you okay?" Draco asked and Harry tempered his immediate anger and clipped answer of 'yes' and allowed himself a few moments to breathe.
"I'm fine, Calix needs a wash cloth though, he's such a mucky boy."
"Ba nana." Calix clapped his hands and Harry grinned. He'd been so proud when he's been shown the footage of Calix saying a proper word and now after every meal Calix always said banana.
"Strike that, I think he wants dessert." Harry smiled.
"I cooked up some peaches for them to try." Max said with an excited grin. "I think they might want a little more than bananas now that Braiden is a year old tomorrow and the quintuplets are turning eight months old."
Harry felt a flutter of the excitement that Max was feeling and he watched as his largest mate easily shifted Nasta aside, who was gently rocking Leolin while playing peek-a-boo with him, to reach a bowl he had put on the counter.
He used the back of a curled finger to check the contents and grinned. "They're cool enough. I steamed them to keep as much nutrition in them as I could" He announced as he took a knife to the three balls, which Harry assumed were peaches.
Max peeled them, eating the skins himself and cut out the stones easily and then diced them up small, cursing every time he squashed one of the soft cubes.
Once he was done, he separated them out into five piles; two were slightly larger than the other three. He checked over his shoulder for the babies who were done and he scattered a handful of the peach cubes onto highchair trays, Braiden and Farren got the larger piles.
Harry watched as Calix squashed the piece of fruit in his hand picking it up and then poked a little tongue out to lick at the juice.
"That's a peach Calix." Harry encouraged. "Peach."
"Eah." Calix nodded.
"Each." Braiden nodded from beside him as he mashed up a cube in his mouth, the juice going absolutely everywhere.
Harry grinned and smoothed Braiden's hair away from his mouth, kissing a cheek that was wet and tasted of peaches.
"Braiden love, you taste delicious. I'm going to have to eat you all up." Harry declared as he started kissing all over Braiden's cheeks and lips, his little boy giggling.
"Mama. Mam mam ma ma." He babbled happily.
"I think they need a bath now and then an hour to settle down before bed." Nasta said as he placed a sleeping Leolin down into his bassinet gently before hoisting up Farren and Braiden, who had both finished.
Harry sighed as Max collected empty bowls to wash and Draco scooped up Regan, Tegan and got Calix into a firm grip in his long arms, leaving Harry with just a sleeping Leolin to watch over.
"I hope Blaise's job search has gone well. He's going to be a nightmare otherwise." Harry sighed softly.
"It'll be good practice." Max told him as he slipped the trays off of the highchairs to wash them down in the sink. "I'd be very surprised if he got a job from his first application. It's a milestone, being rejected from your first interview."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I suppose. I just don't want him to be upset on Braiden's birthday."
"Braiden is his son Harry. He's as excited as us that he's turning a year old. He won't let himself ruin it by being in a bad mood."
Harry nodded and took a moment to sit down and relax. There was nothing he needed to do, nothing that needed his attention at the moment. He'd wrapped all of Braiden's gifts for tomorrow; he had everything sorted for now. It was time to take a breather.
Max worked around him, picking up globs of food from the floor and table, disinfecting everything, washing everything down and then folding up the highchairs and storing them in a pantry at the other end of the kitchen before he dried the little plastic bowls and spoons and put them away, he put Leolin's bottle in the steriliser and set that going before he boiled the kettle and sat opposite Harry with a groan.
"Do you ever get tired of being in the kitchen?" Harry asked him with a smile.
Max laughed. "That's the equivalent of asking me if I get tired of sex. No I don't. I love my kitchen and I love sex. I think it's impossible for me to get tired of either."
Harry smiled and nudged Max with his foot. Max nudged him back, so Harry did it again and very soon they were giggling like little girls and playing a rather forceful game of footsie under the table.
They stopped when Draco demanded a cup of tea from the living room.
"His royal highness has spoken!" Max called out loudly.
"Damn right he's spoken!" Draco shouted back. "Bring me tea!"
Harry laughed and with a shake of his head he picked up Leolin gently and carried him into the war zone that was their living room to screeches, giggles and Nasta laughing deeply.
Harry sat down against the arm of the chair and snuggled with Leolin, resting his baby on his chest; little face tucked into his neck and let him take the pressure off of his little wings, one hand supporting the tiny nappy clad bum as he watched his other children play on the floor.
Regan was getting better at holding himself off of the floor and cruising the furniture, Tegan was getting more coordinated and could crawl faster and better now and was just finding her feet now that she had learnt how to hold herself upright against the table. Calix had absolutely no interest in standing and instead zoomed around the floor, knocking people off their feet as they cursed and tried to avoid him as he crawled around their legs like an overly affectionate cat.
Farren shuffled over to sit by the settee where Harry was sat with Leolin and Harry dropped a hand to play with his fluffy, dark brown hair. Those blue-green eyes tilted back to look at him and Harry grinned down at him.
"Hello love, are you alright? Do you want to stay here with me?"
Farren babbled a bit and giggled before he turned back and sat watching as Nasta lay on his back and played with Braiden, who was laughing so hard he was drooling. Nasta grimaced every time a drop of baby spit landed on his neck or his shirt, but he still carried on playing and Harry loved him just a little bit more for that.
Max came into the room with a tray that he set down on the table before bending down and snatching Calix from the floor, rolling him up over his shoulder, their son screaming in joy all the while.
Draco grabbed his tea and sipped at it with a sigh before handing Harry's to him and Harry took excessive care not to drip anything onto Leolin. He was so paranoid that he handed his cup back to Draco after a few quick gulps. He scalded the back of his throat and the roof of his mouth, but he didn't care as he wrapped his arm back around Leolin and dropped his other hand back to Farren's hair.
Nasta sat up and placed Braiden into his lap and reached for his own cup of tea.
"Oh I needed this." He said with a grin.
Harry listened to his mates, he greeted Blaise enthusiastically when he came home, encouraging him with words and kisses as he told them dejectedly that he hadn't been successful with his interview and that they wanted someone more experienced than a wizard straight out of Hogwarts.
Nasta calmed the babies down and Max gathered them around him to read a picture book, it was the same pictures every night, but always a different story and though the babies couldn't really understand them, they always enjoyed story time.
After that they had a bottle of warm milk as Nasta, Draco and Max took them to bed at ten to seven, leaving Harry and Blaise where they were and Leolin was left on Harry's chest when Harry refused to part with him.
Max came down first and he set to refilling tea cups before he started on dinner which he had already prepared earlier. Draco came down next and lowered himself to the floor by Harry, where Farren had sat and he set to gently stroking Leolin.
"Nasta's taking a quick shower so he's free later on tonight and tomorrow." Draco told him.
"I want to take one tonight too." Harry nodded. "I don't want to miss a thing tomorrow. I can't believe I gave birth to him a year ago tomorrow."
"I can't believe you fell pregnant with quintuplets a few days after giving birth to him." Blaise chuckled.
Harry pulled a face. "I love them, so much." He insisted. "But if I have another set of quintuplets growing in here, I'm going to spend my next several heats alone by any means necessary."
"If you have another set of quintuplets then I'll chain myself up outside on your heats." Max told him as he came into the living room to top up their teacups. "Dinner will be ready soon. It doesn't need much time to cook."
Draco moved into the kitchen with Max to keep him company and Blaise helped Harry sit up with Leolin to also move into the kitchen before Blaise went to call Nasta.
Harry made it to the kitchen and he kept Leolin against his chest as Max finished everything off. Nasta came in dressed in pyjama trousers, hair still damp and he was talking to Blaise happily.
Harry stood and placed Leolin into the bassinet as Max brought over the plates for them.
"You're such a brilliant cook." Blaise groaned as he almost inhaled his food.
Max grinned and tried to play it off, but Harry could see how pleased he was, how his chest swelled, how he had a slightly pink tinge to his tanned cheeks.
"What do we need to do now tonight?" Max asked, changing the subject without trying to make it seem like he was.
"The living room needs to be cleaned up and a space needs to be made, I've got the cakes to do still. I want his presents brought down and set up too."
"What's first tomorrow? Presents?" Blaise asked.
Harry shook his head empathetically and swallowed quickly.
"No. They can have their breakfast first and then a bath and we can get them ready and then we can go in the living room. Which reminds me, I want the bouncers out for the other babies, so that they don't crawl here there and everywhere, but they don't feel left out by being separated off and put into the playpen."
"That seems a good idea." Nasta nodded. "Keep them close enough to feel involved, but keep them out of the way and in one place."
Harry was banned from moving after dinner, his mates insisting stubbornly that he had done more than enough for one day and he instead sat on the settee with a cup of tea and watched his mates clean up all the toys and mess. He let this 'order' stand mainly because he had Leolin back on his chest and he loved cuddling with his little boy.
They broke for a tea break once they were done clearing up and all that was left now was to clear a space large enough for tomorrow, set up the bouncers for the quintuplets and then bring his gifts down for him.
Leolin made a soft noise against Harry's neck and he broke out of his thoughts and looked at him as best as he could with his little head buried in his neck.
Leolin squirmed a little and made the noise again and Harry pulled him back from his neck gently and smiled at those gold eyes narrowed and his little mouth frowned up at him. Then soft recognition flowed in those eyes and Leolin smiled to match Harry's smile.
"You're being so adorable tonight, love." He praised.
Harry sat up and placed Leolin on his thighs, bum to his lap and his head supported by Harry's knees. He held Leolin's tiny hands in his own and kissed them, smiling and talking to Leolin gently as Leolin tracked every movement he made greedily and stared at his mouth, watching the movement as Harry spoke.
"Come on Leolin, say mama. It's easy." Harry encouraged lightly.
Leolin blinked softly at him and Harry laughed holding his hands gently as he bent to kiss that tiny face.
"What's taking the tea so long? I'm gasping and dying of thirst!" Harry called out to his mates with a smile.
"Max was making the tea, but he's currently got his tongue stuck down Draco's throat." Blaise answered back. "Give us a minute."
Harry shook his head and smiled to himself. How he loved those men, faults and flaws and all, though he did admit that they drove him fucking insane sometimes and he did get angry with them, sometimes so angry he wanted to curse them into oblivion, but he still loved them.
Harry's heart about stopped and he stopped breathing as he looked down at Leolin, who was looking up at him through those eyes. He gasped in a deep breath and calmed himself, he couldn't react like he wanted to and dance around the room with Leolin, shouting in joy. Instead he bent his head and laid a kiss to those lips that had just uttered their first word.
"I love you Leolin, you're my very special little boy and I love you so much, you don't know how happy it makes me to hear you saying something, but why don't we show your Daddies too, yes? Can you do it again?"
Harry nuzzled with Leolin before he sat up and covered Leolin's little ears to protect them a little from what he was going to do next.
"NASTA!" He screamed out, not even having to fake his excitement, all he had to do was recall the memory of Leolin saying just one word. Not even a word, just a sound really; one syllable and his heart missed a beat.
Harry was all but crushed in Nasta's arms, all four of his mates rabbiting at him and he smacked them each in turn and glared at them.
"How dare you frighten Leolin so badly!" He chastised. "Can't you tell the difference between me calling in fear and calling in excitement? Surely you have enough brains to make that distinction? If I'd known you'd do this then I would have left you all in the kitchen!"
Nasta breathed in deeply and visibly calmed himself. "Why did you call for me?"
"I wanted you all here, I knew that if I called for one of you, that you'd all come. But Leolin spoke!"
"Spoke? What do you mean he spoke?" Max asked.
"He said Ma." Harry said proudly, his previous excitement drawing back in.
"Are you sure it wasn't just wind?" Max asked.
Harry glared at him. "Sit back and away from him, let me show you and then you can try and claim his achievements as wind!"
His mates did as he asked and sat on the settee or on the floor and Harry captured Leolin's attention again.
"Look at me baby, don't look at them, they don't believe you can say anything, but I know you can. Your first word at seven and a half months old. Can you say Mama again for me love?"
Leolin blinked and squirmed, but Harry didn't press him. Leolin had taken a minute or two the last time he had prompted him to say anything as well and as Harry spoke softly and regularly about nonsense, stopping for a little pause every now and then to give Leolin what he needed to speak, encouraging and prompting him regularly to say 'Ma' again. It was in one of these little pauses that Leolin graced him with a grin and made his heart soar again.
"Ma." He called out softly, raising a little hand to Harry's face.
Harry pulled him up and kissed him all over his little face. So very, very proud.
"I told you!" He gloated to his stunned mates.
"I can't believe it." Blaise said as he shuffled forward to run his long fingers through Leolin's dark hair.
"He must have taken some of our Dracken blood." Nasta said consideringly. "Most Faerie babies do not say their first words until they're well over a year old at least, some have yet to speak a single word on their third birthdays, but I'm not surprised it was just a monosyllable, that's typical of Faerie born babies."
Harry smiled. "I don't care about what other Faerie babies do, this little baby is mine and I'm so proud of him, even if it was just a monosyllable, it was for me and he called me Ma and to me, he couldn't have made me prouder or happier even if he'd sat up and sung."
"Don't misunderstand Cariad. I'm so very proud of him and how well he's coming on. The courts will want to know about this development though; this is what they meant when they told us to keep them updated with Leolin."
"Time for you to put your plan into action then." Harry pulled a face, not sure how he thought about it.
"We're going to use Blaise's old home." Nasta nodded decisively. "I don't want them to know exactly where we live, I'd never rest, but Marianna is hardly ever home, she's always away with Josiah or she's away shopping. It won't be too hard to convince the court that we live there if we scatter around a few toys and let the older ones roam free, we just have to make sure that it's baby proof and that Marianna moves anything she doesn't want broken or damaged."
"I talked to her about it." Blaise nodded. "She will do anything to help us, even give us the house when we need it. Did you…talk to them?"
Nasta snarled under his breath, but he reeled it back in and took a deep, cleansing breath. He nodded sharply.
"I talked to them both and I invited them around to visit."
Nasta's tone of voice alone let them know what he really thought of that idea, what he really thought of having Dain and Kailen coming over and having to play nice with them to get the court on side.
He'd done it soon after their talk about not taking Leolin back and forth to the Faerie city every couple of months and he'd proposed his idea of getting Dain and Kailen on their side as the both of them sat on the court they could act as envoys between them and the rest of the court without risking Leolin's health and his life travelling all the way to the Faerie city every couple of months.
The two Valkyries had all but jumped at the chance and that made Nasta angrier. He had come from the floo conversation grinding his teeth, large hands clenched into fists and the only thing they could get out of him for a while had been short, angry grunts.
Harry hated that this was upsetting Nasta so much, that it was adding to his stress. He wanted to grab hold of Dain and Kailen and throttle them until they told him why they had never sought out their own family members; he wanted to demand why they were only interested in them after a Faerie had been born to the Delericey line. He wanted to scream at them and ban them from even looking at Leolin for the hurt they'd caused not only Nasta, but Aneirin and Sanex too, but he couldn't. They needed the two of them on their side to convince the court that Leolin was safe and happy with them. They needed Dain and Kailen so that Leolin remained happy and healthy as the risk to his life was insurmountable the more they travelled with him and risked him getting a bug, a virus or an infection.
They didn't need this now, why couldn't everything just happen how he wanted it to? Why did everything always have to be a bumpy road? Why were there always obstacles in the way of him and his family?
Harry sighed and shoved it out of his mind, he needed to focus on Braiden's birthday, it's what he wanted to focus on, but with Dain and Kailen coming to visit, Ashleigh still insisting she didn't need mental help, Remus's silence, the trial looming ever closer and Severus' funeral coming up next month, their plate was full to bursting point already, they didn't need anything else to pile on top of it now.
Growling softly, Harry gave Leolin a soft, sweet kiss and handed him to Nasta as he went to the kitchen and grabbed the recipe that Max had left on the counter in his soft, slightly sloped writing. When in need of stress relief he turned to sex or to baking. He wanted the former, but he needed to do the latter. He sighed heavily and washed his hands before he set to baking the carrot cupcakes for tomorrow.
Blaise came in to keep him company, chatting to him excitedly. Max was right, despite being rejected due to inexperience; Blaise was so excited for Braiden's first birthday. He was currently wondering how Braiden would react to his presents and if he'd like what was given to him.
"I think it might overwhelm him a little." Harry said as he turned to face Blaise, mixing bowl in hand, wooden spoon beating his cake mixture as his talked. "He's never had anything like this, but I can't wait for Christmas, he'll be sixteen months then and he'll be much more aware of what's happening and what's going on, but I really can't wait to see his face tomorrow, I just hope that the quintuplets will be alright with all the focus being mostly on Braiden. I don't want them to be jealous, but I always want tomorrow to be special for Braiden, it's a very fine line."
That was one of his biggest worries about having quintuplets. That they'd be jealous of the attention Braiden got tomorrow and further on, when they were older, when they had to share their birthday with four other siblings, how could they all focus on five different children at the same time as they tore into presents and clamoured for their attention all at once? It was going to be nigh on impossible. He pushed it out of his mind for now, he'd think about it when they were older, but for now, they didn't even know what a birthday was.
Harry finished his cakes and stored them in an air tight tub and cleaned up the kitchen before Max could lynch him for the mess.
Nasta wandered in, moving over to the back door and he checked that it was locked.
"Are you done Harry?"
Harry nodded. "Done and done." He replied. "Where's Leolin?"
"Tucked up in bed, he fell asleep soon after you came out here, I'm going to make his bottle up and let it cool for him and then we can get ourselves to bed, for the boring kind of bed activities as Max would say, we need to be up early."
Harry chuckled and shook his head as he made absolutely sure that there wasn't a speck left in the kitchen, that his cakes were stored safely and then he wandered up to their bedroom with Blaise and Nasta.
"Did you…" Max started to say, but Harry cut him off gently with a hand over his mouth.
"The kitchen is spotless." He said with a grin.
Max licked his hand and Harry rolled his eyes as he pulled it away and dried it on his shirt, which he then stripped off and threw towards their cloths hamper. Draco rolled his eyes and went to pick it up from the floor to put into the hamper properly. Harry stripped off completely and threw the clothes at Draco, who caught them deftly and deposited them into the hamper as Harry slipped into a pair of clean pyjama shorts and climbed into bed, it had been boiling hot that day and the night didn't look like it was going to be any better and sleeping in a large, heavy bed with four other bodies would not help the night feel any less hot and sticky.
Harry moved on his knees towards Max, who was already sitting in the bed, his back propped up against the headboard watching them all. He flopped onto Max and snuggled in, one hand falling to his hair and trailing over the back of his neck and rubbing gently and soothingly, playing with his hair, his skin, his ear until one moment Harry was awake, laughing sleepily at Nasta and Blaise and the next he was fast asleep in the bed, Max on one side of him and Blaise on the other. Draco was on the other side of Max and Nasta was on the other side of him.
Harry was awake with the sun and he was more excited today than he had been for his own birthday as he bounced excitedly and roughly pulled himself out of the tangle of limbs he had found himself in, waking his mates up as he did so.
Max groaned being the worst affected as he was sleeping wrapped up with Harry. "Too early."
"It's not! Braiden was born today! Get the fuck up now!" Harry ordered. "He's a year old today."
Harry rushed into their en suite and tore off his sleep shorts, jumping into the shower as he had been too tired yesterday, despite wanting to get it done and out of the way before today, but it was early still; he had a bit of time before Braiden would wake up for his breakfast.
He scrubbed himself clean, used the first shower gel that came to hand and roughly washed his hair before he jumped out and dried himself off. He padded naked back into the bedroom to find that his mates had all gone back to sleep in his absence and hadn't gotten up like he'd wanted them to.
He smirked and jumped onto the bed naked and still a little damp from his shower.
"Get up now!" He demanded, watching as they cracked open eyes to glare at him, groaning, yawning and then Max swore as he looked at him and realised that he was naked and wet.
"I didn't like this wake-up call until I opened my eyes." He said with a yawn. "It's too early to be awake though."
"It's almost six, Leolin will be awake soon and then Braiden will be up, we need to get their breakfasts done, our breakfasts over with and then onto his presents! Wake up and get up!"
Draco sighed and forced himself to sit up. He swung one leg out of the bed and then the other, standing up and going into the bathroom. Harry smiled.
"One up, three more to go. Don't make me push you out. I'm pregnant. It could put a strain on me and the baby." Harry threatened.
That got Nasta's attention and he sat up immediately, one hand pressing to Harry's flat belly.
"Don't strain yourself, if you want me to push Max out of the bed, all you have to do is ask me."
"You were still sleeping too." Harry pointed out.
"I'm up now; do you want him out of bed?"
Harry nodded. "I want you all out of this bed."
"I'm up, I'm up!" Max complained as he forced himself into an upright position, dislodging Blaise, who has sidled up to him for warmth after Harry had left the bed.
Blaise groaned but Harry helped him sit up and he went to join Draco in the bathroom just as Leolin decided he was hungry and wanted something to eat.
Nasta saw to him and Max grinned as he spied a naked Harry still sat on the bed. He grabbed him and rolled him over until they were naked chest to naked chest and they shared a morning kiss.
"Your breath is horrible." Harry laughed teasingly.
"I couldn't reach the bedside table last night and I needed a drink, but you and Draco were pinning me down and I didn't want to wake you up." Max pouted. "I want more kisses."
Harry laughed. "As if I'd let something so trivial as morning breath stop us from having kisses."
They went back to kissing for a few minutes until Nasta hit them both with a pillow.
"You wanted us all up, now you're the one who is left in bed. Get up the both of you; we have a birthday boy to sort out."
Harry grinned and pulled Nasta into a furious snog too, moving his mouth until his jaw ached and using his tongue to fight off Nasta's. They were both breathless when they broke apart.
"You need to sort out Leolin." Harry reminded him as their little boy watched them impassively from the crook of Nasta's arm.
Draco and Blaise came back from their shower just as Max was going into the bathroom and Nasta left for the kitchen. Harry pulled Blaise and then Draco into their own morning kisses before he hurriedly dressed and dried his hair with a quick charm before shoving his wand up his sleeve.
"I'm so excited I can't stand it!" He told them as he bounced where he was stood, watching them dress, entirely too slowly in his opinion.
"You weren't this excited for your own birthday." Draco complained.
Harry nodded. He'd made that observation as well, but he didn't care. "Braiden is my first born child and he turns a year old today, of course I'm more excited for that."
Draco rolled his eyes but Harry grabbed Blaise's hand and dragged him into the nursery next door to peek in at their children. Only Calix was awake and he burbled happily when they approached his cot. He had been sitting quietly, rocking himself back and forth while gripping his little feet.
Blaise picked him up and cradled him in his arms, kissing his little head and brushing his fingers through his sleep tousled, chestnut brown hair. He was looking more and more like Myron as the days passed, though Harry would put money on Calix never reaching Myron's six foot ten inch height.
"Let's get you downstairs for breakfast Calix." Blaise told him with a smile, those jet black eyes peering at him as he chewed on one of his hands.
Harry turned with a grin to see Braiden rubbing his eyes and rolling over in his cot to get up. Harry eased him to his feet and then picked him up and squeezed him.
"Hello my lovely, birthday baby. How are you?" Harry asked as he cradled him tightly.
"Mama ba la." Braiden babbled as Harry settled him in his arms and turned to Blaise, who had a watching Calix in his arms still.
"Let's get you boys down stairs." Harry said softly.
"Baba ca!" Braiden called out, reaching to touch Calix, patting his head.
Harry and Blaise shared a laugh before they moved down into the kitchen where Nasta was feeding Leolin and Max was sorting out the little bowls of baby cereal, setting them up ready to warm through.
"No Farren?" Max asked surprised.
"No, these two were the only ones up, but Calix was awake when we went in, but we didn't hear anything over the monitor, so we need to keep an eye on that." Harry told them as he settled Braiden into his high chair.
"Was he upset?" Draco asked as he placed a concerned hand on Calix's head.
"No, he seemed quite happy to just sit there rocking as he clutched at his feet. I just want us all to be aware that he is waking up and he's not making any noise when he does wake up."
"First person awake goes to check on them then." Nasta nodded his agreement.
Their morning passed much the same as it always did. A mess of feeding babies, cleaning up their hands and faces keeping them happy until they had eaten their own breakfasts and then they bathed the babies, changed them into their clothes and once everything was clean and Max had the camcorder set up and ready and Blaise, Draco and Nasta had taken their five other babies to sit in their bouncers, or in Leolin's case settled him on his beanbag, Harry carried Braiden into the room, to his pile of presents and set him in front of it, sitting behind him.
Braiden clapped his hands and burbled at the gifts and he hit at them and clapped his hands some more.
"Mama!" He called out, looking behind him to Harry and he pointed at the gifts.
"Yes Braiden love, let me show you." Harry said as he turned Braiden back around and tore at the bright, coloured paper covering a large box.
Braiden screeched and clapped his hands harder, giggling and he reached forward to tug at a strip of paper, uncovering a trampoline.
"I'm still not sure about that thing; I thought we were going to wait until Christmas, when he was a little older." Draco said worriedly.
"It's fine Draco, I promise you." Max insisted. "He's going to love it."
"He hasn't used half the toys he had last Christmas." Blaise complained.
"Will you killjoys leave him be for one day? We got too many toys for him for Christmas, we all know that and I told everyone to calm down this year, but that doesn't mean I don't want him to have presents on his special days, now shut your mouths and get the pregnant man a cup of tea."
Blaise went to do it, partly because he wanted to sneak a cup of coffee and partly because Max couldn't because he was holding the camcorder.
Harry helped Braiden through the pile of gifts and sipped on his tea, he fussed over the babies in their bouncers, Calix was up and down like a jack rabbit, properly bouncing and Farren was laying still, Regan was fussing and Tegan was dozing lightly, every screech and clap from Braiden jerked her awake, but her eyes drifted closed again when everything calmed down. It was so adorable and Harry made sure Max got some footage of her as Braiden turned a knitted Snidget around in his hands, examining it.
"How many gifts does he have left? I can't see anything through the sea of coloured paper." Draco smiled.
"Three I think." Harry said as he scrunched up some of the loose paper and threw it away, uncovering the remaining presents. "Here you go Braiden, three more love."
Braiden giggled and Harry helped him unwrap the remaining presents and Nasta cleaned away all the paper.
Calix and Tegan were napping, Farren was just lying there and Regan was watching them all through his hazel eyes, but he was blinking slowly, each time his eyes remained closed a little longer and Harry knew he'd be taking his mid-morning nap at any moment.
Blaise slid to the floor and he helped Braiden with some of his toys, tearing packaging away and letting him play with his new toys.
"Here Draco, hold this, I need to go start his birthday lunch, we'll be having guests soon." Max said as he looked at the clock on the fireplace mantel piece.
Draco took over the recording of Braiden bashing around his new toys and Blaise got rid of packaging and boxes, but when Braiden cried when Blaise tried to take a box out of his hands, Harry gave him a glare to back off.
"He's more interested in the box than what was inside it!" Draco huffed.
"A box promotes imagination. Leave him be." Harry said as he covered the four quintuplets over as they slept, though Farren just sat there, not sleeping, not moving and not minding having a blanket placed over his lower body.
At eleven in the morning they greeted Marianna and Josiah, who had actually come to see them for once, but he was so boring and droning that Harry gave up talking to him after just ten minutes. He was glad for the distraction that Aneirin made when he arrived, hugging him tighter than he usually would have.
"Are you alright?" Aneirin asked him concernedly, looking him over critically before giving him a subtle sniff.
"Save me from him." Harry hissed under his breath as he threw his arms back around Aneirin's neck tightly; the man growled dangerously as he presumably glared at Josiah.
"What has he done to you?"
"He's so boring!" Harry whimpered. "I could feel my arm hairs growing!"
Aneirin sagged in his arms and Harry felt him shaking his head. "I thought he'd hurt or threatened you!" He sighed. "Don't do that to me Harry, I'm a sixty-one year old man."
"You're not old." Harry scoffed. "Sixty-one years young!"
Aneirin chuckled and patted his back. "I love you kid, I really do. You make me feel young again."
"You are young." Harry rolled his eyes dramatically. "Aren't you listening to me?"
"I'm listening." Aneirin smiled.
"Where's Sanex?" Nasta asked, coming over to them. "Surely he isn't thinking of missing my son's first birthday?"
"He's running a little late, he has a new girlfriend and he spent the night with her, he was just waking up when I floo called him."
"Is she human?"
"Not quite." Aneirin pulled a face. "She's a werewolf according to Nex, you have no idea how much I wanted to just yank him away from her and hide him away, but I tried talking to him instead, but he won't be swayed."
"Werewolves aren't all bad." Harry defended automatically, but his mind went to Remus before he could stop it and he clenched his teeth. He had a four month old Godson that he hadn't even seen yet and Remus and Tonks were still silent. He'd even sent them a second letter, but so far, still nothing.
"When one of your children comes home with a werewolf for a bed partner, I'll hold you to that." Aneirin said darkly.
Harry sighed. "I don't even want to think that far ahead, they're babies, but I'm going to make sure my babies can protect themselves and a werewolf is only dangerous for one night a month, just twelve, thirteen days in every year. That's nothing in the bigger picture Aneirin. I know I set you on edge when I tried to kill Sanex last December, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't trust him with his new girlfriend, if it makes you feel better then have Sanex sleep under your roof on the full moons until you can trust his girlfriend more." Harry shrugged.
"Sanex isn't known for listening to reason; he'll probably want to stay with her on the full moons to show how supportive he is of her." Aneirin grumbled.
"Who's to say that she'll want him to be there? She might not want him there to see her change into what most consider a 'monster' and a contagious one at that. She could lay down the law and tell him to leave her alone on the full moons. Their relationship is new, brand new if they haven't experienced their first full moon while together yet, you don't show your new boyfriend the proverbial monster in the wardrobe when you've only been together for a few weeks. She's going to want to wait and take that sort of thing slowly because she's probably afraid of scaring him off, or at least I damn well would if it was me, so you might be worrying for nothing."
"I actually feel better." Aneirin said with a look and a small laugh. "Why do I feel better?"
"Because I'm a genius and you should all listen to me more often." Harry informed them before turning his attention to a newly arrived Myron.
"Where's Richard? Is he grounded for the gift he gave me for my birthday?" Harry asked. "He better not give Braiden anything like that, not ever!"
"I can't believe what he gave you and I'd never allow him to entertain the thought of giving anything like that to the children." Myron growled as he clutched Harry in a fierce hug, proving that he'd done as good as his word and had found out what Richard had gotten for him. "He's been thoroughly punished, I assure you, but no, he had to slip into work really quickly, but he promised to be here before lunch."
"Is it…is it my trial?" Harry asked nervously, a pit forming in his stomach.
Myron sighed. "Why do you torture yourself? You know yours is the only case Richard is working on currently."
"What's happened?" Harry asked, almost dreading the answer.
"You also know that Richard can't speak of his trial cases with anyone not involved."
Harry snorted. "Don't try to tell me that he doesn't tell you absolutely everything because I won't believe you."
Myron gave a wry smile. "He does tell me everything about his cases, but he trusts me not to spread it around, not only could it mean his job and his practice, something which he loves, but it could mean all of his trials fall through, including yours and he could face court himself for perverting the cause of justice."
"I won't tell anyone, just my mates…"
"Who will then tell their families and so on, it takes just one person to say something in another's hearing and that's it."
"Can you…can you just tell me if it's anything bad?"
Myron sighed heavily. "Not really. It's to do with your cousin. He killed one of his Aunt's dogs apparently and she's now screaming like a banshee about how much of an awful, evil child he is, but he's now old enough to be tried as an adult. Richard is hoping she'll spill something revealing that can help him put yet another nail in their coffin. That's all."
Harry just blinked and frowned. "Dudley used to kill the neighbourhood cats, but I didn't think he'd actually kill one of Marge's dogs. She loves those things more than anything else in the world and he would have known that. If he killed Ripper, her favourite dog, then I'm not surprised she's turned on him in a heartbeat. That dog was her baby, she treated it like a child and took it everywhere with her."
"This is all good news for the trial Harry." Myron reminded him. "Unfortunately Richard is still collecting evidence, more of it now that this woman is willing to spill about your cousin, so we can't apply for a court date until all of the evidence has been seen, selected and examined. I know this must be a lot of pressure for you to deal with, but try to put it from your mind. It's not for you to worry about it, it's a done deal, the trial is just a formality and if Richard has it his way, which he usually does, then they'll never get out."
Harry nodded glumly. He'd been hoping to get the trial over and done with sooner rather than later, all this new evidence coming forward was just delaying everything, surely they had enough for a conviction by now? All he wanted was this over and done with, it had been his mates who had wanted to press charges against them, to get justice for him, he just wanted to forget.
Harry's attention was taken by Farren, who startled him by clutching at his leg. Harry bent down and picked him up, groaning at the hefty weight of him.
"You're getting so heavy Farren, you'll kill my back."
"Then you shouldn't be picking him up in your condition!" Max told him sternly, taking Farren from him as quickly as Harry had picked him up.
"His condition?" Aneirin picked up on immediately as he had been passing close by them, Tegan in his arms. "Have you had it confirmed that you're pregnant?"
Harry sighed and scratched at his head. "Yeah, I'm pregnant again. A month gone already, the time is flying by."
"Who got to you first?" Marianna asked with a little laugh.
Harry scowled. "Draco if I remember right, but it doesn't matter who got to me first, according to my dates I didn't conceive until the third day of my heat cycle and I was too far gone then to tell when I got pregnant or who did the impregnating, not that I'd be able to tell anyway as I'm sure all four of my mates had me several times over during every single day of my ten day heat period."
"So it could be any of them?"
Harry nodded. "I don't care who got me pregnant. I'm having another clutch and if any of them complain about it not being theirs biologically I'll gouge out their testicles. I don't give two shits which one Fathered the baby, if any of them refuse to help with the newborn baby because the baby turns out not to be theirs, I'll nail them to a tree outside."
"Well said sweet one!"
Harry turned with a smile to find Alexander had arrived and he opened his arms for a cuddle.
"I take it you received the news that you're pregnant again?"
Harry nodded with a smile. Kimberly squealed happily and pulled him into a tight hug.
"Oh I can't wait to meet the new little one, congratulations darling."
"You're pregnant?" Narcissa's smooth voice asked from behind Kimberly.
Harry ducked his head around Kimberly and smiled at her and Lucius. He nodded. "I am. A month gone, approximately six more to go."
"Congratulations, but where is the birthday boy? I bought him a gift." Narcissa smiled.
Harry grinned and went to scoop Braiden out of his pile of presents, holding him in one arm, his hand between Braiden's legs as he held him back to his chest and carried him over to Narcissa. She was right, today was about Braiden, not about him, not about the trial and not about his new pregnancy.
"Hello sweetie." Narcissa cooed, taking Braiden gently from Harry's arms and sitting him on the crook of her one arm.
"A year old, he'll be walking before we know it and then he'll be in school, then he'll be off to Hogwarts or any other school you wish to send him to. Time passes too quickly." Alexander sighed and Harry looked at him strangely, wondering if something had happened that he hadn't been told. He didn't like the thought of Alexander hurting for any reason, the man was too kind.
Harry helped Braiden open his new gifts and let him screech his excitement as he revealed new toys. He had to laugh at Aneirin's gift of a doll's pushchair.
He just shrugged when Harry gave him a knowing look.
"It was one of Nasta's favourite toys when he was a boy, he used to steal his sister's pushchair, he didn't want the doll, he just wanted to push something around. So I thought it might help with Braiden's walking if instead of staying where the furniture was, he could have something that rolled with him."
"Thank you Aneirin, I'm sure he's going to love it. Nasta set it up for him." Harry ordered and Nasta smiled as he did as he was told, opening the box and pulling out the instructions. He'd already set up the trampoline and after a mini disaster and a short hissy fit in which he hadn't realised he'd screwed the handle bar on backwards which is why it looked twisted, he'd gotten it set up and ready.
"Come here love, your Daddy Nasta has spent a lot of his time today putting this together for you." Harry couldn't resist the dig at how long it had taken Nasta to set it up and the glare he got in return told him that Nasta had gotten the message, which made him laugh.
Harry held Braiden tightly under his arms as he bounced him on the trampoline. Braiden looked at his feet and giggled so Harry took it as a good sign and did it again.
Blaise sat in front of him and clapped his hands to gain Braiden's attention.
"You can do this yourself Braiden." He told their son clearly. "Come here."
He held his arms open and Braiden wobbled over to Blaise on the surface of the trampoline, Harry supporting him all the way. Blaise took his hands and put them on the handle bar and Braiden got it immediately as he started bouncing himself and he screeched in joy as he bounced on the spot.
It was probably too generous to call it bouncing, as Braiden was just holding on and bending his knees, his feet never left the surface of the trampoline, but damn was Harry bursting with pride as he watched his little boy trying his best and having a hell of a time at that too.
Harry turned to see if his mates were watching him, only to see that everyone was watching and they had the camcorder on him, Blaise and a giggling Braiden as he played with his new trampoline.
Regan crawled over to him and Harry sat him on his lap. His little boy was still a little clingy after his tumble down the stairs a few weeks before, but he was getting his confidence back slowly. He'd all but forgotten what had happened to him, but every now and then he sought Harry out and clutched at him tightly as if he were remembering what had happened, but all the books he'd read said that he would have forgotten by now. Harry wasn't convinced and he soothed Regan and held him tightly and comfortingly. He hadn't put the bear down since he'd snatched it up after his fall and he cried a fit if they tidied up and he couldn't find it. Nasta was more than likely right in telling them that it had become his security and comfort object. Nasta had charmed it so that it didn't fall apart and couldn't be damaged or worn, he said they'd thank him several years down the line when the bear didn't fall apart in Regan's hands and they didn't have a replacement to sooth him with.
"Lunch is ready." Max told them all with a grin. "Braiden! My birthday boy, do you want to come and have lunch? You can come back to your trampoline after."
Braiden looked up, all the way up, at Max and frowned. "Nah." He said clearly, shaking his head softly for emphasis, before he turned away from Max and carried on bouncing.
Harry was the first to start laughing, joined by the others. "Please tell me you got that on tape?" Harry begged Nasta.
"I got it." Nasta assured him with a smirk.
Max just looked gobsmacked. "Did my little boy just tell me no?" He demanded.
"I believe he said 'nah.'" Harry informed him with a cheeky grin. "But essentially, yes, he did the equivalent of telling you to piss off and leave him to play."
"I thought he did." Max grimaced.
Max moved then and hunched down in front of Braiden, holding his little waist and holding him still and gaining eye contact with him.
"You can come back and play with your trampoline after you've had your lunch and after your nap." He said clearly and sternly. "But now it's time for you to eat your lunch."
Braiden wriggled in Max's firm hold and tried to push his big hands off of his waist, then the tears started but Max was having none of it as he picked Braiden up and carried him, wailing and crying, into the kitchen.
"We raised that boy well." Richard sighed with an exaggerated misty look up at Myron, who rolled his eyes, but he had a smirk on his face.
"Yes, we did. Now let's see if he can stick it through when Braiden starts a tantrum."
Richard cackled evilly and Harry shook his head as he carried Regan into the kitchen, where Max was strapping a thrashing Braiden carefully into his highchair.
"Calm down boy, you can eat and then you can go back on your trampoline." Max told him.
"Nah!" Braiden cried out.
"If you don't want to go back on it after lunch, then you don't have to, but you will eat your food." Max told him.
"Leave him to me." Harry sighed.
"No. I started this, I will finish it." Max said stubbornly.
"What if he refuses to eat?" Harry asked worriedly.
"If he doesn't want to eat, then he won't eat. He's not having anything else."
Harry gaped at Max in horror. "He's a baby! How can you be so cruel to him?!"
"It's not cruel." Max denied. "He will learn not to mess about with his meal times and his food or he'll go hungry. He's not going to starve from one missed meal Harry and it will enforce discipline and a set routine."
"So that's it is it? He's a year old now, today in fact, so now he's open to discipline?"
Nasta placed a hand on his back and nuzzled the top of his head.
"I think Max has the right of this love." He told him soothingly. "Braiden's showing up and he's throwing a tantrum, if we let him get his own way, then he will learn that if he acts up like this then he gets what he wants. We can't let that happen."
"No." Nasta told him, pulling him and Regan into a hug. "I know it's his birthday, I want to spoil him as much as you do and of course I want him to be happy today of all days, but he doesn't understand all the excitement, he doesn't understand the fuss or what's happening, if we let him get his way 'just for today' then he's going to expect it tomorrow too and he'll play up twice as much because he won't understand why he was allowed to get away with it today and why he won't be able to get away with it tomorrow. It'll confuse him love. We can spoil him and let him get his way within reason when he's older, when he can understand that a birthday is a special occasion, but today, when he's so young, he follows our rules and the routine we set for him."
Harry swallowed and nodded. He didn't like it, but he understood and his mates were making sense. He allowed Max to be firm with Braiden, bit his lip hard enough to draw blood to restrain himself when Braiden started crying out for him and he watched as Braiden threw an all-out tantrum, throwing his spoon, throwing his food and knocking his bowl to the floor.
"Alright, that's enough." Max sighed as he picked Braiden up and carried him out of the room. Harry heard him talking to Braiden as he went down the hallway. "You've obviously been overstimulated and over excited and you're in need of a nap, so let's settle you down and you can have a nice long sleep and we can try this again when you're less grouchy."
Harry sighed and continued feeding Calix and Regan as everyone finished off their light finger food snacks and Amelle encouraged Eleonora to eat the little tomato flavoured corn sticks.
Farren was also eating the little finger foods, very, very happy to be trying new things that were edible and with different textures to what he'd tried before.
Max came back down twenty minutes later and cleaned up the mess Braiden had made.
"He's fast asleep. I think all the stimulation today just overworked him and he couldn't process it, so he needs some down time to settle himself."
Harry nodded and he felt better knowing that Braiden had settled down and that it was likely just all the fuss and attention on him.
The quintuplets went down for their own nap an hour after lunch, but Leolin, who had slept right through the morning and through lunch, woke up just ten minutes after his brothers and sister had gone to sleep.
Harry cuddled him to his chest as he teased a newly arrived Sanex over his new girlfriend and naturally, the best friends Caesar and Sanex, teamed up on him and teased the absolute fuck out of him, claiming his posture had been permanently altered from having a cock rammed up his arse four times a night.
Myron was almost apoplectic with rage as he overheard them both. He smacked them both upside the head and demanded they apologise immediately and dredge up some respect for other people.
Myron sat next to Harry, still giving Caesar and Sanex a glare, they were both grinning and trying to hide it, but not much ever got past Myron. Richard had joined them halfway through lunch and Harry had cornered him almost immediately after to demand details.
"I knew Myron wouldn't deny you anything." He'd sighed. "He loves you far too much to deny you anything, but it's nothing Harry, just new evidence coming forward, that's all. It's nothing for you to worry about."
Harry had almost sagged with relief and had carried on with Braiden's birthday lunch, but now Richard came to dump himself on Myron's lap and the older man wrapped him up tight in his arms and kissed subtly at his neck. Harry was sure he could only see it because he was right next to them at just the right angle to see. He hoped his relationship with all of his mates was like the one between Myron and Richard when they'd been together as long as they had.
"How is Leolin today?"
"He spoke!" Harry told everyone proudly and loudly.
"He did what?" Aneirin asked from across the room.
"Leolin said his first word yesterday." Harry repeated.
"Are you sure you weren't hearing things?" Aneirin said as carefully as he could, trying not to offend him, but being very sceptical at the same time.
"That's what those four said when I told them, but then I got him to repeat it for them and they had to believe me!" Harry said with a wide grin.
Myron's huge hand swallowed the top of Leolin's head and he cradled it gently in his palm. "He's coming on so well." He praised.
Harry nodded proudly. "I also want it on the record that he said 'Ma' that's all of them now. Every single one of my babies has said some variant of 'Mum' as their first words."
"Duly noted." Max winked at him.
"We think that he has some Dracken blood in him. He's seems stronger than most Faerie babies and now he's talking and he likes copying everything Harry does." Nasta put in.
"He does?" Blaise asked with a frown.
Harry nodded. "Yes, we found that out after my birthday surprise. When you, Max and Draco were all fast asleep and Nasta and I sat up with Leolin as he wouldn't sleep. He copied everything I did, when I smiled he smiled, when I frowned, he did and when I yawned he did, I thought it was a coincidence until Nasta got me to pretend I was sleeping and Leolin copied me, only he really went to sleep."
"You may have a point, you're both Drackens, he must have taken something from your genes, even if it's a bit of added strength or robustness." Aneirin said. He looked more relaxed and less stressed and Harry wondered if it was his work, Sanex's new girlfriend or if he truly was that worried about Leolin.
A few hours later Harry said goodbye to everyone as he cleaned up cake from the floor, the table, the high chair trays, everywhere. His babies had loved their carrot cakes, but they'd gotten them everywhere in the attempt to eat them.
Regan had been the worst, as their baby with the least teeth, soggy, drool covered bits of cake were absolutely everywhere. Though, naturally, Leolin hadn't had any cake, he was still struggling just to drink a whole three ounces of milk in one go.
"I swear today was an ordeal." He groaned as he fell onto Blaise and cuddled with him.
"It was worth it to see him happy, but I'm glad birthdays are only going to be once a year."
Harry laughed. "Love, have you forgotten that we have six babies and more on the way? In ten, twenty years, how many babies do you think we'll have and how many birthdays do you think there will be?"
Blaise groaned. "Every other day is going to be a birthday."
"Welcome to the circus." Max laughed.
"Seriously Max, did you just call our family a circus?" Draco demanded. "One of those Muggle centres that display oddities for the public to laugh at?"
"It's an expression more than anything love, don't take it to heart." Max told him, pulling him into a hug and kissed his temple softly.
Nasta was sat on the floor and he was supervising Braiden, who hadn't stopped bouncing on his trampoline since he'd seen it after he'd woken from his nap, they'd hoped he'd have tired himself out by now, but he was still going strong.
"Is he even slightly tired yet?" Draco asked. "He's making me tired just watching him."
Nasta shook his head. "He stops now and then to babble, but then he starts bouncing again."
"Can you even call it bouncing when his feet don't leave the trampoline?" Blaise asked.
"Well it certainly isn't jumping." Max laughed. "But he's definitely doing something, what else would you call it?"
"I think it's a mix of both." Harry said. "If he did that on a flat surface, would his feet leave the ground then? Maybe the trampoline is too stiff for him to actually bounce and this is the best he can do at the moment?"
"We'll try it, but for now, I think he needs to calm down. I think a nice bath while someone hides his trampoline so he can't see it, a relaxing story and then to bed, he's had an exciting day and if we don't keep to his routine now, then he's not going to sleep." Nasta said as he placed his hands on either side of Braiden, let him bounce a few more times, giggling, before he lifted him off of the trampoline.
It took several seconds for Braiden to realise that he wasn't being played with and that he wasn't going back onto the trampoline. He started throwing a tantrum like he had that morning.
"I told you that thing was a bad idea." Draco grumbled as Nasta handed him to Max, who took Braiden for a bath; Harry carried Tegan and Leolin up to bathe them too.
"He loves it though." Blaise answered. "We can't take it off of him now, I won't have him upset."
"He's more upset being let on it and then taken off again." Draco pointed out. "I hate seeing him upset and taking him off that thing all the time is upsetting him more than anything else he's had so far."
"That's a good thing." Nasta told them seriously as he moved the trampoline to the corner of the room and covered it over with a blanket. "He needs to learn that not everything is always going to go his way, that we are his parents and he has to listen to us. A bit of disappointment isn't going to hurt him and it'll actually help him later in life."
Nasta sat down and pulled Farren up on to his lap. Their big bruiser was sporting a very large bump on his head after he'd tried to stand, only to grab hold of a small stack of parchment and not the table. The parchment had slid from under his hand and Farren had head butted the table. It seemed that all of their children were going to be in the wars this month; his heart had never been in his throat so much as when they'd started finding their mobility, which led then to injuries.
"How's his head?" Blaise asked concernedly.
Nasta brushed Farren's fringe from his face and kissed his bump gently.
"Still looking sore, but I don't think it's causing him any pain. He doesn't seem bothered by it."
"He's definitely Max son." Blaise grinned. "No sense, no feeling."
Draco shoved him, scowling. "Don't say that about him! He's just a baby."
Blaise laughed. "It was more a dig at Max than Farren. We all know that Farren's our tough little boy, there's not a lot that's going to faze him."
Harry came back down and swapped a freshly bathed Braiden, dressed in a soft, light and clean sleepsuit. He was sucking on a pale pink dummy, already dropping his eyes closed in tiredness.
"I think the bath did him in, he's knackered." Harry laughed softly. "We had to take him out because we were afraid he was going to slip under."
Harry gave Braiden to Draco and picked up Calix and Regan to take them up to give them their bath.
"Can you listen on the monitor for Leolin please? He went straight to bed."
Nasta nodded. "Of course Cariad. If Braiden drops off, I'll take him up and drop Farren off for you and Max. Then maybe we can rush the clean-up and then have a cwtch before bed."
Harry smiled widely. "I'd love to."
Harry took Regan and Calix up to Max who was drying Tegan off and trying to dress her. He'd thankfully let out the water and refilled the bath, so all Harry had to do was strip Calix and Regan and dunk them into the warm water before taking a soft cloth to their bodies as they laughed and squirmed in the warm water.
He and Max managed to get their children bathed, dried, dressed and bedded down easily enough and Harry collapsed onto the settee with a groan, watching as Nasta and Draco cleaned up quickly, using the odd, sparse spell.
They were done with the cleaning quickly and Max brought them all tea, even Blaise, who didn't drink coffee after seven in the evening so that he could sleep properly at night. They sat and relaxed while they drank their tea before they checked all the windows and doors and Max sent a quick spell at their tea cups to wash and dry them and then they traipsed up to their bedroom, doing their nightly routine, dressing and chatting quietly. Harry set up the baby monitor for the nursery next door on their bedside table; he didn't need to bother with the one for Leolin, who slept contently in his bassinet next to their bedside.
None of them were all that tired, it was still early, it being only half eight at night, but as they all climbed into bed, they were all sat up against the headboard and Nasta started the cwtch he'd promised, wrapping an arm around Draco tight before throwing his other arm around Harry and pulling them in close to his warm, naked upper body. What a glorious upper body it was too, Harry grinned as he rested the side of his face against the solid muscles of Nasta's chest.
Blaise leaned into Harry's side and Max threw a huge arm around Draco, managing to touch all of them at once as he snuggled down and relaxed himself, his arm going heavy over them.
"Today's been long." Draco sighed as he eased himself down against the pillows and lay between Nasta and Max comfortably.
"Too much excitement, too much overstimulation and too many tantrums." Harry agreed with a nod. "And only four more months until we have to do it all again. We have Christmas and the Quintuplets first birthday coming up in December, just six days from one another."
Max groaned. "We'll never survive. Braiden will be sixteen months old by then; he should be up on his feet and walking and with how interested Regan and Calix are with moving they could be up on their feet too."
Harry blew out a deep breath against Nasta's nipple and closed his eyes in defeat.
"I'll be five months pregnant at Christmas; I'll be next to no help with chasing them down if I'm all rotund and cumbersome."
That got him laughs and a few chuckles.
"I'm sure we can manage, we wouldn't want you rushing around like a lunatic, not when you'll be so heavily pregnant. We value our lives." Max told him.
"If you value your tongue you'll keep your mouth closed." Harry huffed.
"Yes Master." Max purred.
Harry groaned tiredly. "You know what that does to me, be a good mated slave and save it for when my body doesn't feel like it's been trampled into the ground."
"Yes Master." Max grinned.
Harry rolled his eyes and smothered a yawn into Nasta.
"Hopefully we can get back to a more normal schedule tomorrow." Draco said sleepily. "Today was an ordeal."
"I fully agree." Harry said. "I hope Braiden learns to take 'no' better than he did today. I hope it was just all the fuss and the attention coupled with overstimulation and overtiredness. I don't know what to think if he behaves like that every day from now on."
"I think we're focusing too much on the negative." Nasta informed them. "He did learn a new word today, just because that word was no, or rather nah, doesn't make it any less of an achievement. That he actually applied the word in the correct way, even if it was in a surprising and rebellious way, he still used it correctly. He's growing and his brain is developing. We should be happy and thankful for this."
"I'll feel happy and thankful tomorrow, when I've had some sleep." Blaise grumbled, a slight French twang to his words.
"Get to sleep Blaise."
"I'm trying, but it's difficult with you all talking over me." He groused.
Harry chuckled and twisted himself and around more comfortably. "Alright, we get the message; we're going to sleep now."
Nasta slipped down and pulled Harry and Draco into his body tighter. "I'll see you all in the morning. Max, don't forget that you have an afternoon shift tomorrow."
Max groaned. "I've gotten too used to lying around and sitting on my arse, I don't want to go back to work."
"At least it's only a couple of hours in the afternoon and not a full day." Draco tried to put the silver lining into the cloud.
"There is that." Max murmured. "I'd still rather not go in at all."
Harry yawned and settled down, keeping his eyes closed and his arms wrapped around Nasta, one hand touching Draco, Max's arm heavy over his waist and Blaise a warm heat at his back, one slim, smooth hand holding onto his hip.
"Night lovers." Max called out just as Harry was drifting into a peaceful sleep.
Everything was quiet and they didn't have anything to worry about and nothing was pressing, they had a funeral coming up soon, they had the trial to deal with a little after that and they would have to get back into a working mentality, a working schedule yet again now that their schooling was over and done with, Draco and Blaise would want to look for jobs soon and Harry entertained the thought of a small job for himself, but maybe not just yet. He didn't know what he wanted to do and there was really no rush at all, he was just eighteen, he'd deal with the most pressing matters first, the unavoidable obstacles and then he'd entertain the thought of jobs and careers, until then, he had nothing else he needed to do, it could all wait for the morning.
A/N: I can't believe Braiden is a year old! Where has the time gone? Where has my newborn boy gone? A year! The quintuplets will be a year old soon too, fuck me I need a lie down!
Thanks to nintschibintschi for being the 10,600th reviewer!
Rouge'sGambit: Blaise's paternal family do not want to see him. They would never consent to meeting him or going anywhere near him. It's sad and cruel as Blaise was only a baby, not even born when his Father was killed, but they fully blame him for their son's death and Drackens are not very forgiving when their children have been killed. As for the meeting, not that it would ever happen, it would either be stony silence which would end in upset and tears or it would be a blood bath. Plus only Blaise and Nasta would be able to understand them as Blaise's paternal family only speak Italian.
nenshoutora16: Now you're catching on lovelie! If you noticed I made mention that Leolin's eyes were tracking over Harry's face, which he couldn't do before. Leolin's eyes are underdeveloped and now, suddenly, Leolin's vision range has expanded and he can see more clearly and he's making the most of that. He's also developing a severe attachment and dependency on Harry. The guys haven't noticed yet, but it started showing at Harry's last heat period, when he wouldn't settle because Harry wasn't there. Things are going to start getting interesting.
Well that's all for this week! Absorb the fluff of this chapter lovelies, the next chapter is the horror filled, tear jerker I promised would be coming up soon and don't forget that you can always join me on Facebook, I'm under the name StarLight Mass and I'd love to welcome you to the page.
Until the next time lovelies, take care of yourselves and Lizzy, have a happy birthday!
StarLight Massacre. X