Harry readily got onto that idea and with a heart heavy with worry and concern over Blaise, over Leolin, over his pregnancy, over everything…he snuggled into Draco's muscular bulk and he settled down to watch a film with three of his four mates, even if Draco did complain over the Muggle entertainment and insisted that everything would have been so much easier if they used magic, which Max pointed out wasn't the point of the film and that Muggles didn't know that magic was real.
Draco just huffed and Harry pressed his head over that strong heartbeat and smiled. He loved that Draco still didn't understand some of the Muggle terminology and nuances, he loved all of Draco's little quirks and as one large hand came to rest over his pregnant belly, rubbing against it softly, Harry fell into a light doze surrounded by his mates, lying on Draco with the blond's hands on his baby bump and the sounds of the TV playing in the background. He couldn't wait for nineteen-ninety-nine to start and he hoped that the New Year brought him some good news, because this year had been nothing but bad news after bad news and though things were slowly improving, they were by no means fixed just yet.
Chapter Eighty-Seven – Seasonal Stress
December was cold and bitter when it arrived. Harry was buried under owl order catalogues as he searched for Christmas presents for his mates, Christmas presents for all of the family, presents for his six children and birthday gifts for his quintuplets too. What did you buy five one year olds, one of whom was the equivalent of a baby only a few months old, when they already had every toy under the sun?
He was sat on a cushion on the floor, up to the coffee table as he poured over piles of catalogues and magazines, his babies all around him with toys. Calix was in Braiden's ball pit bashing around with his little hands, giggling infectiously, Leolin was in the bassinet beside Harry and he had a plate of freshly made lemon cake from Mrs Weasley who was very, very happy with the news that she was getting two new twin grandchildren and had immediately taken up the challenge of chef when she'd learnt that Harry was craving all things lemon.
The lemon cake she'd made for him was so tart, so zesty and citrusy that no one else could even eat it, as they'd found out when Max had taken a big bite out of a slice and had immediately dived for the tap of cold water. Harry however, absolutely loved it, even if it did make his tongue feel like it was shrivelling up if he ate too much in one go.
Max came to look in on him, as he'd thrown them all out and told them to leave him alone to pick their gifts without ruining the surprise.
"Do you need anything?" He asked.
Harry leant back on his hands and sighed as he let his head fall backwards on his shoulders. "A break, a headache reliever and another cup of tea."
Max laughed and came to kiss his forehead. "Put these away, take your break for a bit and I'll get you tea and that potion, I've got more than enough of them at the moment."
Harry did just that as he sat on the settee beside the bassinet, he checked in on Leolin, worried that he might have stopped breathing in the hour since he'd last peeked in on him, a constant, continuous worry that he'd had since Leolin had come home from the hospital just three weeks ago.
He was eating well, sleeping well and he was back to recognising him, and now his mates too, as he reached a tiny hand out to them as well, but the only word he would say still was 'Ma' which Harry was secretly smug about. He did want Leolin to grow and develop, of course he did, but he just couldn't help but want to keep his baby to himself, at least for a little while longer.
"Baba in?" Braiden said as he pulled himself up onto the settee, settled himself, crawled over to Harry and then stood up using the arm of the settee, standing up so that he could peer curiously into the bassinet. "Baba in!"
Leolin's golden eyes cracked open and he gave his big brother a poisonous glare from under furrowed brows and a frowned mouth. Harry chuckled lightly, even as his hand went to Braiden's back to support him so that he wouldn't fall.
"What's this?" Max said as he came in with two cups of tea. "Is our sweet boy doing something interesting?"
Max peered into the bassinet and caught sight of Leolin's face. He laughed.
"Oh now that is a face and a half." He laughed as he placed down the two cups and came back to chuck Leolin under the chin with a gentle fingertip.
Harry picked Leolin up out of his bassinet and as soon as Harry had him upright and face to face with him, Leolin broke out into a wide, gummy grin.
"Ma." He said happily.
"He is so attached to you." Max said with a grin as he threw himself onto the settee and made Braiden bounce, which made him giggle.
"Up! Up! Dada ma, up!" Braiden held his arms up to Max and clambered into his lap, standing all over him and coming close to stomping a little socked foot into delicate areas, but Max avoided that by pulling Braiden into the air and setting him safely on his huge thighs. Braiden started bouncing and Max made it that much more fun by grabbing his waist and with every other bounce he was lifting Braiden into the air.
Harry shook his head at them with a laugh and turned away; he sat down and pulled Leolin onto his chest, sitting him on his bump. He couldn't put into words how amazing it felt to be sat in his own home with Leolin stretched out on his body, awake and looking around curiously and not a single wire in sight.
Draco joined them with a glass of pumpkin juice when he saw that it was safe to come in without having his head torn off and he eased himself to the floor with a groan and pulled Tegan onto his lap, bending to grab the nearby hairbrush.
"Give her, her penguin, Draco, she'll cry otherwise." Harry advised before taking a sip of his sharp, lemon tea. He'd stopped putting honey in it when the lemon had started overpowering the taste of it, making it redundant to put it in in the first place.
Draco bent forward again, Tegan giggling and clapping tiny hands together as he did so before she squealed when Draco handed her, her stuffed penguin.
"I love you sweet girl." He said softly to her.
Harry smiled at them both as Draco brushed her hair as Tegan chattered nonsense to her penguin. Tegan got bored of not being able to move after just fifteen minutes and Draco let her go with a sigh before he dragged Regan onto his lap to brush his hair, unwilling to let his victims get away from him and his hairbrush.
Regan didn't even last five minutes as he had been happily crawling around with a huge, chunky truck, a truck which ended up going into Draco's shin in frustration.
Max laughed uproariously, which made Braiden laugh along with him. Draco took it all into his stride as he let Regan go and pulled a complacent Farren onto his lap and brushed his soft dark brown hair gently.
Half an hour later Draco was forced to stop brushing the silky strands of Farren's hair as their second oldest son had fallen asleep on him, bright yellow dummy in his mouth. Draco shifted himself back and up onto the settee and relaxed against the back of it with a groan, Farren cuddled up on his lap.
"Anyone want a tea top up?" Max asked as Braiden had gotten bored with the bouncing game and had climbed down off his lap and crawled over to the toys and Regan.
"No, if I drink anymore I'll need a tap fitted." Harry complained.
"Not for me." Draco said. "I've still got juice left."
"Just me then." He said with a laugh, but before he could leave the room, the warning for their floo sounded softly and they turned to look at the fireplace as a head appeared.
"Ah, just the man I wanted to see." The head said jovially. "Max, can you come in for a few hours, please? I'm begging you here. We've had an outbreak of flu and it's set to spread; we've got infant patients and elderly ones too, more infant ones though. We've got distressed and panicked parents demanding potions, four of our clinics have run clean out of Pepper Up and the infant suspension and that was all before midday and six more of our clinics are running critically low. We need all hands on deck."
Max sighed. "Yeah, I can come in for a few hours. You two don't mind do you?"
Draco shook his head.
"No." Harry said. "Just don't work too hard; you were up early this morning."
"Oh, I didn't see you there, hello to you too, Mister Potter."
Harry blinked, having never seen or met this man before in his life.
"Ignore him." Max said with a good natured eye roll. "This is Harvey; he's a proper fan girl of yours, Harry. He almost passed out when he learnt that one of my new boyfriends was you."
Harry could see Harvey blush even though he was just a head in the flames.
"It was nice to meet you, Harvey." He said softly with a smile. "I don't get to see Max's work friends very often."
"That's because he's all jealous and possessive over you and won't let us come over anymore; we used to have a poker night and a football night every week and we used to be around all the time during Quidditch season."
"I told you all before, I have six children, soon to be eight. I can't have the noise here, I won't have the drinking and I won't have the gambling."
"We've moved them to Patrick's place; you can come over to spend an hour or two with us, it wouldn't kill you to socialise every now and then."
"Of course he can." Harry said. "If that's what he wants to do he can, but right now, isn't there some sort of emergency breakout that you need to work on?"
"Yeah, that's got to be the priority here; I'll see you in a minute, Harvey." Max said as he checked himself over to make sure that his clothes were work appropriate, he made sure that he had his wand before he turned to kiss all six children, Draco and then Harry. "I'll see you in a few hours."
"They only want you because they know that you're the best they have." Draco said with a smirk.
Max smiled at him and winked. "Of course that's why they want me there; I'm the only Potions Master the company has, the rest are trainees or apprentices. That's why I can get away with having so much time off, they can't afford to replace me. There has been a shortage of Potions Masters for the last decade and more and more apprenticeships are failing because those undertaking it just aren't prepared to put in the dedication or the work that it requires. All I remember of my apprenticeship is falling into bed late at night, completely exhausted, aching and smelling of all sorts and then getting up before dawn every morning, still tired, still aching and still smelling of whatever ingredients I'd been preparing the day before. The apprentices these days just aren't dedicated enough to do that, so there's a lack of them now."
"Just go to work." Harry said with a smile. "The sooner you go, the sooner you can come back."
Max saluted him and moved to grab a handful of floo powder.
"Oh! And find out about those poker nights, you need time with your friends as well!" Harry said quickly as Max threw the floo powder into the fire, turning the flames green.
"Will do! I'll see you all later, don't miss me too much."
"No chance of that happening." Draco chuckled as Max left.
Harry moved over to the settee that Draco was on then and with Farren sleeping on his lap and Leolin slowly starting to doze on Harry's chest, his heartbeat calming and relaxing his little Faerie son, they cuddled up as much as they could and just enjoyed the peace that was only broken by babies at play.
Draco picked up his book from the side table and started reading and Harry just stared at Leolin, tracing his features and running gentle fingers over his tiny hands, arms and legs. They were content and happy for the moment and Harry had never seen Tegan so well behaved before as she played quietly between Braiden and Regan, Calix was napping in the ball pit, they could barely see his little body in amongst the brightly coloured balls.
Nasta came down almost two hours later, his face pinched and pale. He was hunched over holding the side of his head with one hand. He looked ill.
"Are you still not feeling better?" Harry asked softly, hyper aware that Nasta had a severe headache. "Max left another dose of potion on the counter next to the kettle, would you like some tea with it?"
Nasta nodded without saying anything and Harry stood up, ushered Nasta to sit where he'd been and handed him a sleeping Leolin as he went to make tea and get the headache reliever for Nasta, who had been in bed since that morning with a headache so severe that it made him feel physically sick to look at bright lights.
"Where's Max?" He heard Nasta ask as he came back into the room.
"Emergency at work." Draco answered.
"A flu outbreak." Harry nodded as he passed the small vial to Nasta. "They begged him to go in for a few hours; he's been gone for three so far."
"You've been okay without him?" Nasta asked as he drained the vial in one swallow, grimacing as he did so, and then sipped at his cup of green tea to take away the vile taste.
Harry nodded. "Fine. It's been very quiet. The kids played for a bit, had their naps, then played a bit more."
"Did you get your shopping done?"
Harry shook his head. "Not all of it, but some. I'll send the forms off later and finish the shopping next week, for now I want to take care of you."
"I'm okay, much better than I was this morning. Damn headaches."
Harry sat next to Nasta and kissed his prickly cheek. He hadn't shaved that morning because he had felt so bad and his stubble was thick and spiky, just the other side of being an actual beard.
With Harry cuddled on one side and Draco on the other, Nasta allowed himself to sit back and just relax, resting his head against the back of the settee and hope that this second dose of potion knocked back his headache, he couldn't take much more of the dull throb in his temples.
Harry's five month scan found him with an unfamiliar Healer conducting his check-up. Good to his word, Harry had sent both Maximillian Almus and Jasper Cole and their families on holiday, sending their respective wives the non-refundable tickets and, rather large, thank you cards detailing all the work they'd done and how much it meant to him that they'd shown such a dedicated level of care and concern to his fragile, vulnerable son and thus he was thanking them with a holiday.
Healer Carmentis Paion was a fifth generation Healer, her great-great grandmother had been a Healer and her daughter had been a Healer, and her daughter and both her sons had been Healers and it had become a family profession.
The nervous woman checked him over, checked his weight against his height to the size of his bump and rambled about her family as she told him that her own son was just starting out as an orderly and that she hoped that soon he would be elevated to a nurse and then on to become a Healer. Harry hoped that he didn't talk as much as his Mother did; it was doing nothing to elevate his confidence levels in his new temporary Healer.
Blaise was annoyed by her rambling too. Harry could see it on his face the more that Healer Paion spoke, telling them that her name, Carmentis, actually meant Healer in Latin, the angrier Blaise got.
"It's just the ultrasound now?" He asked a while later as he had his heartbeat checked and all of his vitals looked over.
"Yes, I'd like to do a Doppler scan too, just to check that their hearts are beating well as they're identical twins and then we should be done."
"Thank Merlin." Blaise hissed under his breath as the Healer turned away from them to set up the equipment.
"Shush, be good." Harry chastised.
Blaise just gave him a look and huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. Harry braced himself for the cold goo; goo that he was sure was the same lubricant that he and his mates used at home. He flinched as it went onto his belly and shivered, at which point Blaise's arm slipped under his neck to support and comfort him.
"I'm sorry it's cold." Healer Paion said with an apologetic smile.
"That's okay; I'm very used to it by now."
Harry smiled as he heard the fast rush of blood that was his twins heartbeats, it seemed impossibly fast to him, but he was used to that as well, he knew that babies heartbeats were much faster than an adult's.
"Oh, I think we can see the gender of one twin here. Would you like to know?"
"Yes!" Harry said excitedly as he sat up as much as he could to see the screen better. Healer Paion hovered over little legs and the area between, which was flat and smooth. "Is that…does that mean?"
"A little girl."
Harry laughed happily. "Identical twin girls, Blaise!"
Harry looked at him to find his first mate misty eyed and staring at the screen. He smiled and clutched at Blaise's hand.
"Everything seems to be fine, everything is coming within normal levels, you have two healthy, growing girls." The Healer told them with a smile as she wiped Harry's belly clean and handed him the photos that she'd printed off.
"Thank you." Harry said as he stood up with Blaise's hands all over him, eager to help him. "Come on, I can't wait to tell the others!"
Blaise escorted Harry through the hospital, his arms around him possessively as he basked in the joy of finding out that they had two little girls on the way.
They flooed home to find that Nasta was home from his lunch with his brother Sanex and that Max was back from work, they were anxiously waiting in the living room with Draco, who had stayed behind to watch the babies.
Harry was grinning from ear to ear and he cackled at them.
"Did you find out the gender?" Max asked, unable to take it anymore.
Harry laughed louder and nodded. "Yes, we found out the gender."
"Come on, Harry; don't keep us in such suspense!" Draco said anxiously as he twisted his hands together.
Harry held out the scan photos. "Girls. We have two identical twin girls on the way."
Max hooted in joy and picked him up, cuddling him tightly.
"They're healthy and growing well, they're perfectly formed, their heartbeats are within normal range and the placenta is doing its job properly of feeding them both, though one twin is just slightly bigger than the other." He informed them as he clung to Max happily.
"I can't believe that we're getting two new daughters!" Max said happily.
Harry nodded and was passed to Draco and then to Nasta as they hugged him and wound themselves up with excitement.
"They still aren't coming for another two months!" Harry laughed. "We have Christmas and the quintuplets' birthday to come first."
"Don't forget nesting time." Nasta told him seriously. "How are you feeling about that in relation to your last birth?"
Harry frowned. "Alright I guess, I haven't really thought of it, I know that my last pregnancy was far from smooth, hell it was practically traumatic with everything that happened, but I know it was because of exceptional circumstances and that the chances of it happening again are slim, especially with only two babies. I don't feel insecure or frightened or anything about my upcoming birth, I remember nesting and birthing Braiden well, but…maybe we could start doing the blood bottling a little earlier, just in case?"
Nasta smiled at him and nuzzled his face. "You truly are remarkable. Yes, we will start bottling our blood now before Christmas."
"I don't want to miss Christmas or the quintuplet's birthday." Harry said stubbornly.
"You may not have a choice, Caru, but we'll film the whole thing for you if it does happen and when you're recovering from the caesarean, you can watch it all, every single moment of it."
Harry smiled and then sighed. He knew that was the best that he could hope for and really, he was just glad that he had four amazing, wonderful mates who were willing to record these events for him to watch back, he couldn't help but think of all the horror stories that he'd been told since he'd found out that he was a Dracken, about all the bad dominants out in the world who wouldn't have given a shit and wouldn't have cared for the thoughts or feelings of their submissive. He smiled at his four; he truly was the luckiest man in the world to have, not just one, but four amazing dominant mates. He loved them more and more as each day passed.
With their quintuplets now eleven months old and just weeks from their first birthday, Harry was rushed off his feet as Calix picked up a new level of speed crawling. He'd bumped his head several times in the last week and he had an egg on his forehead from where he'd gone into the bookshelf the other day.
Braiden was cruising now at a sprint, but he still wouldn't let go, Harry was watching him more than normal, he had a feeling that Braiden would be taking his first, unsupported, steps any day now that he was sixteen months old.
Tegan was up on her feet and she was exuberantly happy about it as she cruised around and happily used Braiden's trampoline, a little penguin bouncing around her feet as she jumped.
Regan was up on his feet too and he was frustrated with his lack of being able to move further away from the furniture. He'd already tested taking a few steps without the furniture, but as soon as he let go, he fell to his knees without the support to hold him up.
Farren was shuffling himself around the floor to where he wanted to go, but he was still very content to sit and watch everyone and everything as he grew bigger and heavier daily. He was twenty-two pounds and thirty inches and growing steadily still. He weighed nearly the same as Braiden, who was just a pound heavier and there was half an inch between them. Farren would overtake Braiden in height and weight in the next few months, he'd bet money on it.
Leolin looked now like he was four months old, he'd been set back by his long stay in the hospital, but he was back to gaining some weight and he was now giggling up a storm whenever anyone said or did anything with him, whether Max played silly faces with him, if Nasta gave him a kiss and nuzzled him a bit, if Draco brushed his thin, black hair or nibbled on his fingernails to groom him, if Harry spoke to him or read to him from a book, but he definitely giggled the most when Blaise changed his nappy. He laughed so hard that the first time that he'd done so that they'd actually thought that he was choking.
Calix's cough had trailed off bit by bit until they'd turned around one day and realised that it had been two days since he'd last coughed and his throat was back to being pink and healthy looking. He'd had one rash in that time when he'd urinated in the night and hadn't cried to let them know that he needed a change, but even that was healing up nicely with Max's new paste.
Harry was happy and content as he sorted out Christmas and he made sure that he and all his mates sat down one evening to write out a full shopping list for everything that they needed for the week of Christmas, he didn't want any of them to have to leave the house for several days over Christmas exempting a crisis or emergency. Max and Blaise took Tegan, Regan and Farren to the supermarket the week after.
It was Monday the twenty-first of December when the first urge hit him. Harry was doing the laundry washing and he picked up a clean, warm jumper of Nasta's that he'd just been about to fold and he brought it to his nose and inhaled deeply, despite being through the washer and dryer, he could still detect a hint of Nasta in the fabric and that was it. He clocked where his mates were before he snuck out of the house and trudged through the snow to find a suitable nesting site.
He knew that he was against the time, it wouldn't take long for his mates to realise that he was missing; he couldn't have them finding his nest before he even started building it. His feet led him through the orchard and into the forest at the back of Max's house, he weaved through it and out the other side and into the field beyond and it was there that he found a small hole in a mound of snow covered earth. He sniffed at it and scented for danger, before he used his claws to make the hole bigger.
He slipped into the hole, like an underground burrow and the first thing that he did was reinforce it with magic. He warded it and cleaned it out, not that there was much in there, before he made it bigger and used his hands and his claws to make a good, solid nest for himself, rubbing his scent over it to keep away animals that would use his hard work for their own nests.
He put Nasta's jumper in the back of his nest and climbed back out of the hole and used the earth that he'd pushed out to make a rim over the entrance to prevent water from getting into his nest before he rushed back to the house, cleaned himself up quickly and went in through the back door quickly.
He listened hard, scented for his mates and nothing had changed, he could hear his mates talking quietly, could hear his babies at play and he let out a relieved sigh. He went back into the laundry room and finished off folding the dried clothes.
He left the little room loudly and made his way to the downstairs bathroom, again loudly. He didn't want his mates to think that he'd been anywhere other than in that little room folding clothes and towels.
He checked himself in the mirror, checked every inch of his clothes for something that his magic may have missed, anything that would make his mates suspicious, but there was nothing. He sighed in relief. Now he just needed his cold reddened cheeks to calm down and he would be all set.
Someone knocked on the door and Harry looked at it panicked.
"Harry? Are you okay, are you being sick?" Nasta's concerned voice asked.
Harry flushed the toilet and turned on the tap.
"No, one of our girls kicked my bladder and if I'd waited a second longer then I would have made a puddle on the floor."
Nasta chuckled softly. "Alright, do you want a cup of tea?"
"Please, with lots and lots of lemon!"
"If you eat any more lemon then those girls will come out bitter." Nasta joked.
Harry laughed. "I don't think it works like that. I'm eating lemon because our girls need it for some reason. Maybe they want the acid?"
"More like the vitamin C, but of course you couldn't just eat an orange, no, you gravitate towards the lemon."
Harry did a final check in the mirror, nodded at his appearance before he unlocked the door and walked into Nasta's body, holding him around the middle.
Nasta laughed at him and wrapped his arms around him in a huge hug.
"Did you finish the washing?" Nasta asked.
"Just about." Harry said with a smile.
"Go sit down then, I'll get the tea."
Harry nodded and broke away from Nasta and went into the living room. He actually felt guilty for keeping his nest a secret from his mates, he hated keeping anything from them, but as he beamed around at the living room, decorated to perfection with Christmas baubles, tinsel and sparkly decorations that kept his children's interest for hours, he knew that he'd have to keep this secret for a while more, he couldn't have anyone knowing where his nest was before it was ready, there was too much of a chance for strangers to find him and he couldn't put his twins in such danger, not his baby girls.
The snow had piled down and around the house to the point where Max had to shovel it away every morning just so they could open the front and back doors. Harry's nest was just a mound of snow and he liked it like that, it provided an extra layer of coverage and camouflage and as he stuffed two towels, a wicker basket and a faux fur blanket that he'd found in the back of a wardrobe into the hole, he realised that his nest was coming on nicely and it was cosy and comfortable. He liked being down here.
His mates had started making up a bottle of blood for him every morning for the past two days and he felt secure enough that if he started nesting, then he'd have a bottle to hand, though they were each taking a blood replenisher potion with their breakfasts. So he was doubly secure in the knowledge that even though they were losing a bit of blood daily, they were still topped up and healthy and able to protect him and his babies if it was needed.
Christmas had been relaxed and really slow paced. Harry had woken up first, mainly because a baby was squirming in his sac, partly because Blaise's knee had been jabbing into his back, and he'd had a shower and dressed himself in the dress robes that Draco had laid out for him the night before.
He had checked in on his little babies and had a peek into Calix's nappy because his second youngest son could happily sleep in a wet nappy before he went to start breakfast and lure his mates out of bed with tea and coffee.
The morning had been filled with helping their children open the plethora of gifts that they'd been given before cleaning up and leaving them to play as Max went to start on Christmas dinner.
Harry was happy and content and now the thirty-first was rapidly approaching and it was a rush to rip down Christmas decorations in preparation for the quintuplets first birthday. Harry was almost ashamed to steal one of the tiny knitted jumpers that Mrs Weasley had gifted to his children for his nest and when she came around for the quintuplets' birthday a few days later and asked about them, Harry made some excuse about an accident with breakfast to explain away the one missing jumper.
The house was filled to bursting, almost to the point where there was no room to move, they definitely needed a bigger house, but every time he brought it up, Nasta smiled at him and told him that it wasn't time yet. Harry had no idea what that meant but he was starting to feel cramped in his own home and with the birth of the twins now a little over two months away, they'd have a lack of bedrooms too, they'd already turned one spare bedroom into a nursery and they couldn't keep Braiden and the quintuplets all in the one bedroom when they were older and even then what if they had more babies too? They needed a bigger house and he was going to have to start really working on his mates to get them to move, he wouldn't have a lack of space for his babies.
Harry weaved as nimbly as he could through the guests, dodging around Marianna and Narcissa, ducking under Myron's arm and around the back of Aneirin, between Sanex and Caesar and he had to squeeze past Mrs Weasley and Kimberly, all just to reach the downstairs bathroom before his bladder took matters into its own hands.
At four in the afternoon they put all five babies into high chairs, Leolin stayed in Harry's arms, as Max put a little cupcake onto all of their trays as Draco cut the huge birthday cake for the guests. Harry couldn't believe that all of his children now were a year old or older. It made a strange feeling build inside him, he wanted more babies to cuddle, honestly, the twins couldn't be born soon enough in his opinion. He couldn't wait to hold them and the excitement he only got when he was so close to birth settled in his belly, he was almost six months pregnant, his girls were strong and healthy and though a Dracken baby could be viable at the far end of four months, six months was when they were viable with a strong chance of survival.
Farren lowered his head to his cake before they'd finished singing happy birthday, flicking his tongue out to lick and slobber all over it before taking a bite. Harry couldn't help laughing along with their guests.
Braiden pulled his to pieces and ate the chunks, Tegan lowered her head to nibble her cake and Regan pulled his cake to his mouth and nibbled it. Calix was uninterested in his food as he instead twisted and turned in his highchair, trying to stand up and, panicked and concerned, Draco rushed to secure him and hold his little shoulders, even as Calix complained and chattered angrily.
"No, da!" He whined.
"You can't stand up in your chair, Calix." He said sternly.
Draco sighed and unclipped him, picking him up and holding him up against his shoulder and Calix clapped his hands together, peering around at everyone interestedly.
"Dada day." Calix said patting Draco's cheek.
Draco chuckled and held a little hand, bringing it to his mouth. "I love you." He said easily and in front of everyone too, Harry was so proud of him.
After all of them had had some cake, it was time to say their goodbyes as Blaise and Max got the babies ready for their bath as Nasta and Draco played hosts. Harry supposed that made him the hostess, but as he was sat on his arse stuffing cake into his mouth, he didn't think that he counted. He took a swig of tea and smiled to himself, cradling Leolin gently as his youngest boy slept.
He accepted the hugs and kisses goodbye from everyone who wanted one, let the family run soft fingertips over Leolin's sleeping cheek, through his hair or over his hand and then suddenly, they were alone in their house that didn't seem as cramped or as small as it had an hour before.
"I'm so glad that's over and done with." Nasta sighed. "So much hassle for one day."
Harry nodded. "I know what you mean. They won't even remember it, I wouldn't mind if they were older, but all that hassle and rushing around for a day they won't even remember."
"At least we'll have the memories of it." Nasta smiled.
Harry grinned. "And we can show them that we gave them a good day through photos and the video footage. I can't wait to show a grownup Farren how he used to lick his cakes."
Nasta smirked. "I can't believe that Calix refused to even touch his."
"He did have one too many biscuits after his dinner." Harry allowed. "He probably wasn't hungry."
"Well they'll have their baths now, we'll let them play for a bit, give them a story and tuck them up into their cots. Then maybe we can have a bloody rest."
"We still have the clean up to do." Harry reminded with a groan.
"I think it can wait one night."
"Draco won't think so."
"Then Draco can damn well clean up." Nasta groused. "I just want to sit down and relax for an hour."
Harry smiled. "I know that feeling, especially with these two." He said as he laid a hand on his baby belly.
"Have I said before how gorgeous you look pregnant with my children?" Nasta said huskily, his voice deepening. "I can't wait until you give me two new baby daughters."
"Fred and George are beside themselves with glee, you know that these girls are going to be born terrors?"
Nasta chuckled. "I say Uncle Fred and Uncle George should have their own babies and stay away from our twins."
Harry laughed. "Oh, they're looking forward to meeting the girls; they told me that they were going to start on them early, as if we need more trouble making identical twins in the family."
Nasta helped him up and escorted him into the disaster zone that was their living room; there were piles of toys, clothes and books everywhere. They're tried to keep them into their separate piles according to who had been given what, but when the kids had all started digging into one another's gifts and playing with anything that came to hand, they gave up, especially when a very interested Braiden had gotten involved with a giggling Eleonora and a very forward Teddy.
Nasta pulled a face at the sight of everything.
"You know, I'd forgotten how bad this room actually was, I guess we will be cleaning up after all, there's no floor space and all these toys are just going to wind the kids up when they come back down."
"I'll take Leolin up for his bath so that you can use magic." Harry said with a smile as he forced himself back to his feet.
Nasta kissed him. "Thank you!" He said happily and gratefully.
Harry shook his head as he made the climb up the stairs to hand Leolin off to a very wet Max, taking an armful of dried and dressed Tegan and Farren.
He went back down the stairs and the living room was perfect and it made him feel more relaxed as he put Tegan and Farren down, groaning as his back twinged painfully as he stood back up.
"Sit down." Nasta admonished him, sitting beside him and digging his thumbs into Harry's lower back, massaging away the tension.
Harry groaned again but for a completely different reason this time. Nasta kissed his neck and Harry shivered.
"I love you so much." He sighed.
Nasta chuckled and his voice had gone deeper again as he whispered how much he loved him into his ear.
"Not getting too hot and bothered in here are you?" Max teased with a grin as he came into the room with a sleepy Regan and a babbling Braiden.
"Nas is making my lower back feel better." Harry said softly and with another pleasured groan.
"He's making something feel better." Max laughed.
He put the two boys in his arms down on the floor and then sat in front of Harry, one hand started rubbing his pregnant belly and the other cupped the back of his neck and those large, strong fingers kneaded the tension away from his neck and shoulder muscles. He groaned louder and allowed his body to let go of all the tension that he had and he sunk down in the chair.
Blaise just laughed when he came in with a yawning Calix and Draco shook his head, though he was very pleased to see that the room was clean and that the babies were content to snuggle with stuffed animals instead of crying for their more noisy, stimulating toys.
Harry flopped back onto Nasta and he cuddled in, he was exhausted after such a hectic few weeks, there had been so much to do and now…now there was nothing left for them to do, it was all over and Harry felt so very good about that.
He was handed a cup of tea and a slice of birthday cake and as they were sat down talking softly, that was when his attention was caught by Braiden standing up against the coffee table. He shushed his mates urgently, which brought their attention to Braiden too, Max dived for the camcorder they had been using all day which was on a side table.
"Mama?!" Braiden called out, hitting the top of the table with a flat hand.
"What's the matter, sweet one?" Harry asked.
"You have to come here, Braiden, I can't stand up, your baby sisters are in here and they make it hard for me to move."
"Come on." Harry encouraged, sitting forward and opening his arms. "You can come here, just let go and walk towards me, you're sixteen months old now, almost seventeen months, it's time for you to take a step out on your own."
"Ma ma, up!" Braiden said slapping his hand back onto the table.
Harry chuckled. "I'm not coming to get you, I'm too big, Braiden, you come here if you want a cuddle."
"Then you stay over there." Harry said simply.
Braiden's bottom lip trembled, but Harry really didn't think that he could get himself up off the chair, even if his boy started crying. Then Braiden sniffled, rubbed his eyes with a little hand and cruised around the table; he reached the edge and leant away from it, his hand still firmly on the top of it.
It would take him just four or five steps from the table to reach Harry, who was sat on the edge of the settee, his arms open wide.
He smiled at his oldest son and gave him an encouraging nod.
"Come for a cuddle, Braiden, you're such a big boy, you can take a few steps to me, can't you?"
Braiden looked unsure, but he teetered on the edge of the table, before he nodded and his hand slid over the surface of the table and he put one foot in front of the other and he took his first ever unsupported step towards him. Harry would have been severely proud of Braiden just for taking that one step, but his son kept going, one baby step after another.
It took six steps before Braiden reached him and Harry pulled him up onto his lap and peppered his face with kisses.
"I am so proud of you, Braiden!" Harry said with a proud grin. "You're growing so quickly and I can't believe you have finally taken your first steps, maybe now you'll start walking a bit more often."
Nasta slipped an arm around Harry and pulled him back to rest against him, Braiden coming with them and Nasta ruffled Braiden's hair as Max recorded them.
"I think that mop needs a trim." Max said from behind the camera.
"You think so?" Harry questioned as he run his fingers through Braiden's hair and let it slip back into place. "It doesn't cover his eyes yet, I think he'll be okay for another few weeks."
Nasta ruffled Braiden's hair again and their son giggled happily and clapped little hands together.
"I think on that accomplishment from Braiden it's time to settle them down for bed." Blaise said as he came to take Braiden from Harry and Nasta, kissing him hard and cuddling him tight much to Braiden's delight.
"Oh I just want to sleep." Harry said with a sigh. "These two are buggering up my insides."
"They better bloody not be." Max said as he put the camcorder down. "That's my job."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Stop being a pervert and carry me to bed. I want to go to sleep."
"Now who could refuse that offer?" Max said sarcastically. "Way to see in the New Year, Harry."
"Fuck the New Year, I'm heavily pregnant and I want my bed."
"Do as he says." Nasta said. "He's right, his health comes before anything, Max and we've had a busy few weeks, this is the first time that we've had to breathe and it's the first night that we've had the option of going to bed early."
"It's six o'clock." Draco pointed out.
"Still heavily pregnant." Harry said back. "My body doesn't care what time it is or what day it is, I didn't have a chance to have a nap today like I have for the last few days and I'm paying for it. I can't help being tired!"
Blaise picked him up and kissed him. "Ignore them, they wanted to see the New Year in together, but we all know how taxing pregnancy is on you, perhaps we can celebrate tomorrow, or even next year."
Harry nodded. "I don't mean to be a killjoy, you can stay up, of course, I just can't stay awake for another six hours…I'm exhausted and the last thing that I want to do is collapse again, I worry for our girls. I've already had two big falls in this pregnancy; I don't need a third, especially not in my sixth month. I'm so close to birthing them and they're viable, if I lost them now…" He trailed off, his throat clogged with emotion.
On that dropped bombshell, Blaise carried him up the stairs as Nasta instructed Max and Draco to herd up the children to get them into bed. Harry knew that he wouldn't sleep the whole night, he knew that he'd likely be awake at two or three in the morning, but he didn't care, he knew himself and he knew not to push himself in such a late stage of pregnancy, he was exhausted now, he wouldn't last even another hour. He knew that.
True to his prediction, when Harry woke up it was still dark outside and he was surrounded on all sides by four deeply sleeping men.
Harry tried to get back to sleep, but he knew that it was pointless when his mind started working coherently and he groaned mentally, sitting up and slipping as carefully out of the duvet and over the bed as he could, not easy given that he was six month pregnant, but he made it to the edge of the bed and found the floor with his foot without waking any of his mates, though Nasta did let out a soft growl, which Max answered just as softly.
He grabbed his clothes, made sure that he had everything that he needed, set up some towels and he took a long, luxurious bath, hoping to eat up an hour or two while relaxing himself in the warm water. He hadn't had anything but quick, convenient showers for the past month; it felt oh so good to have a long, relaxing bath when he knew that he had absolutely nothing to do for the next several hours.
He dressed in a jumper and jeans and he checked in on Leolin in his bassinet, who was sleeping peacefully, before he left his bedroom and went to the nursery next door. He checked on his babies, checked Calix's nappy and noticing that he was wet, he took him out of his pine cot and changed him gently, his year old son murmuring gently as his lower body was jostled around as he slept.
Harry gave him a kiss and lowered him back into his cot and secured the side back into place. He went down the stairs and had a cup of tea to wake himself up fully, he had a good breakfast and a good hour and a half to himself to just sit and relax, but then it hit him, the urge to leave his home and go to stay in his nest.
He went up the stairs and dug through his babies' dressers, getting out some of the new bodysuits that had never been used, he got nappies and spare bottles, formula powder, a big bottle of water before he found the cord clamps that Max had gotten for the quintuplets that he'd never gotten to use in the kitchen drawer and he slipped the bottle of blood his mates had made up yesterday morning into the backpack last, right on the top so that he knew that he had it, it was the most important thing that he needed to bring with him. He left through the back door without even looking back.
He dug the freshly fallen snow from the entrance to his nest and he pushed the backpack into the hole first and then climbed in after it, his belly only just fitting. He took off his clothes and shivered in the cool air, but he used his clothes as a barrier over the opening to his nest and he snuggled himself down in the many fur blankets that he'd found and lined his nest with.
He had everything that he needed for the moment, so he pulled out all of his Dracken attributes, keeping his wings folded into his back as he didn't actually have the room to stretch them out in his little burrow and he settled himself down for his nesting period. He'd have his baby girls in his arms soon, until then, he needed to preen and prepare himself for his coming labour.
A/N: Harry is nesting and his mates don't even know it! That's going to be a shock for them when they wake up and find him missing.
Huge thanks to alaskanwoman25 for being the 11,100th reviewer!
Lizzosaur: It's not just semen, Harry could need different fluids with each pregnancy, or even different fluids at different stages, this includes blood, semen, sweat, saliva…it was very subtle, but Harry's been deepening every kiss he's been getting, he's wanted saliva with the twins more than anything else. He won't want semen with every pregnancy.
TigerInTheMoonlight: No, with identical twins it is very possible for one to be a Dracken and the other to be human. The Dracken genes are incredibly selective and if both of them are Drackens, then again it is very possible for one to be a dominant and one to be submissive. An example of this is Max's Aunts Kyra and Kyrie. They're identical twins and Kyra is a dominant Dracken and Kyrie is human.
1. Braiden Blaise Enzo Zabini - 14 August 1997
2. Farren Deon Maddison - 31 December 1997
3. Tegan Lowri Potter-Delericey – 31 December 1997
4. Regan Aneirin Delericey – 31 December 1997
5. Calix Bowen Black – 31 December 1997
6. Leolin Siorus Potter – 31 December 1997
7. E – 18 January 1999
8. A – 18 January 1999
9. Taren – 3 February 2000
10. Lai – 20 October 2000
11. Xabiere Xanthus Xerxes – 23 February 2002
12. Mace Myron Maddison – 16 November 2002
13. Evie – 16 November 2002
14. Mollie Marianna Potter-Zabini – 9 April 2003
15. Ceri – 2 March 2004
16. Jay – 2 March 2004
17. Eaffan – 2 March 2004
18. Sae – 2 March 2004
19. Ser – 10 May 2006
20. Sen – 10 May 2006
21. Lian – 11 December 2007
22. Fee – 17 July 2008
23. Vie – 17 July 2008
24. Luce – 17 July 2008
25. Lore – 3 October 2009
26. Ric – 24 September 2010
27. Lanie – 24 September 2010
Allebasii: Not every submissive needs a grounding mate, but if a submissive is very magically powerful and the amount of dominants needed to get them pregnant is not enough to absorb all of the submissive's magic, then a grounding mate is needed and they're used to just absorb that little bit extra that the previous dominants can't take in. They cannot use the magic and it doesn't make them any more powerful than they were before they mated, they're used by the submissive, to help them conceive and to help them keep control as magical outbursts can be dangerous to those around the submissive and to the children, not for any other reason.
No they can't have more than one inheritance; it's why none of Remus' and Tonk's children can be Drackens even though Tonks carries Black blood through her Mother, the Dracken genes will not manifest in any baby which is imperfect, which the half werewolf genes the baby will get from Remus will make that baby. A better example will be between Harry and Nasta, because Nasta carries Faerie genes, but there is no way a baby between them could be half Dracken, half Faerie, the baby will be one or the other or neither, not a mix of them, though that said all the babies are carriers, like Calix, who is a wizard, carries Dracken genes in his blood, so even though he isn't a Dracken himself, his children could still be born Drackens.
As for a Dracken being bitten by a werewolf, I don't think it would happen, not only can Drackens fly, but their claws and fangs are dangerous, they'd likely kill any werewolf that came near them, not to mention their scales, which need a very sharp, thin edge to get through them, I don't think a werewolf's teeth or claws would penetrate a Dracken's scales, but if they were somehow bitten in human form, I don't think the werewolf genes would be strong enough to take over the Dracken genes, so nothing would happen.
Khaleesi Black-Wayland: No, Tonks' dad was named Edward, of which Ted and Teddy are the short names of, thus Teddy's full name, if we stick to canon and he's named for Tonks' Father, means that he's an Edward too.
DarkFasha564: Max's sisters, Julinda, Talia and Alayla are all human, they're all witches, but only Julinda is married currently.
J.K. Rowling said that James' parents both died of natural causes before James and Lily married and well before Harry was conceived, I'm sticking with the canon version, so Harry's paternal grandparents are both dead, but they died of natural causes.
So we've found out now that Harry is having identical twin girls! Anyone want to change their guesses now? We will have the birth in the next chapter, I'm not sure when it'll be up, but I'm hoping now in the next few weeks, I need to sort out my other fics too, Damaged Bodies, Lycan Factory and I'm hoping to work on The Pride of the Lions too, it's been too long and I've given Drackens too much of my focus and attention, so hopefully I'll get something for those out too, but until then I'll see you soon,
StarLight Massacre. X