Epilogue: Life Goes On
Draco stood in the doorway, watching Harry. He smiled as he saw the raven struggling to get to his feet from his perch on the floor, his pregnant belly cumbersome.
"Here, love," the blond said as he stepped forward, skirting around the children sprawled on the floor. He held out his hand, grasping Harry's and gently pulling him up. Groaning, the raven made it to his feet and staggered to the sofa, collapsing on it and grumbling under his breath. A soft chuckle erupted from the blond, and he sat next to his husband, his hand gently caressing the graceful swell of Harry's belly. Harry sighed, cuddling into Draco's side and enjoying the attentions. "Won't be much longer, and you'll have to take paternity leave again," the blond murmured softly. Harry hummed his agreement, his emerald eyes drifting closed. Draco looked around the family room, at the children in various states of sprawl all over the room, and he grinned.
Their first children, a set of fraternal twins, were conceived with a surrogate. Draco and Blaise, as well as Harry, had infused the growing fetuses with their magic and DNA, ensuring that the children would be theirs. At the hospital, the men watched in fascination as the surrogate gave birth, first to the boy. He was born with the sharp, pointed Malfoy features, silver eyes, and platinum hair. As Draco held his firstborn son, he groaned.
"Of all the things he could have inherited from you, Harry," the blond grumbled good-naturedly, "it had to be that rat's nest you call hair." Thick unruly blonde locks covered the babe's head, and everyone in the room chuckled. The girl was born moments later, a mirror image of Blaise. He held his daughter, his eyes full of such love it made Harry's throat tighten with tears. After the fathers held their children for a while, each child was handed to Harry, so he could cuddle their tiny bodies. He looked into perfect little faces that were stunning images of his greatest loves, and tears finally spilled over.
"Have we decided on names yet?" he asked roughly, his voice thick with emotion.
"I would like to name our son Scorpius Draconis, if that's all right," Draco said quietly, looking at the boy nestled safely in Harry's warm embrace. Emerald eyes locked with silver, and Harry nodded, greatly pleased at the strong name. Blaise stepped up to Harry's other side, looking into his daughter's angelic face.
"I want her name to be Bethany Rose," he said softly. Harry nodded his approval, brushing a soft kiss to the little girl's nose. She wrinkled it, yawning, and everyone laughed in joy and delight.
The next child conceived was also through a surrogate. This time it was a strong, healthy boy, the spitting image of Harry. Black hair fell into emerald eyes, and Harry thought the child could not be more perfect.
"Harry?" Draco's voice was soft and gentle, so as not to startle either father or child. Blaise had cuddled next to the raven, looking into the enchanting face of their son. "Have you decided what you want to name him?"
"I'd like to name him Corvus James, if that's all right?" Draco's eyes widened in surprise.
"When did you find time to research constellations?"
"Erm…Lucius helped me. He's been teaching me astronomy, and helping me to understand the stars' alignments better, and how they influence things like growing seasons and such. I found this constellation and loved the strong name."
"I think it's brilliant," Draco said softly, looking at their little crow. Blaise hummed his agreement, kissing Harry gently on his cheek.
The next set of identical twins was carried by Harry. As he watched the surrogates give birth to their children, his heart burst with longing. In secret, he did all kinds of research, until he found a Potions Master who had perfected a potion that would permit wizards to carry children. Though the potion was exorbitant in price, and very experimental in nature, it was well worth it when he felt the first stirrings of morning sickness a few weeks after a vigorous night of lovemaking.
Harry had taken the potion, as prescribed, three hours before they went to bed, and he was hornier than he'd ever remembered being when the elixir kicked in. He had kept Blaise and Draco up for hours, ensuring that the conception would take. The next morning, all three men grumbled and groused exhaustedly as they crawled from the bed, showering and getting ready for a long day at work.
So here it was, several weeks later, and he was puking his guts out. Through it all, he was grinning like a loon, causing his husbands to throw worried glances at him throughout the day. They had wanted to take him to a Healer, to get him checked, but he demurred. He didn't want to say anything until he could be sure, and he only knew of a very select few healers that had ever dealt with male pregnancies. So that Saturday he flooed to the private healer's office, where it was confirmed. Harry was pregnant. Overjoyed, he flooed back home to wait for his husbands to return from the vineyards. Blaise had wanted to show Draco what he was planning for the winery, and Harry was fairly thrumming with anticipation by the time they had returned.
"Harry?" Blaise was eyeing the raven worriedly. That loony grin was plastered all over the brunet's face, and Draco and Blaise were starting to fear for the boy's mind.
"Everything's brilliant, Blaise," he answered softly. He patted the couch on either side of himself, inviting the men to sit. They did so with great trepidation, waiting for the other shoe to drop. "I'm pregnant," he announced, the joy vibrating in his voice. Stunned silence met this announcement, and the boy looked from one man to the other, noting the looks of astonishment on their faces. When the silence stretched into uncomfortably long minutes, Harry began to shift on the couch, his joy dimming. Finally, Draco shook himself free of the shock and, seeing the brightness fading from emerald eyes, smiled and engulfed the raven in a fierce hug. Blaise grabbed the boy from behind, and they squeezed the stuffing out of him, letting him know without words that they were excited and glad and overjoyed at the news.
The pregnancy was monitored closely, and went very smoothly. When the time for birth came, everyone rushed to the hospital, where a caesarian was performed. The beautiful twin girls were delivered late that evening, to the oohs and aaahs of everyone as they looked at pale skin, blonde hair, and deep brown eyes. Harry lay in the bed, exhausted and aching, but happier than he'd ever been. Our babies, he thought deliriously. The fathers held their precious bundles as Narcissa kept an eye on the other children, and they stepped to either side of the bed, looking at the raven with such pride and love that he blushed hotly.
"Have you decided on names yet?"
"Yes, I have," Harry answered. He looked at the child in Draco's arms. "Her name will be Narci Lynn." Narcissa squeaked as she heard this. Looking at the girl in Blaise's arms, he continued. "Her name will be Cissa Lee." Narcissa, her hands full, could only stare at the raven in the bed, stunned. He looked at her and smiled. "I wanted to name them after the woman who became the closest thing to a mother that I've ever had. You've been there for me, even before our relationship, and I love you fiercely."
The floo in the other room activated, and a booming voice vibrated through the house. Harry jerked awake, startled, and Draco wrapped his arm around the boy, calming and soothing him. The baby kicked and squirmed inside the raven at Harry's startlement, and the blond gently stroked Harry's belly, calming the baby as only he could. Squeals of delight rang through the family room as every child erupted from the floor.
"Grandfather!" As one, the children gathered around the man who had entered the room, jumping excitedly. Lucius beamed at his grandchildren, his stormy grey eyes full of love. He looked at the sofa, his smile softening at the condition of his son-in-law. He walked over to the couch, perching on the low table in front of the seat and taking Harry's hand. "How are you feeling?" Harry blushed, smiling happily at his father-in-law.
"It's getting harder to move," he answered, "but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I do believe that this young man will be the last, though." Lucius' eyebrows rose at the news.
"You know it will be a boy?" Harry nodded, thrilled. "Have you decided on a name yet?" Harry shook his head, smiling.
"I thought maybe you and Narcissa could come up with a name for this one," he said softly. Lucius' grey eyes filmed with unexpected tears, and he had to blink rapidly for several moments to get himself under control.
"We'd be honored," he said quietly, beaming. He leaned forward and brushed a gentle kiss to the raven's forehead, pride and overwhelming love for the boy flooding his being. Harry did as he promised me, the man thought wonderingly. He has filled my Draco's house with Malfoys. Strong, intelligent children that will one day rule the wizarding world.
"Harry? Everyone will be here shortly," Blaise said gently, trying to rouse the drowsy raven. The brunet rolled onto his back, groaning, and tried to sit up without success. Blaise slid an arm under the young man's back and helped him into a sitting position, before grabbing his hands and helping him to his feet.
"Who's coming?" Harry asked, still sleepy.
"Well, Ron and Astoria Weasley, with their twins; Hermione and Theo Nott, with their four; Molly and Arthur; George and Angelina Weasley, with their child; Romulus Lupin will be bringing Teddy; Pansy and Terry Boot with their three; I think that's about it." Harry's eyes had steadily grown wider and wider as the list of visitors grew, and he gasped harshly.
"How the bloody hell am I going to get everything ready before they get here?" he bellowed. "I have to decorate the family room. I have to get the food ready. I have to clean the house. Merlin, I haven't even taken a shower yet. Why didn't you get me up earlier?" Blaise snickered at the panicked look in his husband's eyes, and rushed to calm the raven.
"Relax, Harry," he said softly. "Lucius and Narcissa are here, as well as an army of house elves, and they've been working diligently to make sure everything is perfect. All you need to do is shower and dress, and I'll meet you downstairs." Blaise started to leave, but a hand arrested his progress. He looked into tired emerald eyes, and smiled.
"Would you help me? I can't seem to reach the places I need to anymore," the raven whined. Blaise chuckled and escorted the very pregnant man into the bathroom, turning on the shower and adjusting the temperature. He turned to see Harry struggling to lift his leg, to remove his trousers, and not having much success. Laughing softly, Blaise knelt and helped Harry lift his feet free from the trouser legs, before he stood and gently pulled the shirt over the other man's head. He stared at his husband for a few moments, love glimmering deeply in dark eyes. Harry blushed at the look, embarrassed at his shape. Soft, warm hands caressed his bulging belly, and the baby within spun and turned slowly, responding to the touch and magic of his papa. He gently nudged the other man into the shower, slathering body wash over the rotund form and softly stroking along pale skin. Harry's cock twitched at the contact, but couldn't muster enough energy to harden, and the raven groaned, disappointed.
"It's fine, Harry," Blaise said. "You go into hospital on Saturday, and you'll be back to normal in no time." Gusting a huge sigh, the raven stood still as Blaise continued to gently bathe him. Finished, he tugged the man from the shower and carefully toweled him dry, before dressing him in loose robes. Wrapping his fingers around Harry's hand, he tugged the raven out the door and down the stairs, entering the family room. Harry's eyes widened as he took in the room, gasping in delight.
Garlands and ribbons hung from every available surface. The tree, fully decorated, stood in the corner near the fireplace, and Saint Nicholases littered many of the tabletops. The children were covered with tinsel, and were vigorously engaged in a tinsel war, flinging the strands everywhere. Lucius was roaring with laughter at their antics, and house elves were bustling about frantically, trying to neaten and straighten up the room, even as the children continued to destroy it. Blaise cleared his throat, and all eyes swiveled to him, widening at the huge grin on their dad's face.
"Papa, Dad," Scorpius gasped. "We didn't know you were up yet. We'll get this straightened up right away." Turning, he barked orders to the other children, and in no time the room was spotless, with nary a decoration out of place. Harry approached his eldest, pride in his emerald eyes.
"Well done, Scorpius. You will definitely be a force to be reckoned with when you attend school next term." Smiling widely, Scorpius carefully hugged his dad, before going to stand beside his papa.
"Where's Father?" he asked. Harry turned, wanting the answer to that question as well.
"He's…got something he needed to do."
"On Christmas?" Harry asked incredulously. Blaise nodded sheepishly, trying to head off Harry's ire.
"There were some last minute details he needed to take care of." Lucius knew what his son was up to, and smirked. Green eyes narrowed on his father-in-law, and the man ducked his head, quickly darting out of the room and into the kitchen. He stopped in the doorway, stunned as he saw his wife covered with flour and grinning. Narci and Cissa were on either side of her, and they were also covered with flour. The house elves were standing near the stove, wringing their hands fretfully as they watched the Malfoy matriarch and children make an even bigger mess of their kitchen.
"Darling," his voice boomed out, full of amusement. All three girls jumped at the sound, and spun toward the doorway. Lucius couldn't hold it in any longer, and rich, deep laughter rolled from his chest. Draco flooed in, and stopped, shocked, as he listened to his father's laughter rumbling through the house. He strode from the floo room, chuckling along with the infectious laughter, and stepped into the family room. He watched as Harry tried to hunker down beside Corvus, but he couldn't seem to arrange his legs without falling to the floor. Draco stepped forward quickly, preventing a nasty spill into the low table that Corvus was using as a desk by grabbing the raven's elbow. He shook his head fondly at the brunet as wide green eyes flew to his face, and embarrassment colored him pink.
"Draco," Harry murmured, love rich in his voice. He opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by shrieks.
"Father!" his children yelled as they gathered around him. He gently caressed every head, leaning down to brush kisses to foreheads, eyes and cheeks before he carefully guided the raven to the sofa, seating him. He sat beside his husband, hand automatically going to the belly to caress, making the raven purr in contentment. Harry's irritation was forgotten as the blond lavished him with loving affection. Children crawled and climbed over their father, careful not to jostle their dad, and hugged him fiercely. Chuckles preceded the elder Malfoys as they entered the family room, and silver eyes widened in shock as they took in the condition of his mother, before snickers escaped.
"So, Mother," Draco said with great amusement, "is there any flour left for the cakes and cookies?" She scowled at her son, before turning her irritation on her husband.
"I would not still look like this if your father hadn't have accio'd my wand. Dearest," she turned pleading eyes to her husband, "please, for the love of Merlin, a cleaning charm before the guests arrive?" Chuckling, Lucius murmured the charm, and Narcissa, as well as Narci and Cissa, were spotless. The girls barreled over to their father, taking care not to bump their dad, and received their own hugs and kisses from the blond.
"So, Draco, were you able to finish what you needed to?" Blaise asked from his perch beside the fireplace.
"I have," the blond answered. Harry huffed and looked at his plotting husband with irritation, eyebrow cocked in inquiry. Smiling, Draco continued. "I've bought an abandoned farmhouse with about three hundred acres. Father had been talking about a primary school for the muggleborns, and this piece of land would be perfect." He turned to Harry, blushing at the look of admiration in the raven's eyes. "Happy Christmas, love."
Corvus crawled into Blaise's lap, and was humming as he colored on a piece of paper. Blaise watched as the boy carefully created a fanciful picture of…something. Bending down, he murmured in the boy's ear.
"What are you creating, Corvus?" The raven looked up, his emerald eyes sparkling.
"I'm making a new magical creature," he said softly. Of all the children, Corvus was the quietest. He was shy and calm, and rarely joined in with the hijinks of his brothers and sisters. His imagination was boundless, and many times the creations he drew would come to life, if only for a brief time as his powerful magic flowed through the paper and colors.
"What do you call it?" The boy looked at the picture for a time, a thoughtful frown on his face. Finally, he looked at his parents, his grandparents, and his brothers and sisters.
"I call it Love."
"Harry!" Ron's voice vibrated through the floo room as he greeted his best friend. He strode forward and very gently took the raven in his arms, giving him a hug. Harry hugged the redhead back, pounding him on the back. Astoria stood back for a moment, allowing the men to have their moment, before she stepped forward and softly kissed Harry on the cheek.
"Harry," she said quietly, her blue eyes glowing. He looked at her, and his raven brow quirked.
"Is there something you wish to share with us?" he asked, already knowing the answer. Ron blushed, his face breaking into a huge grin.
"We're pregnant!" he trumpeted, excitement trembling through his voice. The twins stood beside their mother, and they looked less than thrilled. Harry looked at them, and bent forward to talk to them.
"Why aren't you two more excited? You're going to have a baby brother or sister." They looked at him, then crooked a finger, beckoning him to a quiet corner of the room.
"We don't want to have to change dirty nappies," they whispered in unison. Their blond hair gleamed in the firelight, and their blue eyes were sad.
"You won't have to change dirty nappies," Harry whispered back. "Magic will take care of all of that. Tell me what the real problem is." The twins blushed and dropped their eyes to the floor.
"We're afraid Mum and Dad will love this baby more than us," Daniel said quietly. Erick agreed, his eyes never lifting from the floor. Harry smiled, understanding in his eyes.
"Your parents could never love this baby more than you," he said softly. "The baby will need more care and attention at first, but that doesn't mean that your mum or dad love you any less. New babies take a lot of time; they also need the protection of their older brothers. You two will be very important to this new baby. You will be its protectors, guardians, and teachers. The baby won't know anything at first, and will need you to show it how to be a proper Weasley." Blue eyes lit up, and the twins looked at their parents. Ron had heard most of the conversation, and he nodded to his boys, to let them know that Uncle Harry was right. They wrapped their arms around the raven's neck and squeezed before running from the room to hunt down the rest of the children.
Hermione and Theo had already arrived with their brood, and they were all in the playroom with the Malfoy children. Just as the Weasleys and Harry started to exit, George flooed in, followed by little Fred and Angelina. The boy's caramel-colored skin glowed in the soft firelight, and rich brown eyes looked at everyone.
"Hello, Fred," Harry said softly, smiling at the boy. Fred grinned back at his favorite uncle, walking up to him and tugging on his hand. Harry bent down, and the boy brushed as shy kiss to Harry's cheek. Harry turned his head and kissed the boy's cheek in return. "Everyone is in the playroom," he whispered, pushing the boy toward the door. Needing no coaxing, the child pelted from the room, excited squeals greeting him as he entered the playroom.
"So, Saturday's the big day," George said amiably as the adults filtered out of the floo room. Harry nodded, gusting out a huge sigh. "Have you decided what to name him yet?"
"Actually, we've given that decision to Lucius and Narcissa," Harry answered. "They haven't told us yet. I guess we'll find out at the birthing." Loud laughter erupted from the playroom, and everyone took a detour, to look in on the children.
Teddy was holding center stage, showing off his rapidly growing metamorphmagus skills by changing his face, his hair, and his body shape. As he did this, Scorpius and Corvus entertained everyone by telling a story surrounding the various changes. As the story changed, Teddy morphed himself into whatever character or creature Corvus could come up with. Lucius and Narcissa were sitting in a corner of the room, watching the children, fascinated by the story and the creativity of their grandchildren.
"You should be proud," Ron murmured in Harry's ear. "You and the Slytherins have gifted the wizarding world with some amazing people."
"Oh, I am," Harry replied. "But, as you can see, your own children are pretty amazing as well." The adults continued to stand in the door for a moment longer, watching with pride as their children showed what they were made of.
"Ok, Harry, we're ready to begin," the Healer said softly. "You've done this before." Nodding, the raven braced himself, waiting for the sting as the Healer's wand made the incision that would allow her to remove the child from Harry's body. Mediwitches stood by with blankets and cloths, waiting to clean and prepare the baby after the birth. Draco and Blaise stood on either side of the bed, at Harry's head, holding his hands. Everyone but Narcissa was waiting in the visitor's lounge, the Malfoy matriarch still at the house, watching the children. She and Lucius had discussed the name for the child, and Lucius was there to bless him when he was born. A loud cry had everyone in the outer room stopping, and silence fell. Draco burst through the doors, jumping up and down.
"He's here," the blond gasped with joy, "and he's beautiful." He ran back into the room, followed moments later by Arthur, Molly, Lucius, Ron and Hermione. They all gathered around the bed, looking at the boy in his dad's arms. The child had thick brown, curly hair and mahogany skin. His facial features were distinctly Malfoy, and when he blinked open sleepy eyes, everyone gasped at their clear emerald color.
"He's the perfect blend of us all," Blaise murmured softly, his brown eyes soft. The baby yawned tiredly, drifting back to sleep. Draco stroked a finger along one chubby fist, and the tiny fingers reflexively grabbed the digit. The blond beamed, eyes shimmering with tears as he looked at their child. Harry looked up at his father-in-law expectantly.
"Have you decided on a name for him, Lucius?"
"Narcissa and I discussed it for a long time. We know how much you love us, and how much you loved Sirius. We thought his name should be Orion Severus, if that pleases you." Emerald eyes shimmering with unshed tears, the raven nodded.
"Thank you," he whispered brokenly, overcome. He looked into his son's sleeping face, kissing the tiny nose gently. "Orion Severus. It's perfect."
"Our family is complete," Draco murmured. "We are whole…"