The Rise of the Drackens

Harry comes into a very unexpected inheritance. He is a creature both rare and very dangerous, a creature that is black listed by the British Ministry. So now he must avoid detection at all costs, whilst choosing his life partners and dealing with impending pregnancy at just sixteen. With danger coming not just from the Ministry but even other creatures, what was he supposed to do?


94. Chapter Eighty-Nine – Saints Patience Part 1

Nasta felt like he'd been beaten to within an inch of his life and then served up cold the next morning. He had known that the girls being on different schedules would be hard to manage, but he'd had absolutely no idea exactly just how hard it would have been to deal with. Every three hours, first one baby would wake them up for a bottle and then just as they were all drifting back to sleep after sorting her out and getting her back to sleep, the other one would wake up. So even though the twins woke every three hours, the four of them only got an hour and a half, maybe two hours' worth of sleep if they were lucky in that time and through it all Harry slept like a rock. He never stirred; he didn't so much as twitch, not even once, at the ear piercing wails just beside the bed.

Not that Nasta held it against him, of course not, Harry had done his part amazingly well and he was happy to take over for a couple of days while Harry recovered and rested after his ordeal. It was more that he was surprised that Harry could sleep though all the feedings, he had been correct after all, the girls were loud, incredibly loud, in their demands for their milk.

He'd been worried that he might have to ward the nursery next door so that none of their other babies were woken up with the noise, but amazingly no matter how loudly one baby cried, she never woke up her twin, the other baby slept peacefully through it all just next to her screaming sister, just like their Mother. He wanted to know their secret to blocking out the noise.

Nasta was the only one awake at the moment and he had both twins with him and six babies crawling around his feet after he'd done the breakfast feedings all on his own…well, Leolin wasn't crawling about anywhere, but he was on the floor for once, flat on his back in a padded baby gym. He hadn't moved an inch, his arms still straight by his sides, but the shiny shaped mirror floating over his head was holding his avid attention. He'd managed to feed and supervise all eight of them and the worst that had happened was Braiden getting the yolk of his soft boiled egg in his hair along with a smear of butter from his little toast soldiers. Nasta considered that a success.

Now he had one twin in his left arm, he'd long since forgotten if she was the older or the younger twin, they were completely and utterly identical to his eyes, though he was sure that as he got used to them and they aged he'd get better at telling them apart, but for now, it was impossible until one of them opened their mouth to scream for a feed.

"Dada Nah?" Braiden asked as he toddled unsteadily over to him.

"Are you alright, Braiden?" He asked softly.


"Your Mother is upstairs sleeping, Braiden."

Braiden nodded his head, but his indigo eyes looked to the baby in his arms curiously.

"Oo at?" He asked and Nasta wished fervently that he had a video camera to hand, Braiden was growing by the day and his vocabulary in particular was picking up after suffering a lapse when Braiden had first found his feet. It was stunning to see the advanced effect that the Dracken genes had on his development.

"This is your new baby sister." He told him softly. "You need to be very quiet and gentle with her."

Braiden, who had been reaching out a hand to touch the baby, pulled it back sharply and looked up at him unsurely. Nasta smiled and took his still tiny hand in his own and held it as he helped Braiden pet his new sister, his little finger tips barely brushing her skin and soft hair.

The girls' hair had gone paler still this morning and Nasta grinned to see it, curling a lock of it around his finger; they really did have a lot of hair for newborns. It was a soft, pale brown at the moment and it was starting to curl as it dried. He'd known it would go curly ever since Harry had said that they'd been born with their hair stuck straight up.

Max shuffled into the room and he looked at him blearily.

"Good morning." Nasta greeted with a smirk.

"How are you even awake?" He groaned as he flumped next to him and immediately robbed one of the little girl's from his arms. "They're so loud! My ears are still ringing."

"I'm up out of necessity, our children needed their breakfasts, one of us had to get up to sort them all out and it wasn't going to be anyone else but me, Harry hasn't moved all night."

"I need to reapply the scar reducer salve to him soon. Merlin it was bad this time, Nas."

Nasta nodded. "It's been a while since he was last pregnant and with the quintuplets birth, what with his sac ripping, that was a bad birth and even with the scar reducer he still had a faint scar left behind, he's just ripped through it yet again, it's bound to make it a look a little worse."

Max nodded thoughtfully, but his eyes were all for the little girl in his arms. He was completely smitten, just like the rest of them.

"She's gorgeous." Max whispered reverently.

Nasta nodded his agreement, but his attention was diverted by Blaise coming into the room.

"I feel like death warmed over." He said miserably.

"You look worse." Max relied with a grin and Blaise gave him a solid thwack, which made him laugh all the more.

"Behave yourselves." Nasta said with a long suffering sigh.

"You're asking the impossible there." Draco said just as he walked into the room.

"Dada Day!" Calix called out and immediately went up onto his knees and lifted his arms high above his head.

Draco chuckled but bent down and hefted Calix up under his arms and held him against his chest, settling him into his arms, giving him a morning kiss when Calix demanded it.

"Have you been alright this morning, Calix?" He asked, his voice still a little gruff around the edges from sleep.

Calix went into a stream of babbling and burbling, an odd word thrown in here or there for good measure, but Draco just nodded seriously and hummed at intermittent points.

"Was Harry still asleep when you woke up?" Nasta asked.

Draco nodded to him. "Like a rock, I think he's going to sleep for another several hours at least. He didn't even stir when I unwrapped myself from him."

Nasta nodded. "That's alright, let him rest and recover. He ate before he went to sleep, so I'm not too concerned about him missing a few meals. He ate well in his nest too, we fed him well."

"How are the girls?"

"Sleeping at the moment, we need to get some new sleepsuits and bodysuits for them, the ones we have are either too small or too baggy, it's not too much of a problem as they are going to grow, but the oldest girl, or at least I think that one is the oldest, she pulls her legs to curl up to her chest, but because the sleepsuit is so baggy, her legs come out of the leg parts and then when she stretches out again, both legs go into the same leg hole and then she gets stuck."

Max laughed at that. "That's just begging for an accident to happen, I'll pick some up today after work, I have to go in, just for an hour to oversee a shipment. I just have to check on the quality of the potions we're shipping out."

"Remember that Harry will not have any sort of slogan on them." Blaise warned.

Max nodded. "I don't like it either, so no problems there."

"Do you think we will be able to send the birth certificates off today? Hedwig is back to attacking Esmeralda over Saracen; one of them needs a flight."

"It depends on whether Harry is up to naming our girls later." Nasta said. "But if he's not then just let him rest."

It took a further three hours for Harry to wake up at half past one in the afternoon. All of their babies were down for their naps after their lunches and Max had left for work after fending off his insistent, excited family members who wanted to visit the newborn twins.

Harry shuffled slowly into the kitchen, being careful of his very sore stomach, to where Nasta was doing paperwork and Blaise was cooing over one girl as Draco fed the other, his shirt sleeves rolled to his elbows and his solid forearm muscles were bulging as he cradled a tiny four pound baby to his chest, leaning his lower back against the counter like some eye candy model for a Mother and Baby magazine.

"How are you feeling?" Nasta asked, shoving his paperwork aside as he stood up to come to Harry and hug him.

"Like I slept for a week." Harry chuckled.

"Not quite a week, but a good analogy all the same." Blaise nodded.

Nasta got him to sit down and made him a cup of honey tea and a plate of lightly buttered toast.

Harry ate like a starved man so Nasta tossed him a pear as well and Harry saluted him with it, before tearing into it like it was a prime steak.

"Max left instructions for you to have a bath or a shower, though a bath would put less pressure on your muscles and then you are to let me apply that scar salve."

"Where is Max?" Harry asked. "Work?"

"He had to go in for an hour or so, just to oversee a quality assessment before a large shipment of potions is sent out to various clinics and apothecaries all over Britain. He's going to pick up some sleepsuits on his way home too."

"I hope you told him no stupid slogans, I don't want any slogans on any of them."

"He remembered." Draco said with a smirk as he burped the little girl in his arms.

"Let me hold her." Harry demanded.

"You need to go and have a bath first." Draco argued. "You're filthy and my little queens have already been bathed today."

Harry cocked an eyebrow. "Queens?"

Draco nodded. "They'll be treated better than royalty!" He declared seriously.

"He's been doing this all morning." Blaise chuckled. "I think he's in love."

Harry laughed, but it made his stomach muscles throb so he stopped abruptly and pressed a hand to it.

"Bath, now." Nasta ordered. "Then we can get that salve on you and maybe you would benefit from taking a mild pain reliever too. Do you want some help?"

But Nasta was already packing his paperwork up and away before Harry could even answer. Harry went to the downstairs bathroom and started running a hot, deep bath. He was looking forward to this, he hadn't bathed or even washed in nearly three weeks, he felt dirty and grubby. He was dirty and grubby. Smelly too.

Nasta came in with a collection of potions in his hands and Harry stared at them.

"Let me guess, Max's orders?" Harry said with an indulgent smile.

Nasta nodded as he tipped two of the potions into the water. "Yes, a muscle relaxant to help with any aches and pains that you have and an antibacterial potion to help kill any viruses or bugs that are on your skin, it was Max's idea to use the latter, just in case, so we don't spread anything to Leolin."

Harry nodded seriously, sobered up with that thought and he pulled off the plasters stuck to him with a grimace as they were glued to the tiny hairs of his belly, all but ripping out the soft black hairs that went from his belly button to his groin, even catching the tops of his pubic hair which were also ripped out when h tore off the plasters and made his eyes stream with tears. He peeled back the gauze with an even bigger grimace at the state of the scar on his body and the mess that the salve had made before he stepped into the hot, soothing water with Nasta's help to wash it off along with the almost three weeks' worth of filth and grime.

Nasta stayed with him, on his knees, his shirt sleeves rolled up, like how they bathed the babies, only Harry wasn't going to soak him from head to toes.

"I'm so proud of you, our girls are absolutely perfect."

Harry smiled as he lay back and just let Nasta wash the two and a half weeks' worth of dirt, dried sweat and even odd patches of dried blood from his skin as he happily relaxed in the medicated water.

"They're adorable, what do they look like now that they're two days old? I barely got a glimpse of Draco's queens before I was arm wrestled into a bath before I could even hold them!"

"Their hair is a pale brown and it's going curly now that it's mostly dry. They've gone a pale pink too; they've lost their red flush and the swollen cheeks from their birth."

Harry grinned. "I can't wait to hold them again, my arms ache for them."

"Once you've had your bath and I've sorted out the salve." Nasta said with no room for any argument.

Harry laughed. "How did the night go? Please tell me that you didn't sort them both out every single time. You look run down and exhausted. You'll make yourself sick."

"Not every time, Max sorted them out a few times and I kicked Blaise out of bed once, but I did the morning feed and the kids' breakfasts, I've been awake since then."

"Go and have a nap then." Harry encouraged seriously. "Max will be back soon, I've got Blaise and Draco, go and get an hour or two while it's going to be quiet. It's only going to get worse come tonight; you may as well sleep while you have the chance to."

Nasta pulled a face, like he was going to fight or argue about it.

"Nas, please love. You need to get some sleep, just a small nap. The kids will be asleep for the next hour and a half, the twins are well in hand, the nights are going to be the worst, we already know that from past experience and they're on a different schedule, which only makes it harder, we might as well take advantage of the time that we do have and you're tired. Go and get some sleep."

Nasta sighed and Harry knew that he'd won and he fought to keep the grin from his face as Nasta gave in with a nod.

"If I can't sleep though, I'm getting up." He swore.

"Something tells me that as soon as your head hits the pillow and you're in a quiet, dark room, you'll be out like a light." Harry replied, grimacing as he looked at the filthy water that he was swimming in. "Fuck I was dirty. Who would have thought I'd get so dirty from spending two and a half weeks in a hole in the ground?"

Nasta chuckled as he washed Harry's greasy, filth matted hair with gentle fingers.

"It's a wonder that Draco didn't have a heart attacking seeing this." Harry grumbled as he reached up to tug at a knotted twist of hair.

"He was enamoured with his two new daughters." Nasta said. "I don't think he noticed."

"I can't believe I have to pry my own daughters from him and Blaise. All I wanted was a cuddle!"

Nasta chuckled and kissed his soapy neck with soft lips.

"They're Max's girls aren't they?"

"You couldn't tell?! If I'd thought that you couldn't scent it on them then I would have said yesterday." Harry insisted, eyes wide and beginning to get upset. "You knew immediately with Braiden, so I just assumed that you knew with the twins."

"No, your nest was enclosed this time, love, they smell like you and blood and meat and dirt and that was before all of us touched and cuddled them, we couldn't tell anything from scenting them, only that they'd been held against your stale sweaty chest for too long. Draco was almost frantic to bathe them this morning."

"Well damn. I would have said yesterday if I thought that you didn't know, I really would have!" Harry said with a sharp nod.

"I know, love, so they are Max's?"

Harry nodded. "I suppose you guessed from the curly brown hair if you couldn't scent it on them?"

Nasta grinned. "He's going to freak, he hates his curly hair."

"It might look better on a girl than a boy. Alayla carries it well when she's not straightening it down with potions and spells. I was surprised to see it so pale though."

"You have to remember, love that half of Max's family are blonde, half of his Uncles have blond hair, his Mother and Grandmother are both blonde and one of his sisters too. Then there is Talia, who has blondish-brown hair, just like our girls."

"I think their hair will get darker as they get older though, you told me before that sometimes people with dark brown hair are born white-blonde and it gets darker as they get older. That could happen here."

"It could very easily and Max's family has such a variety of hair and eyes colours that those girls could come out with a selection of any of them."

"Like Calix looking like a carbon copy of Myron." Harry nodded. "I love his eyes; they're so intense and different."

Nasta chuckled. "I think Calix took your body build more than Max and Myron's though."

Harry pulled a face. "Here's hoping he doesn't hold that against me when he's older."

"Of course he won't!" Nasta said quickly, but truth be told he'd never actually thought of that. Would their children dislike taking Harry's slender shape and small stature when they had four tall, muscled Fathers? He'd have to keep an eye on that and nip it in the bud before it even started, if indeed it did ever happen and become an issue, but he hoped that it never did.

Harry sat down carefully on the settee as he had both of his girls in his arms as his other children ran riot around his feet, just happy and excited to see him there and know that he was in the room with them. He smiled at them as they babbled and talked to him, showing him things and handing him toys before rushing away to get something else to hand to him. He had a seat full of toys and teddies next to him. It was adorable.

Harry had told Blaise and Draco that the girls were Max's, but it was just bad luck that the one who had Fathered them was the last to know as he was still in work, it seemed his quality checks were taking longer than he'd estimated they would.

Harry was settling into home life again happily after almost three weeks away as he checked everything over with his children, checking their little teeth, of which there were many now, Braiden had fifteen teeth, Farren had ten, Tegan had eight, Regan had five and Calix had ten. Leolin of course still didn't have any, but Harry was very happy to see him reaching up and stretching to try and grip at the shiny mirror floating just out of his reach on the baby gym. He was getting stronger and more active and after his recent set back with his hospitalisation, it was amazing to see him doing something other than eating, sleeping or just lying awake and not moving.

Though of course he'd only been awake for a mere few hours before Draco brought up the inevitable Dragon Pox vaccinations that the four older quintuplets needed this month, he'd actually booked them while he had been in his nest for the following week.

"They need those vaccinations." Draco said stubbornly.

"You know they always cry for me afterwards." Harry said in exasperation. "I'm glad that you want them vaccinated, but at least try to make it a bit more comfortable for them, Draco. They like me being there with them and holding the vaccinations back by a couple of weeks is not going to ruin the other vaccines they've already had or endanger them in any way."

"I just don't want them to…"

"I know and after the scare with Leolin and hearing about what happened to those poor children at the Faerie City…it has terrified me too, but it still could have waited a few weeks until after I'd given birth and come out of my nest to go with them."

"You're out of your nest now." Draco pointed out.

"I am, which has saved you from four tantrums and possibly from being thrown up on too." Harry deadpanned.

Draco kissed him and tried to take one of the baby girls, but Harry lifted the corner of his upper lip back and growled, holding the baby tighter.

"Just five minutes, please." He begged.

Harry frowned consideringly. "I'm trying to fit names to them, so you had better make it just five minutes."

"Anything you can give us a hint on?" Blaise asked from where he was lying on the floor, Calix crawling all over his back and Regan building a tower with Blaise's help in front of him.

Harry grinned and shook his head. "Not yet, but I have some good ideas, none that I want to share yet though."

Harry looked at the baby in his arms, the smallest baby, or rather the lightest baby as both girls had been sixteen inches long, his oldest girl, who was already named for Max's great-grandmother, the great-great grandmother that this little girl was now never going to meet, was lighter than her sister by a mere two ounces.

He sighed and wondered if he could get away with naming the baby with the letter E to match her middle name of Evelyn, but he wasn't sure naming the baby something like Emily Evelyn was going to do his daughter any good when she was in school.

He huffed out a sigh again and it was only ten minutes later that he snapped at Nasta to go and get him his baby name book. All credit to Nasta he just lifted one black eyebrow and put aside his paperwork and did as Harry had asked. He'd only been up for less than half an hour too, he'd gone for his nap after sorting out Harry's scar and the new plasters after his bath and he'd grabbed a refreshing and rejuvenating two hour nap. He looked less like he would drop down unconscious at any moment and more like the alert, watchful gorgeous man that they knew and loved so very much.

Harry grabbed his arm and pulled him into a kiss when he came back with the huge book that looked more like an encyclopaedia.

"I'm sorry, I just don't want to name them something stupid and have them stuck with it for life, or at least until they're seventeen and can legally change it, I want their names to be perfect and it's doing my head in. I didn't mean to snap at you."

Nasta cupped his chin and kissed him back, pecking at his lips until Harry couldn't help but smile into the kisses.

"It took you days to name all of the quintuplets, don't push yourself so hard so soon, after all they've only just been born, the perfect name will come to you, it always does."

"It helps me to stay still and sitting down." Harry pointed out with a cheeky grin.

"Then by all means sit right here and pore over this book until you've found a name, just be careful, I don't want you upset either."

"I know what sort of name I want, at least I have an idea, a tentative idea, but it's just not coming to me! I need some inspiration."

"You need the patience of a saint." Blaise laughed from the floor.

"Especially with those two, they cry like a bloody siren." Max said as he came into the living room.

"Where the hell did you come from?" Draco demanded.

"The front door." Max said with an eyebrow up near his hairline. "I went shopping remember, I Apparated home."

"Hi, Max." Harry greeted softly.

Max came and kissed him hard and deep and when they broke apart Harry was panting and laughing.

"I missed you too, how was work?"

"Boring stuff today, just quality controlling, it didn't take me more than an hour and a half."

"You've been gone for nearly five hours!" Blaise said incredulously.

"I had to make sure that what I was getting for my girls' was perfect!"

"Looks like you bought out half the baby shops in London." Harry laughed with a nod to the several bags wrapped around Max's left wrist.

"Nothing's too much for those little girls." Max grinned as he dropped the bags to the floor.

"Let's see what you bought then." Draco said as he stood up and went to go digging through the bags. Max stole the baby girl from Draco's arms and gave her a big kiss as he sat down next to Harry and cradled her, ignoring the evil glare that Draco was giving him for taking the baby from him.

"They are your girls too, you know." Harry said softly, watching Max closely.

"Of course they are, I love them so much." Max replied with a sappy, lovey-dovey look at the baby in his arms, not really listening to what Harry was saying.

Harry laughed. "No, they are yours, as in biologically."

Max blinked at him. "They are?" He questioned as he looked from the baby in his arms to the baby in Harry's.

"Yes." Harry nodded happily. "Really, who else's could they be with all this blondish-brown, curly hair."

"Their hair isn't curly!" Max denied, even as he pulled the hat gently from the head of the girl in his arms to spy, just as Harry had said, blondish-brown curly locks. "They…they really are mine."

"Like I told you, they're yours, two more little Maxie Maddisons running around. Just what we, and the world, need."

"I can't believe they have curly hair! Of all the traits my grandmother passed on into the genes it had to be curly hair!"

"I think they look sweet." Harry said with a smitten smile at his newborn babies.

"Can I tell the family the good news? Do we have names yet?"

"You can tell them, but no visitors until tomorrow. Harry needs his rest and he doesn't need the fuss." Nasta said firmly.

"And no names just yet, I'm working on it." Harry said as he patted the huge, thick book which was opened on the letter E's.

Max grinned. "I'll be back when my Dads stop trying to strangle me and let my head go!" He said excitedly as he handed Nasta the little girl that he was holding and flooed to his family home.

Harry shook his head. "He needs something to calm him down."

"He's got a good eye for fashion though." Draco said happily as he pulled out the mountain of clothes that Max had bought from their respective shopping bags.

Harry looked at the tiny dresses, the little skirts and tops complete with miniature tights and leggings and the more practical bodysuits and sleepsuits in pale pink, white and a soft pastel purple that Harry really, really loved.

"That colour, what is it?" He asked Draco curiously; who as their most fashion orientated lover was more likely to know the answer.

Draco looked at it. "Purple." He said as if Harry was being ridiculous.

Harry gave him back an unimpressed glower. "What kind of purple, I can already see that it's purple, what shade is it?!"

Draco pulled a face as if he couldn't believe that he hadn't understood what Harry had meant with his question. "It's one of the pastel purples; I think it might be pastel violet."

"I really, really like it. I think I want their bedroom in that colour, at least until they're old enough to decide for themselves."

"Is this another hint for us to get a new house?" Nasta asked him from over his paperwork.

Harry sniffed. "I'm not hinting any more, I'm telling you that we need a bigger house. Braiden will need his own room soon, the twins will need their own room and the quintuplets might need two or even three rooms, that's five extra bedrooms, Nasta. We only have two spare, though we could always shove the quintuplets in a room together or make them share with Braiden and demolish the upstairs bathroom and convert that into a bedroom, we'll still have our en suite and the downstairs bathroom, but by the time that's finished I could have had even more babies and then we'll be back to square one, we need a bigger house!"

Harry stubbornly refused to hear anything else about it, he didn't particularly want to move, he loved this house and it held some amazing memories for him, but it was becoming a necessity. They needed more space and more bedrooms.

"At least settle with those two first." Blaise encouraged. "We can start looking at houses in the spring."

"I agree with Blaise." Nasta said and Harry gave him a look.

"Fine, but we will find a new house as soon as possible, Braiden's getting older and with the twins now we're lacking space."

Harry indicated how cramped it looked in their living room with the four of them sitting in it with five children roving the floor, one lying in the baby gym on the floor and the two newborns and that was without Max there, Max who was huge, broad and dominated any room that he was in by his sheer size alone without factoring in his larger than life personality.

"This is no way to live! We can't even have guests around anymore, the quintuplets birthday was a squashed up hell with everyone in this house, a tin of sardines doesn't even cover how cramped it was in this house. I had enough of being crammed into small spaces when I was forced to sleep in a cupboard as a chi…!" Harry cut himself off and he shut his mouth, looking at his lap. "Sorry." He said softly.

The settee dipped after a moment and Nasta threw his arm around him, a soft, but scratchy kiss was pressed to the side of his head.

"I'm sorry this room reminds you of your childhood, Harry." Nasta said softly.

"It's not…it's not the same as the cupboard." Harry said. "I'm not lonely for a start, but the lack of space, it is getting to me a bit. I don't want it to and I do try not to think about it and not to let it get to me, but sometimes it still does."

"We'll sort it, I promise, just a little longer." Nasta swore.

Harry nodded and looked at the girls, both sleeping, both silent and still.

"Eva." He said softly.

"Sorry?" Blaise asked as he perked his head up.

"Eva." Harry said louder and with a smile. "Eva Evelyn Potter-Maddison. Named for Saint Eva of Liege."

Harry showed Nasta the page that he was looking at and pointing out the little tidbit underneath.

"That should appease Max's family tradition and I like the name." Harry said with a smile.

"Welcome to the family, Eva." Nasta said, kissing the baby in his arms.

Harry laughed. "This one is Eva, not that one." He said, indicating the baby in his own arms.

"I thought this one was the older twin." Nasta said with a frown.

Harry checked them over critically. "Nope, this one is the older twin, that one's the younger."

"I'm going to buy them bracelets or necklaces or something to tell them apart." Draco complained.

"And then when they get older and start swapping them over just to confuse us because we've become reliant on looking at the bracelets to tell them apart, what then?" Harry asked. "No, you learn to tell them apart from the subtle differences in their appearance and their personalities."

"They're two days old! They haven't got any personalities." Draco grumbled.

"I just realised, Max isn't here again, he was the last to know they were actually his biologically and now he's the last to know the first born girl's name." Blaise pointed out.

Harry's eyes went wide. "Oh, I didn't realise! I just…it just came to me and it fit and it was perfect so I said it out loud, I didn't mean…"

"We know." Nasta said soothingly. "He'll just be excited to welcome Eva into the family. He won't care, just like he never when he found out they were his."

"Now our youngest needs a name." Harry said as he placed his hand over the head of the baby in Nasta's arms.

"Don't push yourself; do you want to break for a snack?"

"I could use some tea to help me think." Harry said with a grin.

Nasta laughed as he stood up, placing the baby in his arms into the bassinet beside Harry, he went into the kitchen, taking orders from Blaise and Draco on the way past.

Max came home exuberant and joyful as he pulled the baby immediately from the bassinet and into his arms. Harry shook his head as his biggest mate kissed the baby wetly and loudly and sat down to cradle her. These two were never going to get a moment of peace and the bassinets were a waste of space as it seemed that they were never going to get to use them.

"Do you like the clothes?" Max asked.

"They'll suffice." Draco said haughtily.

"I love them." Harry said with a smile. "We need to swap babies too."

"Why, has your twin wet a nappy?" Max asked, even as he moved to do as he was asked.

"No, at least I don't think so. Oh I hope they don't turn out to be two more Calix's." Harry fretted.

Max checked the baby in his arms. "No, she's fine. Why did we have to swap?"

"Because I wanted you to meet your oldest daughter, Eva after the saint of Liege. Eva Evelyn Potter-Maddison."

"You named her? We were just talking baby names and what you might call them, none of us guessed Eva though."

"Do you like it?" Harry asked a bit quietly.

"I love it. What's the other one's name?"

"I haven't decided yet.

"So we have Eva and unnamed."

"Unnamed for now." Harry grinned.

Nasta came in and he handed everyone a cup of tea, he'd obviously heard Max come home as there was a cup for him too.

"Did he tell you the news?"

"He did, I love it!" Max declared happily. "Little baby Eva." He all but whispered as he cradled her gently.

"Dada Ma? Baba ba."

"This is your new baby sister Braiden, this is Eva."

"Baba Va!" Braiden said with a grin, his mouth of teeth on show.

"You're so clever and you're the very bestest little boy in the world." Max declared to him softly, which made him shriek in laughter and clap his hands…right next to Eva's head.

The loud crying of the baby made all of his children stop and look over at the noise as Max shushed her and tried to comfort her after she'd been startled.

Harry's attention was taken from a crying Eva and was instead grabbed by Regan, who stood up against the table and toddled from the table to the settee that Max was sat on without help and unaided.

"Please tell me that I wasn't the only one to see that!" He burst out as he quickly got up, put the unnamed baby girl into her bassinet and rushed as fast as his sore, aching muscles allowed him, to Regan to praise him.

"What did he do?" Max asked.

"He just took his first steps!" Harry said excitedly before he rained kisses all over a giggling Regan.

"What, unaided?" Max asked.

Harry nodded. "He pulled himself up with the table and then toddled from the table to here on his own!"

"Well done, Regan." Blaise said happily as Nasta came and picked him up, kissing his little mouth.

"You're getting to be a big boy now, Regan; you'll be running around before we can catch up soon." He told his son with a proud grin.

"Put him down and see if he'll walk for the camera." Draco insisted as he set the Muggle contraption up how Harry and Nasta had shown him.

Nasta did as he asked, putting Regan down next to the table as he hunched down a little way away and held his arms out to encourage him.

"Come on, Regan, come to me."

Regan giggled at him like it was a game and Calix crawled right over to Nasta and demanded his attention, which made Max laugh.

"Mama?" Regan called out softly, looking around the room for Harry.

"I'm by here, love." Harry said from behind him and Regan turned around and gurgled at Harry, clapping his hands happily.

He once again used the table to pull himself to his feet and he rushed to Harry as fast as his unsteady, toddling steps could manage and he all but fell into Harry's arms.

"You're going to be a little terror on your feet, I can tell." Harry said as he cuddled Regan close and bent him over his knee to tickle him, which resulted in baby giggles.

"Mama, usk."

Harry looked at him consideringly.

"Usk is a river in Wales isn't it?" Max asked Nasta.

"It is, but I don't think that's what he's saying."

"He wants a Rusk." Harry said simply and Regan clapped his hands together happily once again.

"Usk!" He cried with a grin.

Blaise went out into the kitchen and came back in with the box of Rusks. He threw one at Harry, who caught it and handed it to Regan as Blaise gave Farren one, which was grabbed off of him immediately by Tegan.

Blaise took it back from her and handed it back to Farren before he could start crying and handed Tegan her own biscuit before handing one to Calix who was continuously crawling around his feet, babbling non-stop, waiting for his turn to be handed a biscuit.

It was silent when all the babies had a biscuit and Harry took a moment to just breathe, cuddling Regan on his lap still. He loved moments like this, where his growing babies had done something new and accomplished and he happily looked around at them all as they nibbled and licked on their Rusks while they all just took a moment to absorb the short lived silence.

The next morning, the twenty-first of January, Harry slept late yet again and when he came down the stairs in a clean pair of pyjamas, because his muscles still ached too much to even contemplate stuffing himself into a pair of jeans, Max was in the fire, talking heatedly to someone.

"What's going on?" He asked softly.

"He's arguing with his family, we agreed that they could come over today, but Max refused while you were still in bed." Nasta explained.

"I'm not in bed now." Harry said.

"They can come over in an hour." Nasta said firmly and Max relayed the messaged. "After you've woken up a little and had something to eat and had a chance to hold the girls before they're passed around from pillar to post."

Harry nodded and he went into the kitchen to get some cereal and a cup of tea. Blaise came with him, Farren cocked out on his hip.

"Muma, wusk." Farren said as he looked around for the familiar red and orange box.

Harry shook his head. "Do you want a mid-morning snack?"

He found the Rusks in the cupboard and pulled one out for Farren and handed it to him, smiling happily as he watched Farren wiggle and squirm in utter enjoyment as he gnawed and sucked on the hard biscuit.

"If he gets any heavier I'll need back support to carry him." Blaise laughed.

"You leave him alone." Harry said without bite. "It's wonderful that he has an appetite and with genes like Max's then he was always going to be big."

"Calix isn't."

"Calix takes more after me, or did you forget that my genes made him too?"

"Sorry." Blaise said softly, but his tone alone told Harry that he didn't really know what he was apologising for and was doing so just to appease him and keep him happy. It made him huffy instead.

Harry ate his cereal and drank his tea before he made another cup to take with him into the living room. He carried it carefully, but when he ran into Calix in the hallway, obviously on his way to the kitchen to see him, he couldn't help but grin.

He bent down and picked Calix up, but the resulting pain in his stomach made him drop his cup of tea to use that arm to support Calix before he dropped him instead. The cup shattered on the floor and had Nasta there in three seconds flat, if that, to sweep him off his feet and up into his arms, taking Calix with them.

"Are you alright? What happened?" He asked as he stepped carefully over the broken china and carried him into the living room.

"I dropped a cup." Harry told him. "I picked Calix up and I guess my stomach wasn't ready for the bend and lift and I thought it better to drop the cup than to drop Calix."

"I'll clean it up now, just be careful, Harry, don't push yourself, you're still recovering."

Harry nodded as he was placed onto the settee, lying down on his back and he sat Calix up on his chest, away from his empty bump and the sore caesarean scar.

Max came over and took Calix from him and bent to put him on the floor and Harry was about to get angry and demand his son be given back when Max sat down on the few inches of settee that wasn't taken up by Harry's body, facing away from him and he lifted his shirt to reveal the plaster covered gauze.

Max was checking on his scar and was likely going to change the salve and coverings. Harry huffed almost silently. It would have been nice if his biggest mate had told him so beforehand instead of just taking his son from him without any sort of explanation, he wasn't a mind reader and he never would be if how poorly he grasped at the mind arts was any indication.

He lay back and let Max do what he wished as he watched his babies at play, of course Calix hadn't been happy to be moved from Harry to the floor, so he hadn't gone far. He was kneeling up against the settee by Harry's head and he was babbling to him furiously as Harry groomed his hair with his fingers.

"I know sweetheart, Daddy Max moved you didn't he?" Harry cooed as Calix paused. "I can't decide if you're acting like a furious cat or an angry bee."

"Angry bee, definitely." Max said as he threw a huge grin over his shoulder. "With all that angry buzzing going on behind me I thought I'd have to bring out the fly swatter."

Harry laughed. "Oh, ow! Stop making me laugh!" He demanded. "You know I can't laugh just after birth, the pain is almost as bad as being punctured by a Basilisk fang!"

"That's the second time that you've alluded to that incident. What happened?" Nasta demanded as he came back into the living room with a fresh cup of tea for him.

Harry blinked. "What?" He asked confusedly.

"The Basilisk, you mentioned it when Leolin was in the hospital that you'd gone up against a sixty foot Basilisk when you were twelve, you've just said that you were punctured by a Basilisk fang, what happened?"

"Nothing really." Harry shrugged uncomfortably.

Nasta gave him an unimpressed scowl. Harry groaned. "Why do you have to make such a huge deal out of it? It happened six years ago!"

"If it's not a big deal then tell us about it." Nasta challenged with a smirk that Harry refused to admit made his belly tighten painfully in lusty desire.

He groaned theatrically which made his babies laugh at him.

"It was second year, something about the Chamber of Secrets being opened, Heir of Slytherin, students being petrified, follow the spiders, blah, blah, blah, almost got eaten by a nest of Acromantula, Hermione figured out about the pipes, something about a diary, Ginny got taken down into the Chamber so naturally I went to rescue her because I figured out that the entrance to the Chamber must have been in a bathroom because of Moaning Myrtle, went down, killed the Basilisk and rescued Ginny and got a special award for services to the school for it." Harry rattled off quickly before sitting up and drinking his tea.

"Would you like to tell us the full version now?" Nasta asked with the bite of a growl in his voice.

"That is the full version." Harry said.

"I think Nasta means for you to fill in the blanks and tell us what happened, when and how in detail." Max explained as Nasta flushed a horrible red. "We take your safety seriously and Nasta's top dominant instincts are likely ripping his brain to pieces at the moment over this."

"It happened six years ago!" He said firmly. "How can you keep me safe from mere memories?"

"Harry, we love you and we want to know everything about you, the good and the bad." Blaise put in. "Nasta could just order you to tell us and you'd have to, but he's trying to hold back to give you a choice, do you understand how painful that is for him? How difficult it is for him to hold back the instinct to order you to just do as he says? We love you so much; please just tell us what happened?"

"I don't want you to be angry with me." Harry tried to explain.

"We will be angry if you try to keep secrets from us, love, especially secrets to do with your safety, even past safety." Max explained. "As you said, it happened six years ago, so it's not like we can punish you for it, we just want to know what happened to you."

Harry sighed and made himself comfortable. "Wait until the kids have gone down for their nap at least, I don't want them overhearing this; they're at an age where they absorb everything."

"My family will be here then; do you want me to get rid of them at lunch?" Max asked, looking at the clock, it was only half ten in the morning, but his family would be here at eleven, that left just an hour for them to meet and greet the newborn girls.

"As long as Myron promises not to spank me, they can stay. They heard about my first year, why not the second too? Besides I've already told Richard."

"Wait, wait, wait. You told my Dad? When?! Why does he know before me?" Max asked, pouting at him.

Harry sighed. "The fang that went through my arm left a scar; I had to tell him about it to rule it out of the Muggle evidence for the court case."

"I can't believe he never told Dad about it!" Max grinned. "My Dad Richard has never kept anything from my Dad Myron. He's going to freak and go ballistic on his arse, not yours."

"Good." Harry grinned back. "Now hand me my girls, I want a cuddle before I have them stolen from me later."

Nasta handed first one girl to him and then the other. They were wearing their new, perfectly fitting, sleepsuits, one in powder blue and the other in the pastel violet that Harry had loved.

He stared at them hard and then one baby moved a hand to rub over her own ear and he knew immediately that she was the unnamed baby, so that meant that the baby in the powder blue sleepsuit was Eva.

"Good morning, Eva." He greeted her softly and pressing a kiss to her head, inhaling the soft, clean scent of newborn baby from her skin and hair. "Good morning, sweet girl, I know you don't have a name yet, but you will soon. I promise." He said to the other as he kissed her too.

"How in the name of Merlin did you tell them apart just by looking at them? We had to wait for their feed to put them in different colours to tell them apart." Draco said incredulously.

"The younger baby plays with her right ear to sooth herself, she first did it just a few hours after birth. Every forty minutes or so she'll lift a hand and play with her ear."

"And Eva doesn't do that?" Nasta asked, looking at the baby in the powder blue.

Harry shook his head. "She plays with the hair behind her ears. She'll tug on it lightly and carefully, more like running her hair over her fingertips. I'm not sure if she likes the feeling of her hair sliding over the tips of her fingers or if she likes the feeling of her actual hair."

"I'm going to be on the lookout for that now." Blaise said with a grin.

"How do you tell them apart when they're not awake and not self-soothing?"

"I just can." Harry shrugged. "They smell different to me, they act differently, they look exactly alike for now, but they're not the same. Does that make sense?"

"I understand it." Nasta nodded. "They have subtle differences in smell, but it changes depending on everything around them, so I can't tell them apart from it. Currently they smell like Draco to me because he refused to put them down all morning."

Harry laughed at that. "Just don't forget our older babies." He said seriously.

Draco snorted and indicated Tegan, who was perched in his lap with one of her favoured cardboard books, babbling under her breath as she flipped the pages over and then back again.

Harry grinned at the sight of it. Regan was sat close to them both too, but he had a crude knitted ballerina doll that Hermione had made for Tegan for Christmas, Regan didn't care as he bashed it about happily in play with a doll house.

"You need to tell Granger to stop with the knitting projects, it's not working." Draco said with a sniff, following where Harry was looking.

"She's getting better." Harry smiled. "She started making hats for the house-elves when she first started knitting and Ron came out with that they looked more like woolly bladders so they didn't count as clothes. I miss those days." He said sadly.

Max slipped an arm around him and cuddled him in close, pressing a kiss to the side of his head.

"He didn't deserve to know you and what he did to you was wrong and unforgivable." Max said.

"I'm glad that you made up and that you agreed to be civil, but I would have been too angry, too upset if you had become friends again. I wouldn't have been able to get over what I'd seen him do to you, how upset he'd made you, nor the damage that he'd done." Nasta added.

"We would never have been friends again. He almost killed Braiden, every time I'd see him he would have reminded me of that almost miscarriage and that foul concoction that I had to drink to save Braiden's life before it had even really begun. Civility I can stretch to, but friendship…no, never again. Too much happened between us, too many things were said that can never be unheard; there's simply too much water under the bridge to ignore it. No amount of time will ever fix the damage done."

Their distraction came with the floo warning sounding a minute before Richard flooed into their living room with a grin. He stepped over the low fire gate and came straight to him to peer at the two girls.

"I've heard so much about them, but this is the first time that I'm getting to actually see them." He said pulling Harry's head to his lips for a kiss. "They're gorgeous, I'm so proud of you!"

Myron came in just behind Richard and he too stood over the gate and he forcibly moved Richard out of the way so that he could greet Harry and get his first look at the newborn girls.

"Ah da!" Braiden exclaimed as he pulled himself up with the table and toddled on unsteady feet to Myron's leg, clutching it tightly, bouncing on his feet still gripping Myron's leg. "Ah da, ah da!" He repeated holding his arms up to Myron, who stooped all the way down, having to go to one knee to get low enough, and picked him up, holding him up on his shoulder so that they could have eye contact, cocked on the side of his ribcage where most would have sat Braiden on their hips, but Myron was not most men and he was not the size of most men either.

"Is he saying…?"

"Granddad, we've been working with him to get him to recognise his granddads' through pictures, it seems that you stuck in his mind." Draco said with a smirk.

"I can't believe he's walking! He's getting much better at it too." Richard said as he patted Braiden's back gently.

"Regan took his first steps yesterday afternoon too." Harry said proudly.

"Really?" Richard looked around and then he swooped down and pulled Regan up into his arms, the boy laughing happily as he was hefted up high quickly, dropping his knitted ballerina in favour of clutching at Richard.

"I hear that our new granddaughters are Max's or is he just pulling our legs again? He's been insufferable with his boasts about how virile he is." Myron said as Max refused to be embarrassed and grinned proudly, his chest puffed up and out.

"They're Max's; they have his curly hair to prove it." Harry said with a grin of his own as he pulled Eva's little hat off to show the brownish-blonde curls that she was sporting.

"I do not have curly hair!" Max denied with a pout.

"Only because you keep sheering it off so that it's too short to get curls in it." Harry said flippantly.

"That's adorable; Max had the most cherubic little curls as a child." Richard said teasingly, looking at Max while making it look like he was looking at the baby. "He got them from Ashleigh's Mother's genes. I was displeased when he got older and started cutting his curls off himself and so short too! Not a single wave was left to show that he'd ever had curly hair and he's still the same now."

Marianna came over next and she immediately took one little girl from him.

"Oh, sweetheart, she's lovely!" Marianna exclaimed as she held the tiny baby up and she kissed the baby softly.

"If I'd known that we could take the babies I would have done it sooner." Myron said, right before he took the other baby from Harry, Braiden still in his other arm.

Harry shook his head with a laugh just as Aneirin flooed into their living room, he was happy to pick up Tegan and stand beside Marianna and Myron to look at the new arrivals.

"You did an amazing job; I hope there were no problems or complications?" He asked with a soft, proud smile at Harry which automatically made him puff up with pride.

"No, nothing. It all went really smooth and quickly. The only trouble I had was getting around the umbilical cords, I got my wrist caught between them, but that's all, nothing serious."

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