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?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8022667/1/The-Rise-of-the-Drackens

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87. Chapter Eighty-Three – Poison Part 2

"I know it tastes horrible, Calix, but it'll help you, I promise."

Harry offered Calix a bottle and his fifth born son turned his head away and cried until he was very nearly sick, which would have brought the potion straight back up and he would be back to where he started.

Harry got him up onto his shoulder and rubbed his back softly to calm him down, walking around the room with him as he moved Tegan away from Braiden on every other circuit of the room.

"Tegan, I'll put you in the playpen in a minute, stop trying to hit your brother!"

Calix drifted off into a fitful sleep and Harry carefully eased him down into a travel cot and covered him over.

He dealt with Tegan and used the sides of the playpen to separate them off from one another, so that Braiden could play on one side of the room happily and Tegan could play on the other, unable to reach, and therefore hurt, Braiden.

He went up to check on Leolin, who had been very quiet while he was dealing with Calix, only for his heart to stop at the sight of cherry red cheeks on his pale, unmoving baby.

He snatched him up and rushed down the stairs. He all be ripped the potion's case apart looking for the infant fever reducer that he'd given to Calix, before remembering that Leolin couldn't take it just as his hand closed around the small dosage vial. He ran to the living room and fell to his knees in front of the fire and he floo called Saint Mungos and Healer Cole, who had given him his personal and professional floo addresses when Leolin had been born. He explained as best as he could to the man, but he was so deathly afraid for his little son that he couldn't stop the tears or the warbling of his words.

"Can you come through right now? He needs to be seen immediately."

"Give me a minute, I have three other babies, one of them has the same fever I think."

"Bring that baby with you, but try not to infect the other two."

Harry nodded miserably. "I'll need to get a babysitter; I'll be over with them both as soon as I can."

Healer Cole nodded and severed the call and Harry immediately called Mrs Weasley. He explained as quickly as he could and she dashed right on over and took charge of Tegan and Braiden as Harry packed a quick nappy bag for Calix and Leolin.

"Where are your lovers?" Mrs Weasley demanded angrily. "They should be here with you."

"I…Nasta's in work, Blaise is job hunting, Draco's got Regan and Farren at his parents and Max isn't speaking to me at the moment. I'll be back as soon as I can, I promise, I just…I need to get them to the hospital."

"I more than understand, I'll stay here all night if I have to, dear, just get them to the hospital and keep me updated if you can."

Harry nodded and then he was gone. He flooed directly into Healer Cole's office, who rushed him away immediately into another room.

Leolin was taken straight from him and Harry clutched Calix tightly for comfort, wondering how this had happened, how he could have been so careless just because he was feeling upset. His little Leolin could die from this and he felt sick and shocky.

The door burst open and Healer Almus rushed into the room looking panicked.

"I got your message, what's the…Harry?"

"Cal…Calix got a fever and he…he passed it to Leolin." Harry huffed out.

"Let me take Calix and have a look at him while Healer Cole see's to Leolin, where are your lovers?"

Harry couldn't speak anymore, he just shook his head.

"Come on, Harry, let's see to Calix."

Harry was pulled from the room and he felt torn. He wanted Calix seen to, but he didn't want to leave Leolin, who was in a quarantined area he saw as he was led out of the room.

"There's nothing you can do hovering over Leolin." Healer Almus told him firmly. "Come with me and we'll look at Calix, the less people around Leolin at the moment the better."

Harry nodded, but he didn't feel any better and he felt his chin wobbling with the urge to cry, but he bit his lip and took Calix into a different room down the corridor and he watched as the Healer checked him over and settled him down in a tiny bed with sides.

He felt terrible and his throat ached to release a distress call so much that he trilled softly. Healer Almus looked at him sharply but Harry shook his head.

"Dracken thing. I'm calling my mates and hoping they'll come."

Harry was forced to wait outside the room then as Healer Almus examined Calix and he had resorted to pacing the corridor agitatedly in tight, dizzying circles, wringing his hands and playing over the afternoon and everything that he could and should have done to prevent this from happening in the first place. He was worried about his sons, he was so terrified that he felt like he could vomit and he hadn't even seen Leolin since he'd brought him in fifteen minutes ago. He couldn't believe that it had only been fifteen minutes, it felt like hours had passed, it felt like time was making a mockery of him and he yanked on two fistfuls of his hair harshly, why was this happening?

It took ten minutes before Nasta, sweat soaked, soot covered and his tee-shirt missing came barrelling down the corridor to meet him.

"I came straight from work when I realised that your call came from the hospital, what happened?! Are you alright? Is it the twins?"

"It's Calix and Leolin! They have a fever!"

"Leolin has a fever?" Nasta asked, his eyes widening in panic and fear.

Harry nodded. "Calix got it first, right after his nap and I separated them straight away, but it wasn't soon enough, when I went to check on Leolin he had the same cherry red cheeks as Calix. I brought him right here after I called Molly to watch Tegan and Braiden. I called out for you shortly after I arrived."

Nasta held him tightly and placed a kiss on his forehead. Blaise arrived moments later and Nasta filled him in, then Draco arrived and Nasta filled him in too and then they were finally allowed in to see Calix, who was sleeping peacefully in just a nappy, though he was still fever flushed.

"He's going to be fine." Healer Almus assured them. "He's got bronchiolitis, he's just a little fevered and a bit congested, though he is thoroughly miserable about it. You reacted very quickly in getting the potion into him, Harry, he's already getting better, but it's a very bad virus and it could have been so much worse if left undetected for a few more hours."

"What about Leolin?" Draco demanded.

"I'll see what I can find out, but it would be best if you didn't see him just yet."

Harry shivered and hunched his shoulders up as he turned to smooth out Calix's hair. Max hadn't come. Blaise seemed to be thinking the same thing as he kissed Harry's cheek and touched Calix's hand.

"I'll be right back."

"Where are you going?" Draco demanded. "Two of our children are in the hospital, you can't leave now! What are you thinking?!"

"I'm thinking that Max needs to be here. He should be here!" Blaise hissed as he turned and left.

Blaise stormed out of the hospital and flooed right over to the Maddison's house. He was staying at Alexander's still as the whole family were grieving and Max still wasn't speaking to his Mother, or at least he hadn't been when he'd last heard from Max, but Ashleigh was sat on the settee when he arrived, though no one was talking to her, she tried to talk to him when she saw him, but he walked right past her angrily.

He stormed through the house to where he smelt Max the most strongly, he found him sat at the kitchen table with what looked like half his family, Blaise noted that a pale, sick looking Cepheus was also there.

Blaise pulled Max away from the table and he looked at his lover, whose eyes widened and the smile on his face slipped just as Blaise brought his fist down into his stupid mouth.

"What the fuck was that for?!" Max shouted loudly, jumping to his feet while simultaneously wiping away a smear of blood from his lip.

"You ignored Harry's distress call you bastard!" Blaise screamed at him, his French accent thickening. "How dare you ignore a distress call from our submissive mate, our pregnantsubmissive mate. You're supposed to care for him and drop everything and anything and go to him when he calls! I left in the middle of an interview when he called for me, an interview that was going wonderfully well, but he called and I ran to him, as we're all supposed to!"

"I didn't think that he'd want to see me when I'm in such a mood." Max said softly. "His call wasn't distressed; I thought he was just calling to get me to go back."

"Calix and Leolin are in the hospital you selfish prick, he couldn't call any louder than he did or the humans would have heard him! Calix, your own son, has bronchiolitis and Leolin is in an isolation ward and he could actually die but you're too selfish to care!" Blaise yelled as loudly as he could, before turning and leaving as quickly as he'd come.

He rushed through the hospital, but Max was following just half a step behind him, demanding answers and Blaise ignored him until they reached the room where Calix was, Harry was crying silently by his bedside, holding a tiny hand.

"What the hell happened?"

"Get out!" Draco hissed.

"I want to know what happened!"

"And we needed you with us for the past three days!" Blaise told him angrily. "Yet you were nowhere to be found!"

"Why are Calix and Leolin in the hospital?" Max asked, sounding terrified.

"Calix has a bad viral infection and he got a fever from fighting the virus. Leolin caught it from him before I could separate them." Harry said softly, not taking his eyes from Calix.

"Where's Leolin, why isn't he here?"

"He's being kept in quarantine, we haven't…haven't been allowed to see him yet." Harry said, his voice breaking.

"I am so sorry." Max said with a nervous swallow.

"It's fine, now go away." Harry said quietly.

"I…I can't leave!" Max said shocked that all of his mates seemed to be suggesting the same.

"You were happy to leave them for the last three days!" Harry stood to hiss at him. "You didn't give a shit what it would do to them, you didn't care when Braiden turned around and asked us where 'Dada Ma' was yesterday! You didn't even come to visit them because you were so busy wrapped up in your own little world! You can be angry at me all you damn well want to, but why would you ignore your own children?!"

"I…I'm not angry with you!" Max said. "I just…I needed to get my head straight. I didn't mean to take it out on the kids."

"Well you did." Blaise snapped. "You should have been home with Harry and the kids today, you should have been there when Harry found Calix and Leolin fevered, he had to waste time floo calling someone to babysit before he brought Calix and Leolin here. Leolin could die, Max!"

"Don't." Harry warbled out, shaking his head. "I can't hear you say things like that…I can't…I can't think that my little baby is going to die. Please, I can't."

Nasta wrapped his arms around Harry's shoulders and bent to kiss his head, standing tall and offering silent comfort without any empty promises or words.

"We all rushed from where we were to get to Harry, you didn't even move a muscle." Blaise snarled. "Nasta rushed from a disaster at work to get here! But you wouldn't have known that he was even called into work, would you, because you weren't there. He injured himself to get here!" He hissed referring to the hideous burn that Nasta had on his back that he'd gotten when he'd turned his back on the dragon and just ran when he'd heard the call.

"I didn't…I'm sorry, I've been so absorbed with my grandmother's death that I forgot everything else and then the whole thing with Uncle Ceph…"

"I know your family hate me now, but what does that have to do with you not coming to see your own children?!"

"My family don't hate you!" Max said surprised. "Cepheus is even joking about the force of your bite and he asked me how you give blow jobs. My Dad almost put him back on bed rest."

Harry shook his head and sat back down, turning back to Calix.

"Calix is your biological son; Farren is your biological son. You claim that Braiden, Tegan, Regan and Leolin are like your own sons and daughter, yet you were happy to leave them for three days and two nights. I can't bear to be apart from them for a few hours. They were asking for you, calling for you, Regan even went looking for you, we found him crawling around the kitchen as if you'd be hiding in there. How did you think they would take you just upping and leaving them?"

"I didn't mean to." Max said and Harry could hear the tears falling in his voice.

"Did you even think of them? Have you thought of them even once for the past three days?"

"Of course I did! I thought of them all the time!"

"Then why didn't you come and see them!" Draco demanded.

"I didn't think you'd want to see me. Not after my harsh words. I didn't mean them, I know you've been suffering badly with your nightmares, I'd just lost my great-grandmother and I couldn't bear the thought of losing an Uncle too, not so close together."

"You shouldn't have let that stop you from seeing your children." Harry told him calmly. "Even if I hated all four of you and couldn't stand to be on the same ground space that you had stood on, I would still put up with it for a mere hour with my children."

"Is this a bad time?" An orderly in her pale yellow robes asked as she looked from Harry to Max and then back.

"What do you want?" Blaise asked her, too tired to even make the statement sound rude.

"I…I'm doing my rounds of this floor, I'll just need to check…Calix over." She said as she looked at the name on the clipboard.

Harry nodded and the poor orderly checked Calix over while dealing with five, stony silent men who were watching her every move critically, almost glaring at her as she touched their sick son.

She recorded her findings on the clipboard; both the one in her hands and the one at the end of Calix's little bed.

"He's doing well and he's started to show an improvement." She told them before leaving the room very quickly.

Harry huddled up in his own skin as he controlled the shiver that wanted to wrack his whole body. Nasta noticed and wrapped his arms back around him.

"He'll be alright, love. He's improving already."

"What about Leolin?" Harry asked him quietly. "We haven't heard anything."

"No news is good news." Draco encouraged him.

"I just can't help thinking that he's in a different room, all alone and I can't go and see him, I can't comfort him, I can't hold him!" Harry said trying to hold back the tears that wanted to fall.

"It's going to be alright, Harry." Max said softly.

"Are you still here?" Blaise hissed poisonously.

"I'm not going anywhere! Calix and Leolin are my children too, I have as much right to be here as you!"

"Glad to hear it." Draco sneered. "Too bad you didn't remember that three days ago."

"I've said I'm sorry. How much blood do you want?"

"How much do you currently have in your body?" Blaise asked him spitefully.

"You can't get blood from stone." Harry put in softly.

"Please, I am sorry. I just wasn't thinking. I swear I never meant for this to happen or for any of what I've done to come across this way."

"How did you think we'd take you abandoning us, your own mates, and the kids? Your own children!" Draco demanded.

"Enough." Nasta cut in gently, but firmly. "This isn't the time or the place. We'll do this later, at home; we can't forget that we are in public. Anyone can walk in on us at any time and if we shout then they'll hear us."

Calix squirmed in his bed and as one; all eyes were upon him as he blinked open his jet black eyes and squinted up at them, lifting his hands to scrub at them tiredly.

"Mama."

"I'm right here, Calix, love. I'm right here." Harry murmured softly as he sat forward into Calix's line of vision.

"Mama ba." Calix told him as he squirmed on his back and rubbed his arm over his face and head in obvious discomfort.

"I know you feel bad, Calix, but you're in the hospital, the hospital is going to make you all better."

"Dum."

"Did he just call you dumb?" Blaise chuckled.

Harry glared at him. "No he didn't. He's asking for his dummy. I'm not sure I picked it up, I think it's on the mantelpiece." Harry said panicked as he dug through the nappy bag that he'd brought with him, practically tearing it to pieces to find Calix what he wanted.

"I'll go and get it." Max offered immediately.

"He wants the green one, the darker one, he likes that one the best." Harry gushed out. "Hurry!"

Max sped out of the room and Harry tried to distract Calix by offering him a bottle, him having refused his earlier feed.

"Dum." Calix whined as he pushed the bottle away.

"I know, love; Daddy Max is going to get it now."

"Dada ma."

"Yes, love, he's here too. He'll be right back with your dummy."

It took Max what seemed like an age to come back and Harry was dancing on eggshells by the time he darted back into the hospital room, Calix's favourite green dummy in hand.

Harry took it from him and waved it in front of Calix, who grinned weakly when he saw it, but still lifted a pale hand to reach for it. Harry placed it to his lips and watched as Calix took it into his mouth and started slowly sucking on it, his eyes closing immediately, his hand dropping back to the bed.

"You took your sweet time." Draco growled, not willing to give an inch.

"Everyone's congregated at ours to wait for news, I updated them on what was happening and then Braiden wanted a hug and Farren and Tegan and Regan wanted one after him. The pale green dummy was on the mantelpiece, the darker one was on the kitchen counter."

Harry made an angry noise and pulled at his already stuck out hair. He looked like a mad man. "Of course it was! I left it there after Calix's nap when I rushed to get the fever reducer! I took it from his mouth and left it on the side. I'm sorry."

"It's fine, Harry, it took me minutes to find it, it's fine." Max assured him quickly.

"Did…did anyone say anything?" Harry asked nervously.

"What do you mean?" Max asked.

"I think that Harry might be worried that your family are blaming him for Leolin and Calix getting sick." Nasta put in perceptively.

Harry nodded. "I've been…inattentive in the last few days. I've been thinking more of myself and my feelings than that of my children and now this has happened and it's all my…"

"Stop." Blaise hissed at him. "You have not once been inattentive to them. Your first thought was always and will always be for them, we all know that, Harry. You're hurting and the meeting with that mind Healer scrambled you up a bit. This is a virus, it's airborne and they didn't catch it through any imagined inattentiveness, they were going to get it regardless of anything that we could have done, even if we'd known about it. They have probably had it for days before the fever started, or at least Calix would have, I'm not sure how long it would take to show up in Leolin." He added looking questioningly to Nasta.

Their oldest mate shook his head. "It would have shown up almost immediately in Leolin the moment that he got it. He has next to no immune system, what little he has would start to fight the virus, giving him the fever, but the virus would have been far too strong and would have overwhelmed his antibodies in minutes, half an hour at most. That he was still fever flushed when he was admitted to the hospital is a good sign, he wasn't yet overwhelmed by the virus and then the Healers would have dived in to help him fight it off with potions, we've given him the best chance of survival that we could."

"I should have noticed that Calix was sick sooner!" Harry cried, not yet willing to forgive himself. "He was quiet during lunch, but he ate everything so I didn't look into it, I thought he was just missing Max. He was right next to Leolin throughout lunch; his fever hit him after his nap a few hours later."

"It's not your fault and no one blames you, especially not my family." Max told him. "They're worried, not accusing you behind your back; they know things like this can happen at a moment's notice."

Harry nodded, feeling a little more reassured. "I just don't want this to be happening, please tell me that this is another nightmare."

"It's not, Mio Amore, I'm sorry." Blaise said, coming to nuzzle him.

"You…you said that you had an appointment with a mind Healer, I didn't know." Max said softly.

"You weren't there to know!" Draco snarled.

"I'm getting therapy for my nightmares." Harry told Max, ignoring Blaise and Draco. "I'm talking it all out with my mind Healer, my fears, my dreams, my memories. Though apparently when Myron carried me upstairs to the bedroom was I partially awake. The Healer told me that my dream emulated where I was because I was awake enough to see it, but not conscious enough to take it in, so I knew where I was enough to visualise it, but I didn't recognise it or see it as familiar. All the dark fabric covering the walls, the matching floor length curtains covering the windows, I remembered them in my nightmare, only it made it seem like there were no windows, which made me feel trapped, so when I woke up and saw the room from my nightmare, lying on the bed from my nightmare and in a room covered with dark fabrics with no windows, I lost my mind."

"When…when's your next appointment?"

"In a few days. We're going to talk about how I was treated after I killed Voldemort and dig out all the festering pain left from having to shut it all up inside due to being in the media limelight instead of letting my thoughts and feelings come out at the time."

"I…I want to be there for you, Harry, please let me."

"I haven't stopped you from being anywhere, Max; you made that decision on your own." Harry told him.

Max nodded and came to hold him. Harry let him. "I'll make this up to you. I swear."

"It's not me you have to make it up to, it's the kids and at the moment we could lose one of them." Harry told him seriously. "I'm not exaggerating just to make you feel bad when I say that they missed you a lot and all of them have been calling for you. Calix called for you just now when he woke up, none of the others, just you when you left to get his dummy. How could you punish them so much?"

"I didn't…I didn't think, I've been trying not to think for the past few days, but I missed them terribly, I missed you too, and those three even though none of you are happy with me, I've spent most of my time crying on my own. My Grandmother has been there for me through every step and milestone that I've taken in my life and it's hard to believe that she's gone. It was so sudden and I just can't wrap my head around it. I didn't want you or the kids to see me sobbing or just breaking down randomly throughout the day."

"We're your mates!" Harry told him. "We want to help you through this, we wanted to be there for you, no matter what happened or how you felt or how you reacted, we wanted to be there for you, we wanted to comfort you and hold you and tell you that it would pass and everything would turn out fine, but you didn't even give us the chance to try!"

"I don't like anyone seeing me like that, I feel like I have to hide it, how can I be a dominant if I'm the one having a break down?"

Harry blinked at that and then he panicked and rolled up Max's sleeves and checked his arms carefully, with eyes, fingers and by scent.

"What's the matter? What is it?" Max asked confusedly.

"Your Uncle Xerxes told me something similar when I was talking to him, he told me that he felt useless and like he couldn't take care of his mate if he was the one crying, so he used to get his emotional release by using a cutting spell on his upper arms."

Max looked thoroughly shell shocked. "Uncle Xerxes used to cut himself?!"

Harry nodded. "He felt like it was the only way that he could deal with it at the time, he went to get himself help and then Alexander found out and wiped the floor with him apparently, you echoed pretty much exactly how he said he was feeling, I had to check."

"I haven't been staying away because I'm hurting myself, I promise." Max told him, cuddling him tightly.

"Will you come back to us then?" Harry asked.

"If you'll still have me there."

"I told you, it wasn't my choice to keep you away, you did that yourself."

"But do you want me back?"

"I never wanted you to leave and I'd be happy to have you back."

Max picked him up out of the chair he was sat on and then sat on it himself and held Harry on his lap, holding him and inhaling his scent.

"You've missed so much." Nasta told him.

"It's been three days, how much could I have missed?" Max asked dumbfounded.

"I found out that I'm having twins." Harry told him with a smile.

"Your scan isn't for another two weeks. The twenty-fourth." Max said, looking upset that he'd missed it and worried that perhaps he'd gotten the wrong date.

Harry sighed. "Cepheus tackled me to the floor in his attempt to save Sanex, Julinda, Talia and Alayla. Nasta took me for a scan to make sure that everything was alright and that I wasn't having a miscarriage."

"He did what?" Max growled as his hand fell protectively to his belly.

"Why do you think I tried to bite his hand off instead of just clawing him up? He tackled me to the floor with that hand, that and it was closer to my mouth than his neck."

"I'll kill him!"

"I think he's been punished enough." Harry said darkly. "I almost did kill him."

"He knew you were pregnant! He knew better!" Max snarled.

"You're missing the big deal here, we have twins! Not another set of quintuplets, not quadruplets, not even triplets. Twins. Though the Healer did warn me that they might not stay twins."

"How can they not stay twins?" Draco asked with a frown.

"Vanishing twin syndrome." Nasta told him. "Where one isn't viable or something happens, if they're under ten weeks then sometimes the one twin is absorbed by the other or by the Mother. So even though the scan showed twins at seven weeks, doesn't mean we'll end up with twins. The next scan, which is on the twenty-fourth, will show us a better picture more clearly of what we're having."

"What else did I miss? Was it just the mind Healer and finding out about the twins?"

"Tegan learnt to say pea. Though she says it like quadruple 'E' so it comes out more like peeee, but she means the vegetable. We tried her on some mashed peas the day before yesterday and coaxed her to say it and that's what she came out with."

"She likes peas?" Max asked softly.

Harry nodded. "Calix likes them too, but Regan absolutely hates them. Oh and we gave them some avocado, I think we may have actually found a food that Farren does not like."

Max smiled at that. "I can't believe I stayed away for so long. I wasn't thinking."

"So you've said." Draco huffed.

"Draco, please. This is the wrong time and the wrong place. We're trying here." Harry pleaded.

Draco scowled but he nodded curtly as he touched a little foot with the pads of three fingers.

"I hate this." The blond muttered.

"I know." Harry nodded.

Hours passed in quiet conversation, the orderly in her yellow over robes and her clipboard came in to check on Calix again and she smiled and told them that he was improving steadily.

"He should be showing visible improvements soon, the potions are doing their job." She said as she marked down the improvements on both clipboards.

"Can you…can you tell us anything about our other son, Leolin?"

"Leolin?" She questioned as she looked down the names on her clipboard.

"Leolin Siorus Potter." Harry elaborated.

"I…I don't have him on my rounds. Hold on one moment, I'll be right back, I'll ask the head nurse for you immediately."

Harry shared a look with his mates. He did not like that he hadn't heard anything and now an orderly was saying that he wasn't here, he was in a room just down the corridor to his knowledge.

The orderly, bless her, came back quickly.

"I don't have him on my rounds, but he's on our check in book. He's in quarantine so no access is allowed to him except by two cleared Healers. Healer Cole and Healer Almus are both in the room with him, they haven't come out yet to update us, I could try and get one of their attention to ask, if you'd like."

"I'd like an update, but I'd rather not interrupt." Harry said with a grimace. "I'd rather let them both work."

The orderly nodded. "I'll let you know as soon as I know anything if a Healer doesn't do so first."

"Thank you." Harry said gratefully and almost sagged into Max.

"Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee? Maybe some sandwiches?"

"That would be great, thank you." Nasta replied with a nod.

The orderly left them and they stayed in silence, wondering what it meant that Leolin was being seen to by two experienced, senior Healers and they hadn't come out of his room once for hours.

The orderly came back with a tray of tea, a jug of milk, packets of sugar and even a large teapot and a pile of packaged sandwiches and a pack of biscuits.

"Thank you so much." Harry said.

"I'll come back to check on Calix in a few hours and again, I'll let you know as soon as we hear anything about Leolin."

Harry nodded and then they were left alone again as Draco set everyone's tea up more for something to do with his hands than anything and he handed the cups out to them, though Blaise took his tea black with no sugar, so he just picked up a cup and drank after it was made.

They ate on automatic, the sandwiches first and then the biscuits. They spoke quietly and Calix woke up once more because he was wet and Harry dealt with him quickly as Max kept him distracted, their little boy giggling tiredly and he was visibly happy to see his Daddy Max again as he babbled 'Dada ma' over and over again in a croaked whisper they had never before heard from any of their children. Their little son was so exhausted and he'd been sleeping for most of the day, it was heart wrenching to see him, to hear him so tired when he was usually so energetic.

They spent the night in the hospital; Blaise slipped home to tell everyone congregated there that they were going to be in overnight and they still hadn't heard anything about Leolin, but that Calix was doing better.

He came back with more nappies and two new bottles for Calix and he had picked up the blanket from Calix's cot to help make him feel more at home and his favourite soft toy, which had been given to Braiden last Christmas.

"I hate this." Harry growled.

"He's going to be fine." Nasta soothed. No one voiced the thought that Leolin might not be, they just couldn't handle those sorts of thoughts being said out loud, they couldn't think that their baby boy might be snatched from them after such little time spent with him. It didn't bear thinking about.

Harry woke up stiff backed and aching. He grimaced and wondered why he felt this way when the memories of the day before slammed into him.

He snapped his head to the little hospital bed in panic and he found Calix sat up and playing quietly with his favourite stuffed dinosaur teddy. He let out a loud, shaky sigh which drew his son's attention.

"Mama." Calix called out when he saw that Harry was awake.

"Oh baby, how are you?" Harry said softly as he picked his little boy up and cradled him, feeling his forehead consideringly.

Nasta had transfigured their sandwich packets into temporary beds for them last night to sleep on when three in the morning came and there was still no news about Leolin. He wanted to go and hammer on the door to Leolin's room and demand answers, but then he'd thought about what could happen if he disturbed the Healers and his disturbance became the difference between life and death for Leolin and he stayed in his seat.

"Baba go." Calix asked, patting his face.

"Your brother's and sister are at home love, you're in the hospital to make you feel better."

"Dada ma."

"Daddy Max is here too." Harry turned and pointed out a sleeping Max to Calix who screeched…loudly.

His mates were awake like a shot, which made Calix happy as he reached out for Max happily, who took him gently and cradled him.

"Dada ma!"

"Hi baby. I missed you so much." Max said almost tearfully as he squeezed Calix firmly, but not tightly.

Calix babbled to Max then, odd words, sounds and he went from almost whispering one moment to almost shouting the next as he bashed around his stuffed dinosaur.

Harry offered him a bottle but he looked at it confusedly and the looked around him and then he frowned.

"I think he's confused as to why it's daytime, but he's getting a bottle. It's usually in the evenings when he has a bottle; he has his cereal in the morning." Nasta told them.

"You need to eat, Calix, you need your strength, just one bottle, I promise." Harry encouraged as he scooped Calix back up into the crook of his one arm and pressed the bottle teat into his mouth.

Calix sucked and swallowed happily enough, but halfway through he slowed down and his eyes started drooping, he fought the sleep, but it came as no surprise when he finally lost his battle and dropped back off to sleep. His little body too exhausted to fight for long when it was still fighting the virus on the inside.

Harry sighed and put him down on the bed, covering him over with his blanket and making sure his stuffed dinosaur was cuddled up close to him for comfort.

"I'm going to find the bathroom a minute." Harry explained as he stood up and stretched.

"Thank fuck, I really, really need to go, but I didn't want to leave." Max explained as he stood and then groaned, holding himself through his jeans.

Harry laughed at him. "That's ridiculous, you should have just gone."

They left and went to find the bathroom, which was around the corner from their room. They washed their faces in the sink while they were at it too and found a waiting room with a kettle and tea bags.

They made Blaise a cup of coffee while they were at it, anything to keep them all happy in this situation.

"Has there been any news on Leolin?" Harry asked the nurse, in his pale blue robes, at the desk on their way back.

"The child's name?" He asked them.

"Leolin Siorus Potter."

He did a double take at him then and seemed more interested in the search than before. Harry didn't like him, he wanted the kind orderly from last night back, but he knew logically that her shift would have ended by now.

"There's still no news and the Healers with him have not come out nor have they been relieved by any colleagues. What did you do to him?"

Harry's mouth dropped open.

"How dare you insinuate that we would do anything to our child!" Max growled dangerously.

Max hurried Harry away before either of them could shift and attack the man in public, but they were both shaking in temper. They went back into the room that held Calix and Nasta rushed to them the moment he saw them.

"What is it? Is it Leolin, did you hear anything?"

"No, that fucking nurse at the desk asked us what we did to Leolin." Max growled.

"But we haven't done anything to him." Blaise replied with a frown.

"Exactly!" Harry burst out furiously, his temper rising. "He made it sound like we had and that we were the reason that he was here in the hospital. He had no right! I'm going to go claw him a new fucking hole."

"I'll sort him out." Nasta assured him as he grabbed Harry around the waist and bit his neck lightly in warning, running his fingers through Harry's hair to calm him before putting him down and he left the room after a last, soft kiss.

"I smell coffee."

"It's not your usual stuff, but we thought that you'd rather have coffee than more tea." Max explained.

"This is wonderful, but I need a piss too, I think this cup will go right through me."

"There's a bathroom just around the far corner, we washed our faces a bit in the sink too." Harry told him and Draco. "We could all use a splash of water."

"Nasta needs a razor more than a wash, there has to be half an inch of stubble on him already and it's only going to get worse the further into the day he waits." Draco chuckled.

Harry smiled a bit at that. Nasta did look quite scruffy and rugged today. Haggard too, but Harry more than understood that one.

Nasta stormed back into the room and he calmed himself down visibly as Harry handed him his cup of tea like a peace offering. Nasta smirked at him and pulled him into another kiss.

"I sorted him out and the head nurse turned up as I was flaying him alive and she took off where I left off. I've been assured that he's going to have a full disciplinary."

"I'm going for that piss." Blaise told them and Draco followed.

"I went before I started shouting at the nurse." Nasta told them. "I glared at him as I went past, made him squirm a little first."

Max chuckled and kissed Nasta's hairy cheek. "Seriously, love, go home and shave your face. I feel like I'm kissing a carpet. Do you still have that electric one that I bought for you all those years ago?"

Nasta laughed then. "Of course not, I burnt the motor out using it twice a day for three years. I do need a shave though." He grimaced as he scrubbed a hand over the beginnings of his beard.

"You're the only man I know who can grow a beard in a day." Harry smiled.

"We can't all be baby faced and smooth like you." Nasta teased as he pulled Harry up into a hug only to rub his beard all over his smooth cheeks. That made him laugh.

"I have more hair on my arse than Harry has on his face." Blaise said with a grin as he walked back into the room.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Me and Draco both." He grinned.

"Draco has to shave once in a blue moon; you don't have to shave at all."

Harry rolled his eyes again before sighing. "I miss the kids. This is killing me."

"And all of us too." Blaise assured him. "Hopefully Calix can go home today, then we just need to see what's happening with Leolin."

Harry bit his bottom lip nervously. "I'm worried by how long it's taking, Healer Cole and Healer Almus haven't even taken a break, it's been fifteen hours. I'm really, really worried."

"It'll be okay, love, take this as a positive thing." Nasta encouraged.

"How?!" Harry demanded.

"If they're still working on him, then he's still alive." Nasta told them with a grimace. "Truthfully speaking, most Faerie babies would have died from a virus like this one by now. Leolin is in good hands."

Harry swallowed and nodded. "There is that." He allowed bitterly.

It took another few hours for an orderly to come around and check on Calix again. He was discharged now that he was better, though they'd been told that he would be a bit sluggish and a bit tired for the rest of the day, but he would start showing improvements in the next coming days.

It was a waiting game then, Draco took Calix home after he'd been discharged and left him in Granddad Myron's capable arms and he was forced to tell the family that they still had no news on Leolin. It was destroying them all.

Draco was gone for an hour, talking to the family and catching a few quick hugs with the kids and he'd only been back at the hospital for half an hour when a ragged Healer Almus came into the waiting room they had taken up residence in after they had left Calix's now empty room to be cleaned up, sterilised and ready for a new infant patient.

"Healer, how is he, please." Harry begged, his nerves frayed and his hands aching from how hard he'd been twisting his fingers together.

"We're doing all we can. We've had to take a break because we've reached the limit for energising potions."

"How is he?" Nasta asked sharply.

"He's alive, but not in a good way at the moment." Healer Almus admitted sadly. "I think…I think it might be best if you come and see him now…to say goodbye."

Harry felt his eyes widen. "No." He denied. "No! No, this can't be happening! This can't happen!" He screamed.

Nasta grabbed him around his waist and picked him up, shoving his face into his neck and he held him there until Harry had breathed in enough of his calming pheromones to relax, but then the tears came and the wracking sobs shook his whole body violently.

"Come on, Harry. Let's do this now. We need to say…we need to say goodbye." Nasta told him, his voice breaking as he sniffed hard, trying desperately to cling onto his hard won control.

"I can't. I can't do it!" He sobbed.

"You'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't."

"If…if we say goodbye, it sounds…it sounds like we're just giving up on him." Harry said. "I won't give up on him. Never."

"It's not giving up on him, love." Nasta told him. "We're just going to see him after waiting nineteen hours for any news about him."

A door opened and Harry squeezed his eyes closed tighter when his mates gasped. He knew it would be bad but he felt his own gasp rip out of his throat when he opened his eyes. It was like someone had just crushed his lungs.

Leolin looked terrible. His skin was almost translucent pale, his blue spider web of thin, delicate veins showing through prominently. His eyelids were bluish-purple bruises with black bags around the sockets. He was wired up to machines, like in a Muggle hospital, then he reminded himself that excess magic couldn't be used on magical babies, but right then and there he wouldn't have cared if Leolin was made a squib through magical overuse, as long as it saved his life.

He was breathing too rapidly and he felt shocky as he was the first to step forward and touch one little hand, which was too small, too pale and unmoving. He didn't like seeing his little boy like this; even his previous cherry red cheeks had gone colourless, leeched of all vibrancy and signs of life. He looked grey. He looked like he was dying…or like he was already dead.

He almost choked on a sob that forced its way out and he shoved a hand over his lower face, mouth and nose both, to try to keep from making a noise. He didn't want to wake Leolin, he needed his rest.

"It's going to be alright, Leolin." Harry said thickly, swallowing hard and blinking away his tears so that he could see his son clearly.

"We've done all that we can for him." Healer Cole assured him and Harry spared him a glance to see that he looked worse than exhausted. "But bronchiolitis is a very serious virus for a baby of Faerie blood to get, his lungs are already underdeveloped from being born premature, he's at a disadvantage because of his Faerie blood and the bronchiolitis virus has inflamed the small airways of his lungs. Leolin is having some very serious problems breathing on his own."

"Is he in…is he in any pain at all?" He asked shakily. He needed to know that his baby wasn't suffering.

"No. He's been crying weakly on and off for half the night, he's as exhausted as we are. He needs some sleep to recover his strength, I'm glad he's sleeping at all with the cough he has, but he needs something to eat now. He refused any sort of milk last night, he was too distressed."

Harry swallowed. "I could get him to eat, but which is more important for him now, sleep or food?"

"Unfortunately both."

Harry closed his eyes so he couldn't see his mates crowded around their son lying in a glass bassinet and hooked up to all sorts.

"How long has he been asleep?"

"An hour or so now. He hasn't slept for any longer than two hours at a time though."

Harry nodded and he took the bottle from Healer Cole and grabbed the only chair in the room, which had been moved well out of the way, and he placed it by the bassinet.

He tested the milk and checked it over, before he scooped up Leolin gently, watching the wires and his fragile little body.

"Leolin love, wake up baby." Harry coaxed stroking a pale, pale cheek gently, trying to make his voice as even and calm as he could, even though his heart was beating out of his chest and he just wanted to cry his eyes out. Leolin's skin was paper thin and felt dry and flaky. Even on his cheeks Harry could see the pattern of his veins and he could easily trace them with his eyes.

Gold eyes cracked open to scowl tiredly at him, but when Leolin saw who it was who was holding him he opened his eyes fully and he tried to smile at him, making nonsense noises, but he tired so quickly that Harry was afraid that his little boy had died in his arms at how still and silent he'd gone so quickly.

Draco even looked over his shoulder in panic, but Harry relaxed when he saw his little chest raise and fall slightly.

"Come on, love, I know you're excited to see us, but you need something to eat right now."

Harry got Leolin awake again and placed the bottle into his mouth and it truly was the strongest that Harry had ever seen him suck in his short life.

He couldn't even manage a quarter of the bottle before he fell asleep again, but Healer Cole looked mightily relieved that he'd taken that much.

"That could really help him, we just couldn't get him to drink, it seems that he wanted you to feed him, a familiar face to keep him going."

Harry felt better at that, but he still couldn't stop his heart from pounding, the fear from infecting his every thought. He felt sick and half crazed with the need to protect his baby, yet how could he when there was no way to protect him from what was already in his body.

He cradled Leolin as tightly as he dared; laying his lips on Leolin's forehead and leaving them there, tears escaping from his eyes as he tried not to start sobbing, which would jostle Leolin from his much needed sleep.

"There's nothing more you can do now." Healer Cole told them. "Go home, get some rest, see your other children. We will floo call you immediately if anything changes, my office is just a few doors down, you could be here in moments, but there really is nothing that you can do now."

None of them liked it, they didn't want to leave, but they all needed a shower, they needed proper food, all they'd had in the last twenty-three or so hours had been a few cups of tea, a sandwich each and a pack of biscuits shared between them. They needed some proper sleep and Harry really wanted to cradle his five other children to him tightly. It didn't help that they were reminded that the more people around Leolin the worse he could get and they were all dirty and needed a good wash.

"Goodbye, Leolin, we love you and we'll be waiting for you to come back home with us soon." Nasta told him, kissing a little cheek softly, mindful of his new beard.

Harry cried harder, but silently, as each one of his mates said goodbye to Leolin and gave him a farewell kiss. It seemed too permanent to Harry, too much like giving up, but he murmured his own goodbye, telling Leolin how much he loved him, how proud he was of him and all he'd achieved in his short life and he couldn't breathe at all when he kissed him for a final time and laid him back in his hospital bassinet.

He covered his mouth and nose again, sobbing and trying to muffle it so that he didn't wake his baby son and he let Nasta lead him out of the room and away from his baby. He couldn't stand it.

They flooed home to questions, but Draco stalked off in sullen anger, Max all but ran to find a quiet place to cry in private, Blaise went straight to the top cupboard in the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Firewhiskey and took it out into the back garden, Nasta muttered about going for a shower and a shave, which left Harry standing in the middle of the room, crying still and feeling lost.

Myron was there then, holding him and comforting him and easing him onto the settee.

"They shouldn't have left you like that." He growled.

"I understand, we all need to deal with this in our own way, I don't begrudge them that. We all need to come to terms with everything." Harry warbled out.

"What's happened?" Aneirin asked him. He'd been crying too, or at least rubbing his eyes a lot. They were red and puffy.

"We…the Healers said…we had to say…say goodbye to him. They've done…they've done all they can for him." Harry said shakily as he quivered like a leaf in a high wind.

He couldn't stand it and he broke down into his hands and he cried so hard that he gave himself a headache. Myron held him tightly and Aneirin crowded him from the other side as he heard Mrs Weasley sniffling quietly, he heard some others crying and Amelle came to sit on her knees in front of him, an extraordinary feat as she was very big with baby now. She'd be nesting soon.

She wrapped her long arms around him and rubbed his back as he hiccupped and sniffed hard between Myron and Aneirin. He felt numb and like he'd been battered.

"If you need to talk it through, Harry, you know that I've been through this myself. I've lost a baby too, you can come and talk to me whenever you want to, I won't turn you away, just please don't shut it all up or it'll take you ten years to heal from it like it took me. Don't drag it out for as long as I did, Harry, your other children need you too. I didn't have other children, I didn't have a mate to help me, I was left alone to deal with the loss of my baby, you have mates, you have family and you have other children. It does happen sometimes, but I can tell you from experience that it gets better too."

Harry nodded as he swiped at his tears and tried to control his huffing so that he might be able to breathe properly.

"I just…I can't…I didn't want to say goodbye to him. I know that sounds…sounds terrible, but it seems like…it just seems like giving…giving up on him, but Nas said that I'd regret it if I didn't."

"He's probably right, Harry." Richard said gently, not even the hint of a smile on his face. He looked old.

Harry nodded understandingly. He knew why they wanted him to say goodbye. They all thought that Leolin wasn't going to make it, they thought that he was going to die and that he'd regret not saying goodbye to him while he had the chance, but even though he'd gone through the motions, even though he'd said goodbye to his little baby, he was never going to give up on him while he still drew breath. Never. They could get him to say goodbye every single hour of every day and he would do it, but he wouldn't believe it, not until his sweet little Leolin drew his very last breath for the very last time. He wouldn't believe his goodbye until then.

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