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?


51. Chapter Fifty – Hectic Hounding

Life soon dissolved into chaos, it was just one week into the September school term and Harry had taken to tearing out clumps of his own hair. Braiden was a little over a month old, he was a month pregnant, he was drowning in his own homework and Max had been called back into work urgently for a huge order of Rubella draughts as a breakout of the disease had started in a Magical community.

It started one morning and they had no warning as Harry darted awake in the early hours of Wednesday, a week after the term had started and he puked out his guts onto Draco's bare shoulder, who had had the misfortune of sleeping next to him when the morning sickness had struck as quick as a viper.

Draco woke screaming and he cringed away from his own shoulder as the warm, wetness slid slowly and sickeningly down his arm. He rushed off still yelling into the bathroom to shower, Braiden had been startled awake by the noise and he was adding to it as he cried loudly. Blaise groggily pulled their month old son into his arms to sooth him as Nasta tried to sooth Harry as he dry heaved over and over again until he thought that his own stomach was trying to come up his throat. His eyes were streaming with tears, his nose running as his body shook uncontrollably from the shock and suddenness of vomiting so violently.

Max, who had gotten home very late and was due an early morning, was not happy to be woken up to such noise and activity, but he dutifully rubbed Harry's back as the spasms threatened to make Harry collapse.

Harry finally stopped vomiting, but he lay spent and sobbing on the bed as Nasta wiped his eyes and nose for him as Max dabbed the vomit and bile from his mouth. Draco, finished showering and having a fit, brought Harry a glass of water to wash his mouth out with and, still huffing and quivering, Harry took a few shaky mouthfuls, swilled his mouth out and spat on the carpet, which was already covered in vomit, before Nasta removed it all with a simple wave of his wand.

"I'm sorry." He croaked out, his throat feeling like a raw wound.

"You have nothing to be sorry for." Nasta told him immediately as he carefully eased him up and into his arms, one hand rubbing his belly softly.

"As long as you don't puke on me again, I can forgive you this once." Draco told him, kissing his sweaty forehead.

Harry chuckled weakly as he tried to control his shaking with no success.

"Should I call the Headmaster and tell him that you won't be in lessons today?" Nasta asked him.

"No. No, I'll be alright. I can't afford to miss any lessons. I just need some tea and maybe a few crackers."

Nasta nodded and carried him slowly and carefully into the living room where Blaise was feeding Braiden and Nasta placed him on the settee and wrapped him in a blanket as he was still shivering and a bit shocky from the suddenness of waking up only to immediately throw up. He was given sweet, ginger tea and a packet of salted crackers, which he sipped slowly and nibbled on until the queasiness went away. It was only just coming up to six in the morning and none of them wanted to be awake this early, Max least of all, who had been herded back into the bedroom by Nasta and shoved back into bed, which had been stripped and changed by Draco, who was getting so much better at small domestic things like that.

They sufficed with cereal and toast for breakfast as Max tried to get a few more hours sleep before he spent the day making more potions and Harry was far too shaken up and weak bodied to cook.

At eight Max was up, showered and dressed for work and he kissed them all goodbye hastily, as he smothered a yawn behind his hand and flooed off to work. Harry only hoped he didn't make a mistake or have an accident, which could ruin an entire batch of potion and mean Max would be working for longer as he started again.

At ten to nine Harry shakily held onto Draco as they made their way down to Transfiguration, leaving Braiden with Nasta, who was napping, and leaving Blaise on the fifth floor as he headed to Ancient Runes.

"You look terrible!" Hermione greeted worriedly as he sat between her and Draco at the front of the classroom, a concerned Professor McGonagall listening to them.

"Morning sickness came back with a vengeance." He smiled weakly as he took out his parchment, quills, ink and completed homework.

"Are you alright though?" She persisted.

'Not really' He thought disparagingly, but he just smiled and nodded as he waited for the double period to be over, they had a half hour break after Transfiguration, but where Draco and Blaise would be heading to Potions afterwards, Harry had a free lesson and he was going to damn well use his two and a half hour break to catch up on some sleep.

Harry battled through the double lesson as much as he could, but his attention just wasn't there and Professor McGonagall knew it. She stopped calling on him for answers and let him work at his own pace as she pushed the other students and when the bell rang for the second time signalling the end of second period and the start of their first half hour break, Harry weakly climbed to his feet and let Draco carry him and their book bags back to their rooms.

Nasta was up and ready for them as he indicated the bed he had made for Harry out of cushions and blankets and wrapped him up and sent him straight to sleep as Draco sat and relaxed for a bit before heading off to Potions to meet Blaise before lunch.

Harry was woken up groggily and fed some chicken broth and some more ginger tea before he was sent off to Charms at one thirty. He felt much better once he had woken up some more and he thanked heaven that it was a Wednesday and he had had that little respite right in the middle of the day where his Potions lesson should have been.

After dinner, they all relaxed back on the settees in their rooms with groans and sighs, Harry happily taking Braiden as he had barely seen his baby at all today and he was feeling a tad guilty for that as he played a game of 'wiggle worm' with Braiden, which was a game he had made up where he took one of Braiden's limbs, an arm or a leg, and wiggled it about gently but vigorously and called his son a little worm. Braiden loved the game and he showed it by flinging out his arms and legs and stretching them, building up muscles and gaining control of his limbs at the same time.

It was as Harry was playing this game with Braiden, that his son let out two short huffs and every mate stopped and looked at the baby. They cocked their heads, lowered eyebrows and looked at Braiden consideringly and Harry curiously took a hold of Braiden's leg again when his son squirmed unhappily at the pause in the game and he wiggled it. Braiden huffed three times as Harry wiggled his leg this time and Harry grinned.

"I think he's trying to laugh!" He exclaimed excitedly to the others.

"He's not trying, he is laughing!" Max said with so much enthusiasm that it was almost as if he hadn't been dozing off just a few minutes before. "Do it again!"

Harry wiggled both legs together and Braiden screeched with huffy giggles and it startled Harry into letting go of Braiden's legs.

Blaise tickled Braiden's side and got the same screech of delight and both arms flew over Braiden's head and out to the sides.

It turned into a new game as all of them took it in turns to make their son giggle, huff and screech. It was amazing. Yesterday Braiden hadn't been able to laugh, he only cooed in happiness, even this morning he hadn't been able to huff in delight, but now, their four week old son couldn't stop as they tickled him, wiggled his limbs and blew raspberries on him.

"This is amazing." Draco exclaimed as he held Braiden up to his face and nuzzled their noses together.

Things got better for them then, Harry's morning sickness didn't come back the following day, Braiden delighted them all by keeping up a steady stream of coos, giggles, huffs and screeches and on Tuesday morning, he grinned a huge, cheesy, gummy grin that Max captured with a camera.

It brought tears to Harry's eyes and he wiped them away, feeling like a fool. Nasta chuckled and pulled him into a kiss.

"It's alright, love." He said with a soft rumble. "He's growing by the day, he's learning and developing. He's growing up and he wants to show us that he is."

"I'm being stupid, damn hormones." Harry complained as he wiped the tears away, cupping his belly, that had started to swell minimally, but it was now obvious that he was gaining weight, and not losing it and those who hadn't yet heard that he was pregnant again, were pointing and speculating as if it were some huge secret.

When October rolled around, Braiden was brightening up the rainy sky with continuous giggles, coos, exclaimed grunts and kicks. He was able to push himself up on his arms and hold his head up to look at them for a few moments before he dropped back down. Braiden had taken a special interest in his own hand; particularly his left one and took to chewing and sucking on it.

Nasta was back in part-time work, but he had volunteered himself for the graveyard shifts, so that he was with Braiden in the day as Max was in work. Lessons were in full swing and Harry only barely had enough time to do everything with his free periods, he had no idea how Blaise and Draco were dealing with their homework load, but Harry spent most days carrying Braiden around with him, keeping a running commentary of what he was doing because Braiden cried and fussed when Harry stopped talking for a long stretch of time.

He was two months pregnant and though he was feeling queasy in the mornings, he hadn't yet had as bad a time as he had that morning three weeks ago when he had woken with vomit already in his throat. He was due a scan this morning and through a stroke of bad luck, once again none of his mates would be there.

Harry carried a gurgling Braiden into the hospital wing, his belly looking like he had swallowed a Quaffle already, but he put it down to the fact that he hadn't lost his baby weight from Braiden before getting pregnant again.

"Morning, Madam Pomfrey!" He called out to the matron, who was tutting over two fourth year girls.

"Good morning, Harry, if you'd have a bed, I'll be with you in just a moment."

Harry climbed awkwardly onto the bed and laid Braiden on his back and began tickling him, filling the hospital wing with his huffy screeches of laughter.

"I see little Braiden has learnt how to laugh."

Harry grinned and nodded.

"He's coming on fantastically well, Harry. How old is he now?" Madam Pomfrey praised as she shimmied the two protesting girls out of the hospital wing once they were fixed up.

"Two months, just about nine weeks."

"So you are eight weeks pregnant, yes?"

"That's right."

"Most first scans aren't until twelve weeks, but as Drackens develop a lot quicker, let's see if we can't find something to take a photo of."

Harry grinned and stripped off his shirt, reclining back with Braiden tucked into the crook of one arm. He watched as the picture was projected from Madam Pomfrey's flat wand on his stomach and he moved his head closer without dislodging the wand, squinting as he tried to make sense of the mess his eyes were showing him.

"Oh dear." Madam Pomfrey exclaimed and covered her mouth as her eyes scanned the image.

"What? What is it? I can't see the baby like I could with Braiden? Is it alright?"

"Calm yourself, Harry, please." Madam Pomfrey ordered as she made a photo of the picture and gave it to him, Harry tracked it restlessly, trying to find his baby, but it was just a mess of white, lines of grey and a mass of black.

"I'm sorry, Harry, but this is frightful news."

Harry swallowed and curled in on himself, expecting to be told that his baby was dead and he was having a stillborn.

"What is it?" He forced himself to say tearfully.

"There have to be at least four babies inside of you."

"Fo…four?" He croaked out, feeling a sense of relief that the babies were alive, but a tremor of fear sliced down his spine. Four babies in a single pregnancy, one had been hard enough and four newborns on top of Braiden going into exam week was going to ruin them.

Madam Pomfrey took the photo, duplicated it and ringed four masses of grey with a red circle with her wand, then she grimaced and circled a fifth.

"Five babies. These masses of grey are hearts, Harry. There are five hearts, five babies."

Harry quivered as he took the photo with the five red rings and he looked at the very pale grey masses inside the white masses. Hearts. His babies' hearts. The fear almost made him sick, he felt self-loathing as the thought that he didn't want these babies flitted through his mind. He didn't want them. Not one of them, but at least he might have had a hope in hell of coping if it had been just one baby, what was he going to do with five newborns?

He burst out crying and he couldn't stop, he sobbed and cried and sniffled in the bed and he cried so hard he made himself sick.

"I'm going to call a specialist Healer, Harry. He'll swear to a secrecy oath, but you need him."

Harry just continued crying and he didn't answer as the misery threatened to consume him. The next he knew, strong, able hands were over his belly, feeling and pressing and Harry hissed and swiped, but one of those strong hands caught his and he was looking into icy brown eyes. How such a warm colour managed to look like chips of ice, Harry didn't know, but a calming draught was shoved down his throat and his crying tapered off into huffy sniffles.

"Harry, this is Healer Almus, he's a pregnancy specialist and most particularly he specialises in male pregnancy."

The Healer turned out warmer than his eyes indicated and calmed him down further before going back to feeling and pressing on his stomach.

"There are five babies." He confirmed as he finished pressing and poking. "Five heads and five bottoms. I take it this is more than you bargained for, how many lovers do you have?"

"Four." Harry replied miserably, his voice thin.

"Is that little boy one of four or…?" Healer Almus trailed off, looking at Braiden pointedly.

"No. It was just him on his own."

"How unusual."

"Not for a Dracken. Dracken's first pregnancy is always the one baby, unless in the situation of identical multiples."

The Healer hummed thoughtfully. "I confess I know next to nothing about Drackens and have never treated one before to my knowledge, but I am a specialist in male pregnancy. I can't believe they'd differ too drastically, so I'm going to treat you like any other patient, I'll prescribe you bone strengthening potions and nutrient potions that you are to take, no questions asked. You could also benefit from a light sleeping potion in the evenings and perhaps a small supply of calming draughts, I'll get the hospital's Potions Master onto making some for you immediately."

"Just tell me which potions they are; one of my lovers is a Potions Master and I trust him more than some stranger I've never met."

The man's eyebrows lowered in suspicion, as if he thought that Harry was lying.

"What is his name?"

"Maximilius Diadesen Maddison."

The man's icy eyes showed recognition and he pulled back in surprise with a small smile.

"I had heard that Max had settled down, I don't believe anyone who is even a small acquaintance of Myron Maddison doesn't know by now, but I had no idea that it was you that he had settled down with, Myron neglected to mention that part when we met recently."

The Healer, who ironically was named Maximillian, wrote down a list of potions and numbers and X's that Harry couldn't make heads or tails of.

"Hand that to Max and he'll know what to do with it. You are fine for now, you seem to be adjusting quickly and your body is responding readily, but judging from the look of that little one, that is hardly surprising, that baby can't be much over two months old."

"Nine weeks." Harry admitted, refusing to make eye contact with the Healer, who was looking disapprovingly at him.

"And you are eight weeks pregnant, how long between the birth of that baby and the conception of these five?"

"Four days." Harry said after a lengthily pause, his cheeks flaming as he found more interest in Braiden than in those ice brown eyes.

The Healer hummed knowingly. "Perhaps this will teach you to take more care the next time. Now, onto the future of this pregnancy…"

"I am not terminating them." Harry hissed.

"I wasn't going to suggest it." Healer Almus told him back. "But perhaps you might consider thinking about a selective reduction."

"What's that?" Harry asked, not liking the sound of it.

"It's a medical procedure where we remove one or more of the weaker foetuses to give the others a bigger chance of survival. With your slight size and narrow hips, the amount of foetuses in the pregnancy and the size of that baby, I would advise you to take away three babies and leave the two strongest to reduce the risk to you and the risk of having a stillborn baby."

Harry was sure that he was gaping like a fish and despite the calming draught in his system; he could feel a bubble of hysteria building up as his eyes burned with tears.

"No!" He gasped out. "No! Absolutely not!"

Healer Almus was unflinching as he carried on, handing him a booklet on the procedure and telling him survival rates and the benefits of the operation.

"The only downside is that there is a higher chance of miscarriage to the remaining foetuses, but it is lowered drastically with the taking of a stabilising potion just after the procedure."

Harry felt the tears cutting down his cheeks as he looked at the booklet and cuddled with Braiden, who had fallen asleep sucking his own fist.

Harry wandered back to their rooms and found two worried, pacing mates waiting for him. He was later than his mates' had expected.

"There you are!" Draco said relieved, then he saw the tear tracks, old and new, even as he started crying fresh tears. "What's the matter? Are you alright?"

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!" He wailed as he just slipped to his knees and started bawling his eyes out.

"Blaise, floo call Max and Nasta." Draco ordered as he went to the floor with Harry and wrapped his arms around him.

Harry could hear Blaise desperately trying to get hold of Nasta, but he just repeatedly apologised and rocked and cried, before large, strong, comforting hands picked him up from the floor and cradled him to a chest that smelt like musk and fire. Nasta. The smell of pine sandwiched his back. Max.

Harry eventually cried himself out and into exhaustion and he found himself on the settee, wrapped in a tangle of arms, hiccupping and sniffling.

"Can you tell us what's wrong?" Max asked with a voice that cracked halfway through, he was still wearing his Potions overcoat.

"I'm sorry." Harry sobbed.

"You've apologised several hundred times, Cariad, but you've yet to tell us why you're so sorry." Nasta exclaimed gently. "Is it the baby? Is something wrong?"

Harry pulled out the scan photo and shoved it at them; they twisted it, turned it, squinted at it but they looked back to him confusedly.

"Usually I'm good with scan pictures; I've seen enough of them, but this..." Max shook his head, trailing off.

"Is that it? There is no baby?" Blaise asked.

Harry shook his head and sniffed, pulling out the second scan photo, the one with the five red circles. His mates couldn't make any more sense of that one either.

"I still can't see what I'm looking at, is the baby…malformed?" Nasta asked, hesitating over the word.

That made Harry give out a weak cough, but he laid the photo flat on his knees. "One, two, three, four, five." He croaked out, pointing to each circle. "Five hearts, five babies."

"Five?!" Draco gasped in shock.

"Five." Harry confirmed.

His mates were silent and Harry felt tears well up again. "I'm so sorry." He burst out as more tears he hadn't thought he had left trailed down his cheeks.

"Stop that." Nasta ordered and pulled him in tight to his neck, forcing him to inhale his scent to calm him down. "We'll get through this, we will."

"I've been told to consider a selective reduction." Harry informed them.

Nasta stiffened and Max hissed, but Blaise and Draco looked confused.

"How many do they want to take?" Max growled, trying to force his voice into neutral and failing.


"Take three what, where?" Draco demanded.

"A selective reduction is an operation performed on a person pregnant with multiple children to terminate a predetermined number of foetuses before they are born to give the remaining foetuses a higher survival rate." Nasta informed the two subordinate dominants. "The Healers want to take three of the five that Harry is pregnant with and leave him with just two."

"I told the Healer no. I told him over and over no, but he just kept telling me to think about it, to tell you and to consider the scenario where I refuse the procedure and me and all five babies die. He said that at least if I went through with it I had a good chance of surviving even if none of the babies do."

"Say you went through with it and had three babies removed, why would the remaining two then die?" Blaise asked calmly.

"The procedure gives an increased risk of miscarriage to the remaining babies." Harry told them.

"We will think about it as an option." Nasta said and held up his hand when everyone went to interrupt them. "But not today. We are all going to calm down today; you are going to bed, Harry, or you are at least taking a nap on the settee, you three are calming down and doing what you're supposed to be doing."

"I need to get back to work, I put the potions under the care of the apprentice, but I don't trust her not to blow up her own face." Max said disparagingly, not for the first time, of the twenty-one year old who was desperate to become a Potions Mistress, but lacked the intellect and talent for it. Max complained every night that she should never have been accepted into an apprenticeship, but her Father held sway with the appointers of the Potions Academy so he and his co-workers were stuck with her.

"Max!" Harry called him back before he could floo away; he pulled out the list of potions and all the numbers and little X's. "The Healer said I need those."

Max looked at them and then to him and Harry bit his lip, perhaps it might have been better to let the Hospital's Potions Master make the potions for him from the way that Max was looking at him in shock.

"You need all of these? These are hideously strong potions and the dosages on them are at the addiction level!" Max shook his head and sighed.

"The Healer told me to give them to you, because you're a Potions Master."

Max nodded. "I'll make them all for you, but I'll be administering them personally and I'll be observing you closely."

Harry nodded in acceptance and he allowed himself to be tucked up on the settee with Braiden as he was feeling exhausted and drained from today and the pregnancy didn't help. It might have just been his mind but now that he knew he was pregnant with five babies, his bump looked that much bigger, felt that much heavier and he seemed just a tad more drained than he had before he knew. He couldn't wait until March came around and he birthed these babies, but on the other hand he could wait, because once they were out of him, there would be five, squawking, squalling, crying newborn babies in his ear day in, day out and throughout the night and he was sure that none of them would be able to cope. It just wasn't fair!

It was Halloween and Harry had sent all four of his mates to the feast, telling them that he wanted to mourn in peace. They all knew why and nodded understandingly, but all Harry wanted was some space and time to himself as he had been taken everywhere by the hand for the last three weeks and he couldn't take it anymore, so he had booted them down to the feast, denied any company and huddled himself on the rug in front of the fire to relax as he listened to the wood popping and crackling beside him and nothing else.

They had done nothing but argue and scream at one another for three weeks and they had had two Healer consultations with Maximillian Almus, who was just as frustrated with them as they were with each other.

They couldn't come to an agreement over the pregnancy. They couldn't come to an agreement on whether they wanted the selective reduction or not, there were pros and cons for each side and Harry just could not decide. None of them could and as Healer Almus, who had thrown himself into factual books on Drackens and their pregnancies, had pointed out to them, they were running out of time. The babies would be viable soon and it would be illegal to terminate them.

Harry stroked the bulge he had grown overnight. He looked six months pregnant at three months and he was growing still. He kept himself covered at all times as, unlike with Braiden, he was getting disgusting stretch marks around his lower abdomen and thighs. He hated them and no matter how many times Draco or Blaise, Max or Nasta said that they were fine, that he was still gorgeous, he still didn't want anyone to see them. He didn't want to see them, so he remained covered even if he was sweating because of the heat of being cuddled up to four bodies during the night.

Harry cupped the misshapen bulge and sighed.

"I don't want any of you." He admitted out loud. "But I can't just kill you all off, or pick three of you to die. How do they expect any Mother to pick out three of his or her babies to die? I know it's to give two of you a higher survival rate, but how do I go on and live knowing that there were supposed to be five of you? Maybe I'm just being selfish." Harry considered. "Maybe it's not about me, but about you, maybe you feel differently, but I don't think I can bring myself to do it. I know I change my mind every other hour, but I think this is the final decision, the others will feel differently, they change their minds as often as I do, but at the end of everything, it will always be my decision and not theirs."

Harry patted his belly and thought about his parents. What would they have done? He didn't know because he didn't know anything about them and that brought tears to his eyes. He had been so teary and so emotional through this pregnancy that Max had bought him a man sized box of tissues.

The worst though were the cravings. He had had a few cravings with Braiden, most of them normal foods and a few odd ones, like the peas on toast, but this time around he was craving so many different things together than none of the others could stand to be near him when he was eating. Harry blamed the five babies, saying that every baby must have been craving something different as he ate a multitude of combinations which included cheddar cheese cut into sticks, covered with garlic butter and honey, he ate mustard from the jar with a spoon, covered chunks of cucumber with rock salt and smothered absolutely everything he ate with honey. He just had to have honey and when they had run out and Max had told him that there was none in their rooms, he had screamed, cried, thrown an absolute fit and almost made himself sick until Max had rushed out and come back with a jar of honey. Harry had then spent the evening dipping his fingers into the jar and sucking it from his fingers.

Just thinking about it made Harry roll to his knees, get to his feet and go rummaging in the cupboards for the stock of honey that Max now kept. He pulled one jar down, twisted the lid off, picked up a table spoon and ate spoon after spoon of honey before he went searching for something else, he didn't know what he wanted until he saw the bottle of vinegar. He pulled out a bowl, tipped quarter of a bottle of vinegar into it, spooned out half a jar of honey, mixed them together and smothered a piece of bread with the mixture and ate it. He managed six pieces of bread, which he soaked with vinegar, before the door to his rooms opened and his mates came back with a surprise. Myron, Ashleigh, Richard, Alayla, Talia, Kimberly and Alexander had come to visit and Harry waved as Marianna, Narcissa and Aneirin followed before closing the door.

"What are you eating?" Max demanded in horror.

Harry shrugged and swallowed. "Bread, honey and vinegar. I'm thinking of adding some horseradish, do we have horseradish?" He asked as his eyes drifted to the cupboard.

Talia actually gagged and heaved and Richard rubbed her back soothingly as his eyes remained on Harry.

Harry went digging in the cupboard and he made a happy sound as he found a small jar of horseradish at the back, he pulled out the ever present jar of mustard too and he set to mixing them all together again before spooning the mixture onto more bread and eating it.

Talia darted for the bathroom, but no one else moved as they watched Harry devour the vinegar soaked bread covered with honey, horseradish and mustard. They were transfixed as Harry went back to the cupboard as he decided he wanted something else and he pulled out gravy granules and added them to the mixture to make a thick, brown goo that he polished off an entire loaf of bread with watched in horrified fascination by a group of people he had come to see as family.

"Are you still hungry?" Draco asked, his eyes pleading him to say no.

Harry shook his head. "I'm stuffed." But despite claiming to be completely full, Harry took down another jar of honey as he put his dishes in the sink and sat in front of the fire eating it with his fingers.

"Max said you had something to tell us, sweetie." Ashleigh exclaimed, looking like she'd rather not disturb him from his honey as she cradled Braiden.

"Ah!" Harry exclaimed as he grinned widely. "We've decided that it's time to inform you about the pregnancy."

"It seems to be going well." Richard exclaimed with an evil grin.

Harry handed them the old scan photo that Madam Pomfrey had taken what seemed like a year ago, but was only three weeks.

"I can't make any sense of these stupid things." Richard pouted.

"Can anyone see what it shows?"

"I'd say that it was showing there was nothing there, but that's obviously not true." Marianna stated. "So come on, tell us what we're seeing."

Harry pointed to each, fingertip sized grey dot in the middle of the huge mass of white that was his five babies cuddled together.

"Are those limbs?" Narcissa asked curiously.

"Nope, those little grey specks are hearts. Five hearts. Five babies."

It took a moment for that information to sink in before there was uproar and it took Braiden crying in fright to shut everyone up. Harry took his baby and cuddled him, sitting the two month old baby on his massive bump.

"Five?!" Aneirin was the first to exclaim in shock.

"You're too small to carry five babies. You'll snap your own ribs or the babies will crush your spine or pelvis as they grow." Myron told him.

"I've been told to consider selective reduction. They want to take three babies."

"Are…are you going to go through with it?" Ashleigh asked, licking her lips. "I don't think it's a good idea."

"Ashleigh." Myron growled warningly. "He could die!"

"What if one of the three babies chosen is our Max's?" She demanded. "His first child and it might be killed off before it's even born because of this selective reduction! It's a fancy word for abortion."

"Don't be a fool." Narcissa scathed to the other woman. "Would you rather all five babies and Harry die? If the Healers are suggesting it then it's because it's the best option for the health of all involved."

"You're only saying that because there's no chance any of the babies are your son's!" Ashleigh hissed and Draco went ash white.

He had been devastated to learn that none of the babies could be his, but he had taken it in his stride and consoled a tearful Harry, who had been trying to guess who the Father of each baby was as they kicked him in various different places with different levels of pain, only for Harry to realise that Draco hadn't had sex with him on the night he had conceived.

Myron dragged Ashleigh to her feet and marched her straight out of their rooms and Richard sighed unhappily.

"Don't mind if I stick around for a bit do you? He's going to tear her a new arsehole for what she said and how she's acted."

"Richard!" Kimberly chastised.

Harry remained quiet and no more was said about his pregnancy, the five babies or the selective reduction, instead they talked about the leaps and bounds that Braiden had taken and how well he was developing and how brilliantly he was doing until Harry could stick it no longer and he claimed to be tired before he fled to the bedroom in tears.

His mates came in ten minutes later, after seeing everyone out and promising to update them if anything else happened or came about, but Harry was already asleep with tears staining his face, his arms wrapped around his considerable belly.

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