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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53. Chapter Fifty-Two – Christmas Tidings.

Harry was so glad when they arrived at Myron's home. It had been a last minute change to their plans, but they had been invited to spend the holidays with Myron, Richard and Ashleigh, who had apologised to him sincerely, but Harry remained stiff and cool towards her. Which seemed to surprise her and upset her, but Harry didn't care. She should never have said those things to him and she should have apologised sooner if she felt any true regret. She had said it over a month ago, almost two months ago now and he hadn't heard a word from her since. He also growled every time she went too close to Braiden, not because he thought that she was dangerous to him, but purely because he did not want her near him.

Harry also became spiteful when he played on her own living room floor with Braiden, making him huff and giggle and laugh and he refused to include her when she asked if she could join them. Myron just looked at Ashleigh unimpressed and told her that she had brought it upon herself when she went crying to him. Richard was more sympathetic towards her, but not by much.

Harry enjoyed being fawned over by Alexander and Kimberly when they came for the entire of the Christmas week, Aneirin had been invited and he and Sanex were there too, but Marianna hadn't come because Josiah was actually home for Christmas for once. But overall it was lucky that Myron had such a big house, though it was sad that he had bought a big house in preparation for a huge family and that that wish and desire had been ripped away from them.

"Braiden, say Mama." Harry encouraged as he sat cuddled up with Braiden, who was looking at him through Blaise's eyes.

"Ah!" Braiden exclaimed as he bounced in Harry's arms.

"Mama." Harry repeated.

Braiden just stuck his fist into his mouth and sucked on it. Harry sighed. He had been trying to get Braiden to say his first word for a month now, but his son just did not want to speak.

He was in the living room on his own as everyone rushed around decorating and preparing for Christmas day. Harry had started helping, but when a fine tremble had started in his knees he had quickly demanded Richard, the nearest person to him at that moment, to help him to a chair. Richard had hefted him up and carried him to the settee and then Draco had dumped Braiden on him as he was roped into help with finding the tree.

Harry hummed Braiden to sleep and took a nap himself as the hustle and bustle went on around him. He was woken up to a kiss on his lips and he smiled.

"You're not supposed to laugh as I kiss you." Max's voice came to him. "You're supposed to open your mouth to accept my talented tongue and moan."

Harry chuckled sleepily and he peeled his eyes open to find Braiden missing and himself covered with a thick, woollen blanket on the settee.

"We left you to sleep as long as possible, but you slept through lunch and Nasta's having kittens about you sleeping through dinner as well."

Harry smiled and stretched his body, but not too much, he'd been warned that he could rip his sac and his skin if he stretched too much or too far. He did not want open sores on his belly as well as stretch marks and bruises; he was already going through a bottle of moisturising lotion every few days to keep the dry, stretched skin on his belly from splitting.

He held his arms up to Max, who grinned as he indulged him by picking him up and carrying him to Myron's kitchen, which wasn't as open and spacious as Max's, but it was very large and just as beautiful, just in a different way.

Max sat him between Alexander and Nasta and Harry sleepily rubbed his eyes, even as he was served dinner and his belly rumbled loudly. He was passed a jar of honey automatically and Harry smiled gratefully as he slathered his chicken with honey, everyone at the table acting like he hadn't done anything more than ask for more carrots. Which he was thankful for.

Harry finished eating his black cherry pie and custard; of course it also had a good helping of honey as well, and he sat back with a pleased groan. He felt full…for now.

"Ma ma!"

Harry's neck cricked with how quickly he turned to face Braiden, who was in his brand new, state of the art, carrycot gifted to them by Alexander, at the end of the table. No one moved or said anything as they stared at the baby struggling with his straps.

"Ma ma!" Braiden repeated and Harry forced his body up using the table top and he went to Braiden, unstrapped him and held him up to eye level.

"Say it again, Braiden love. Say Mama."

"Ma ma ma!" Braiden babbled and Harry hugged him tightly with tears in his eyes.

"He's talking!" He told the others unnecessarily. "He said his first words!"

"Of course Mama would be his first." Max grinned as he kissed Braiden's cheek. "Such a clever boy."

Harry kissed Braiden repeatedly and Braiden huffed his little giggles and Harry was so happy.

"Oh I wonder when he'll be walking!" Ashleigh considered out loud.

"Soon enough I bet." Max answered with a quick, uncertain glance to Harry, who had ignored the comment.

"May I be excused? I'm still tired and I want to get some sleep." Harry asked Myron, who nodded.

"You remember where the bedroom is?" Richard asked.

"He's not walking up those stairs alone!" Nasta countered astonished that it was even suggested.

Harry giggled and held an arm up to Nasta, who pulled him up onto his hip, one arm under his bum, the other helping him support Braiden as Harry's free arm wrapped around Nasta's neck.

Nasta carried him to bed and sat him carefully down on the mattress, Braiden still in Harry's arms.

"I can't believe he spoke." Harry said happily.

"The next step is getting him to say Dada." Nasta said with a grin. "Or even Baba."

"Ah ba!" Braiden told them seriously.

Harry could have cried as he peppered Braiden's face with kisses.

"He's so clever!" Harry praised.

Nasta chuckled and kissed him, then kissed Braiden, before taking him from Harry's arms, stripping him, putting him in his sleepsuit and then putting him in his cot beside their bed. Nasta tucked Harry up and kissed him before kissing his huge belly.

"Don't touch it!" Harry hissed unhappily. "I don't like you touching it; it's bad enough you have to see it."

"Don't be so ridiculous." Nasta told him softly as he nuzzled the belly. "My children are in here, of course I want to touch, kiss and hold it as much as I can. I love you, I love Braiden and I love them."

"I…I don't want them, Nasta." Harry told him, looking away ashamedly.

Nasta held Harry to his heart and brushed that thick hair with his fingers. "That's alright, Harry. They came suddenly, they're growing at an alarming rate and they're changing your body and your emotions, of course you'll have some reservations about them. It's alright that you feel this way at the moment, love; it's when they're born that we have to watch out for. If you still don't love them then, or if you refuse them or don't protect them, then we'll call a Healer and see if you're suffering from postnatal depression."

Harry looked at Nasta with a frown. "Will…will the Healer make me love them?"

Nasta smiled at Harry and kissed him soundly. "I have every faith in you, Harry and in your Dracken, I'm positive that it will never come to that. As soon as these five are born, you will never let them go again, just like Braiden."

They both looked to the baby, who was sucking slowly on a few fingers, drifting slowly to sleep. Harry smiled, reassured by Nasta and he allowed his oldest lover to nuzzle and kiss his belly, which felt like it was tearing from the inside out as it grew rapidly.

"The one thing we'll have to look out for the most though is directly after birth." Nasta confided. "You may kill them yourself."

Harry looked at Nasta horrified.

"If your Dracken doesn't want them, or sees them as threats or intrusions, then you may well kill them, or some of them, before we can reach you."

"I can't!" Harry whispered hoarsely. "Please, don't let me kill them, Nasta!"

Nasta smiled. "Your reaction has just told me that we don't face that problem. I remember a few years back, a dominant killed his submissive, because she had killed their quadruplets. She'd just given birth to triplets on her previous heat, they were nine months old when she birthed the quadruplets. Her dominant had lost his job, they couldn't afford more mouths to feed, but he swore that they would make it work, but she resented them because she was angry and upset with her mate. She kept telling him that she didn't want them and that they had ruined everything, that she was going to kill them. He brushed it off as submissive dramatics and carried on looking after their triplets and their firstborn daughter. She went into her nest, birthed the babies and then he heard her killing them. He rushed to her nest just in time to watch her spear their last child on her claws. He tore her head from her shoulders and presented it to the Counsel."

"Wouldn't they have killed him then? What about their four other children?"

"The Counsel are fair and just, Harry. They listened to his story and cleared him of the murder of his mate for her heinous actions. What she had done would have made the most mild tempered dominant livid, feral and unreasonable. The Counsel even allowed him to join the meets to take another mate after therapy."

"Did he find one?" Harry asked, hoping with all his heart that he had.

"He was still relatively young, very handsome and strong and not every single submissive is an Amelle or a Miette. He found a woman that loved children so much that she was willing to take on his four other children as well and she enjoyed the maturity that came to him from parenthood. They are still together and have eleven children altogether so far."

Harry smiled at the happy ending and he let himself be eased back onto his side, a body pillow under his huge, straining bump and he fell asleep without the aid of the sleeping potion. Perhaps he should have taken some as he woke in the middle of the night, sweating and shaking; he had dreamt that he had torn the heads from all five of his children as he birthed them, one by one.

He felt sick and fevered and he quickly took Braiden and fled down the stairs, going down them on his bum like he had become used to at Hogwarts whilst pregnant with Braiden.

He put Braiden down into the pop-up travel cot that had been placed by the end of the kitchen table, where the bassinet had once been, but now that Braiden was rolling, Harry refused to use it for safety reasons.

He made himself a cup of tea and after seeing that it was three in the morning, he left Braiden where he was. He hadn't woken up for Braiden's night feed, which was unusual, even with the potions he woke when Braiden started crying for his two o'clock feed.

Harry stayed awake for the rest of the night, his mind in turmoil from his dream, a hand pressed firmly against his bump, stubborn thoughts going through his mind until at half five in the morning Alexander came into the kitchen.

"I thought I could hear movement down here. Harry, sweet one, what has you so troubled?"

Harry bit his lip and tried to control his anguish, but it all flooded from him as he looked into those kind, concerned, compassionate, dark grey eyes and he broke down sobbing.

Alexander held him and listened to him as he told him about his conversation with Nasta, his feelings about his pregnancy and his new children and the dream he had had.

He was given a shaky sip of calming draught and Alexander sat next to him at the table and took both of his hands into his own.

"Look at me, Harry. You have been through so much, in such a short space of time. No one can blame you for your thoughts and feelings on this matter. I will confide to you a piece of information that only my mate knows. When she was having her first large clutch, our Keanu, Edward, Enrique and Oliver, our first quadruplets after a string of six singletons, I was apprehensive. I was afraid and fearful for her health. I pleaded with her to terminate them. I told her that she was having too many at one time, that her body had become so used to birthing single babies that a sudden clutch of four would damage her. She refused to terminate them, she remained stubborn and she insisted that she was going to go through with it. I hated them all, Harry. Every single baby from conception, all throughout the pregnancy and I hate them until the day that my mate laid them in my arms. Kimberly was so proud of them, so pleased with herself as she handed me my four newborn sons. I have loved them ever since, Harry. I learnt a very strong lesson that day, a very important lesson, to have faith. Kimberly had faith in herself and in her abilities to birth the children and look after them when we already had six young children. Our oldest, Xerxes, was only eight when Kimberly birthed our quads. Since that day, I never even suggested termination again, I was by her side throughout the rest of her pregnancies, even the clutch of five she had later in life, that frightened me more than anything else, seeing her swollen up with five children, much like you are now, but I calmed myself and reminded myself of holding my first four for the first time and I began wondering what five would feel like in my arms, I kept faith in myself and in Kimberly. So have some faith in yourself, Harry. Your dream was not a premonition of the future, it was just a bad dream brought on by your talk with Nasta and your stressed, restless mind. You are a kind, loving, wonderful and strong boy, if anyone can get through this, it will be you. Now if Caesar came home and told that his Amelle was pregnant with five, I'd fear for him and the children, but with you? I feel only calm and growing excitement of getting five new great-grandchildren."

Harry smiled happily, feeling so much better and he was so completely reassured that he hugged Alexander tightly and allowed the hands on his bump and the kiss to his forehead.

"Now let's get you some more tea and maybe a jar of honey before that spoil sport of a Delericey comes down and takes it from you." Alexander winked and Harry laughed, feeling genuinely happy for the first time in what seemed like months.

Severus Snape holed himself up in his rooms for the Christmas break, immersed himself in Potions, texts and an odd glass of Firewhisky or elf made wine.

Seeing Potter so happy with a baby at his breast and a bump already forming had been almost more than he could bear. Regulus had been apprehensive, but so excited for their daughter to be born and then Potter senior had dashed those hopes and plans to pieces.

Regulus had been distraught when he had been told that their daughter was no more, that the little baby girl that they had been looking forward to welcoming into their lives had been killed inside Regulus' sac. The worst part of it was when Regulus had to have the operation to remove the dead foetus from inside of him. Regulus had been having nightmares for years afterwards.

Severus took another gulp of whiskey and savoured the burn down his throat. He had sworn that he would pay Potter back in kind, that he would one day kill his firstborn, with whomever he settled down with, but he hadn't counted on that woman being Lily. Strong, fiery, sweet, loving, kind, lovely Lily. How could he kill Lily's child, but he had sworn to kill Potter's firstborn for his own daughter, for Regulus.

He saw that boy now, the baby he had sworn to kill before he was even born, he had his own child now and more on the way, Severus would guess at three or four of them from the size of Potter. He had seen a submissive pregnant with six children in an illustrated book. She had looked like she was swimming in her own flesh, her stomach so rounded with child that she couldn't move, not even to roll over. Potter didn't look like she had, but he was very large.

Severus scanned the history book once again, turning the page and scouring it closely for even a hint that his mate had gone to the Potter wedding party. He had looked a hundred thousand times, through photos, through texts, through written accounts of guests and newspaper articles, but he could find no hint of Regulus being there, but where else would his vengeful mate go? Regulus had also sworn to kill Potter, the elder not the junior who had yet to be born, so it made sense that his mate had gone to the wedding party when Lily had innocently invited him, plus one. Neither of them had gone and it was likely that Potter hadn't even told her that he had killed their daughter, so she saw no harm in inviting them. Regulus had been in fits of rage for the week preceding the wedding and when they had argued on the night of the wedding, Regulus had stormed out and Severus had let him go, before realising two hours later, once he had cooled down, that if Regulus went and killed Potter, then he would be arrested, if he showed his Dracken attributes or was found to be a Dracken, then he would be executed. He had rushed to the Potter wedding, searched high and low for Regulus, he had startled Lily badly when she had come across him searching and he had demanded to know if she had seen him. Regulus hadn't been there, so he had gone and scoured every haunt and known place that Regulus would go, from Hogwarts, to his parents' home, where a tearful, nasty, vile elf had screamed at him to go away and leave Master Regulus in peace, that he had ripped the Black family apart, that he had hurt his poor Mistress. He had deduced that Regulus was not there after booting the elf aside and scouring the Black ancestral home as Orion Black was in work and Walburga Black at the Malfoy home.

Nothing made sense. Regulus had been in fits about the invitation, but he also went on about a locket. Severus could find no mention anywhere of any Black's owning lockets. He had scoured through the Black family history, through all the private Black family journals he had taken as soon as Sirius Black had died and the house passed down to Potter and he found nothing, not even in Regulus' journal.

Scrubbing his face with long, thin, potion stained fingers, Severus knocked the book he was reading to the floor. He just wanted to know what had happened to Regulus. He wanted to find his bones and bury them in the empty coffin that he had bought and buried so long ago now. He just wanted peace and solace for Regulus as well as himself. He needed to know what had happened all those years ago and where Regulus had gone and why.

Christmas Day was a buzz of activity as Harry helped Braiden open a mountain of presents that stood taller than Harry did when he was sat down and was wider across than he was tall.

"I told you all not to go overboard!" He chastised, even as he knew damn well that half of the presents in front of Braiden were from himself.

His mates sat around him chuckling, all of their gifts already opened, watching Harry as he and Braiden opened the presents together, revealing clothes, toys, books, shampoo and soaps, brushes and combs, a blanket, two new cot sets, a snow suit and an inflatable ball pit, including three hundred brightly coloured, hollow plastic balls to go inside it.

"Thank you, everyone." Harry said a bit tearfully as he watched Braiden pull a fabric block to himself and put it straight into his mouth.

"We have another present for you." Ashleigh told him. She was smiling for the occasion, but she hadn't been her usual bubbly self.

She handed Harry a brightly wrapped box and he opened it. Inside were five beautifully designed, beautifully made, pure white cotton nightdresses. Each one had a delicate design on the front, they were similar, but different and Harry loved them.

He swallowed the lump in his throat, taking his pride and stubbornness with it and he hugged Ashleigh for the first time in two months, thanking her softly.

"You want them to all be girls then?" He asked as he wiped his eyes on his robes, not caring that they were expensive velvet and had been made just for him to wear on Christmas Day and presented to him by Draco the night before.

"Honey, they're unisex. A baby boy can wear a nightdress as much as a little girl. Here, I found these in the attic." She handed him a dusty photo of a big baby laying sleeping on a bed in a white nightdress similar to the ones that she had gifted to him.

"That's Max." She told him and Harry chuckled as Max groaned and whined behind him as Harry passed the photo around.

"Merlin, you were a big baby." Draco teased.

Max pulled him into his lap and kissed him silent as 'punishment'

"This one is Caesar." Ashleigh told him as she showed the picture of a smaller baby in a little nightdress, his legs pulled up to his waist, his nappy on show. "He always slept like that."

"Braiden always sleeps with his legs splayed." Harry grinned as he stroked Braiden's back as his baby lay on his stomach, resting on his elbows, his indigo eyes tracking the fabric block that Blaise was waving slowly in front of him. "Since we've put him in the cot, it's gotten worse because he has more room to spread his legs out."

They all laughed at that. "There's another present underneath those, for Braiden and the five new ones." Myron told them and Harry pulled out all five of the nightdresses and picked up the six white boxes underneath. They were hand and foot casting kits with spaces for a photograph and an inscription and Harry hugged Myron tightly, thanking him and making a mental note to use the one kit quickly, before Braiden grew even more.

Harry spent the rest of the day playing with Braiden and his new toys. Christmas dinner was very, very filling and Harry felt truly full for the first time in weeks, until the Christmas Pudding was brought out, then he decided that he wasn't quite full after all and he had enough room left for a large piece of pudding with extra thick cream.

They had taken enough photos to fill two new albums, had worn Braiden out by the time that seven o'clock rolled around and they had worn themselves out by nine. They went to sleep happy, full, wound up and eager for Boxing Day.

Lucius Malfoy could see that his Wife was miserable. Her crystal blue eyes would continuously dart to the spot where their Draco usually sat for Winter solstice, the gift they had chosen together to give to him sat where his plate would have been, untouched and unopened because their son was not here with them to celebrate the holiday.

Dinner was a quiet affair; usually Draco kept them entertained with stories from Hogwarts or delighted them by showing off another Outstanding in his studies. He complained about this Hufflepuff, whined about that Gryffindor, updated them about his small circle of friends and talked over any plans he had for when he went back to school.

Life was quiet without Draco. Life was peaceful without his seventeen year old son whining like a small child in his ear. The summer had been particularly quiet and drab without Draco to accompany them on their summer break to Milan, though his Wife had informed him that Draco had had his own holiday to an island called Guadeloupe with the four men whom he had chosen to settle down with. Narcissa had also informed him that Potter was pregnant once again, this time with five children.

It was a strange thing, to think of the small, scrawny boy that was Harry Potter pregnant with five children. That any one of those children could be his first grandchild, but then Narcissa had dashed those ideas when she had informed him that their Draco was not a Father to any of the five children.

At first he had been angry, thinking that perhaps it had been Potter's fault, that he was denying Draco his needs, but Narcissa had assured him that Potter getting pregnant had been an accident and it had taken all of the boys by surprise and that Potter couldn't be held responsible when Draco hadn't taken the chance to continue his line.

Now he didn't know what to think or how to feel. How was any man supposed to feel about the boy he had repeatedly tried to capture to take to his death settling down with his only son? How was he supposed to act around Potter? What was he supposed to do? What was he supposed to say to the boy he had tormented since he was a young child?

He went to bed beside his Wife, his mind spinning around wild thoughts and sleep did not come to him easily. He saw Draco as a very young child, about five or six, thanking him with a hug and a huge grin for his several holiday gifts. Draco hadn't hugged him since he was ten years old and that thought had never bothered him until now. Draco was polite and cool like he himself was with acquaintances and business partners, but he had never acted as such to his family. Was that his failing? Had he taught Draco to become a cold, distant, aloof man? He would have liked to say no, that that wasn't his child, that his child had not become what he had strived to keep him away from, but with a sinking heart, Lucius realised that he had in fact taught his son these lessons through his own behaviour.

He had stopped mollycoddling Draco at ten to prepare him for Hogwarts, to help him to grow up a bit more, but it seemed now, in hindsight, to have backfired on him. The more he had refused to give Draco hugs and kisses and refused to allow him childish comforts and stopped him from having tantrums, fits and other childish behaviours, the more childish Draco acted as he got older. The boy was seventeen and he still whined like a toddler, still pouted and threw a fit when something didn't go his way. Draco had yet to grow up and realise that he was a man now and should not act like a spoiled child and it was his failing as a parent, the blame rested heavy upon his shoulders and the guilt settled in his stomach like a stone.

The sky was just lightening to a steely grey when sleep took him and it was only a few short hours later when he felt the bed move beside him and it woke him from sleep. Narcissa was awake and had moved straight to her vanity table to brush the knots and tangles from her hair as she always did first thing every morning.

Lucius sat up and tried to ignore the guilt he still felt, which only grew as he saw his Wife's sad and distant eyes through the mirror as her hand automatically stroked the brush forlornly through her golden hair.

He showered with the imprint of those miserable eyes stuck in front of him, he dried and dressed himself and brushed out his own hair before tying it up and out of his way with a ribbon.

Narcissa looked at him strangely when he came into the dining room for breakfast; he only tied his hair up when he left the house and they had no plans for today.

"Did the Minister floo call you, Lucius? I believe he promised to let you have Boxing Day off from work as well."

"He did promise me that and no he never called, Cissa."

"Then where are you going, dear?"

"We are going to accept that invitation after all." He spoke as he sipped his tea, speaking of the invitation from Myron Maddison to join him and his family at his home for the festive period, along with his children, his parents, his grandchild and sons-in-law, which happened to include Draco, their son.

Narcissa blinked before her entire face brightened. Then her mouth downturned.

"But Lucius, we responded that we weren't going, they aren't expecting us, it's rude to drop in unannounced."

"Draco is our son; we don't need an appointment to see him." Lucius held back his sneer at that thought by the skin of his teeth.

Narcissa nodded distractedly as she made herself presentable and plucked up Draco's gift, still on the table from yesterday, untouched, unopened.

"Should we wait until it's more reasonable a time, dear?" Narcissa fretted then.

Lucius could have shook her. He was going to go now before his courage failed him, social politeness and etiquette be damned, otherwise he was never going to be able to share in his son's life. His son, his only child.

"I'm sure someone will be up to receive us, darling." He answered as he took her arm and led her to the fireplace.

"But what if they aren't dressed or presentable, we'll embarrass them!"

"Narcissa, I do not care if they receive us in their undergarments! If I wish to see my son at seven in the morning, I shall."

That made his shrewd Wife suspicious; he could see it in her narrowed eyes and thinned lips.

"What do you want with Draco so early in the morning on Boxing Day?"

Lucius sighed and cursed himself for a fool for marrying Narcissa Black; he should have taken the offer of Irene Goyle instead and saved himself the questions and stalling.

"You will see when we get there, dear, if we ever do get there that is."

Narcissa closed her mouth but the glaring to the back of his head let him know that she was thinking about caving it in with one of the solid bronze candlesticks that framed either side of the antique marble fireplace in their receiving room.

Her fears were unfounded as they found nearly the entire household enjoying breakfast, the only one's missing were the ones he had come to see.

"Draco is not awake yet?" Narcissa questioned warmly as she engaged immediately with the women of the room.

"They're all awake, they like to bathe Braiden in the mornings and shower before coming down and it takes a while for five adults to shower if they don't double up."

"You can bet they are doubling up." Myron's Husband, Richard, commented with a grin that made Lucius' breakfast threaten an embarrassing reappearance.

"Not at the breakfast table, Richard." Myron chastised, like Richard was one of his children and not a spouse, but then how did you treat a spouse that acted like your child? "Please be seated and help yourself, my son took the liberty of making breakfast when he woke up before going to wake his lovers."

Narcissa tittered amusedly. "Maximilius is a wonderful man." She complimented graciously. "A very creative cook as well."

Myron inclined his head at the compliment before turning back to Aneirin Delericey, whom Lucius had only heard of by name and reputation before and had only met him once, in that disastrous meeting that had led to the three men in front of him, threatening to kill him.

He was invited to join them and he did so, talking about the Ministry and the new upcoming bills that would hopefully come to pass in March.

It was another half an hour before Potter himself was carried in by Aneirin's son, Nasta. Lucius couldn't help but stare at the size of the boy, who must have put on at least two and a half stone of weight and had expanded his waistline by at least thirty inches. He looked almost unrecognisable from the chest down, but there was no mistaking that ethereal face, with those large, wide eyes and the lightning bolt off to the side of his forehead, above his left eye.

They paid him no mind, for all the notice they gave him he was an empty chair, but they both greeted Narcissa warmly and exuberantly, Potter even handed the Zabini child to her, who had grown considerably as well and was now holding his head up for short spaces of time, even if Narcissa still supported his neck.

Maximilius was the next down, grinning so much like his unbiological Father that he wondered if Myron had had a paternity test done to know that he was his own. Max kissed his Mother and hugged both of his Fathers and even his grandparents, not caring about anyone seeing or watching and Lucius swallowed, reminded harshly of how much he had ruined Draco with his past decisions.

Draco came into the kitchen with a smile, his hand clamped around Blaise Zabini's, their fingers laced together like honeymoon lovers. It was the warm smile on his son's lips that drew his attention the most, Draco looked like he was happy, like he was enjoying life to its fullest and Lucius couldn't fathom how. How could sharing your lover with three other men bring him happiness? How could looking after six children that weren't even his put that glimmer of love and peace in those silvery eyes. What was he not comprehending, what was it that he wasn't seeing that attracted Draco, a spoilt, very unsharing and possessive boy, to this lifestyle?

Draco caught sight of his Mother and then turned to him and Lucius felt like he'd been dealt a huge blow as he watched the happiness slide off of that handsome, angular face and a cool mask settled in its place. Draco let go of Blaise's hand so quickly it was as though he had been burnt as his hands flew to the front of his shirt and straightened it unnecessarily.

"Father, how nice of you to join us." Was the calm, cool, drawling tone he was used to hearing from Draco. Did his son wear a mask at all times around him? Was it only him who didn't know the real person his own son was? Was the son he saw, spoke to and lived with just a mask? Was there a completely different, much warmer, happier man living underneath the mask of the man he thought was his son?

"Good morning, Draco." He greeted politely, before mentally hitting himself, it was this behaviour and cool, polite distance that had gotten him into this rut with Draco in the first place. "If I could take a moment of your time. In private." Lucius mentally hit himself again. This was his son, not some Ministry official, but he couldn't snap the ingrained responses.

"Of course." Draco replied indifferently "Mister Maddison, if we may use your front room?"

Myron looked livid, and with good reason. They were Father and son and were treating one another like distant work colleagues.

"You may." The man rumbled his deep voice tight with anger.

Lucius followed Draco and steeled himself for whatever was going to happen in this room. One way or another, he would either have his son back, or he would no longer have a son that recognised him.

Lucius closed the door behind him and turned to find Draco looking at him through those dull, cold eyes and his carefully planned speech flew out of the window, Lucius just did not want those eyes looking at him anymore. He crossed the room in four long strides and pulled Draco to him in the first hug he had given the boy in seven years.

Draco remained stiff and distant in his arms, until he realised that Lucius was not going to let go. Then those huge shoulders started quivering and then shaking and then large, muscled arms slipped around his slim waist and he was awkwardly holding a seventeen year old man who was sobbing for all his worth onto his shoulder.

Lucius remembered the last time he had hugged Draco, the small, happy, slender ten year old boy who came up to his elbow. It had been the same day that he had gotten his Hogwarts letter. He had held a grinning, excited Draco in congratulation and pride, but he had told himself then that it was time for Draco to grow up, but Draco hadn't grown up, he had hidden.

He felt his shoulder become wet where Draco was resting his eyes and Lucius wondered at what point Draco had become taller than himself. It was a strange thing, to see his son but to only just now realise that said son was taller than him, was broader through the shoulders. It was only now that he had his son in his arms for the first time in seven or so years that he truly took notice that Draco was taller and bigger than himself.

He had always said that Draco would surpass him in both looks, body and excellence, but to see this strong, strapping man his tiny, pink bundle of baby with white fuzz had grown into brought a lump to his throat.

Draco was the best son any man could ask for. He was intelligent, a straight O student, handsome, well behaved, eloquent and well spoken, he had impeccable mannerisms and he was the light of his Mother's eye. He could see that now. Narcissa's happiness revolved around Draco. The sadness and melancholy of that morning had vanished as soon as Draco had walked into the room, her blue eyes sparkling with inner happiness at the sight of Draco's apparent happiness.

It was himself that was the problem, he was the one destroying Draco and he couldn't stand the thought that his son was suffering because of his actions. He promised to change, to be more accepting as he held that huge man to him, remembering with sadness the small boy he had been the last time he had held Draco this way. It should never have been so long, it should never have happened. It would never happen again, he should never have let him go all of those years ago. His biggest regret was that he would never get that time back now that he had finally realised his terrible mistake.

"I'm never letting you go again." Lucius whispered into that platinum blond hair, holding the tears back by the very edge of his fingernails, he would not cry, Draco needed him to be strong for him, he could do that much for him. "Never again." He repeated as he gently brushed Draco's silky hair with his fingertips.

Harry was concerned as Draco remained in the front room with Lucius all morning. Narcissa was tense as well, keeping half an ear towards the front room, likely expecting screaming and shouting, like he was.

Harry ate a big lunch cooked by Max, who possessively waved his Mother away from her own cooker and started making lunch for everyone.

Harry sat on a chair cuddling Braiden, resting the baby, who was refusing to go to sleep, on his considerable bump.

"Have you tried him on solids yet, Harry?" Narcissa asked him. "He's four months now isn't he?"

Harry nodded. "I don't think he's ready yet, I want to bottle feed him for a month or so more first, but we tried giving him boiled carrots the other week, Max made sure they were really soft and completely pureed but Braiden just dipped his fingers into the puree on the spoon as it came towards his mouth and I don't think he liked the feel of it. He didn't even think to put it in his mouth, he just looked at the orange muck on his fingers and he started crying until we'd cleaned them off."

Narcissa chuckled delicately. "Draco didn't try to eat solids until he was eight months old. He was a breastfed baby and he was happy on the breast until eight months, when he actually took an interest in what Lucius and I were eating."

Max roared with laughter and the grin on his face told them that he was not going to let Draco forget that he had been sucking from his Mother's breast for eight months.

"Max refused to latch on." Ashleigh commented. "I thought that it was something that I was doing wrong, until I had Caesar, who latched on immediately. He was unhappy when his little sister came about because I had to wean him quickly to free up my breasts for Julinda. Max was just a fussy baby, he'd only take milk at a certain temperature, it had to be the same strength and the same taste or he'd refuse it, I was actually glad when he started showing an interest in food at four months. I used to cut up bits of food and put it in front of him and let him pick and choose what he wanted."

"A chef in the making from birth." Blaise teased.

Max saluted him with a smile before he tugged him into a deep lip lock. Harry chuckled as Braiden watched his Dads kissing interestedly, one of his new animal toys stuck in his mouth being gummed to the rubbish bin.

Draco made an appearance at one in the afternoon and he was so happy that Harry smiled, wrapping Draco in a hug, who kissed him before kissing Braiden and diving into the conversation with vigour. He was a changed man and Harry looked to Lucius Malfoy who was standing in the doorway and gave him a small smile and a nod, before turning back to his conversation with Nasta.

Caesar came around that afternoon for dinner; he brought an unhappy Amelle and a smothered Eleonora, who was five months old and not happy with being confined to her Mother's arms when all she wanted to do was explore her new surroundings.

Harry had to sit through a monologue of how Eleonora was just so much better than Braiden, how she had already started trying to push herself up and was on her way to crawling, how she was already eating 'real' food, how she kept saying her first word (ooh) which Harry didn't think was much of a first word and was just more of a noise.

Harry maturely endured through all of this, ignoring the woman as best as he could and making humming noises when she stopped speaking as if in agreement with her. His family were so proud, even as Caesar told Amelle to keep quiet and his own mates got angrier. That was until Braiden opened his little mouth and clearly said "Ma ma." Harry grinned.

"My Braiden also said his first words." He told Amelle gloatingly before turning to Braiden. "Haven't you baby?"

"Ma ma ma!" Braiden babbled.

"Ooh!" Narcissa cried in delight. "You never said he was talking, Draco!"

Draco grinned. "He started the other day. He likes saying 'ba' and 'ah' as well."

"Ah ah." Braiden replied before huffing out his little giggles when Narcissa tickled under his chin.

"It's outstanding how quickly he's developing." Aneirin commented. "But then you see that with the Dracken born babies, they're much more advanced than babies born by humans, though none are more advanced than the merpeople's young, they are practically born children with the ability to swim, with fully formed teeth, hair and communication skills and understanding."

"Who's young is the least advanced?" Harry asked curiously.

"Vampires have the least developed start to life. Their young are so dependent upon their parents that if they are left alone for any longer than an hour then they could die, but they make up for this in their childhood, they develop so quickly during childhood that they are fully grown at fourteen, fifteen and have a higher understanding over others of their own age."

"Which is why vampires are such snobs." Nasta put in.

Harry chuckled at that.

"But, unfortunately, it's the Faeries who have the second most underdeveloped children, like the vampires they also have a slow start, but unlike the vampires, Faerie children stay underdeveloped throughout childhood and are years behind other children their age. It's only when they are teenagers that they start quickening and developing and they continue on throughout their adult life."

"Why unfortunately?" Ashleigh asked curiously.

"Faerie blood runs in the Delericey bloodline. Any one of the children that Nasta could give me could be a Faerie." Harry answered her, already understanding that if he had a Faerie child, a whole host of problems would arise.

"It's not very likely, Harry; a Faerie hasn't been born into the Delericey bloodlines for a hundred and fifty years or more." Aneirin said.

"Don't say that!" Harry whined. "I'm Harry freaking Potter, of course if you say that it'll happen! I begged for one child and I got five!"

"That doesn't prove anything."

Harry snorted. "My entire life has gone from bad to worse, well…until I found this lot, of course." Harry kissed Blaise and snuggled Braiden.

"I would have thought it went from worse to bad." Max said quietly, after all they didn't like bringing up the abuse he had suffered through. "You were in Hogwarts for most of the year when you hit your teens or…or did it actually get worse the older you got?"

"That too." Harry said flippantly.

Nasta swallowed and licked his lips and Harry knew what was coming and he prepared himself for the therapy.

"If you want to talk about it, Harry, then we will listen, but don't stress yourself in your condition."

Harry considered that and he wondered if he felt up to telling them, maybe not about the Dursleys, but about his adventures at Hogwarts.

"Well after Hagrid saved me from the house on the rock…"

"Wait what?" Max interrupted. "Rewind a bit, love, please. What house on a rock? Didn't you live in Surrey?"

Harry glared at Max, who mimed zipping up his lips. Harry chuckled.

"When I started getting my Hogwarts letter, I was forbidden from opening it. They even moved me out of the cupboard under…"

"What cupboard?" Narcissa demanded, her blue eyes alight with fire.

Harry sighed and he realised that he'd have to go right back to the beginning.

"After my parents were killed I was sent to live with them. They never wanted me, never cared or even gave a passing thought to me. I was kept in the cupboard under the stairs until I was ten, just before my eleventh birthday when I started getting my Hogwarts letters."

"What barbaric people. I hope you have done something about this."

"I filed the report on them two weeks ago, they should be going into review soon, then they will be arrested and kept in holding cells until a court hearing can be set. Everything is moving smoothly and I'll push to get it over and done with quickly so it doesn't get dragged out. It's a pretty cut and clear case." Richard answered, turned into a mature, grown man for just a moment.

"Well anyway, one of my Uncle's attempts to stop me from reading my Hogwarts letter was to take us to a broken down shack on a pile of rocks out to sea. I thought the roof would cave in at any moment. But Hagrid came on my eleventh birthday and gave me my letter. He took me shopping for my school things and told me about the wizarding world in general. But fast forwarding, in my first year I saved Hermione from a mountain troll…"

"A mountain troll? In a school full of children!" Myron hissed before turning to Lucius. "You were a school governor at this point, what did you do?"

"There was a full inquiry." Lucius answered smoothly. "A teacher let the troll into the school as a distraction, but that teacher died before the inquest could be completed."

"I killed him." Harry said sadly.

"You were an eleven year old boy!" Aneirin refuted with a head shake. "You couldn't have killed him."

"I burnt him to death, I watched him turn to ash under my fingers." Harry said hollowly. "My magic did that."

Blaise hugged him and Nasta made a distressed sound in his throat as he came and sat on his other side, holding him comfortingly.

"I also met Fluffy, a monstrous three headed dog that was in the forbidden corridor."

"Trust you to go snooping in the forbidden corridor and find a Cerberus." Draco said weakly.

"There was also Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback. Charlie tells me that the dragon was renamed Norberta after emerging that he was actually a she."

"You came across a fully grown drag…"

"No, no. Norberta was just a baby. I watched her hatch."

Nasta's eyes were wide. "Harry, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've seen a dragon hatching and I've been a dragon handler for twenty years. The dragons are too protective of their eggs to let anyone go near them."

"Norberta only had Hagrid and though he's a protective Momma bear he let me, Ron and Hermione watch. Draco was also there if my memory serves me right."

Draco blushed. "My ear has never been the same."

Harry chuckled. "Then I think it was when we actually went to retrieve the Philosophers Stone from the trapdoor underneath Fluffy."

"Excuse me, you did what?" Myron demanded and Harry huddled up, no longer excited about telling the story. Myron's right hand clenched and Harry swallowed. He wondered if he was now going to be spanked for the first time in his life by a parental figure, he could see it in those jet black eyes that Myron wanted to do it.

"I…we, me, Ron and Hermione, went through the trapdoor that Fluffy was guarding because we thought Snape was trying to steal the stone." Harry defended weakly.

"You thought Severus was doing what?" Narcissa actually giggled.

"Pray tell what was beyond this trapdoor?" Lucius asked.

Harry avoided looking at anyone as he scratched at the nape of his neck embarrassedly. "Devil's Snare."

"I couldn't have heard you right." Aneirin told him. "I thought that you said that you encountered Devil's Snare, a very vicious, murderous plant that strangles and crushes anything that touches it."

Harry licked dry lips and suddenly combatting the plant didn't seem as fun or as big an achievement as it had before. For the first time, when put like that, it seemed like a dangerous and stupid thing to do.

"I did."

"How did three first years know how to deal with this plant?" Myron demanded.

"Hermione. Ron and I would have died without her there. She…she's proficient at lighting waterproof bluebell flames, she actually set Snape on fire in our first year, which is a funny story, but she cast her fire and the plant recoiled away from it and released Ron and I."

"Granger set Professor Snape on fire?!" Draco asked.

"Yeah, in the first Quidditch match where Quirrell was jinxing my broom, she thought it was Snape and set him on fire to break his eye contact."

Max laughed at that and Harry giggled a bit, but Myron was not amused and he looked like he was going to drag him over his knee at any moment, Harry almost didn't want to continue.

"What were you doing on a broom in the first place; don't you have to be in the second year of Hogwarts before you can play Quidditch because of the violent nature of the game?" Sanex asked.

"I got special permission to play by Dumbledore because I showed great talent on a broomstick."

Max chuckled evilly and Harry knew what he was going to say before he did. "You have a lot of talent on a 'broomstick', Harry."

Myron took a huge hand to the side of Max's head, the smack making everyone wince, but Max just pouted and rubbed his sore spot before grinning happily once more. That smack had made Harry wince more than anyone else; he did not want that hand on his bum.

"What came after the Devil's Snare?" Lucius asked coolly. He was not impressed either.

Harry thought hard and the tinkling and buzzing came back to his mind. "Keys." He said. "Winged keys. You had to catch the key that unlocked the next door, there had to have been a thousand keys in that room."

"And three eleven year olds caught the right key to the door?"

"It was pretty obvious. It had a broken wing from already being caught once." Harry said meekly.

"What came next?"

"A life sized game of wizards' chess. We had to take the place of three pieces and play our way to the other side of the room."

"Wizards chess is a very violent game without it being life sized and including three children!" Ashleigh hissed. "Did any of you get hurt?"

"Ron did. The only way to win the game was for Ron to be taken by the queen piece and for me to checkmate the king. He was knocked unconscious from the blow, but he was fine afterwards."

"He could have lost his head!"

"Good." Draco hissed, everyone ignored him and Harry carried on quickly.

"After that was a huge troll that was already knocked out, thankfully, it was even bigger than the one I faced before and after that was a table of potions and a riddle. Hermione solved that, but only one of us could go forward, the other had to go back."

Myron huffed irritated. "Let me guess, you went forward?"

"I went forward and found Quirrell with Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Voldemort was possessing Quirrell, but because he was just a spirit, he latched onto the host's body like a parasite and sort of grew out of the back of Quirrell's head, which is why he always wore that absurd turban. I had nightmares for months after that."

"What happened after that?" Ashleigh asked almost breathlessly in fear.

"Voldemort asked me to join him. I'll always remember what he said. 'There is no good or evil, Harry, there is only power and those too weak to seek it. Join me and together we can do extraordinary things. Better to save your own life and join me or you'll meet the same end as your parents' I told him exactly where to shove that idea. He told me how he killed my Father first and then went after my Mother when I told him that I'd never join him, I might have called him a liar as well, but afterwards he screamed at Quirrell to kill me."

"So you killed him first."

"He couldn't touch me. Dumbledore said it was because my Mother sacrificed her life for me and that because Voldemort couldn't understand that, it became his weakness and he couldn't touch me. Because Voldemort was sharing Quirrell's body, he couldn't touch me either and when he tried to suffocate me by cutting off my windpipe, his hands started blistering, the longer he held onto me the more they blistered until the hand died and turned to ash. He tried with his other hand and the same thing happened. I knew what I was doing, I knew that I'd kill him when I did it, but I latched onto his face, pushing my hands into his face and I watched the terror in his eyes, the pain and the fear as his face turned to ash under my hands and still I didn't let go. I passed out sometime after that and woke up in the hospital wing a week later."

"It was self-defence." Richard told him as he finished. "No wizarding court in the whole of Britain would convict you for murder under those circumstances."

"They wouldn't?" Harry asked hopefully, needing the reassurance.

"Absolutely not." Richard answered firmly. "An eleven year old boy being set upon by a grown man intent on strangling him? No. It would assuredly be ruled as self-defence even if you had taken a knife to his throat."

Harry yawned widely and cuddled Braiden tightly as he slept soundly, the middle and ring fingers of his right hand encased in a softly sucking mouth.

"It's bedtime I think." Nasta said softly as he looked to the clock and to Harry's half closed eyes.

"I never had a nap today." Harry said surprised. "No wonder I'm so tired when it's only nine."

"How old are you, three?" Amelle sneered as she came in from the kitchen with a squirming Eleonora, who had been bathed, changed, fed and was now refusing to sleep.

"No, but I am pregnant with five babies and you're not, are you?" Harry said with a pointed look to her empty belly.

Amelle hissed and took a step forward. Blaise was in front of him before she could take a second.

"Don't even think about coming any closer to him or I will tear off every finger you have and bury them in your eye sockets." He hissed.

Amelle looked around, saw that no one was on her side, before she looked for Caesar, who had gone to the toilet at the end of Harry's tale and then she realised that she was alone. She growled and hissed as she backed away and Harry waved to her as she backed herself and Eleonora out of the room. He giggled and rolled himself onto Nasta and settled himself on his lap, yawning once again before giving Nasta a little kick with his heel to get him moving.

"I'm sure you think I'm a horse." He said as he eased himself to his feet and settled Harry and Braiden more securely in his arms.

"No, you're my loving, amazing mate who doesn't want to see me struggling up all of those stairs whilst carrying your five children…oh, no Braiden makes six. Do you want to watch me fight all of those stairs with six babies? What if I fell?"

"You coercing little fiend." Nasta teased, rubbing their noses together as they said goodnight and climbed the stairs to the bedroom, the others following after saying their own goodnights.

Nasta settled him down and nuzzled his face as he stripped Harry and redressed him in warm pyjama bottoms and one of Max's shirts. Blaise got Braiden ready for bed and settled him in his cot, which had once belonged to Max and his siblings, only with a new mattress and linens.

Harry yawned and fell asleep quickly, feeling loved, cherished and cared for as the soft voices of his mates murmured around him as they got ready for bed themselves.

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