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?


47. Chapter Forty-Seven – Denial

Harry looked at the woman blankly, everything was still and silent and then Ashleigh called out a happy congratulation and everyone was doing the same and Harry looked at his hands, resting over his belly. Two days pregnant. How could she know? How could anyone pick up a baby two days after conception? She was mistaken. She was lying.

"No, I've just given birth." He denied.

"You're two days pregnant, Harry." Claire insisted.

"No, no, no, no, no, NO!" Harry screamed hitting his hands against the ground. Immediately they were seized and held in Max's hands as his body was turned and curled into Nasta's chest.

"It's alright, Harry. We'll get through this."

"I don't want to be pregnant again." Harry mumbled. "I'm not pregnant again!"

"You might not remain pregnant." Claire told him softly.

"You just said…" Draco exploded before Nasta covered his mouth with a hand.

"The pregnancy is now unstable due to…"

"Her." Blaise hissed deeply, his indigo eyes pinned to Amelle on the opposite end of the garden.

She had only gotten one kick to his stomach, right after she had split his lip as he tried to raise himself from the floor. Harry had then curled up on his stomach, protecting his chest as she lashed out at his back and head before his wings came out to protect him further.

"Are you saying that Harry is having a miscarriage?" Max demanded.

Claire smiled sadly. "Possibly unless it is stabilised soon. Harry, if you really don't want to be pregnant, then just let the miscarriage take its course, the group of cells are only two days old, not even formed sacs yet or an embryo. If you want me to help stabilise it then I can also do that."

Everyone started shouting and yelling, trying to get their opinion heard but Claire held up a hand and silenced them with a furious, almost poisonous look.

"This is Harry's body, Harry's life and Harry's decision! Only he can make it. If he does not want to be pregnant again so soon, while his son is less than a week old, then he doesn't have to be."

Harry didn't look at anyone; he sat on his own, on the grass, curled around himself. His mind was flitting from idea to idea, from thought to thought, but nothing was really staying in his head. He didn't know what he wanted, what he was going to do, all he could really focus on was that Amelle, who had attacked him twice now, had caused him to potentially lose his second baby.

He could feel heat rising from his skin, could feel an electric like tingle as his anger grew and he knew that he was losing control of his magic, like he had back when he was thirteen and Aunt Marge had made him so angry that he just couldn't stop his magic from reacting.

He screamed, long and loud and his magic exploded from his body with the force of a hurricane and it destroyed everything. Tables went flying, chairs compacted themselves to splinters, glasses shattered, tea cups turned to a fine powdery dust, the grass tore itself from the ground in strips and everyone standing around him was knocked back several feet onto their arses or backs.

His magic enveloped him and soothed him, caressed him with phantom fingers and tendrils of love as a horrific scream came from the back of his mind.

"Stop it, Harry! Please!" Someone begged him pleadingly.

Harry looked up to the one who had spoken, past the gawking family members, to Caesar who was looking at him with heartbroken brown eyes, pleading with him as his Wife and mate writhed on the floor in agony as he tried to hold her body down as it moved in unnatural ways.

Blaise was there then, wrapping him in loving arms, holding him and kissing his neck and Harry relaxed back into him, his magic ebbing away to disperse into the air or into the ground, some of it coming back to his own body, flowing into the little channels that it travelled through, throughout his entire body and he felt soft and calm and weightless. He felt no pain at all and when he raised a hand to his split lip, the split wasn't there. He smiled beatifically and lifted his shirt to look at the red mark that would have badly bruised. It wasn't there. He had healed himself.

"What was that?" Cassander asked his eyes wide and frightened, his voice soft and respectful.

"Harry is very powerful." Blaise whispered in a carrying voice, his skin still tingling from touching Harry as his magic exploded outwards.

"No matter what the newspapers speculate, I was the one to destroy Voldemort." Harry said as he looked around at the damage he had caused and the looks on everyone's faces. Amelle's scrunched up agonised face was the one he kept going back to, he took sick pleasure in seeing her pain. "I held him as his skin peeled away and his flesh sloughed off of his bones, crackling and cooking from the heat of my magic. My magic did that. All he could do was curl up as he died, screaming in agony."

There was silence. He hadn't even told his mates how he had killed Voldemort. Max wrapped his arm around him more firmly and everyone seemed determined not to mention what had just happened or what he had said.

"How is he pregnant?" Xerxes asked Claire curiously, breaking the strained silence that had fallen. "He gave birth six days ago. Everyone knows that submissives don't have another heat for months after their last birth."

"There are exceptions." Claire answered, happy to be back on ground that she knew and could explain. "One submissive got pregnant the day after she had given birth, an over enthusiastic dominant wanting to show his appreciation for his new child no doubt. One submissive had a clutch of seven, three babies were born and then two weeks later the other four were birthed."

"I thought a clutch could only hold a maximum of five babies." Harry said confused.

"The largest number of babies a male submissive has ever had was five, the largest a female submissive has had in one birth was seven. In one pregnancy it was nine, she birthed two children, then four and then the remaining three over twelve days."

"But the book…"

"I told you, Harry don't believe everything you read in mass produced creature inheritance books." Nasta told him. "The majority of the information is wrong or misleading."

Harry swallowed and held still as Claire approached him and waved her wand over his belly.

"Remarkable. You stabilised your own pregnancy." Claire looked at him with huge, awed eyes. "This is supposed to be impossible! How could your magical outburst have stabilised a pregnancy with such raw, uncontrolled magic? It's not possible!"

"I didn't want to lose my baby, if there is one inside of me." Harry said softly, cuddling into Blaise. "I may not want another baby or to be pregnant again, but I can't just do nothing as my potential baby is dying inside of me."

"It's not truly a baby yet, Harry. It's just a collection of cells that have the potential to form into a baby, but you are pregnant. My diagnostic is picking up on your cell activity in your abdomen, which is how I knew you were pregnant, the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the cells informed me that the cells were dislodging from your sac wall and were starting to pull apart from one another."

Max picked him and Blaise up from the floor and cuddled the both of them, even as his blue, blue eyes followed every move of Amelle's soft, smooth, uncovered neck. He bared his teeth, his inch long fangs gleaming in the summer sunlight and Harry kissed a pulled back lip gently. Then it clicked and his head snapped around, looking everywhere his eyes flitted and his heart beat several times faster.

"Where is my baby?" He demanded. "WHERE IS MY BABY?!" Harry grabbed a hold of Blaise who was being held beside him by Max. "Where is Braiden?!" He demanded of him. "Where is our son? We need to find our son!"

"He's here, Harry, calm down." Draco told him, handing over the happily sleeping baby.

Harry snatched Braiden and cuddled and cooed over him, sniffing over his body to make sure his magic hadn't done any harm to him.

"We didn't feel any of the effects we usually do when Harry's on a heat and we were only sexually intimate for about an hour and a half." Nasta said unembarrassed, not even blushing or stumbling over his words to Claire. "If he was on heat, why didn't we get any warnings?"

"It was caused by the weather, extreme heat will raise a Dracken's temperature up to the optimum level for conception, so if the submissive has sexual intercourse when their bodies are in this period of optimum temperature, they will conceive."

"Like how I got pregnant in the steam room of the health spa when I was in between heat periods." One woman said with a grin. Her Husband buried his face in his hands.

"I do not want to hear about my daughter's exploits thank you very much, Lydia." Alexander chastised.

Harry looked at Claire as he remembered something from what seemed like a long time ago. "At the Dracken meeting, two women told me that they used a hot tub to get their children."

"A hot tub, a steam room, baking yourselves under the sun on the hottest day on record with your scales out to conduct the heat throughout your bodies. All of them will rise a submissive's body temperature up to conception levels; I can guarantee that many babies were conceived two days ago in that heat wave without the submissive or dominants even knowing about it."

"Damn it!" One man exclaimed as his wife looked smug beside him.

"Can you check me please, Claire?"

"Of course, Shae." Claire answered her wand in hand as she approached the young woman, one of Alexander's granddaughters, and gave it a little wave. "You're currently two days pregnant, congratulations."

Shae let out a laugh and her Husband moaned into his own arm as he looked at his mate, love and horror warring on his face.

"We have twelve kids, honey! Don't you think adding more will be a bit…unmanageable?" He said delicately.

"No." She answered simply as she ran to one of Max's Aunt's and hugged her tightly. "I'm pregnant again, Mum!"

"Well be careful, Shae, don't go running about or jumping around."

"I'm two days pregnant." Shae answered rolling her eyes. "The baby is well protected."

"It might be a good idea to err on the side of caution." Alexander told his granddaughter as he grinned at her happily. "This baby wasn't conceived on a usual heat, but because your bodies were heated enough to conceive, so it might be best to be a bit more cautious. That goes for you too, Harry sweet one."

Harry blinked around him as he took his eyes from Braiden's face and focused on Alexander as he heard his own name.

"I'm sorry, what did you say? I wasn't listening, Braiden snuffled in his sleep." Harry went pink cheeked; embarrassed that he had lost the thread of conversation just because Braiden had made a noise.

Alexander chuckled and came forward a few steps to cup his cheek and kiss his forehead. "Be careful with yourself, Harry dear."

"Oh I won't need to. I'm not going to be walking by myself until after this baby is born." Harry answered with a glare to his four mates, one which was holding him, the other being held next to him and the other two hovering around him already. "Back off." He growled at them.

They growled back and Harry hissed, swiping half-heartedly at Nasta before looking at his stomach.

"There's no baby in there. I'm not pregnant." He said adamantly. "You're wrong." He told Claire.


"NO! You're wrong. WRONG!" He screamed.

Max put him on the floor as he squirmed and Harry went and burrowed under Alexander's arm with Braiden.

"Come now, Harry, it's not so bad. You may have your second clutch."

"I'm not pregnant." Harry reiterated sternly.

"Two days is a very small amount of time, perhaps the pregnancy won't take. The cells might be lost, they might not attach to your sac walls sufficiently, you might have lost this clutch regardless of recent…behaviours."

Alexander gave a stern eye to Amelle, who Caesar was holding and cuddling, her mouth and cheeks stained red by blood from the nosebleed that Harry's magic had caused from too much pressure and from Caesar feeding his blood clumsily to her.

Harry cuddled up closer. He didn't know what to think. He didn't want to be pregnant, he didn't want to think that there was another baby growing inside of him, but if there was, and it was a big if in his mind, then he also didn't want that baby to die or for the cells that were going to form up his baby to unravel and tear apart before his baby even had a chance of becoming an actual baby.

Harry took comfort from Alexander and looked up as a strong hand was placed on his shoulder. Richard was standing behind him and he pulled him from Alexander and over to a clear space of grass away from everyone else, who were working on mending and fixing everything his magical outburst had destroyed.

"I'm sorry, Harry. I've acted disgustingly towards you, but Alexander is right, I do believe that you are older than you actually are because of the way you act. You're more mature than I am, so it's harder for me to associate you with being so much younger. Your control is outstanding, so when you showed the first waver, the first slip, I attacked it and I'm sorry. You have such amazing control that perhaps I maybe thought that your slip was purposeful, when in reality it wasn't. I know you've shown great kindness to Ashleigh, to all of us. I mean, look at all these other prissy bitches; they're still clinging onto their children even now. You were the only one who has ever shown such kindness to Ashleigh and such trust in her personality as to actually hand her your newborn, to let her hold him and cuddle him and without you even hovering over her. Myron and I, we got used to it. We were so used to you being so trusting of other people with yourself and with Braiden that when you went feral for the first time in my knowledge, when you showed the first crack in your control and denied Ashleigh what she had come to love and adore, it angered the both of us. We've been looking out for and protecting Ashleigh so much more than we should since…since that day." Richard's hand automatically, almost subconsciously, climbed to his ruined throat, his fingers massaging the mounds of tight scar tissue. "It was almost an automatic reflex to shun you and to blame you for how you acted towards her and that was so very unfair of the both of us. We love you, Harry, of course we do and not just because you managed to snag our oldest son's heart. You're a very kind, loving and brave man, what's not to love about you? You are selfless, smart, balanced, funny and Max loves you, everyone loves you. We are so very sorry and I ask from the bottom of my heart if you can forgive us. We never meant to hurt you, our family means everything to us and you are a part of our family, Harry."

Harry threw himself into Richard's arms and sobbed like a child as he was held and soothed, Braiden tucked under his arm securely.

Larger, stronger hands held him around his waist and he was pulled bodily from the floor, turned and cuddled to a chest so much like Max's, but softer. Max was squishy, but not as soft as Myron, who was losing his muscles as he grew older.

"Please say that you'll forgive us." That deep voice whispered into his hair. "We never meant to hurt you so badly. We were fools."

"There's nothing to forgive." Harry sniffled. "You were protecting your mate, I understand that. I hope that if I was in the same situation that my mates would be half as protective of me as you are of Ashleigh."

Myron squeezed him tightly, but Harry noticed that it wasn't quite the bear hug he had been getting recently. The overprotectiveness had already started.

Harry settled himself down with Braiden on the bed and picked up the bottle, shaking it before dribbling a few drops onto the underside of his forearm. He rubbed the teat against Braiden's cheek, watching with a smile as Braiden rooted for it and caught it in his mouth, his lips spread wide around the bulb of the teat, sucking and swallowing strongly. Braiden was a healthy eater.

Blaise slipped into the bed beside him and held the back of Braiden's head with a large hand, watching their son eat with him.

"He's perfect." Blaise whispered reverently.

"Do…do you think that I am pregnant?" Harry asked softly.

"I think that the Healer would know what to look for, Harry." Blaise said hesitantly, obviously expecting him to blow up at him or perhaps for his magic to react and literally blow up the room.

Harry moved a hand from under Braiden's bum and touched his belly. He hadn't lost all of the pregnancy weight he had gained from Braiden yet. He was still fleshy with the extra weight he had gained, it hadn't bothered him. He had known the weight would melt away eventually, but now it wouldn't. Now he would be gaining more weight again and if he was as big with this baby as he had been with Braiden then school was going to become impossible. If he was two days pregnant then his baby was due on the second of March, halfway through the school year and well before the exam months. What was he going to do with a ten month old and a three month old during exams?

"I can't be." Harry denied. "I just can't."

Blaise slipped an arm around him and kissed the side of his head.

"We love you, mio amore. We will stay by you and support you through all things. You are not alone."

Harry smiled and fell sideways to rest against Blaise as Braiden finished his bottle. Harry quickly took it out of his mouth so he didn't swallow any air and get trapped wind. Harry placed him over his shoulder with a bright orange burp cloth that Blaise had placed over his shoulder for him and patted Braiden's back firmly, rubbing him until he burped. He was getting more confident in burping Braiden now that he had realised that gently patting him and barely rubbing was not going to get all of the air up and Braiden would suffer for it with trapped wind and colic. After that bombshell Harry had been a bit firmer handed and Braiden was burping better.

Blaise eased him down until he was lying down with Braiden over his chest before stripping them both naked and doing the same.

"What are you doing?" Harry said with a chuckle as Blaise lay down in the bed beside him and cuddled up close.

"Babies need skin to skin contact to bond. I thought we could bond with one another as well as with our son."

Harry smiled and moved his arm out from beside him and slipped it over Blaise's chest as he rolled onto his side, carefully bringing Braiden down so that their sleepy, yawning son was touching the both of them, Blaise's arm slipping under his neck to rub patterns onto his back, his other arm covering Braiden's little back.

"My Mother would like to hear about the new pregnancy and would also appreciate an update on her only grandson. She has grown restless with the need to see her grandchild, but she has also been toeing the line between our privacy also."

Harry hummed and smiled as he thought of Marianna. He wanted to see her again. He wished Aneirin was around as well, it seemed he didn't see enough of them, but Aneirin at least had the excuse of working in a different country every other week, though he did constantly check in with Nasta and tell his youngest son where he was and what hotel he was staying in. He was hardly ever in Britain, but Marianna was only a floo call away.

"We should go and tell her."

Blaise made a noise as if to immediately disagree.

"Perhaps it might be best for her to come and visit us here?" He offered instead.

Harry clenched his teeth together to keep from lashing out.

"I am two days pregnant." He hissed lightly. "When I was two days pregnant with Braiden I was running, jumping, climbing, going to lessons and having sex. We didn't even know I was pregnant for eleven days!"

Blaise bit down on his tongue to keep from replying but he couldn't help his hand drifting to the back of Harry's neck, cupping it lightly to give him a warning. So many things had happened during Harry's first pregnancy with his son, so many scares, too many, so much drama, too much danger and too many people hitting his pregnant mate. Not this time. Amelle had already gotten an early start, but no more, never again. He would stand in front of Harry like a shield if it kept their next clutch safe from harm. He would confine Harry to their bed for the duration of the pregnancy if he thought it would help, regardless of Harry's thoughts on the issue. They would never again have a miscarriage scare if it could at all be preventable. He wouldn't allow it.

Harry woke up groggy and found himself caught in a sight that would forever make him laugh. He and Blaise were cuddled around Braiden, still naked. Draco was cuddling Blaise from behind, also naked, and Max and Nasta were on the outside of the bed, Max behind him and Nasta behind Draco, all of them naked and 'bonding'.

Harry chuckled sleepily and eased himself out of the pile, bringing a squirming Braiden with him. He had no idea who had fed Braiden last night before returning him to his arms, but he was forever glad that whoever they were had decided to put him in a nappy as the smell emitting from it almost choked him when he changed the little baby.

Braiden made a happy sound as Harry finished powdering his bum and put him in a clean nappy. It made Harry chuckle quietly and kiss him soundly on the lips as he quietly packed away the changing things, got himself dressed quickly and efficiently before he crossed the bedroom, sure footed, leaving the bedroom so his mates could sleep, all tangled together in a naked heap.

Harry made some tea, made up a bottle and ate a bowl of fruit muesli that Nasta had bought to keep in the cupboard for when he had to run to the Dragon reserve and had little time for a proper breakfast. He put the bowl into the sink before feeding Braiden his bottle, watching him carefully even as he tried to drink his own tea before it went cold.

Harry burped Braiden and went to sit in the living room with a fresh cup of tea. His mind drifted back to the conversation yesterday and his teeth ground together. Who was Blaise to try and stop him from doing what he wanted or going to see whoever he wanted anyway?

Harry made up his mind and he got Braiden ready, got himself ready before strapping the baby into his carrycot, making sure he had a packed nappy bag and flooing, at six in the morning, to Aneirin Delericey, who was in Sydney, Australia. It would be some when in the afternoon and sure enough, as he tumbled out of the fireplace, Aneirin scooped him up with a bear hug and kissed him on the cheek.

"How are you, Harry?" He asked as he was set down in a chair, Braiden being placed on the table, before his carry cot was unstrapped and Aneirin had him in his arms, cuddling and kissing the baby. "I have missed this little guy so much. He's my only grandchild and I barely see him! I'm going to have to take a break from work, this just won't do."

Harry smiled and he felt happy again, he felt normal.

"What brings you here?" Aneirin asked as he made them both fruit smoothies, putting whole fruit into a top of the range juicer, adding ice and finishing it off with three plump raspberries for edible decoration.

"I wanted to see you. I missed you."

Aneirin smiled and ruffled up his hair. "You're a sweet kid, Harry, coming to see an old man like me."

Harry snorted into his drink. He couldn't think of anyone who looked less like an old man than Aneirin. His hair was still thick and dark, the only lines on his face were laughter lines around his eyes and mouth, though there were two frown lines over his forehead, Harry put that down to having to raise three young babies whilst working in the business profession. His body was still strong and healthy, though he was losing some muscle definition, it didn't make him look old at all.

"I am sixty, Harry." Aneirin told him with a smirk and Harry just gaped. He would most definitely have said that Aneirin was younger than Myron Maddison, not almost ten years older, but then Aneirin's youngest son, Nasta, was six years older than Myron's oldest son, Max, so perhaps it shouldn't have been such a huge surprise.

"If you stopped drinking so much tea and eating so much processed, unhealthy food you could look as good as I do at sixty." Aneirin told him with a wink and Harry laughed. "Though tea is healthier than coffee, if I ever catch you or yours drinking coffee I'll pull you over my knee and spank the sense back into you."

"I don't like the taste of it and I only have the odd cup once in a blue moon, usually after a late night." Harry said with a grin. "Blaise does love coffee though; he has at least three cups a morning."

"And Nasta allows this?" Aneirin asked incredulously.

"Nasta allows him one cup a day with a heavy frown and a lot of grumbling about his health, but Blaise always finds ways of slipping in more. Nasta is very busy with paper work from the reserve at the moment and he's having to have meetings with the other handlers often because nesting season is almost upon them, so Blaise is finding it easier than usual to get his caffeine fix."

"That boy is only seventeen; he shouldn't even know coffee exists!" Aneirin grumbled.

Harry smiled and kissed Braiden as his son made small sounds from Aneirin's arms.

"There was one other thing I needed to tell you before going to visit Marianna."

"What is that?"

Harry bit his lip and looked into solid brown eyes. "There's a possibility that I'm pregnant again."

"You gave birth a week ago, Harry; I wouldn't have thought you'd be pregnant again so soon. If your body is still acting up it is likely left over hormones, I doubt you have anything to worry about." Aneirin told him gently.

"That's what I thought, but the Healer told me that I'm three days pregnant, I said there was no way I could be, but she insists that I went onto a heat period due to the weather."

All at once Aneirin understood and he made an 'Ah' sound. "How hot did the temperature go for you to go onto this supposed heat?" He asked.

"It hit a record forty degrees, she said that because I was outside and all of our scales were out that we raised our core temperatures up to one hundred and ten degrees and I conceived. Was she telling the truth?" Harry asked, feeling very much like a little boy and feeling like one too.

Aneirin sighed, put Braiden back into his carrycot and slid to his knees in front of Harry's chair. He took hold of his small hands and looked him right in the eyes.

"The Healer was telling the truth, Harry. It's rare that a Dracken conceives outside of their usual breeding heats, but outside forces that raise out body temperatures to a certain degree confuses our bodies into believing we are on heat. The neck of your sac would have loosened with the heat of your body and fully opened when you were engaged in sexual activities, leaving you susceptible to pregnancy. You may very well be pregnant."

Harry bit his lip. He hadn't wanted to hear that. Aneirin pulled him down, off of his chair, and into his lap and he just cuddled him like a baby, resting his chin on the top of his head and humming soothingly.

"It's going to be difficult for you to have a second clutch so close to the birth of Braiden." Aneirin told him. "Make no mistake about it, having any children so close together will be hard in the long run, but it'll all be worth it when you see them grown up, Harry. When you see the beautiful people you have raised and nurtured through their lives. You can get through this, love, I know you can. You have four mates, four of them. When I had Angharad, Sanex and a newborn Nasta, it was only me. Just me on my own raising three young children, one of whom was a newborn. I was flooing off all over the world with them, trying to do my job as they played about my feet in meetings, trying to earn enough money to feed and clothe them properly. You don't have to do that, Harry. Not only do two of your mates have very well paid jobs, but three of you, including yourself, come from old money and are especially intelligent and will have no problems getting top paid jobs yourselves, money is not an issue for you as it was for me. You are not short on supporting family members; you have people willing and even wanting to take your children off of you so you can rest for a night, or even a whole weekend. I never had that luxury, despite being incredibly paranoid and protective of my three children after my mate died, I was always half a world away from mine or Lowri's family members who would have looked after my children for a day or two. In hindsight, I know now that I was foolish. I should have left my children with my parents or Lowri's and gone to these meetings myself. They would have barely seen me, but at least they would have had a safe, secure and permanent place to live."

"Nasta would have hated you." Harry replied mildly and Aneirin stiffened under him, his arms clenching as a growl slipped from his throat. "He would have. He loves other languages and cultures. He only learnt them because you took him with you. Nasta loved going all over the world with you and nothing made him happier than you telling him that you were taking him to a country he had never been to before. Nasta didn't want a fixed abode growing up, he wanted to be with you and to see as many different places as you could take him, to learn as many languages and cultures as he could. It was the highlight of his life and I'm going to ruin that by constantly being pregnant."

Aneirin kissed his head and nuzzled his neck.

"He won't think like that, Harry. Nasta has been to every country on this planet at least twice and some of the more mainstream countries more than eighty times. He's seen them all, learnt all the languages and cultures they have to offer. He's not a child anymore, he's a man grown and it's past time for him to have his own family. If he has said anything at all about you ruining his travelling life by being pregnant with his children then he is not the man that I raised him to be and I will happily pull him over my knee for you."

Harry chuckled weakly and snuggled in tighter to the comfort that he was being offered.

"I never saw my life being like this." Harry confessed. "When I found out that I was a Dracken, I handled it quite well, I handled getting a mate well, though maybe I could have handled the news that I needed more than one mate a little better. I even welcomed the news that I could get pregnant, but I never thought for one moment that I'd constantly be pregnant, that I wouldn't be allowed to do anything or go anywhere."

"Who's stopping you?" Aneirin asked. "Surely not Nasta."

"All of them are. All four of them don't like me going anywhere or doing anything, they carry me everywhere and yeah it's nice when I'm tired or need a nap, but I do have a pair of legs that I like using too. We found out yesterday that I was pregnant and I was carried home, carried to bed and left there and I felt like they had forgotten all about me until Braiden woke up and Blaise brought a bottle up to feed him."

"They left you upstairs in bed and went downstairs?" Aneirin asked a hint of anger in his voice.

"Yes, they said that I needed the rest even though I told them I wasn't tired and would get just as much rest downstairs on the settee with them."

"You want to get a handle on that, Harry. Lowri almost skinned me when I tried suggesting that she rested and I wouldn't have dared force her upstairs when she didn't want to go for fear of losing my eyes. Like you said, you have a pair of legs, why didn't you just walk back down the stairs?"

"They would have been angry and upset with me." Harry said softly.

Aneirin clenched a hand into a fist and breathed deeply. He knew all about Harry's childhood from Nasta and he had been livid, but he was so angry now that Harry thought that maybe telling him had been a bad idea.

"Then they are at fault. If they make you stay upstairs like a naughty child whilst they enjoy themselves downstairs and they make you feel too guilty to get up and join them then they are the ones who should be ashamed, Harry, not you! I'm going to be speaking to Nasta about this, as top dominant of your family it's his decision. He can overrule all of the others and I will be speaking to Myron about Maximilius, I know that that man didn't raise Max to treat submissives this way!"

Harry stayed with Aneirin until the man had to go to another meeting and Harry hugged and kissed him goodbye and took Braiden through the hotel floo network and landed on his knees, cradling Braiden's carrycot, on the floor of the Burrow, it was now eight in the morning and the kitchen was a buzz of activity and Harry had his ear screamed off as he was hugged desperately, ushered into a chair beside Charlie and given a heaped plate of food as Ginny relieved him of his son.

"Harry dear! Oh it's so good to see you, how have you been? Here, have some more sausages!" Mrs Weasley encouraged, tipping four more sausages onto his already full plate.

"I've been fine. I went to see Aneirin this morning because when I was awake, he was already halfway through his day because he's in Australia."

"So that's where you went. Your lovers came here looking for you an hour ago, they were quite frantic." Bill told him with a wink.

"They must not have found the note I left them telling them where I was then." Harry said with a shrug.

Harry ignored Ron, who was at the opposite end of the table. Mrs Weasley glared at him every now and then to remind him to behave and Ron unhappily shoved more bacon into his mouth.

Harry finished off his huge meal, feeling that he'd be full until dinnertime, when he was given tea and biscuits as well, before Mrs Weasley shooed off the younger children and took Braiden from Ginny. Ron left quickly and Ginny went with Fred and George, leaving Harry with Bill, Charlie, Mrs Weasley and Mister Weasley.

"How are you feeling, Harry?" Mister Weasley asked.

"Fine, I take it the others were ranting about how I shouldn't be going around on my own because I'm pregnant."

"Yes, they seemed quite concerned actually. From the way they were acting I almost believed your labour was imminent." Molly told him with a look to his only slightly rounded stomach.

Harry snorted. "I'm three days pregnant. Three days and already I can't wait to birth the baby because of them. I've got another seven months of this if I carry to term."

"How long is a Dracken's gestation period?" Asked a very curious Charlie, who seemed to be immensely interested.

"Leave the poor dear alone, Charlie, he isn't a dragon!" Molly chastised.

"Technically I am part dragon." Harry put in timidly.

"Yes, but you don't want to be studied and questioned when all you want is a nice cup of tea and some more homemade ginger biscuits."

"Seven months gestation, but the baby has been known to survive at four and a half months gestation." Harry muttered to Charlie as Mrs Weasley went to get more biscuits.

"Just like most dragon species." Charlie said, staring at Harry like he was a saint. "How are the babies born? Bill was saying something about you being in a nest on a roof!"

"Yes, I built a nest and then stayed in there for two weeks before my labour took over and I birthed Braiden."

"Do you give birth to live young or eggs?" Charlie asked.

Mrs Weasley heard him and smacked the back of his head with a spatula she took out of her apron pocket.

"Charlie Weasley! You leave the poor boy alone! Asking him if he laid eggs of all things! Of course he gave birth to a baby and not an egg!"

Charlie looked abashed but Harry grinned and took another biscuit from the plate that was shoved at him. He loved the Weasley's.

Harry stayed with them for only an hour before saying he had to get off despite Mrs Weasley telling him he could stay the night, that he could have Fred and George's old room as they slept at their shop, even if they did honour her by coming back every morning before they opened up the shop for their breakfast. It was approaching nine when he reached Marianna's home in France and he gave her a huge hug before shoving Braiden at her as she ushered him into a soft chair.

"I was worried for you, darling. Blaise came over this morning and said that you were missing and something about you being pregnant. He didn't explain much, just frantically asked if you were here before leaving as soon as I told him that you weren't."

"I went to visit Aneirin in Australia before I went to visit Mrs Weasley. I am pregnant. Three days."

"That is wonderful news! But from the way Blaise was acting it was as though you were tightrope walking over a pit of manticores at six months pregnant."

"As if they'd let me walk at six months." Harry grumbled.

"What do you mean, sweetness?" She asked with narrowed eyes.

Harry told Marianna everything that had happened the previous day and she growled.

"I'll be having words with Blaise. He used to hate it when I treated him like a glass doll. I can't believe that he'd do the same to you. But, Harry honey, they can only walk all over you if you lie down and let them do it. Stand up for yourself and fight back."

"I want to see the world." Harry admitted softly. "I want to go places, see things, but with me always pregnant, I'm never going to get to do those things. I love my children, but I want to be able to walk down the street without an entourage of lovers following me."

"Come and stay here for a few days, Harry. You and your mates and of course Braiden. I'll say that Josiah and I wish to spend some quality time with Braiden for a while before you go back to school. Draguignan is lovely in the summer and the scenery is like no other."

"That is very kind of you, Marianna, but the others won't let me leave the house now that I'm pregnant. I won't be able to go. They'll leave me at home if you insist that you want to see Braiden. Blaise will bring him on his own without me."

"Then I'll insist you come too, it's a crime to split a Mother from his baby so early. Just remember that it is not four against one, Harry dear; it is just you and your top dominant Nasta. He is the key in all of this, if he says you can go, then the others can't disagree with him."

"He'll never let me go."

"Then you play dirty, sweet one. Submissive Drackens don't get anywhere if they're all sweet and cute and fluffy and roll over like content puppies. Get hard and dirty."

"You mean…sex." Harry went red, stumbling over the word in front of Marianna.

"I'm not telling you to withhold sex from them, I have very little respect for those who use sex as a weapon to get what they want by threatening to withhold such an important part of a relationship, but that's not to say that you can't give him a little…extra." Marianna purred. "Just to sweeten him up and get him to be a little more receptive to your thoughts and ideas."

"Oh. OH!" Harry grinned as he caught her meaning and he giggled.

"Also, don't be afraid to use emotions as weapons, turn on the tears if you have to. No man can resist seeing the one they love crying. They can only walk all over you, Harry dear, if you lie down and let them." Marianna repeated making sure that the message was hitting home.

"I don't like fighting with them though, it seems like all we do lately is fight and it's usually over me and the baby and now that I'm pregnant again, it's going to get worse, I just don't want to fight anymore."

"You don't need to fight or yell them into submission, use your head, darling. Use underhand tactics, go below the belt, worm through them and make them agree with you. No one likes fighting with the ones they love and with four against one, you are outnumbered and outmatched. Make them think that you've given in without a fight, but look devastated and crushed, turn on the tears if you need to and you make them feel guilty for denying you what you asked for, make them regret fighting with you, fight dirty to get your way. Submissives have been doing it for decades, love; you need to learn to do the same. A dominant Dracken can fight and scream all day if he has to, he will match you shout for shout, so take away the anger and fight back with your own emotions, they won't be able to handle you upset and in tears."

"How…how did you…?"

"How did I get Maximiliano to take me on holidays? I would stare wistfully out of a window or at the page of a book and tell him in a sad voice that I had never been to Sweden, or that I'd never been skiing before, little comments that all added up and played on his mind until I found myself being whisked away for a 'surprise' skiing holiday at my favourite resort in Sweden for the fourth time in my life."

"But you said…"

Marianna winked at him and all at once Harry understood what she was trying to teach him. To get what he wanted he had to play his mates, if he didn't, then he was going to live out the rest of his life stuck in Max's house, confined to the bedroom just like summer time at the Dursleys. Marianna was right, it was time for him to fight back against their domineering control. It was time to get down and dirty and if he had to use a bit of emotional blackmail or word things just right to make them feel guilty to get a bit of leeway over them, then so be it. He now knew what he had to do.

Harry flooed home at midday, his mind still buzzing and running rampant with everything that Marianna had taught him, could it be that simple? Could he work his mates like that without feeling guilty himself? Would they even fall for it?

He was converged on the moment he stepped through the floo and he had four different voices screaming at him, four men grabbing and pulling at him and when he almost dropped Braiden because his arm was tugged on he lashed out with his claws instinctively.

He used a careful claw to snap the straps that held a crying, startled Braiden, scooped him out and kicked the carrycot away from him, sniffing and licking his baby to see if the drop down his arm, from his elbow to his wrist, had harmed him or if the carrycot had held him safe and secure before cuddling the baby and shushing him.

"How could you try and hurt him like that!" He screeched. "What if I had dropped him? What were you thinking?"

Nasta was holding Max, who was hunched over his arm which was bleeding. Blaise was standing beside him, his arm around his back rubbing soothing patterns onto his skin, cooing to Braiden to calm them both down.

"We were worried." Draco told him.

"I left you a note!" Harry said.

"A note could have been written by anyone, you could have been forced to write it. You said you were going around the families, but no one had seen you!"

"But they told me all about your visits when I went there."

"Who did you go to and when?" Nasta asked calmly.

"I went to your Dad first in Australia; I stayed there for two hours."

"You went to see my Dad?" Nasta asked as if the thought hadn't occurred to him to check there.

"Yes, I haven't seen him in so long and he deserved a chance to see Braiden for a bit, we stayed until he had another meeting, then I went to the Weasleys and had a second breakfast, I only stayed for an hour, until nine, then I went to visit Marianna. I stayed with her for three hours. We talked a lot; she loved seeing Braiden and wants to see more of him. She's invited us to stay for a few days before we go back to school."

"Absolutely not." Draco hissed. "Do you know how worried we've been?"

"So, what are you saying? You're going to ground me like a child? I'm a grown man!" Harry hissed back feeling very much like it was four on one, even as Blaise was stood beside him, touching him. "If I want to go, I damn well will and not one of you will stop me!"

"Want a bet?" Max growled his mouth stained with Nasta's blood from where he had been feeding to help heal the four claw marks deep in his arm. His fangs and claws were out, he had gone feral.

"All of you calm down. Leave us. Take Braiden with you." Nasta ordered and the other three listened without complaint, though they didn't look happy. "Draco, Blaise! Get the salve from the top shelf for Max; I don't want him overexerting himself with an injury." Nasta called after them.

The room went deadly silent when the others had left with Braiden and Harry felt like curling up on himself and hiding.

"I hope you know that what you did today was very dangerous, Harry." Nasta told him quietly. "Anything could have happened to you today."

"I was visiting family!" Harry hissed.

"What if you had fallen out of the wrong gate when flooing all the way to France and Australia?!" Nasta demanded. "What if you had ended up halfway across the world, with no money and no way to get back, with a week old child?!"

Harry bit his lip and looked down at his lap. He hadn't thought of that. It had happened before; he had ended up in Knockturn Alley when he was twelve because he had said the wrong place name. True he had gotten better at floo travel since that first time, but if he had fallen out accidentally as was known to happen sometimes, what would he have done when he had Braiden with him?

Nasta came and stood in front of him, lifting his chin up so that Harry was looking into those soft hazel eyes.

"We love you, Harry and we don't want anything to ever happen to you, we want to protect you, but we also want to trust you. How can we do that when you floo off all over the world when we are still asleep? Giving us nothing but a hastily scribbled note that looked like it might have been written under duress? Can you understand where things like this push us over the edge and it doesn't exactly instil our trust in you?"

Harry nodded. He could understand that and he felt like such a fool, putting Braiden in danger as well as himself, but at the time it had seemed perfectly fine and logical. A tear escaped his eye and Nasta brushed it away with his thumb.

"Don't cry, love. I hate seeing you cry. I'm not shouting at you, I just want you to understand why we were so upset and angry with you for disappearing, we want to trust you, Harry and we want you to trust us."

"You never listen to me." Harry said quietly. "You would have never let me go."

"We would have let you go, of course we would have, but we would have gone with you to ensure your safety. Admit it or not, but you are pregnant again, Harry and you had Braiden with you, our seven day old son."

"I wouldn't have let anything happen to him."

"But what would have happened to you when you were protecting Braiden? We're your dominants', Harry; you have us to protect you from all attacks so you don't have to be put in dangerous situations."

"You are not human shields!"

"No, we're Dracken shields. It's the job of a dominant to fight for, protect and die for his submissive if needs be. That is the purpose of a mated dominant, Harry, to love, to cherish, to reproduce and to die for his submissive."

"Maybe that was true a thousand years ago but…!"

"No, Harry." Nasta cut in, shaking his head. "That is the function of a dominant. We are your lovers, your mates, but our function is still the same as it was a thousand years ago, if you die in an attack, we would have failed you as your dominant mates."

Harry was silent. He didn't know what to say or what to do. He felt disgusted with himself and the familiar, bitter self-loathing crept into his mind. Why couldn't he ever do anything right?

"Am I doing anything right?" He asked after the question refused to leave him, repeating over and over in his mind until he just had to ask it.

"What do you mean?" Nasta asked, his eyebrows lowering in confusion.

"Am I doing anything a submissive Dracken should be doing right? I push away my own instincts, I put Braiden and myself in danger, I ignore you and the others when you try to keep me safe. Why can't I do anything right? Why is everything I do always wrong?"

Nasta hugged him and held him against his chest, urging Harry's arms around his own body.

"Every submissive is different, you just happen to be more different than most, but that's a good thing. Having your own mind isn't a bad thing at all, that you push away your own thousand year old instincts and listen to your logical mind is a very good thing, Harry because our instincts can be very illogical, irrational and downright idiotic at times. The others and I know that sometimes the safety measures we give you are a tad overprotective and even stifling at times, which is why when you break them we usually aren't too upset about it because we understand your need for independence and space, but we cannot allow you to put yourself and Braiden in danger like you did this morning. If you had waited just twenty more minutes I would have been up and I would have joined you. I would have told Max where I was going and that I had you and Braiden with me and he could have kept Blaise and Draco in bed with him for a lie in and he would have given them a big breakfast when they had all finally woken up instead of all of us scrambling around in a panic stricken state of mind looking for a hint of you and Braiden, who in our minds had upped and vanished in the middle of the night. We were frightened, Harry and I doubt the others will even admit it, but I can and I was terrified for you and Braiden."

"Does this mean that we can't go and visit Marianna now?" Harry asked softly.

"I don't think it's a good idea."

"Why not? I want to go, Nasta, please. Marianna deserves some time with her son and Grandson before we go back to Hogwarts, you can be there with me, all of you can!"

"No, Harry." Nasta grumbled, his deep voice rougher than usual because the stress of talking so much had left his throat dry.

"It's only Marianna's home. Blaise's home. What danger is there going to be?"

"Floo travel is dangerous…"

"I flooed there just this morning! There was nothing dangerous about it! If you still don't want to floo then why can't we get a Portkey?!" Harry demanded and got a glare for his tone.

"I said no, Harry."

"I don't want to stay here!" Harry told his oldest mate. "We are going back to Hogwarts in a week! I want to see something other than Hogwarts and the inside of a house!"

Nasta sighed and rubbed his aching temples. How much did he really want to just give in, but his Dracken snarled. It was too dangerous, their new clutch could be terminated, a clutch that could be his this time around.

"Just…just think about it, Nasta, please. I've never been anywhere in my life. I've never had a holiday before. The Du…the Dursleys, they would leave me at an old woman's house as they went on lavish, expensive holidays and then they'd torture me with everything they did and got to see as a family when they got back, putting up photos where I could see them and reminiscing about things that I couldn't hope to see in my wildest dreams. I just want to have a break before I go back to school, just please think about it."

Harry felt so sickened with himself for playing the Dursleys card, but he wasn't lying. He had never been anywhere whilst the Dursleys had jetted off all over the world, Dudley coming back with a suitcase full of trinkets and mementoes. He had been made to polish the frames of the holiday photos, the Dursleys on a beach, Dudley in a go kart when he had still been small enough to fit, at theme parks, at aquariums and reptile houses, at various zoos all over the world. Harry had hated them all for leaving him with Mrs Figg; he had used to spit on the glass fronts to polish them instead of using the tub of polish that Aunt Petunia ordered him to use. It hadn't been fair and it still wasn't fair as he was free of them now and he still couldn't go anywhere that he wanted.

Nasta was quiet for the rest of the day and Harry felt wretched. He went to bed early and when Blaise and Max came up and snuggled into him, he was still awake, his mind twisting around thoughts at a mile a minute. Draco came up next and he fell asleep quickly. By the time that Nasta came up it was three in the morning. He climbed into the bed carefully, but Harry acted like it had disturbed him as he pretended to look groggily over at Nasta, who smiled softly and eased him back down, rubbing his hair gently to sooth him back to sleep. Harry rolled over Max and shoved the biggest man in the bed towards Blaise and Draco. Max grunted as little feet dug into his back and he rolled over twice until he was snuggled up tight to Blaise. Harry settled down in the warm groove that Max had left and cuddled into Nasta. He yawned widely and burrowed into Nasta's chest, who shimmied him over so that he could fit in the bed comfortably and lay down, holding him close.

"I love you, Harry." He heard him whisper sometime later as he pretended to sleep and almost was asleep. "We'll go visit Marianna because you want to go, but I'll be damned if I'm letting go of your hand for the entire time that we're there."

Harry smiled as Nasta squeezed him. He made a soft, sleepy noise and Nasta relaxed his arms so he wasn't squeezing. Harry snuggled in once again and he fell asleep with a smile on his face.

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