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?


99. Chapter Ninety-Three – Love and Care

"What do you mean you can't find anything at all wrong with my son?!" Lucius demanded of the Healer, who was fending off questions left, right and centre.

"He is fevered, dangerously so, but we can't find the cause, which is why we have taken so long in coming to inform you of his condition, we can't find anything wrong with him, though something is definitely wrong, we just can't find what it might be."

Harry was up in Nasta's arms, his knees having given out on him and Nasta was unwilling to let him stand back on his feet, not that Harry blamed him as his legs were quivering like leaves still, he didn't think his knees would hold him up.

Knowing that something was wrong with Draco, yet hearing that the Healers didn't know what it was, was killing something inside of him and all the thoughts and worry from those months of having Leolin in the hospital came rushing back like a lead weight.

Myron and Richard had been told and they were keeping Aneirin company with Alexander and Kimberly. Molly had been informed and she'd popped in to check on the kids and she had taken one look at the washing all over the kitchen floor and had taken it upon herself to take care of it with Kimberley's help, huffing all the while that men pushed things to the way side and couldn't do laundry properly.

Harry was thankful that he wouldn't have to go home to a house filled with dirty clothes, as all of his attention was now on Draco and the little niggle of worry in the back of his mind about Leolin, who had spent the night in their bedroom with them, in the same room as a sick Draco, maybe it was time to move Leolin to his own room, perhaps this was the last wakeup call that they needed. If they got sick, then because Leolin slept in their room, they were risking his very life by keeping him so close to them. They needed a bigger house and Leolin needed to be as isolated as possible to minimise the risk of him getting sick.

They stayed all night in the hospital, just waiting for the Healers to do more tests and find the cause of why Draco was so sick. Harry caught a nap on Max's lap. He was snuggled in tightly, sleeping in the crook of Max's arm like a little child, but he didn't get much more than an hour before he was awake and pacing the waiting room tiredly.

"I wish they'd tell us something." Harry said hoarsely. He'd been crying silently on and off all afternoon and for most of the night too.

"They don't know anything to tell us." Max told him from where he was sat with his head in his hands between his spread knees.

Harry nodded. "I know." He said softly as his whole body quivered.

"Come here." Nasta coaxed him gently.

Harry did as he was asked and he was pulled to sit on Nasta's lap, snuggled in and Harry cuddled in and readily accepted the cwtch from Nasta. He fell asleep again quickly for another hour in the silent and excruciatingly tense waiting room, but he couldn't stay asleep for any longer than an hour. He was too worried and not even breathing in Nasta's calming pheromones had helped in calming him down. He was too stressed, too worried and the tension was like a thick, suffocating blanket. Waiting was the one thing that he didn't want to be doing, but it was the only thing that he could do. The only thing that any of them could do. They had to wait for news…they had to wait for Draco.

After another two full days where they only got to see Draco a handful of times in which their mate was lying listlessly in a bed, always fast asleep and the Healers still had no clue what was wrong. Lucius Malfoy had started threatening legal action if they didn't find out what was wrong with his son and heal him. Typical of him really, Harry had expected him to start doing so sooner, but the good news was that Draco's dangerously high fever had finally broken and he was now sitting up and talking with them.

"Honestly, I can't remember anything, I can't even remember feeling sick before the day that you woke me up." He insisted to them when they gently questioned him.

"A fever wouldn't come on that quickly." Max said with a thoughtful frown.

"Well obviously it did and you missed it!" Narcissa hissed as she clutched at Draco's hand tightly.

"Mother." Draco chastised her sternly. "I am telling you that I felt fine before I woke up that day. I went to bed feeling fine and healthy. I was fine, a bit tired, but fine. I didn't even know that I was sick, how could they have known when I didn't even know myself?"

Narcissa stuck her nose up, but Draco pulled his hand from hers and clutched at Blaise's instead, giving her a serious look.

"Are you feeling okay now?" Harry asked tearfully. "Do you need a drink? Can I get you anything?"

Draco smiled. "I'm fine, love. I promise. I feel absolutely fine."

"The Healers are happy with the progress that you've made and they're going to release you today." Nasta said walking back into the room after grilling the poor Healers.

"They don't know what caused it yet!" Harry said.

"Do you not want me back home?"

"Of course I do! But how can they just release you when they don't know what caused your fever? It could happen again!"

"We'll keep a close eye on him." Blaise said with a nod. "I got fired so between us both we can keep everything sorted."

"You got fired? What did you do?" Draco asked interestedly.

The four of them shared a look and Blaise sighed. "Because I'm only an apprentice and a new one at that, my supervisor didn't like that I took these last two days off from the grunt work that he had me doing or that I left work early when you were rushed into the hospital. He called me into work yesterday specially, just to ask me to choose, well, he shouted his ultimatum at me really, spraying me with spit in the process, that I could either be a family man or a businessman, that I couldn't be both. I told him exactly where he could shove those thoughts, that I would always choose my family over anything else, and then I scooped up a handful of floo powder and came straight back home and I won't be going back."

"You got fired because I was stuck here? Blaise, you should have just gone in to work." Draco groaned.

"Of course I wasn't going to go to work while you were in the damn hospital with a fever so high that you weren't even conscious and you couldn't even remember your own name." Blaise scoffed. "There is nowhere that I'd rather be than right here by your bedside while you recover."

"Have any more of you lost your jobs over this?" Draco asked with a sigh.

"No." Nasta said simply. "I'll have some paperwork to catch up on, but they can't afford to lose one of the only remaining Dragonologists they have at the Brecon Reserve. They know that even if I am fired, as long as it's not for something serious like negligence towards a dragon or stealing and smuggling out the dragon eggs, then I'll only be snapped up by another reserve within the week and they'd have to go through the gruelling process of trying to find another Dragonologist to replace me with quickly or they risk the dragons suffering."

Max shrugged. "Highly qualified Potion's Master here." He reminded them. "They wouldn't fire me if I blew up the offices on purpose. I carry that little firm on my shoulders, or haven't you noticed that if something goes wrong or if there is a huge outbreak they run straight to me? They wouldn't have dared suggest that I go in while my lover is in the hospital sick and they definitely would not have been foolish enough to shout out an ultimatum at me because they know exactly what the answer would be and I'd just go to a rival firm and they'd lose business. Hell, not to be arrogant or anything but they might even have to close down if I left and went to a rival firm, because nearly all of the contracts they have with little clinics and pharmacies around Britain are actually in my name, so they'd be coming with me to my new firm."

"My job is secure too." Harry piped up. "All eight children are ready and waiting for me when we get back home. Xerxes and Enrique are looking after them today."

"Is that a good idea?" Draco asked with a frown.

They all laughed and Harry smiled. "Xerxes is very capable and Enrique is a big kid himself, he's very much enjoying himself. Besides Alexander should be there by now."

"I can't wait to get out of here."

"I think it's too soon." Narcissa said with a soft quiver in her lips and chin.

"I do too." Harry agreed with an understanding look to the platinum blonde woman. "There is no way they should be sending you home when they don't know what was wrong."

"I'm fine, Harry. I swear."

"But what if it happens again?" Harry demanded in frustration.

"Calm yourself." Nasta soothed. "If the Healers are happy to release Draco, then we'll keep an eye on him, but it means that he's alright and he knows his own body, if he's feeling better and the Healers say that he's better, then he's better, but you will not be doing a single thing and that job hunting you wanted to do? Out of the question." Nasta said, turning to Draco sat up in the bed reclining on his pillows.

"You all worry too much, it was a fever. That's all." Draco insisted.

"We're not taking any chances." Max told him seriously.

It was a further two hours before Draco was officially released from the hospital and, as they'd said, they were taking no chances, Max went through the floo first, Nasta went through the floo with Draco afterwards, followed Blaise and then Harry, but without a mate to hold him up as neither Blaise or Max had thought to go through the floo with him, Harry flew out and landed on his back, cracking his head against the fireguard and then the floor as he did so.

He groaned pathetically as he was swooped up from the floor, all the way up from it and when he first opened his eyes, he thought Myron was holding him.

"When did you get here, Myron? I thought you were in work." He asked before he realised that he wasn't looking at Myron, but Xerxes.

"Do we have to go back to the hospital now?" Draco groaned. "I just got home!"

Harry blinked and found himself looking at Max. He frowned and looked back over to Xerxes, then back at Max.

"I just took you from my Uncle, Harry." Max explained slowly and carefully, patiently.

"Is he going to be okay?" Blaise asked.

Max poked and prodded around Harry's head before using his thumb to lift his eyelids to check his eyeballs.

"Nuh, nuh, nuh. I'm fine." He said as he wriggled, trying to get down.

"He's fine." Max said, even as he held Harry tighter so that his wriggling didn't get him anywhere. "His pupils are both even and they're dilating and contracting normally. We'll just have to keep an eye on him too."

"Why didn't one of you take him through? You know that he can't land after magical forms of travelling." Nasta demanded.

"You know, I just didn't think." Max said with a sigh, pushing his fingers through his hair. "It's always you who carries him through, so it never crossed my mind."

"I didn't either." Blaise groaned. "I'm so sorry, Harry."

"It's okay. I'm fine." Harry insisted. "Anyone could mistake Xerxes for Myron at a quick glance."

Harry was sat on the settee next to a newly emerged Marianna, who was looking tired but happy after her recent heat period. She was snuggling with Braiden, who was fast asleep on her chest.

Tea was passed around and Harry noticed that Lucius and Narcissa kept looking at Draco as if expecting him to drop dead at any moment, but they were a little warmer towards the rest of them now that Draco was finally out of the hospital. Harry felt the same as they had; they'd all been scared when hearing about Draco's hospitalisation.

They may not have known what was wrong with Draco, but he was home for now and Harry counted that as a positive thing as Draco chuckled happily at a joke that Enrique had just told them. Everything seemed fine, the house was back in order, all the washing was done, the house was spotlessly clean and the kids were all clean and happy. It was like the last three days hadn't happened, like Draco hadn't been in the hospital with a dangerously high fever. It was a strange feeling and Harry didn't like that Draco had been released from the hospital before the Healers knew what had caused his fever in the first place. It seemed wrong, but the Healers believed it to be just a fever that had taken a while to break, Harry wasn't so easily convinced and he made a mental note to keep a very, very close eye on his big, blond mate.

March came in a hail of heavy rain and Harry was now secure enough to stop checking Draco's temperature twice a day, much to his mate's relief. Leolin hadn't shown even the slightest hint of any fever or illness, but Harry had moved him into his own room regardless.

He had barely slept during the first night that they had moved him into the last remaining spare bedroom through the worry that he felt over his little boy being in a separate room and he had checked on him every hour or so, despite the baby monitor that was right next to his ear, but Leolin had been absolutely fine all night and he had been fine every night since.

Sighing over the slight bit of independence that he was allowing Leolin, Harry made sure that the living room was clean and well presented. It was Wednesday the third of March, the day that Ezrah was coming to visit them with Lathen and it was two weeks since Dain and Kailen had come to visit, so they were coming back around to visit them today as well. It would be an all Faerie reunion.

True to his word, Nasta finally had a week off and Harry had barely lifted a single finger since. Max was off too and Blaise no longer had a job, but he was using the small amount of money that he'd made to go further into his own business venture. Nasta had kept his promise and he had not allowed Draco to go job hunting, in fact Draco had barely been able to move a few feet before Nasta was hanging over him asking him what he wanted or needed and why he was up and walking.

Even as Harry cleaned up a few of the toys that had been thrown across the room, Draco got up from the settee and like a homing missile; Nasta appeared at the doorway a few seconds later.

"Do you have a charm on me or something?" Draco demanded.

"Where are you going?"

"I need the bathroom!" Draco snapped. "Leave me alone, I'm fine! The Healers have been back and they've said that I'm fine! It was a simple fever, Nas, I feel better than ever. Just give me some space."

"Nasta." Harry called out. "I can't lift the table on my own; can you do it for me?"

Draco winked at Harry behind Nasta's back as Nasta immediately came to pick up the coffee table and he moved it over to underneath the window to give them more space for their guests. Harry was still recovering from his self-caesarean almost two months ago so he couldn't have moved the table on his own, but Draco knew exactly why Harry had chosen that moment to distract Nasta and he was very grateful it seemed.

"I am being a bit…overbearing, aren't I?" Nasta sighed. Of course Nasta knew exactly what was going on, not a lot got past their top dominant.

"A little." Harry answered honestly. "But I understand where you're coming from. I want to swaddle him up, I want to swaddle up Leolin too, but I can't. Draco is a grown man and he knows when he's sick or not and he's not. I have to let Leolin go in order for him to grow and gain independence. I don't like it, but I still have to do it."

"I thought that you'd never let Leolin leave our bedroom." Nasta said with a smile.

"He's coming up to fifteen months old now. I have to let him have a small amount of independence, even if it is just his own room. I'd never forgive myself if, after this, I kept him in our room and one of us got sick again and passed it onto Leolin. We got lucky with Draco, if one of us got ill and Leolin…if he died because of that, I would live with that heavy guilt until the day that I died. So it's time I think, to give him his own room, but Nas, please. We need a bigger house. We have no spare rooms left now and Eva and Ave will need their own room soon enough…We won't fit seven cots in the one room."

"I know, love, a month or so more, then we can talk about it, I promise."

"My court date is in a few months." Harry said softly.

"That'll be over and done with soon, Richard will take care of you and when you come home, we'll look after you too. We won't let anything happen to you. When do you have to see the mind Healer again?"

"Couple of weeks." Harry muttered unhappily.

He'd had a few more visits with his mind Healer since the first time back in early September and he'd stopped having certain nightmares, but the stress of the upcoming court appearance was bringing out certain fears and Harry often found himself down in the kitchen at two in the morning shakily drinking a cup of tea while the cold sweat dried on his body.

Nasta had encouraged him to get into contact with his mind Healer about the new nightmares and Harry had given in and his next appointment had been moved forward a couple of weeks. He wasn't looking forward to that appointment, he always felt picked apart after a visit to his mind Healer.

At exactly nine in the morning Dain and Kailen flooed over, with only Warren as a bodyguard, Auric was nowhere in sight and Harry was glad of that.

"How are you?" Harry asked. "Please sit down, the kids are just finishing up a nap, some of them are awake and Leolin is very stubbornly refusing to sleep."

Kailen smiled at that. "Where is the little Unseelie?"

"Annoying his Daddy Blaise." Harry said with a grin. "He soiled a nappy and five minutes after being changed into a clean one, he wetted it."

"He's just showing his individualism." Nasta insisted.

"He's doing it on purpose because he's rebelling." Harry said with a decisive nod. "Where's Ezrah?"

Dain and Kailen shared a look and sighed almost together. Harry's brow creased.

"What?" He asked. "What happened?"

"He'll be following shortly, but he had trouble propositioning the court with his reason to leave the city. Some did not like the idea of him coming to see a Faerie babe; they seemed to believe that he would…make off with Leolin."

"What utter bollocks." Harry snapped. "I swear I'm going to go and slap every vile fucker on that stupid court, starting with that fucking Alston."

Warren chuckled. "I would laugh for the next decade if you did."

"Let me guess. It was Alston, Zuzana, Donella and Siusan who didn't want him to come?" Nasta bit out.

Dain nodded. "Kailen, Narilla and I immediately said that he should be allowed to leave as he wished, that he should not even have to proposition the court to visit friends, Eitri agreed with us and Sindri agreed as well, so it was ruled that Ezrah could come and visit, though I have a letter to you from Eitri. I believe that he wants to come and visit you as well. He is very lonely. It's not right for a Fae a little over a century old to be so lonely."

Harry took the letter and opened it, smiling at the slightly sharp letters. He didn't know why but, as stupid as it sounded, he'd expected Eitri's letters to be as soft and curly as his hair.

"He's asking to come and visit as soon as it's convenient to us." Harry told Nasta. "I'd like to see him again."

Nasta nodded. "We'll find a day where we're all off again so he can come around, for now, let's get those kids in here to ruin all the cleaning we've done today."

"You have removed your table." Dain observed.

Harry nodded. "We thought it would give the kids more room to move around."

The floo flared up again, making the minute warning sound that let them know that someone not tied into their wards was coming through and then Ezrah was there, smiling happily, but now that he looked, Harry could see the sadness in his eyes, the tension around his mouth and the lines on his forehead.

"Thank you so much for inviting us, even after Dain and Kailen told you my story. I've been giving messages of health for your little babe every day since I met him, twice a day when I heard that he was unwell."

Harry smiled back at Ezrah as Lathen came through, still strong, still tall and he looked angry. Harry reasoned that it must have been the meeting with the court and what they must have said to and about Ezrah that had him so visibly angry.

"Where are your babes?" Ezrah asked curiously. "Are all of them well? You had six babes, yes?"

"I've got eight of them now." Harry sighed. "I gave birth seven weeks ago to two new Dracken daughters. But they're all fine, they're just waking up from their midmorning naps, but a few of them are pestering one of my other mate's, Max, in the kitchen. Would you like tea?"

"Tea would be lovely, thank you." Ezrah replied with a sweet smile.

The formal ice was broken when Calix came rushing into the room on his hands and knees as if the hounds of hell were after him, little hands and knees and feet working as fast as they could to get him moving as quickly as possible.

Max walked in behind him with Regan on his arm and he grinned at the newcomers.

"Hi, I'm Max." He greeted.

"They don't care who you are." Harry teased with a laugh. "They're here for our angels."

"We don't have any." Max teased back.

Harry laughed and bent to pick up Calix, who had crawled to his feet and had reared back on his knees, his arms up as he chanted 'Mummy' over and over.

"Is that one of your Dracken sons?" Ezrah asked. "Lathen says that they're more advanced than most babies."

"No, this is Calix, he's a wizard, but he might seem advanced, but he's actually a little behind his other siblings because he refuses to walk, the others are all up on their feet, but this little one has absolutely no interest. Here."

Harry thrust Calix into Ezrah's arms and watched in slight amusement as the Fae rushed to do everything that he thought he needed to, to support and hold Calix securely, his face a wash of panic.

"Please sit down." Harry offered. "Max, tea please, my love."

Max laughed and swooped Harry up into his arms and into a passionate kiss before setting him down and going back into the kitchen. "Anything for you, my sweet!"

"You two are so childish." Draco sighed as he came back into the room.

Ezrah and Lathen stared at him and looked at one another with shock and surprise.

"He looks a lot like Eitri, doesn't he?" Kailen said with a smile. "It took a while to get used to him too."

Draco snorted and Nasta settled him back on the settee and sat next to him, making Draco groan.


Harry turned and hefted up Regan, kissing him and he sat on the one chair and sat Regan with him.

"Toon." Regan said, pulling on Harry's sleeve.

"You want to watch cartoons? Come here then."

Harry got back up and sat Regan on one of the little tiny chairs that was clustered around several other tiny chairs in various colours and turned on the TV, watched with fascination by the five Faeries as he put the creepy cartoons on a low volume for Regan.

As soon as Calix heard the jingle for the cartoons he screeched and wriggled right off of a panicked Ezrah's lap, to the floor, where he crawled to sit next to his brother, clambering into his own tiny chair and he clapped his hands and turned to Harry and pointed at the TV.

Harry laughed at him and ruffled his hair before he went back to the room, where the Faeries were sat down and watching the cartoons with a sort of horrified fascination as Regan and Calix spoke to one another, spoke to the TV and wiggled their little bodies to the music.

Blaise walked in and the star of the show was finally in the room. Leolin was scowling heavily, looking like the epitome of the sinister baby who would stab out your eyes in your sleep as he all but glared at everyone.

"What's that face for?" Harry chided with a smile and as soon as Leolin caught sight of him, he gave a gummy grin and reached one arm out for him.


Harry took Leolin from Blaise and hugged him tightly, kissing him and tucking him into his arm.

"He speaks?" Lathen asked with amazement.

"He took some Dracken blood from Nasta and I." Harry explained. "He's a little more advanced, he's sitting up a bit, he's speaking and he understands certain things that are said to him."

"Has he come on any more since we saw him half a moon turn ago?"

Harry pulled a face. "He improves daily." Harry said. "But there's not really anything that stands out as being any major new development that we can put into words."

Harry handed Leolin over to Ezrah when a sleepy Braiden toddled into the room. He was so wonky on his feet that Harry went to him, just in case he fell over.

"I can't wait until I have babes." Ezrah sighed wistfully as he cradled Leolin. "Thank you for inviting me over. I haven't seen any babes in so long now."

"It's fine. I can't believe that you thought you wouldn't know what to do with one, you're a natural." Harry told him as Max came back in with a tray of tea.

"What did you do with my table?" He demanded. "Stop stealing my tables!"

"It was in the way!" Harry insisted. "Use the side table. There are five tables in this room, five!"

"If you had it your way there wouldn't be any." Max huffed.

"They clutter the place up, stop buying tables!"

"I like tables."

Harry staved off the blush that that purposefully emphasised comment caused. He knew exactly why Max liked tables, or rather why he liked any and all flat surfaces.

It took a couple of minutes before Farren and Tegan were in the living room too, Tegan was cruising around the room, using people's legs and the settees in place of the coffee table and Farren joined his brothers watching the cartoons on the TV. He only just managed to fit in one of the tiny chairs.

Eva and Ave were being passed around, one on Lathen, who looked seriously uncomfortable with her in his arms and the other on Dain, who was getting more comfortable with all the babies around.

"Will you be coming back to the city with Leolin at all?" Ezrah asked him.

Harry nodded. "Sindri would like to see him more, but we didn't want to travel too often with him, it seemed like a needless risk to us, so we'll go a few times a year to the city with him, the rest of the time the courts can come to visit us here if they wish, though Dain and Kailen are welcome whenever they like as they're family."

"Family?" Lathen asked with a frown.

Harry cocked his head. "Yes, they're Nasta's several times great-grandfathers, which makes them the same to Leolin. It's where Nasta's Faerie blood comes from and how we managed to have a Faerie babe in the first place."

"What is your last name?" Lathen asked Nasta curiously.

"Delericey." Nasta answered.

Lathen smiled then and Ezrah chuckled. "Definitely of Faerie blood, the Delericeys were well known Faeries."

"Until Trefor and our children were all killed." Dain said coldly.

"I…I meant no offence." Ezrah replied in a small, meek voice, averting his gaze, hunching his shoulders and shifting immediately closer to Lathen for security and comfort.

"Enough of that." Harry snapped. "You are all guests in my home, you'll behave as such. Ezrah meant no offence and you shouldn't have taken any. I suppose it's well known in the city what happened? Obviously it's not as well known that there are surviving Delericeys and I doubt any of it came out before Leolin was introduced to the courts just after his birth."

"I didn't…I wasn't directing that statement at Ezrah." Dain said insistently. "It was more directed at myself."

"You can stop that too." Harry sniffed. "You couldn't have known what was going to happen; you had no idea that that filth was going to be at that funeral also."

"I should have, we should have gone with him, we just didn't want to sit and pay our respects to a woman who had sold the man that we loved to a piece of filth who hurt him so badly."

"You had no way of knowing." Harry said forcefully. "It is no one's fault, just Jediah's; he is the one who killed Trefor and your six children. It is on his head that the blame should rest. You've been needlessly carrying around this guilt for hundreds of years, it wasn't your fault."

"It's hard not to feel guilt over something when others make you feel the weight of the guilt." Ezrah said quietly. "I have been paying for my Father's crimes for as long as I can remember. I don't even know what he looked like or what he did, I only have what others have told me to go on and the court reports that I've read. Otherwise I wouldn't even know. I was too young to understand, too young to remember, but still I feel the press of the guilt pushed onto me."

"You shouldn't feel guilty either." Harry said as he folded his arms over his chest firmly.

"I know, Lathen tells me every morn and eve that I shouldn't, but the situation in the city…they won't let me forget what my Father did."

"Why don't you live outside of the city then?" Blaise asked.

Both Ezrah and Lathen reared back and looked at one another as if they had never thought of living outside of the city.

"It could make you happier." Kailen told them kindly. "You wouldn't have to deal with such prejudiced behaviour or the spitting and sneering."

"The courts would never allow me to leave. They want me close so they can watch me, they are always watching because the other residents in the city worry that I'll do something." Ezrah said sadly, as if fearing to get his hopes up.

"Before today you were worried that the courts would never let you come out of the city to visit Harry, yet they allowed you, perhaps it would be better if we lived outside of the city." Lathen said.

"But your job, your house." Ezrah said.

"None of that is as important to me as your health and happiness." Lathen insisted.

"You can still keep your job." Dain told him. "You'd just have to travel to and from the city."

"Would the courts really allow me out of the city?"

"They have no good reason to keep you inside the city." Dain said firmly. "If they try, then Kailen and I will fight for you, Eitri will fight for you too and Narilla adores you."

Ezrah seemed happier and he turned that blinding, beaming smile to Lathen.

"Can we, please? Do you mind?"

Lathen sighed and he pulled Ezrah into his arms and held him tight.

"I would do anything to keep you safe and happy, honestly it was only a matter of time before I lost my temper and I ended someone's miserable life for the things they say and do to you, the only thing that stops me is the thought of you being alone, of having to deal with those beasts alone without me. It'll be good for us both to get away."

"I'll find you a suitable place to live." Warren offered. "I've done so for several others. Perhaps without the stresses of the city you might finally start your family."

"Do you think?" Ezrah said excitedly.

Harry smiled at him and shared a look with his mates, because he knew they would do anything to make him happy, as he would do anything to make them happy and he still remembered how very happy he'd been to have Braiden, his very first baby. He felt so bad for Ezrah, because he wanted a baby so badly and he'd be such a good Mother, he just couldn't get pregnant. He hoped that it was just the stress of the city and living with peoples hate and spite that was preventing his much wanted pregnancy and not anything medical.

Lathen loved and cared for Ezrah so much that Harry had to go and seek out his mates for a hug, grinning as he watched the couple with Leolin between them. They'd be such good parents, he knew it, they just needed the chance to prove it.

The morning passed quickly and easily, the babies moving around to play with their toys once the cartoons went off and they didn't go back once the next cartoon came on, so Harry turned the TV off and let them play, sitting down with a groaning grunt, holding his belly, so that he could sit and build a tower with Braiden and Regan, taking the blocks they handed to him once it got too high for them to reach the top, it was only still standing because of a light charm he'd put on it so that it wouldn't wobble or fall.

That charm however didn't stand up to a head diving Farren, who tripped over his own feet and went head long into the tower.

"Baba Fah, no! No!" Braiden cried out and he smacked Farren hard, which set the sniffling Farren to full out crying.

"No, Braiden." Harry chastised sternly. "You do not hit."

Braiden threw his head back and he screamed, throwing himself back on the floor and kicking his arms and legs, almost catching Regan twice, who was watching Braiden blankly.

Harry cradled Farren and combed his hair with his fingers soothingly as Nasta tackled Braiden's tantrum, picking him up and pinning his body so that he wasn't kicking out or hitting him and he removed him from the room.

"He's having more and more tantrums the closer to two he gets." Draco observed.

"They don't call it the terrible twos for no good reason." Max said. "They'll all be at it soon, tantrums, rebellions, downright defiance and 'no' will become their favourite word. We're in for a rough time."

Harry sighed as he rocked Farren. "I'm not looking forward to that. Tegan started early with her particular dislike of Braiden, but that's mostly stopped, I don't want all of them acting like that."

"Where's Nasta?" Blaise asked.

"I suspect that he's staying in the room with Braiden now that he's climbing."

"I'm going to go and start lunch." Max said as he stood and checked on Harry and Farren, who was calming down now as he was rocked on Harry's lap.

"I think that's our cue to leave." Dain said with a smile. "Thank you for inviting us for the morning and we hope to see you again soon."

"As Dain said, thank you for letting us come and visit, your children are all adorable." Ezrah told him and Harry hugged him.

"Thank you, I'm very proud of all of them and despite their tantrums and their antics, I love them fiercely."

Their guests were gone then and Harry felt himself relaxing a little more. It's not that he disliked any of the Faeries; he was just a little uncomfortable being himself around people who he'd only just met.

"Now we just have to get though Henley's visit." Blaise said.

"Oh I liked Henley, he was no trouble, he was my little crack addicted puppy."

"He's grown up since then, he has two babies."

"Baby Harry." Max snorted as he came in wiping his hands on a tea towel.

Harry rolled his eyes. "So what if he named his son after me? It's sweet."

"It's creepy." Blaise insisted. "The baby dom naming his first born son after the submissive that he couldn't get? It's a bit like unrequited love. It makes me wonder if his submissive knew why he wanted to name their son Harry and why she'd allow it if she did."

"Don't be so ridiculous, Henley knew we weren't mates."

"That doesn't mean that he still didn't want you to be his mate."

Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm not listening to this rubbish."

Harry took Farren out into the garden. It had been raining earlier that day, but it wasn't raining at the moment.

Harry walked around the rain speckled garden and let Farren touch and play with the flowers and leaves that were just starting to bud. From his laughs and giggles, Farren enjoyed it, despite getting a face and his hands full of water.

Harry stayed outside only for as long as it took for him to keep his emotions in check and afterwards he took Farren back inside, washed both of their hands and then sat him in his highchair with his brothers and sister as Max was dishing up dinner.

"Nasta says we have to apologise." Blaise said. "So I'm sorry."

Harry clenched his hands into fists and breathed in deeply to keep himself calm.

"If you have to be told to do it, then it doesn't mean anything." Harry hissed through gritted teeth. "Where is Leolin?"

"He's in the living room still." Nasta said even as he stared at Blaise.

Harry nodded and went into the living room to his little boy and he sat with him on his lap. He heard Nasta telling the others to leave him alone and to stay in the kitchen. Harry was sure that Nasta knew exactly why he had gotten upset and why he got so riled up over Henley naming his son after him. He was honoured, touched that Henley had named his baby son after him, Max, Draco and Blaise were spoiling that by chatting so much shit about why Henley had done it when he was sure it was only supposed to be a marked show of respect that showed how much Henley was grateful that he had helped him with his confidence back when he was a newly turned sixteen year old.

Harry didn't want Henley's self-esteem to be damaged or his confidence to be shattered if his mates said anything about his name choices for his son in front of him. He was sure that Henley would be humiliated if they did and he didn't want that for him at all, he wanted them to shut their damn mouths.

"Such a mess, Leolin. What am I going to do with your Daddies, hm? I love them so much, but god do they get on my nerves sometimes. Poor Uncle Henley, he already had problems with self-esteem, confidence and even his sense of self, he was hiding who he really was behind a mask of what he thought others wanted to see, it wasn't fair. I was horrified when he started speaking, when I realised that he was hiding his true self under this mask." Harry sighed. "That was his Father's fault too. I'll never treat my babies like that, and I won't let your Daddies treat you like that either."

Leolin looked up at him with those gorgeous gold eyes and Harry smiled at him.

"You babies are very precious to me and you Leolin, are always going to be my little Faerie baby. I'm sure your Daddies feel the same way too."


Harry's breath stopped in his chest and he swallowed through the tightness in his throat. His first instinct was to yell out excitedly to his mates, but he remembered how badly that had gone the last time he'd done so when Leolin had said his first ever word, now he had a new word and Harry calmed himself, took a deep breath as he continued smiling at Leolin as he stood up and went into the kitchen and slipped Leolin straight into Nasta's arms.

"What is it?" Nasta asked as he looked to Harry's shocky, ghost pale face to Leolin, who was scowling up at him.

"He said Da." Harry told them.

Nasta's head snapped back to him in complete surprise. "He did?"

Harry nodded. "I was just talking to him, I…I said Daddies several times and he just came right out and said Da."

"Da." Leolin repeated as he looked from Harry to Nasta.

Nasta moved his arms to give Leolin a proper tight cwtch and he kissed his cheek, leaving his lips against the soft skin as his fingers played with his son's hair.

"I can't believe how well he's coming on." Draco said with a grin.

"I can't believe he did this just an hour after Dain and Kailen left and we'd told them that he hadn't developed enough to report anything new." Harry said as he wrapped his arms around Nasta's neck and kissed his stubbled cheek. "I love you."

"You are the best thing to ever happen to me." Nasta replied with a smile.

"As long as we're being so loved up. I adore you and I agree with Nasta, you're the best thing to ever happen to me." Max told him, dragging Harry backwards into a passionate kiss filled with tongue.

"I think we can all agree that Harry is the best thing to happen to all of us." Draco said as he hugged Harry. "But right now we have five hungry babies to finish feeding."

Harry was so pleased, so happy that he forgot all about his worry over Henley and baby Harry and instead he focused his attention on his little Leolin, who, though they might not see it, was developing mentally and physically day by day in his own way. Harry couldn't have been prouder and as soon as the kids were down for their afternoon nap, he rushed up to the attic to send out Hedwig, Esmeralda, Jasmine and Saracen to Dain and Kailen, Alexander and Kimberly, Mr and Mrs Weasley and Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Nasta had gone to visit his Father in person and Max was floo calling Myron and Richard.

He couldn't believe that Leolin now had two words in his arsenal. It didn't seem like much and other parents might laugh at him that his almost fifteen month old son couldn't walk, couldn't eat solids, couldn't even sit up unaided and only spoke two words, but to him, Leolin had crested a new milestone, because Faerie babies his age couldn't talk at all, they couldn't sit up and couldn't understand what was happening around them, some year old Faerie babies couldn't even open their eyes all the way and instead they just slitted them open to peer up uncomprehendingly at what was above them. Not his baby Leolin, not his clever, special little Faerie baby who had almost certainly taken some of his and Nasta's Dracken blood to be as advanced as he was. Harry was so very, very glad.

Two days after Ezrah had come to visit them, Henley and his beautiful, if a bit dense, mate Anabel came to visit with their two children, Claudia and baby Harry. Amelle had popped over for a spur of the moment visit too with Eleonora and Beatrice. So the house was filled to bursting with eight adults and twelve babies.

"I can't believe how many you have!" Henley said after introducing himself and his family at lightning speeds, hardly stopping for a breath.

Harry grinned widely, Henley hadn't changed one single bit and he was so happy. He was less pleased that Anabel was staring at him with red cheeks and a very heavy dose of hero worship in her eyes. It made him very uncomfortable and clued him in a little more as to why Henley's mate had allowed him to call their first son after him. He liked that idea less than Blaise's suggestion that Henley had an unrequited love interest with him.

Harry introduced everyone, including Amelle, who was doing her best to reign in her snobby side with the newly introduced, unfamiliar submissive. She was doing very well and Harry made sure to tell her so under his breath so as not to embarrass her by announcing it to the world. Anabel wasn't even trying to reign in her instincts as she stuck her nose in the air and kept her gaze on Harry.

"So eight of them are yours?" Henley asked.

Harry nodded. "This gorgeous, seriously clever little girl is Amelle's and this little Princess is Amelle's too, the others are all mine." Harry said as he run his fingers through Eleonora's gorgeously thick auburn hair and then indicated to Beatrice who was getting a huge cuddle from her Uncle Max.

"Eleonora is the oldest?" Henley asked.

"Yes, she's almost two now, in four months, Braiden will be two in five months. I seriously don't know where the time went, it's like I've completely lost track of it." He sighed.

"Claudia will be two in December." Henley said, shaking his head. "It has seemed to have flown by, but then you had five more in the same December didn't you?"

Harry nodded "Yes, the quintuplets were born at the very end of December, the thirty-first."

"Then you had the two girls recently?"

Harry nodded again. "They were born in January. They're seven weeks old."

"They're absolutely adorable."

"So is this little guy." Harry said as he looked at his namesake.

Henley had wrestled the little baby boy from his mate's arms and passed Harry over to Harry. The little boy was five months old now, just a few weeks older than Amelle's little Beatrice, and his beautiful chocolate brown eyes matched his Father's as well as the copper brown coloured hair. He was an almost carbon copy of Henley, but he had his Mother's softer face.

Baby Harry giggled and reached for Harry's hair, tugging at it as he drooled all over his neck.

"Sorry, he's teething." Henley apologised as he watched his son drool all over him.

"Henley, I have eight babies, trust me I know all about drool, spit up, snot, vomit and all other manner of things and noisome fluids. We're all very used to it here." Harry said kindly as he bounced baby Harry in his arms.

"Don't overdo it." Nasta warned him.

Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm fine, this little fella isn't going to cause any harm to my muscles when I've been hefting Farren around all morning."

"I know, I'm just saying, don't overdo it."

Harry sighed and nodded. It was easier just to agree sometimes than to argue about it.

"Tegan, play nice with Eleonora and Claudia!" Harry chastised as he saw his daughter stewing over the two new girls playing with the dolls and pushchair set that Marianna had bought for her for Christmas.

The two other girls were older than Tegan and they were bigger and better on their feet than Tegan was, because despite Claudia being only a few weeks older, she had been carried to term and Tegan had been one of quintuplets who had been born three months premature and putting Tegan next to Claudia, hell putting any of his quintuplets next to Claudia, that fact was very obvious as she was almost on a size with Eleonora, Braiden and Farren, which meant she almost dwarfed their Tegan, Regan and Calix, who all looked dainty next to her. It was no wonder that Tegan was hesitating in the face of these two new, larger 'opponents'.

"Come here." Blaise sighed as he picked Tegan up and sat her on his hip.

Harry watched as he sat down next to Claudia and Eleonora and held her on his lap. He watched as Tegan huddled into Blaise, all but cowering away from the bigger girls, until she got bolder, reassured by the presence of her Daddy Blaise and she hit out at Claudia.

Blaise took hold of her hand before she could make contact but Anabel acted as if Tegan had beaten seven shades of shit out of her precious daughter as she leapt up and snatched Claudia away.

She even slapped Blaise across the face, which had Amelle diving for Eleonora to pick her out of the fight and Draco gripping a hold of Anabel and dragging her away from Blaise, his face twisted into unfathomable rage as he gripped Anabel's wrist so tightly that Harry knew it would bruise, and badly. He was sure the only reason he hadn't actually hit her was the fact that she had Claudia on her hip.

Nasta took control of the situation by biting the back of Draco's neck and letting Henley take Anabel from Draco's hold before he sat Draco on the settee and went to check on Blaise's face, which was a bright red from the sudden slap.

"I seriously hate submissives." Harry sighed.

"I'm so sorry." Henley cried. "I had no idea she'd act like that, I swear."

"It's alright, Henley." Harry assured. "I've dealt with this and worse before. Really we should have been expecting it."

"She's not normally like this." He defended weakly.

"It's because there are two other submissives here and children that aren't hers." Nasta explained patiently. "Most submissives see that as either a challenge or a fighting ground where they have to prove that they're the best, that their mate is the best and their children are the best, it's pathetic."

"I overcame those sorts of base instincts." Amelle said. "With Harry's help. Considerable help." She added with a smile.

Harry laughed. "I've felt those sorts of feelings, felt the urges and instincts, I just never paid them any mind and I pushed them all away."

"I'm so glad you've never acted like that." Max said as he hugged Harry tightly, giving him a big kiss.

Henley looked embarrassed and Harry sighed.

"Let's all calm down and sit down. I made cookies." Harry said. "Someone go and get my cookies and more tea, we need more tea."

Max went into the kitchen for him and Harry eased himself down onto a seat; he couldn't remain standing any longer. Blaise scooted along the floor to sit by his legs and Harry cradled his head on his lap and stroked his red cheek where Anabel had hit him.

"Damn women." Blaise muttered. "I can definitely live without them, especially if I have you."

Harry rolled his eyes. Max came back into the room and everyone took a biscuit, Farren naturally took a huge handful and before Harry could tell him only one at a time, Farren handed the biscuits out to his siblings.

Harry watched stunned as he passed out a cookie each to Braiden, Regan, Calix, Eleonora and Tegan. He popped one up into Leolin's bassinet, gave one to baby Harry and little Beatrice and held one out to Claudia like a peace offering, even though it left him with no more cookies.

Claudia took the cookie and munched on it happily, but Farren seemed to realise then that he had none left and he turned to Harry with the saddest face that Harry had ever seen him make.

Harry laughed and he picked a cookie from the plate and he handed it to Farren with a kiss.

"I love you little boy." He said softly as he ruffled his hair and sent him off with a biscuit.

"He's a good boy, sharing like that." Henley smiled.

"Claudia shares." Anabel sniffed.

"Not like that, Ana and you know it." Henley said. "If she had taken those biscuits she maybe would have given one to our Harry, but she would have sat in the corner and eaten the rest. Farren gave a cookie to our children and Amelle's. Claudia wouldn't have done that."

"Henley, can you help me please?" Harry asked as he stood and moved to the door.

Henley immediately jumped up and followed him out into the kitchen. Harry turned and faced him as he came in.

"Henley, you do know that the worst thing that you can do is to tell your submissive that other submissive's children are better than your own, don't you?"

Henley looked a little startled. "What?"

"Anabel is already feeling out of her depth. She can't help that she feels that her children are better than mine or Amelle's, you turning around and saying that they aren't is going to raise her hackles up further."

"But…I was just saying the truth."

"I know, but sometimes the truth isn't always best said aloud, especially not when she's already lost control once. It's best not to say anything at all."

"I just…I wanted you to know that I don't care about things like that. I'm not going to turn on you just because I'm mated now."

Harry smiled. "I know that. I know. Just ease down and praise your own babies too and stand by your submissive. She's yours, Henley and yours alone, you won't get another one of her, so don't alienate her, but don't you dare pick on any of my kids or Amelle's for that matter, no pointing out faults or flaws, because that'll have us jumping at your throat too."

Henley bobbed his head. "Got it."

Harry hugged him and turned to get a plate of cakes and handed it to Henley.

"You have to help me with something." Harry shrugged as Henley looked at him with confusion and Henley laughed at that and they made their way back into the living room.

Harry was happy to see that it was still intact. He suspected that it was because Anabel was fighting with a struggling Claudia, trying to keep her on her lap when the little girl just wanted to be on the floor with the mass of new and exciting toys and new playmates.

"Ana." Henley sighed. "You said that you wouldn't do this today. Claudia is fine and she's safe."

Henley put the plate down and wrestled his daughter from his mate and put a happy Claudia on the floor. He sat next to Anabel and took her hands, whispering in her ear.

Harry averted his attention and cooed loudly over Eva and Ave to give them a bit of privacy. He was distracted by Beatrice, who was fed up of Max and pushed a tiny hand up into his face.

"Hey! I'm your Uncle!" Max declared. "You can't show the hand to me, what happened to unconditional love?"

Amelle giggled. "She's just hungry."

"Oh…oh! Hell, well you aren't getting any milk from my glorious pecs; you better go back to your Mother."

Harry laughed with his mates and Max looked indignantly at them.

"What are you hyenas laughing at? I have pecs!"

"Maybe, under the store of fat." Draco teased.

"He's got a bigger bra size than most women." Blaise pointed out.

"I'm not speaking to any of you for the rest of the day!" Max declared. "You'll be sorry when you have nothing to eat for dinner!" He added when they cheered his declaration like immature children.

"Harry can cook." Blaise pointed out.

"Harry can't stay on his feet for longer than an hour." Max reminded them with a sniff as he folded his arms over his massive chest.

"You might want to loosen your arms a bit more, I can see cleavage."

Harry couldn't stop the laugh that bubbled out and even Nasta had to turn his face away to hide his grin.

"I know when I'm not wanted!" Max huffed and he left the room to a storm of laughter.

"Is he going to be okay?" Anabel asked, her previous feelings and animosity forgotten in the face of her curiosity.

"Of course, he knows we're only teasing, he's probably gone to sulk a bit, then he'll be back." Draco told her.

"We can't help teasing him a bit." Harry said. "But he'll be fine; we'll make it up to him later."

Things settled down for them then. Anabel was less hostile, Henley stopped trying so hard and Max did come back after half an hour and he sat on the floor and was happily swarmed by babies.

Harry was happy. He had his mates, his babies, he had friends old and new and he had new family, for the first time he truly realised that he had a proper, loving family and that did not include the Dursleys, whatever he may have felt for them at any point, those feelings were now well and truly demolished. They weren't his family, he had been forced to live with them and rely on them for so long, but he had his own family now. He'd made his own family, he didn't need them and he was alright with that. He was happy.

Harry kept up correspondence with Henley and with Amelle and Ezrah and Lathen as well and Dain and Kailen too. It was tiring speaking to so many people and the owls hardly ever got a break, which Hedwig was rebelling about, but there was little that Harry could do about it.

His court date was creeping ever closer and with it came the nerves and hidden fear of the unknown. He'd never had to do anything like this before and his only other court appearance, back in the summer between his fourth and his fifth year at Hogwarts wasn't helping to settle his nerves as that had been a witch hunt, out to discredit him and get him into as much trouble as possible and expelled from Hogwarts to boot. It didn't inspire much trust in people, but he trusted Richard, who had worked hard and tirelessly on his case and had built it up and up and up until he was sure that he could get the maximum sentence possible for sustained and prolonged child neglect and abuse from when he was just a baby until he was a sixteen year old and had gotten away from them for good with the help of his beloved mates.

Of course that was driven out of his mind when he woke up suddenly in the middle of the night, lying in bed listening to the silent house, wondering what the hell had woken him up and laying a hand to his forehead to check himself for sweat, wondering if he'd had another nightmare that he just couldn't remember.

He was fine as far as he could tell, just a little hot. In fact it was sweltering in the bed. It was usually hot in their bed because there were five of them sleeping very close together, but this was the uncomfortable, sticky heat that they usually only found in the middle of summer. It was the middle of March, it wasn't hot enough outside to make Harry feel this hot, sticky and gross.

He rolled over and pushed himself to sit up, getting a groan from Blaise as he did so, Blaise was hot too, Harry could see the pink flush on his body.

Frowning he checked on his other mates and his heart about stopped when he saw that unnatural red flush was back on Draco's skin that had gone that horrid, sickly pale grey colour again. A hand to Draco's forehead and Harry knew that his mate had that fever again. He was too hot to touch.

"Nasta! Nasta, wake up!" Harry said loudly as he got to his knees and rolled Draco onto his back to help ease his laboured breathing.

Nasta jerked up and immediately took over. One minute he was fast asleep, the next he was just there, up, awake and alert as he took one look around to take everything in and to make sure that there was nothing there that shouldn't have been before he stood up, scooped Draco into his arms and rushed for the floo, still half naked and only in a pair of pyjama bottoms.

Max and Blaise were also immediately awake and alert from his shout for Nasta and they rushed around the bedroom getting dressed, picking up clothes for Nasta and pyjamas for Draco and Harry swallowed as he realised that he was going to have to stay at home with the kids as it was the middle of the night.

"We'll be back with news as soon as we have it, love." Max said breathlessly as he jerked on his jeans and a tee shirt, Blaise doing the same and Harry nodded weakly.

"Just go, be with him and let me know the minute that you hear anything, anything at all, please."

"We will." Blaise promised before he pulled Harry's head to his with a hand at the back of his neck and he kissed him soundly on the mouth.

"If he gets worse…let me be with him and tell him that I love him!" Harry called after them as they rushed down the stairs to the fireplace.

Harry sat back on the bed weakly and he felt the sweat damp sheets under the palm of his hands. Whatever those Healers said, Draco wasn't right, something was very wrong and he wouldn't accept that they didn't know what was wrong with him. He would not give up until he had answers, until he knew what was wrong with his dominant mate. He would not fail Draco.

He stripped the bed and changed the sheets, duvet and pillows before going down into the kitchen to put them into the washing machine while he made tea for himself. He was never going to sleep now, he'd just have to find something to do, something to keep him occupied until he heard some news or until morning came and he could call someone to come and babysit so that he could go to the hospital.

This wasn't right; Draco shouldn't be like this, as Drackens they were supposed to be immune to all deadly, dangerous sicknesses and diseases. They shouldn't have been able to get anything worse than an infection or a cold!

Harry didn't like this fever, it was different to most fevers, it was hotter, it came on too quickly, its effects on Draco were quick enough to prevent him from letting them know beforehand and debilitating in the extreme, enough to inhibit him from speaking or moving. Draco hadn't even been conscious when Nasta had rushed him to the hospital. This…illness, whatever it was, it was quick, virulent and destructive. They had to find out what it was, what caused it and how to treat it for good, otherwise Harry wasn't sure what would happen to Draco and the thought of that had tears welling up in his eyes before he viciously staved them off, he wouldn't let go of Draco…Draco was his and nothing, not even some unknown sickness, was going to take his mate away from him. He wouldn't let it.

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