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?


98. Chapter Ninety-Two – Familiar Repeat

Harry sat through Dain and Kailen retelling their story of pain and anger and the embarrassment they had felt and still felt to this day, decades later, and through it all he held Blaise's hand tightly. His mate had come home ten minutes after Dain and Kailen had started their retelling and he had stayed in the living room to hear the story instead of going for a shower and to get changed into something more comfortable.

Max was in the kitchen making dinner for the kids and Leolin was on Harry's lap, after calling out for him and then falling fast asleep on him after a little bottle of milk. Eva had been fed and both newborn girls were sleeping peacefully and their older children were calming down a little as the smells of their dinners wafted through to the living room. Farren was naturally out in the kitchen with Max hurrying him along with the continuous reminder that he had hungry children to feed.

"I see." Nerys said simply when the Faeries had stopped speaking, not giving away any of her thoughts or emotions.

"Stop teasing them, Rissy." Idris waved a hand as he lounged on the floor, Regan and Calix climbing all over him. "It's good enough for me, welcome back into the Delericey fold!"

Nerys sighed. "I suppose that Idris is right. The pain you must have felt in raising your two grandsons, knowing that your lover and children were all dead. I wouldn't wish to go through such a terrible trauma."

Aneirin sighed. "I will speak to my Father and Grandfather; expect an owl in the coming days, a week at the most. They will want to meet with you as well I expect."

"How dare you presume to speak to members of the prestigious court that way! They will set up the meetings and you will be there!"

Aneirin sighed, Idris laughed and Nerys raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow with an almost feral smile on her mouth.

"Oh really?" She let out a little laugh. "Well that doesn't work out for us, so we'll just have to say our goodbyes here and now."

"Warren, please would you do the honours?" Kailen asked icily.

Warren bowed at the waist. "My pleasure, Kailen."

Harry wondered what was going on until Warren turned and seized Auric in a headlock and dragged him out into the passageway and then out of the front door. Idris almost choked he was laughing so hard.

Max poked his head around the door, a cutely befuddled look on his handsome face.

"Did I just see what I thought I did?" He asked.

Harry nodded with a grin.

"Warren was just removing some filth from your home." Dain declared with a haughty sniff. "He has annoyed me all day, this last infraction could have lost us our family and we will not stand for such from a lowly guard. He is no friend of ours and he should have kept silent; we put no stock in his opinions so he should not have voiced them."

"Nerys was just making a point." Aneirin assured them. "Ordering any of us anywhere will not be the best way to prove that you want us to be a family. You can request us to visit, but ordering us to go to the city and present ourselves to you will be steadfastly ignored."

"We wouldn't even have thought to order you anywhere, all orders from the court come direct from Sindri himself, we have no say or even any previous knowledge of the summons that Sindri sends out, he is the Head of the court, but all of us understand your wish to keep Leolin safe and thus we understand the need to not take him travelling so often and after the Dragon Pox outbreak in the city...most are just pleased to hear that there is at least one Faerie babe still living, even if he isn't living in our city."

"Is Ezrah okay?" Harry asked.

"You asked after him on our last visit, is he a friend of yours?"

Harry shrugged. "We've sent a few owls to one another and he wanted to see all of my children so I sent him a photo. I wouldn't call us friends yet, but I could definitely see myself being friends with him given some time and some more interaction. I want to invite him around for a morning so that he can mingle with the kids, because he's frightened of finally having a baby and then not being able to look after it properly because he's never been near any children before."

"You are very kind to him." Kailen told him.

Harry shrugged. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Ezrah's Father was disgraced for crimes against citizens of the Faerie city. He was selling orphaned Faerie babes and even desecrating the graveyard for bodies to sell to wizards for potions ingredients. He was executed when Ezrah was only nine."

"That isn't Ezrah's fault!" Harry defended hotly. "Why is he being punished for his Father's crimes?!"

"He is the seed of his Father." Dain sighed. "It is not us personally who persecute him, though we don't have much interaction with him, but many others do hold him accountable for his Father's crimes and they even tried to prevent him from bonding to Lathen, his very respectable, well liked Valkyrie lover."

"They tried to mess up his marriage?" Harry asked, absolutely disgusted.

Kailen nodded. "The court had to intervene and we even had to post guards around Lathen's house during the bonding ceremony to ensure that nothing interfered. Ezrah's Father, Ezile Seneca, was a very hated man, some saw the truth of it, like us, especially when Ezile tried to sell Ezrah several moon turns after his birth, his own son, but many will not forget or forgive him for the sins of his Father."

"That's awful!" Harry said. "I really want him to come over now. Your society is seriously messed up!"

"Harry!" Aneirin chastised.

"Well it is!" Harry said unashamedly and unrepentantly as Idris laughed uproariously. "If I go out and kill a hundred people tomorrow then that is on me, those are my actions, my fault, what does it have to do with my babies? Or even my mates for that matter?! Nothing! So they shouldn't be blamed for it and neither should Ezrah be blamed for what his Father did. His Father sounded like he was an utter prick."

"We are not saying that what the Faeries of the city believe is right, just that that is what they believe." Dain explained patiently.

"You have to remember, Harry, that the average age of the citizens of the city is five hundred years old." Nasta told him just as patiently. "They think differently to us."

Harry huffed. "Well they should think more like us, poor Ezrah! I'm going to send him an owl right now; he can come and visit us whenever he wants to!" Harry decided as he strode off to the attic, where their owls had made their home, and to the small writing desk that they kept there stocked with parchment, ink and quills so that they could send letters quickly and easily.

Harry wrote a short letter detailing to Ezrah that he could come and visit in the morning of any day that he chose and that Harry would love to show him his children personally and that Lathen was welcome as well if he wanted to join them.

He couldn't believe that anyone would blame Ezrah for what his disgusting Father had done. Those Faeries needed to realise that this was the twenty-first century now and that they couldn't ostracise Ezrah just because his Father had been an utter bastard. Though he knew that the chances of them even taking any notice of him was next to non-existent. He couldn't even entertain the thought of living in the Faerie city; he didn't know how Ezrah did it day after day.

Poor Ezrah had been nine when his Father had been executed for his crimes and that was a Faerie nine and not a human one too, his books said that the human equivalent of a Faerie nine year old was a little over five years old. Ezrah had had the understanding and abilities of a five year old and those fucking Faeries had still painted him with the same brush as his vile Father. It wasn't fair and Harry felt so sorry for Ezrah having to live in that city knowing that the people there didn't accept him and had even tried to prevent him from marrying to the man that he loved and who loved him just as much in return, Lathen was one of the very few who saw Ezrah as a person and not as the reincarnation of his messed up Father.

"Hedwig!" Harry called to his beautiful snowy owl and she preened and strutted away from her place huddled next to Draco's owl, Saracen and glided down to him. "Are you up for a trip? I need this delivered to Ezrah in the Faerie city, you may have trouble getting in again, but I trust you to deliver it for me, as I have done the last several times."

Hedwig puffed up at that and gently nipped at his hand with real affection and Harry stroked her breast after he had tied on the letter and carried her to the open window. She gave Esmeralda and Jasmine a warning squawk before she fluttered her wings and took off. Harry really needed to prepare for the next coming weeks now.

Draco groaned as he rolled over Max's back and got to the floor, walking blind to the bassinets that held his almost two month old daughters, he blearily groped around until he felt a neck and a bum and hefted the screaming baby to his chest, before making his way to the door and going down into the kitchen, fumbling the latches on the baby gates as he went down the stairs carefully.

He turned on the little dim lamp that Max had plugged into the corner of the kitchen counter units for this reason and he was able to see what he was doing without searing out his eyeballs as he set the kettle to boiling and waited for it to click over as he set up the bottle, the formula powder and then stood waiting for it as he shushed Ave and cradled her gently to his bare chest.

He was falling asleep standing up when an ear piercing screech jerked him awake again and he groaned, turning around and sorting out the bottle, pouring in the hot water and then cooling it with a weak spell, he tested it against his under forearm and then offered it to the screaming baby, who blessedly shut up when the bottle teat was stuffed into her little mouth.

Draco sighed and snuggled the feeding baby tightly, aware that he'd have to do this again in fifteen or so minutes with the elder twin, Eva. Like Harry and his other beloved mates, he couldn't wait until they were synchronised together, he could have brought them both down with him and sorted them out together and then taken them back up to bed and gone to sleep again, instead he had to bring the one down, sort her out, feed her, burp her, check her nappy and then get her back off to sleep and then wait for the other one to wake up and repeat the process before he could climb back into bed and he was already so tired that it felt like his eyes were bleeding from the rough sandy, grit stuck in them.

Groaning he checked his little devil and sighed as he saw her still sucking strong.

He rested back against the counter and let his head drop backwards. He hadn't missed this part of having children and he was counting the months down until they would start to sleep all the way through the nights. He was looking forward to having a decent, uninterrupted night's sleep, though he knew that the first time any of the babies slept through the whole night was always filled with panic when they woke up the next morning, the mad rush to the bassinets to check on the baby's breathing, but as they got more used to it, that blessed full night's sleep was utter heaven to all of them.

Draco put Ave over his shoulder and patted her back with his eyes closed and after the small noise escaped her, signifying that she'd brought up her wind, he carried her back up the stairs. He laid her on the changing table in their bedroom and flipped her nightdress up and checked her nappy, grumbling when he found it almost sodden.

He changed her as quietly as he could, listening to the soft sounds of his mates breathing and Max's soft, but prolonged, snores. Their biggest mate must have been pinned on his back; he only ever snored when he was stuck on his back.

Tossing the soiled nappy and the used wipes into the bin beside the changing table, Draco made sure that Ave was comfortable, that her nightdress was straight and not twisted and he checked on her scratch mitts to make sure they were still in place before he tucked her back up in her bassinet and then picked up Eva and slouched back down the stairs with her.

He was glad that it was six in the morning; it meant that the next feed was someone else's responsibility, his night shift of feeding was over and the morning feeds would start, it was Blaise's turn this morning to get up with the babies at eight.

He switched off the lamp on his way back up the stairs after feeding Eva, closed all the baby gates and made sure they were securely latched and almost had a heart attack at the top of the stairs when he turned around and saw a sleepy Braiden was sat on the landing staring at him in the dark.

"What are you doing up? How are you out here?" He asked curiously, his heart beating in fear and with worry.

He picked Braiden up one armed and took him back into the nursery and placed him back into his cot, tucking him back over and he watched with a furrowed brow as Braiden yawned and snuggled back into the stuffed snake that he'd gotten for him last Christmas.

He checked the sides of the cot and found them all secured and latched. He wondered how the hell Braiden had gotten out of his cot and out onto the landing and as he made sure that Braiden was asleep again, that the other four were still asleep too and he made a mental note to tell his mates that morning at breakfast.

He closed the nursery door tight this time, instead of leaving it ajar like they usually did and he took Eva back into the bedroom, placed her on the changing table and checked her nappy, kissing her happily when she was unsoiled and bone dry. He made sure her nightdress wasn't twisted and that her scratch mitts were in place before he put her back into her bassinet, checked on their Leolin and then he climbed back into the bed.

His spot had long since been swallowed up as his inconsiderate, sleeping lovers who had all moved closer together to close up where he'd been sleeping, but he kicked and nudged at Max until the huge man grunted and twisted off of his back and onto his side, dislodging Nasta, who had been sleeping on his chest. Their top dominant rolled right over onto his other side and threw an arm over Harry, but not only did him prodding Max onto his side stop his hideous snoring, but as Draco slid up tight to Max's back, he smirked happily as he took Max's warm spot. He could sleep now for a further two or so hours before he would have to force himself out of the bed for breakfast, but until then, he was too tired to stay awake for any longer and he had nothing else that needed his attention. It was time to just sleep.

Harry frowned with worry as he listened to Blaise telling them that he'd found Braiden sleeping on the nursery floor in a pile of stuffed animals.

"How do we keep him safe if he's climbing over the side of his cot?" He asked as he tugged at his hair.

"Stop that." Nasta chastised him as he unwound his hand and kissed the spot that he had been tugging on. "He's fine. He's a curious little boy and he's fearless at his age, he's going to climb out of his cot and all he did was sleep on his teddies, it's not like he was climbing over the baby gates on the stairs."

"Don't, I feel sick with just the thought of him doing that." Harry said as he shivered, watching as Braiden spooned the last bits of his porridge into his little mouth with improving coordination, though four times out of ten he scraped the spoon across his cheek before he got it into his mouth, but even that was an improvement from the nine times out of ten it used to be.

Draco came down all groggy and looking half asleep still. Harry grimaced and looked at him with concern. He'd done all of the night feeds by himself as Max, Nasta and Blaise were all in work today and it looked like it had taken a serious toll on him.

"Come and sit down, have a cup of tea." Max insisted as he sat Draco down and tucked his chair under the table like he was a dainty woman in a fancy restaurant.

Draco just rolled his eyes and slumped onto the table.

"Are you sure we can't just silence them?" He groaned tiredly.

"I'm sure." Nasta told him, bending over his back to kiss a milk pale, non-stubbled cheek.

Draco made a noise and swatted a hand at Nasta to get rid of him, turning the other way so that his kissed cheek pressed into the arm he was resting on the table. "Leave me to die in peace."

Harry chuckled. "Stop being so overdramatic, I thought you'd grown up a bit since Hogwarts."

"Being overtired makes him over grumpy and even more overdramatic and diva-ish than usual." Blaise commented from over the rim of his coffee mug.

Max bent over Draco and kissed his other cheek and Draco smacked him away too.

"Hey, you can't hit me! I brought you over a cup of tea to wake you up a bit." Max said with the laughter clear in his voice.

"He needs more than waking up; he needs a good jolt of something to liven him up."

"He looks a bit like a dead and decaying zombie." Max joked.

"Oh shut up, all of you."

"Dead people don't talk, Draco." Blaise told him. "Do the walking dead talk?"

"No." Harry replied with a shake of his head. "They just grunt and moan a bit."

"Are you sure you were watching zombies and not porn?"

"I'm sure." Harry said with a nod. "Though there's not much difference."

The five of them shared a laugh over that.

"Daddy Dayco!"

They all looked over at Braiden as he held his arms out to Draco, porridge spoon still in his hand, though his bowl was now empty.

"He's getting so much better with his words." Harry said proudly and he kissed Braiden's cheek, pulling him out of his highchair and handing him over to Draco, taking the spoon from his hand as he did so.

"Good morning, big boy." Draco greeted kissing his cheek as well.

"Bo da!" Braiden repeated.

"Did he just…?" Max said speechless.

Harry looked to a tearfully stunned Nasta and he grinned.

"I think our little boy just greeted Draco in Welsh, Nasta."

Harry had been a little sceptical when every morning Nasta greeted their children in Welsh and then in English, repeating the same line to them all every single morning 'Bore da, Braiden. Good morning, Braiden.' For all six of them, which even included Eva and Ave now that they were born. He'd always done it and Harry had been worried that mixing up four different languages, English, Welsh, French and Italian, would confuse them and they'd end up at a disadvantage, but he had to hand it to his mates, hearing Braiden speaking Welsh…it made his heart flutter in all consuming pride.

Nasta took Braiden from Draco and hugged him tightly, kissing all over his face and swaying with him.

"Bo da, Daddy ast!"

"Bore da, Braiden. Good morning." Nasta repeated as he hugged his oldest son happily.

"Blaise found him out of his cot this morning, sleeping in his teddy pile." Harry told Draco and he watched as Draco's eyes widened and he swallowed his mouthful of hot tea quickly and a little painfully.

"That reminds me! When I was doing the six O'clock feeds for Eva and Ave, I was just bringing Eva back up to bed and I found Braiden on the landing."

"What?!" Harry all but screeched. "He was actually out on the landing?!"

Draco nodded. "I tucked him back up into his cot and he fell asleep again, he must have heard me taking the girls downstairs, but I made sure to close the nursery door tight after that."

"I was wondering why it was shut tight when I went to get them this morning. I almost head butted the door because I was expecting it to be open." Blaise nodded. "We're going to have to put up wards to stop him from going near the stairs."

"I'll make sure we do that, but if he's climbing, we're going to have to keep an extra close eye on him, he's not going to limit himself to just climbing out of his cot." Nasta told them.

They all nodded and Harry sighed as he watched Nasta clean Braiden's face and hands off with a cloth while murmuring to him in Welsh.

"You need a haircut."

Harry looked to Draco who was considering Harry's hair like it was a particularly large rat that had leapt onto his overpriced plate of food and made off with his prime piece of steak.

Harry fisted his hair and grimaced.

"I know. It's far too long and far too much hassle to deal with. I can't be bothered to comb it some days."

"Like this morning."

Harry nodded with a grin. "Like today."

"I'll cut it for you when the kids go down for their midmorning nap." Max offered.

"Just don't take too much off of it like you did the last time that you did my hair for me!" Harry said sternly. "It's my hair; you will take off how much I want, not what Draco tells you to take off! I looked ridiculous."

"You looked like a shaved cat…all spiky and tufty." Blaise told him with a cheeky smile.

"Shut up you, you're not allowed to say anything; your Mother still cuts your hair."

"She does a better job than Max." Blaise grinned.

"My haircuts are passable!" Max pouted.

"For men trying to hide their curly hair, maybe." Harry whispered to Blaise. They both started laughing together.

"What did you just whisper?!" Max mock glared.

"Nothing!" Harry insisted.

"You said something, I heard you whispering!" Max insisted. "I'll force it out of you!"

"You can't hurt me." Harry pointed out smugly. "I'm still on light duties while I recover."

"I'm warning you, I'll sing!"

"Oh dear Merlin, not that. You better tell him, Harry." Draco said seriously. "I already have the beginnings of a headache."

Harry looked at Blaise and they started laughing again.

"I love all of you." Harry declared before he stood up and proceeded to clean up the splash zone now that all of the kids had finished their breakfasts and were chattering to one another and themselves.

"Time to move the rabble to the living room to unleash them on their toys." Max smiled as he picked up Farren and hefted him onto his hip.

"Make sure he's clean." Harry told him sternly.

"Farren's always clean, what doesn't make it into his mouth on the first try will be scraped off and will get into his mouth on the second attempt."

Harry rolled his eyes, but he couldn't argue with that as it was true, Farren always sucked his fingers clean after a meal.

"Come on, Princess." Harry groaned as he hefted Tegan out of her highchair, cleaned up her hands and face, untied her bib and threw it at the washing machine.

He took her into the living room and sat her on the nice, clean floor free of all toys and mess. It took five minutes…just five measly minutes for most of the toy chest to be emptied onto the surrounding floor as Tegan and Regan dug around in it for whatever they wanted, if they even wanted anything to begin with.

"Make sure you do your studying." Nasta told him sternly and Harry groaned, very unhappy to be reminded that he had to take his potions exams that spring.

"Can't I just give up and not do it?" He complained.

"No, now that you've given birth and we know that you aren't pregnant, you need to take those exams and get a mark in them to finish your formal education before you fall pregnant again."

"Better make it quick then." Harry grumbled. "My track record is against me, the longest I've gone without getting pregnant is the scant months after the quintuplets. What was it…seven months?"

Nasta cupped the back of his head and pulled him in to kiss his forehead. "Just relax, you'll be just fine. The kids will be alright playing, then they'll have a mid-morning nap, you can get some theory done and Max said he'll help you with some practical later on tonight."

Harry nodded as he went to the sideboard and took out the revision books that his lovely mates had put together for him…mostly Draco and Max, as the experts that they were, Max more so than all of them, being a qualified Potions Master and all that, but Blaise had added in some input having been competent enough to prevent Harry from blowing off his head when it had been just them in the potions classroom.

He sat on the floor with the study materials and flipped them open unhappily on the coffee table.

"It's too early in the morning for this." Harry grumbled.

"We'd be in our first lesson of the day if we were still in Hogwarts." Draco told him.

Harry looked at the clock on the mantelpiece. Draco was right; they'd already be in lessons in Hogwarts as it was already ten past nine in the morning. How the hell had he ever survived school and being a Mother at the same time? Studying and babies did not mix together very well.

"I have to go. I'll see you all later; I should be home at five." Blaise said as he caught every kid and kissed their mouths, caught Draco and kissed him, came to Harry and kissed him quickly and then got Nasta and finally Max, before he was gone through the floo and Harry smiled widely.

"How long do you think this exuberance will last?" Harry asked the others.

"Give it a month or so." Max answered. "I was excited for my first apprenticeship too, at least until it had worn me down to nothing and I was so tired, so exhausted, that I couldn't dredge up enough energy to form opinions on it anymore."

They all laughed at that and then Nasta was sighing and regretfully saying goodbye to them as well.

"When will you be home?" Harry asked.

"Late." Nasta grumbled. "I had to skip on half a day yesterday because of the girls' injections; I'll be making up the time today, so I wouldn't say I'd be back any earlier than seven."

Harry frowned and he clamped Nasta in a tight hug, kissing all over his forehead.

"You be careful, you have a higher chance of getting injured when you're on long shifts when you're tired." Harry said with concern.

"I know, that's why I really couldn't do any of the night feeds last night or I would have assuredly had an accident today, but I'll take extra care in work so that you don't worry." Nasta promised as he kissed Harry repeatedly, his rough skin scritching on Harry's face and he smiled at that. Nasta had shaved just that morning and already his facial hair was rebelling and growing back in, making his face bristly.

"Stop hogging him, Harry!" Max complained. "I want hugs too."

Nasta grinned and with a last kiss he moved over to their biggest mate and he and Max embraced exaggeratedly and Max even swung Nasta into a swoon and bent to kiss him like Nasta was a maiden who he was wooing from decades ago.

"And you say that I'm the youngest of us all!" He shook his head.

"You are." Draco reminded him.

"Not mentally." Harry grinned.

Nasta caught Draco and then their children and with a groan and a pinch of floo powder, he was gone and they wouldn't see him again for at least ten or more hours.

"When are you due in work?" Draco asked as Max sat on the settee.

"Ten." Max answered as he reclined back for twenty or so minutes.

"Help me with this then." Harry grumbled as he sat back down and shoved his book at Max.

"Right, come here you hopeless case." Max scooted over until Harry was between his legs and he could peer over his shoulder. "Let's start you on the theory of the Draught of Living Death, that potion will be on your exam and it'll be the potion that you'll make for your practical exam, so if I can teach you to brew it inside and out, you should be good."

"I almost killed Blaise with this potion." Harry said conversationally.

"So he's said, numerous times. You also tried to kill your entire class with the sleeping draught; didn't you blow a hole in the floor?" Max grinned. "Now, I want you to memorise all the ingredient preparation today. Just focus on that and I'll test you later tonight. I'll be home at four, so I'll sort out dinner, I'll cut your hair afterwards as we've lost track of time for this morning and then we can clean up and get you preparing the ingredients right."

Harry nodded and went to work on memorising the ingredients and their preparation. It sounded easy, but with eight babies in the house, five of them old enough to be walking, talking, making noise, making mess, throwing toys and tantrums, needing sippy cups and snacks and continuous supervision…just memorising the list of ingredients was difficult, let alone how they were prepared. He was glad that three of them went straight down for their midmorning nap, leaving just Farren, who rarely napped, and Braiden, who was refusing to go down for his nap and was instead splashing about in his ball pit.

"Have you gotten anywhere?" Draco asked as he brought him a cup of tea.

Harry snorted incredulously. "No. This is not only hopeless, it's impossible." He declared.

"Take a break." Draco offered and Harry didn't need to be told, he shoved his books away, slid up onto the settee next to his mate and took a long drink of his tea.

"I'm never going to be good at potions." Harry sighed.

"You don't need to be good." Draco told him. "You just have to make the examiner think that you're good by excelling in the one potion that we know they'll test you on. The N.E.W.T. level potion is always the Draught of the Living Death and because it's such a hard potion to prepare and brew correctly, it doesn't matter that everyone knows what it is beforehand. We just have to get you preparing and brewing it perfectly, to the letter, to convince the examiner that you aren't a hazard to all living things when near a cauldron."

Harry rolled his eyes and sighed. "At this rate I won't even be able to do that."

"You will." Draco told him. "I have faith that you'll be able to do it."

"I'm just hoping that I don't blow up the examiner at this point." Harry groaned.

Draco chuckled and kissed him gently. "Take advantage of the lull in sound and get to memorising those ingredients. You'll need to know what ingredients you need because you won't have any instructions at all when you get into the examination room, but you will have a fully stocked cupboard with of all sorts of ingredients that you won't even need. A consequence of everyone knowing what potion the exam will contain beforehand."

Harry thumped his head onto the coffee table. "Of course they couldn't give instructions or even an ingredient list, bloody evil, masochists."

Draco just smirked and went back to his novel. This was really the only time that they could do anything for themselves, as Harry wasn't even going to try and tackle the mountain of laundry they had to do. If he was revising, then he wasn't going to do the washing as well, that could wait…or he could dump it all outside and burn it. He liked the latter option better, that way he wouldn't have any washing to do at all, but there would be a serious lack of clothes and towels afterwards.

Of course things got harder as Harry was forced to admit that he was just useless at potions and after a week he couldn't ignore the state of the house any longer. His mates did bits and pieces where they could, the kitchen was always spotless thanks to Max and Draco kept the living room and their bedroom clean, Blaise kept the two bathrooms clean and clear and Nasta made sure everything else was tidy, but none of them had time to do the laundry, the situation of which had gotten so dire that they'd even run out of room to put the dirty washing in. The kids were running out of bibs and Blaise didn't have a single clean shirt for work so he'd had to go out and buy a new one along with four new sleepsuits for Eva and Ave as they'd grown too much to justify squashing them into the smaller sized suits any longer.

Harry groaned as he dumped yet another armful of washing into the mass of dirty clothes already on the kitchen floor and he started separating it out into piles of whites, colours, darks, jeans and delicates. He shoved the white things in first, there were at least four loads of washing for it and it contained Blaise's shirts and most of the kids' sleepsuits, night dresses and bibs. This washing was going to take him a couple of days to wash, dry, iron and put away, there was too much of it and he'd even woken up at four in the morning just to sort it all out and start it.

It was now gone five, it had taken him an hour to empty all of the hampers and collect up all the dirty clothes around the house, separate it, treat the badly stained clothes and then put the first load in. He was not going to be doing anything else now for a while.

He had both Eva and Ave down with him, if he was already up then he saw no point in having the girls remain upstairs in the bedroom, waking up his mates when they needed the rest. He'd offered himself up for all the night feeds and Draco and Max had leapt at the offer, but Nasta had taken both the ten O'clock feed and the midnight feed too, not letting Harry do too much. Yet Harry had been the one to do Leolin's one O'clock feed, Eva and Ave's three O'clock feed and he'd be doing the six O'clock feed in an hour for the girls and he'd gotten up to settle Leolin back down when he had wet a nappy at four in the morning too, which is when he'd decided to stay up to tackle the washing. So his mates had had a decent night of sleep for once, he'd been awake for most of the night and the early hours and he was up at four in the damn morning doing the washing just so that his babies had bibs and Blaise had clean shirts for work, though it was terribly strange to see Max wearing his smart, work trousers during his days off and Nasta lounging in tracksuit bottoms and gym clothes as they'd both run out of jeans to wear.

He'd had enough of the laundry situation and he was fed up of Draco complaining about it and Blaise buying new shirts for work was ridiculous when he had eight perfectly good shirts already. His mates weren't going to get a break, Max, Nasta and Blaise were working hard, Max had only had three days off in the last fortnight and Nasta had only had a half day off in the last two weeks and that had been for the girls' vaccinations and he'd made up the time off the next day. Draco had absolutely no clue how to do laundry and it would take longer to teach him how to do it and he'd probably turn all of their whites into colours in the process or ruin the delicates. So that left just him to do it and he didn't care how much he needed to revise for his upcoming exam, the laundry needed to be done and he needed a break from the gruelling revising and practice that Max was putting him through. He knew all of the ingredients that he needed for the potion and even as he sorted out the sink to hand wash some of the delicates, he run through the list in his head.

Draco had been invaluable with a piece of advice that Harry knew was going to help him. He told him that whenever he was working with potions he put the prepared ingredients to the side in the order in which they were put into the potion, Max had jumped on the idea when he saw how much it would help him and he was getting Harry to memorise the list of ingredients in the order in which they were put into the potion and Blaise had jumped in and reminded them to split the ingredients into the quantities they were used in, obviously remembering Harry dumping in the whole bowl of lacewing flies in their sixth year, so a handful of the ingredients appeared in his list twice, but he knew he knew which ones he needed.

He wrote the list down on a piece of spare parchment and he checked it over twice, changing a few things that looked like mistakes to him, and then he left it on the kitchen table for Max to look over. He went back to it five times between washing loads and wringing out the delicate clothes which he had draped over the kitchen radiator, just to check that the list was still correct.

He had finished one load of white washing and was putting on the first load of jeans when Blaise joined him in the kitchen, he'd prioritised the washing and he'd done Blaise's work shirts, the bibs and nightdresses and a load of jeans first so that it would all be dry sometime later today instead of tomorrow.

"How long have you been up?" Blaise asked when he dodged through the twelve or so piles of clothing still on the kitchen floor, looking to the full radiator and the three clothes horses that were loaded up with drying clothes that couldn't go into the tumble dryer.

"Hours." Harry said as he made sure he had biological powder and softener in the machine, turned the dial and started the next load of jeans off. "Your shirts should be dry soon. I'll iron them for you when they're dry."

"You didn't have to, I bought two shirts the day before yesterday, I still have one left to wear."

Harry shook his head. "If I don't do this now then I'm going to have to throw it all in the garden and set fire to it, there's already too much of it. If I leave it for any longer then I'm never going to finish it. Even now I don't think I'll finish, each load takes about two hours to wash, I've got twenty-six hours' worth of washing on this floor and that's without adding in today's loads of washing too or the drying and ironing. Though I am bumping off some of the hand wash only things now."

"Take a break, love." Blaise told him as he got Harry sitting down, before he filled up the kettle and set it boiling for a cup of tea for Harry and coffee for himself.

Harry nodded. "I'm alright for an hour or so, I've pre-treated most of the sleepsuits and tops because of the stains, so that needs some time to work in, so my next load of hand washing will wait until I've had a cup of tea at least."

"Have you had these angels down with you as well?" Blaise asked.

Harry nodded. "No point in me being up at four in the morning and leaving them upstairs to wake you lot up at six, I fed them, burped them, changed them both and then started the washing, it took me an hour just to sort it all out."

Blaise made him a cup of tea, squeezed a good glob of luscious honey into it and handed it to Harry before making himself a mug of coffee and all but falling onto it.

The two of them sat directly opposite one another, two little girls sleeping peacefully in their bassinets next to them and they not only twined their free hands together, but their legs under the table too, giggling as they did so, laying kisses on one another's hands and talking softly as they savoured the peace and the quality time together alone.

At least until a murmur came over the baby monitor and a thump sounded above their heads from the nursery. Harry was just gone, not even stopping to open the baby gates, but vaulting over them, ignoring the pain that it caused his recovering stomach and he made it to the nursery to see Braiden stood on the floor, playing with Calix through the bars to Calix's cot.

Harry sighed in relief and picked them both up, noticing that all of his babies were awake.

"I really thought that he'd hurt himself." Blaise said breathlessly, having followed Harry up to the nursery.

"I know, I was so scared, but he's fine. Go and get Leolin for me please." Harry told him. "He must be awake by now, but be quiet, Max and Nasta don't have to be awake for another hour. It's only eight."

Harry took three trips up and down the stairs to get the kids into their highchairs from upstairs and his stomach was a burning agony by the time that he got Farren down into the kitchen.

Blaise was eating toast when Harry made it back down, he was in work really early today, he only had fifteen minutes before he had to leave, but he'd still made up the porridge for the kids and left them to eat, all except Calix, who couldn't be trusted.

Harry took over; leaving Farren to feed himself as he went to spoon porridge into Calix's waiting mouth. Blaise moved around him and the piles of washing to get to the sink and to the door before coming back into the kitchen ten minutes later dressed for work.

"I've got to go, Prezioso." Blaise said regretfully. "I love you, and take it easy a bit."

"I love you too." Harry said as he turned to get a kiss from Blaise, who took it one step further and wrapped his arms around Harry and snogged him passionately.

"That will see me through work today." Blaise grinned.

Harry shook his head. "Get going!" He said without heat. "Ti amo."

"Ti amoPrezioso!" Blaise called out as he left the kitchen for the living room and the fireplace.

Harry sighed and turned back to Calix, spooning more porridge into his open and waiting mouth.

"I love that man so much." He told his children. "Your Daddy Blaise is very good to us."

Harry left the kids in their highchairs as he went into the living room to grab the playpen, he dragged it into the kitchen and unwound it, stretched it out and hooked it onto the latches that Max and Nasta had stuck to the kitchen wall, making a safe place for his children to play in before he went to get the travel box of toys and put that into the segregated area too before putting his babies into the area one by one after cleaning off their faces and hands.

He made sure that they were all alright before he sorted out the mess left over from breakfast, cleaning off the bowls and spoons, drying them and putting them away, before tackling the high chair trays and the highchairs themselves when he realised that Regan had been messier than usual before he folded them up and put them away into the pantry just off from the kitchen before he boiled the kettle for Leolin's breakfast. His little Faerie baby would be waking up soon for another feed.

While he was waiting for that he cleaned up the floor and then took out the washed jeans and moved them to the utility room where the tumble dryer was kept. He set that off before shoving in the next load of jeans, setting that up and off before he made up Leolin's bottle and checked on the kids to make sure they were all alright still and playing nicely together.

It was now ten past nine and Harry checked the schedule that Draco had started writing up for him. He smiled as he picked up the piece of parchment that was for now being spelled stuck to the wall in the kitchen. Max had promised to get a cork board to pin it to.

Max wasn't in work until midday, Nasta was due in work at half ten in the morning. Nasta could sleep for another half an hour if he wanted a shower and breakfast before work, but Max could sleep for another hour or two. Draco could get up whenever he wanted really, but he'd promised his Father that he'd go around in the afternoon for a visit.

Leolin made a soft whine in his throat and Harry smiled as he put the schedule back on the sticky patch of wall and tested the bottle against his forearm and cooled it to Leolin's preferred temperature, he had it ready just as Leolin's whine turned into a cry.

Harry scooped him up carefully and cradled him as he sat down in his vacated chair and fed his tiny little boy his breakfast.

The Faeries had been so impressed with Leolin and that he could talk and understand what they were saying and they promised that they'd tell Sindri and the rest of the court about Leolin's achievements and development. Harry was so proud of him as he watched Leolin suckle down his milk. Harry couldn't wait until Leolin tried some solid foods, but at the moment he was very happy with just milk and he had not even a hint of a tooth coming through his soft, pink gums.

"Have you done all this by yourself?" Nasta's disapproving voice came from the doorway.

Harry looked up at him and sighed. "Someone has to do it, Nas."

"Did Blaise get off to work alright?"

Harry nodded. "He had a coffee and some toast and then he had to go."

"So he didn't help you with the washing or the kids?"

"The washing, no, but he did make up the breakfasts for the kids."

Nasta sighed. "What do you need me to do?"

"Just sit down. I'll get you a cup of tea and something to eat now, just let me sort Leolin out first."

Nasta did not like that at all it seemed as he walked to the kettle and boiled it himself, standing in front of it, leaning against the counter, facing Harry as if challenging him to put Leolin down and to wrestle him over the kettle.

"Do the kids need anything?" Nasta asked after a few minutes of watching Harry feed Leolin while he let the tea brew in the cups.

"No, they've been fed and cleaned up, it's just changing them into their day clothes and changing any of them who need a nappy change, but they haven't cried or given any indication of having a wet or soiled nappy, so if you want to check on Calix, just to make sure, I'd appreciate that."

"You're supposed to be revising." Nasta told him as he walked over to the opposite side of the kitchen where the corner was penned off for the kids and he dragged Calix to him and checked on his nappy situation.

"I know, but I can't leave the washing for any longer, Nas. Look at it all!"

"You're not going to get all of that lot done today."

"I know. It'll take me two days to wash it all, maybe three to dry and iron it and then the pile can start growing again, but when Blaise doesn't have a single shirt for work so he has to go out and buy some more and you and Max don't even have a single pair of jeans left between you, it's time to do something. I ran out of clean boxers the other day too, I have to do it."

"What have you been wearing instead?" Nasta asked curiously.

Harry burped Leolin and gave Nasta a coy grin. "Why don't you come over here and find out for yourself?"

Nasta did just that after assuring himself, and Harry, that Calix did not need a nappy change and Harry had put Leolin in his bassinet. Nasta pulled him into a hug and kissed him lingeringly as his hands groped at Harry's bum. One hand rose and slipped down the back of Harry's last pair of clean jeans and Nasta grinned wider and he chuckled deeply.

"Oh Harry, you naughty boy." He cooed into his ear as he touched bare skin and stroked around the silky smooth cheeks, his fingers teasing the cleft, but Nasta stayed away from his entrance, it was too early in the morning for that.

"If you're going to do anything, get the hell out of my kitchen, you've made enough of a mess of it already." Max grumbled tiredly.

"I need to do the washing, Max, it will only be for a little while." Harry said as evenly as he could, torn between being upset and angry with a natural lean towards the latter and a hormonal lean towards the former due to his lingering pregnancy emotions.

"I'm sorry, Harry. I didn't mean to snap, I'm angry at myself, not you. I'm just upset that I can't do more to help when I see all of this lot." Max groaned throwing his arms out to encompass the washing piles that Harry had made all over the kitchen floor.

"It's okay. I don't mind doing it."

"But you're supposed to be revising, not doing the housework."

Harry grinned and moved away from Nasta, who had removed his hand when Max had walked in on them.

Harry picked up his list and handed it to Max.

"I have been revising while doing the washing, is this right?"

He was a little nervous and he was fidgeting as Max looked it over while Nasta went and made a third cup of tea for Max.

"Did you copy this out of your book?" Max asked.

Harry shook his head. "No, I was running through the list in my head as I was sorting the washing and I wanted to know if I had it right so I wrote it down, I've checked it over several times, but I think it's right, I mean…I could have missed something, but I'm sure I did it right."

"It's exactly right, even down to the quantities, well done, Harry. I'm so proud of you."

Harry couldn't have guessed how amazing hearing those words would be as he puffed up happily without his own consent, it was just an automatic reaction and he leapt at Max and cuddled him, taking his list back and looking it back over.

"I was so sure that I'd done something wrong and I was worried about the order of the sloth brain and the sopophorous bean juice, I wanted to change them over twice, but I left it as it was because the list in my head had them that way around and then I was worried about the quantity of valerian root I'd put down, I changed it once, but then I changed it back to how it was when it didn't feel right."

"No, that's perfect, leave it just like that." Max told him before dragging him into a hug and giving him a kiss.

One large hand went down the back of his jeans, making Harry jump as one thick finger prodded at the entrance to his body.

"So this is what Nasta was so intrigued with." Max murmured. "Going commando are we?"

"I have been going commando for the last three days." Harry said with a wink. "I ran out of clean underwear."

"You have been walking around with no underwear on and you never told me?!" Max demanded. "I would have spent the evenings with a hand down your jeans playing with you."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Which is why I never told you. It's your own fault that you never noticed, Blaise did."

Max looked horrified. "So that's why he's been sitting you on his lap every night! That tight lipped traitor."

Harry laughed. "We've been having a lot of fun together, last night in particular."

"I knew that you two were doing something strange! That position you were in wasn't natural! What was it?"

Harry grinned widely. "Let's just say it was an exercise in self-control and that you, Nasta and Draco were too engrossed in that dull film."

"Please…please tell me that you two weren't having sex in that chair while I was watching that stupid film!"

Harry winked and licked his lips. "My jeans were pushed under my bum cheeks and Blaise's trousers were open over his lap. Movement was difficult and keeping quiet was worse, but we were both very happy afterwards."

"You bastards!" Max groaned as he smacked his head into the kitchen table.

Harry laughed loudly and checked on his washing, before checking on the kids and smiling as he saw that Calix was asleep in the corner with Farren, who was actually sleeping for once, but Harry was sure it was only because Calix was using him as a pillow.

Tegan was asleep on a teddy, but Regan and Braiden were still awake and playing together. Harry smiled at them.

"Don't you two want to get some sleep too?" He asked them softly.

They looked at him and Regan stood up on wobbly legs and walked to him, his arms up. Harry hefted him over the fence and snuggled him, smiling as Regan yawned, showing off his teeth. He grimaced when he caught sight of something that clued him into why Regan might not be sleeping this morning.

"Regan has a new tooth coming in." He informed Max and Nasta even as he raised a hand to press it over Regan's forehead to check if he was feverish. He wasn't.

"Has he got a fever?" Nasta asked as Max stood and went to get his potions case down.

Harry shook his head. "No, he seems fine, but his gum is all inflamed around the emerging white dot and his left cheek is flushed."

Max clapped his hands gently from where he was sat back in his chair and Harry handed Regan over to him, where he already had the little tube of infant teething gel ready. It was kept safely in his potions case out of sight and reach of little babies.

Harry sighed and drank his cup of tea; he wondered where the hell Draco was and why he wasn't awake when it was coming up to ten in the morning.

"Was Draco okay when you woke up?"

"He was still asleep, why?" Max asked.

"I'm worried, he never sleeps this late, but then we have had a hard couple of months, it's likely nothing."

"He hasn't been the same since that night when he did all of the night feeds by himself." Nasta said. "It's why I didn't want you doing all of them last night. What time were you up?"

Harry sighed. "Four. I got up when Leolin needed a nappy change and I brought the girls down with me. I started the washing off and now six hours later, I've done all the hand wash things and three loads of washing."

Nasta shook his head. "I've got a week off coming up soon; I swear you won't be lifting a damn finger during that one week. How is your stomach?"

Closing his eyes Harry knew that he couldn't lie, but he also knew what was coming as he laid a hand over the caesarean scar.

"Hurting. Quite badly too. I vaulted both baby gates at eight this morning when me and Blaise heard a thump coming from the nursery. Braiden had climbed out of his cot and dropped to the floor, he was completely fine, but it scared both me and Blaise into rushing up to him. I wasn't thinking of what I'd do to my belly, only what was happening to my babies."

Max handed Regan to Nasta and went digging in his potions case again; Harry accepted and swallowed the familiar pain reliever under his mates' watchful gazes down in one go.

"Thank you." He said softly.

"You can't take any more now until later tonight. So take it easy." Max warned him.

Harry nodded, even though he knew that he wouldn't be taking anything easy today. It was coming up to March, it being the last week of February and he had a lot going on in March, what with Ezrah's visit, Henley's visit, Kimberly's ninety-second birthday which was on the tenth and Sanex's forty-first which was on the eighteenth.

"Did Ezrah owl you back?" Max asked.

Harry nodded. "He's coming on Wednesday the third of March for a couple of hours; he chose a day where Lathen isn't working, so he'll be coming too."

"I got the feeling that he didn't like us as much as Ezrah." Nasta mumbled.

"I don't think it was that. After what Dain and Kailen told us about how Ezrah is treated, I think he's just overprotective and suspicious of everyone who goes near him. I mean how would you react if it was me who was being spat on in the street every time I dredged up the courage to leave the house? If it was me who was called horrible names and avoided like I was diseased and thrown out of shops just because my Father had done terrible things before I was even old enough to know what he was doing?"

Nasta sighed. "I'd probably be worse than Lathen." He admitted softly.

Harry nodded. "So just calm yourself down, Lathen doesn't mean anything by it, he just wants to protect the man who he loves so very much. We'd do no less if we were in their boat."

Harry went back to the washing and Max and Nasta ate their breakfasts, forcing Harry to eat something too when he'd distractedly, foolishly, admitted that he hadn't eaten anything yet as he sorted out the swap over of the washing. He couldn't wait until it was all gone.

Another two hours and Nasta was gone, Max was preparing to go to work and there was still no sign of Draco.

"Are you sure you don't want me to stay for a while longer?" Max asked.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Just get going before you're late. Its midday already, Draco must have caught up on his sleep by now, I'll go and give him a nudge in a minute and lure him out of bed with a cup of tea. You've helped me with lunch, you've fed the kids and made sure the kitchen is as spotless as it can be with all that washing on the floor and the kids are down for their nap, all eight of them are currently sleeping for once, I'll be just fine."

Max nodded. "I only have to go in for a few hours today; I'll be back at three."

Harry nodded his understanding and he kissed Max goodbye, ignoring the hand that slid down his jeans and groped at him. He was glad that he hadn't told his mates he was going commando for the last few days, he'd have a bruised bum by now for sure.

Max was gone then and Harry took a deep, cleansing breath as he looked around and smiled at his spotless living room. The kids had only been brought in here to nap today, so they hadn't had a chance to mess it up with their toys yet, but he was sure that by the time their dinnertime rolled around it would look like a bomb had hit it.

Harry checked on the washing situation, he'd done a few more loads, but he was still swarmed with dirty clothes everywhere.

Groaning he cleaned up the area that he had penned the kids in, removed the playpen and put it back in the living room folded up, collected all of the toys into the chest and put it back into the living room. That took him an hour to do and his pain potion was starting to wear off, he could feel the small twinges building back up to actual pain, but he ignored it. He was good at doing that.

He dragged the washing out of the tumble dryer and dumped it into a washing bucket before he got the wet washing from the washing machine and moved that to the tumble dryer, set that off and set another load of dirty washing off, he was finally on his last load of whites before he could start on the several piles of coloured clothes and then it was only the darks left.

He sat in the living room and folded the bucket of washing up before moving the bucket back to the utility room before he boiled the kettle, everything was done for now, he just had to wait for the washing to finish yet again, for the kids to wake up and he had to take the folded things upstairs to put it away.

While the kettle was boiling he did just that, taking the folded washing up the stairs and he put it all away, leaving the things for their bedroom for last as he meticulously put everything away before he went into the master bedroom to put away all of their clothes and the newborn clothes too and went to check on Draco. It was unusual that he had slept this late, especially when he hadn't done any night feeds, but Nasta was right, the whole night doing all of them the other week had changed him and he was still suffering for it, so Harry didn't blame him for catching a decent twelve, thirteen hour sleep where he could.

That all changed when he sat on the side of the bed and touched Draco's arm to give him a gentle shake. Draco's skin was burning. Panicked he put his hand over Draco's forehead. He was even hotter there.

"Draco! Wake up!" Harry said loudly, shaking him vigorously.

Draco moaned weakly. "'Arry, don't feel so well."

Harry nodded jerkily. "I know, love. I'm going to go and get you a glass of water and something to help with the fever."

"Don't leave me." Draco croaked out weakly.

"It'll be just fine, Draco. I'm not leaving you; I'm just going to get you something to help."

Harry rushed down the stairs and the first person he thought to floo call was Aneirin. He knew that Myron was in work, he knew that Richard was busy setting up the court case for him, Marianna was on a heat period, Molly Weasley would have been too overbearing and would insist on helping Draco too, which his mate would absolutely loath, but Aneirin was just home from a business trip, he was going to come and visit them tomorrow anyway.

Harry explained what had happened and Aneirin agreed to come over right away, Harry didn't wait as he rushed to the kitchen and got a cool glass of water and used his wand to summon the potions case down from where Max had put it, digging around for a fever reducer. He was dismayed to find only the one vial. Max hadn't had a spare day to replenish their personal potions stock.

"Harry?" Aneirin called out quietly.

"In the kitchen." He called back.

"Are you okay? You sounded terrified."

"I am, Draco's burning up, I've never felt a fever so high before! I've got so much to do today and if I have to stay with Draco, then there's no one to look after the kids. This is our only fever reducer, and I…I don't think it'll be enough, I think it's too weak a dosage. I think Draco needs the hospital."

"Don't worry about the kids, I'll sort them out. If you think that Draco needs the hospital then take him now, it could help him more than keeping him in bed and feeding him potions that aren't going to help him."

Harry nodded and he rushed up the stairs with the water and he helped Draco sip at it, but it became increasingly obvious that something was really, seriously wrong when Draco's head lolled backwards; his body too weak to even hold himself upright to take a few sips of water.

Harry wasn't taking any chances or risks with his mate and he ripped the duvet from Draco's fever flushed body and quickly used a feather light charm so that he could actually pick Draco up. His stomach muscles still protested fiercely.

He rushed down the stairs, almost falling down them in his haste and he shared a panicked look with Aneirin, who checked on Draco and shook his head.

"Get him to the hospital, now." Aneirin ordered.

"Can you call the others, Nasta, Max and Blaise, they should be with us. Max is due home in forty minutes anyway. Oh and Draco's parents, call them too." Harry said even as he fumbled the jar of floo powder on the mantel piece.

"I will as soon as you're gone." Aneirin promised calmly.

Harry nodded and then he was gone, lost to the sea of fireplaces and falling out gracelessly, holding Draco tightly and cradling him on his lap, despite Draco being bigger and heavier, it was very awkward and Draco was bulky, but he didn't care as he forced himself back to his feet after his graceless floo exit.

"I need a Healer, now." He said as he reached the welcome witch, glad that the hospital wasn't that busy at quarter past two in the afternoon. "He's dying." He said melodramatically, but the welcome witch took note and put out an immediate call for a Healer.

It took a minute, maybe two, but it felt like an hour to Harry as he was ushered away quickly to a private room and he placed a moaning Draco down on the bed and tried to comfort him as a Healer waved his wand blurringly fast on the opposite side of him.

He felt Nasta calling to him, asking where he was so that he could follow, but Harry couldn't call with the Healer right next to him, so he was anxious and bouncy as he watched the Healer work on an unresponsive Draco.

"I need you out…"

"I'm not leaving him!" Harry hissed.

"Just for a while, I can't work with you in the way, I'm sorry, but you have to leave. There is a waiting room just next door, as soon as I know anything, you'll be informed immediately."

Harry nodded and kissed Draco's too hot cheek gently before he went next door, at least this way he could call to the frantic Nasta.

He let out the call and felt it rumble back from his three mates. It took six minutes for them to arrive and Lucius and Narcissa were with them.

"What happened?" Three men demanded all at once and Harry burrowed into Max, the only mate who hadn't started shouting at him the moment they'd seen him.

"I don't know anything. Draco was sleeping longer than usual, we thought he was just catching up on his missed sleep, but I went up to call him at two O'clock and he was so hot, we only had the one fever reducer and it wouldn't have been strong enough. I brought him straight here, no messing about. I called Aneirin, told him to call all of you and I got Draco here. The Healer said he'd come and let us know what was happening as soon as he could."

"You did the right thing." Nasta assured him.

"I knew it was strange that he was sleeping for so long, I didn't…I never thought for a minute that he was sick."

"Perhaps you should have." Lucius sneered through gritted teeth. "Draco has never in his life slept past nine in the morning, not even during the holidays, you should have known that something was wrong, perhaps then my only son wouldn't be in a hospital!"

"I understand that you are upset, but you will not speak to Harry like that." Max growled threateningly, his body language screaming aggressive. "We all love Draco here and none of us wanted this to happen, but it has. Harry did exactly the right thing the moment he found out that Draco was sick. We've all been tired lately, you can't imagine the exhaustion of looking after eight children, two of them only five weeks old and waking up every three hours for food, it's tiring and if we're by some miracle given the chance to sleep a few extra hours, we take it. Draco is no different regardless of his childhood sleeping patterns, he's a Father now, everything has changed and I will not stand here and listen as you blame this on us, we couldn't have prevented this or known that it would happen, we aren't Seers."

Harry huddled with his three mates as they waited desperately for news on Draco with two silent, pinched faced Malfoys. It was taking too long and Harry was starting to feel sick with worry, nerves and the anticipation of the wait.

It took hours and hours, the clock on the wall ticking by slowly, seemingly not moving at all as Harry stared at it unblinkingly. He couldn't believe that he was back in the hospital just months after the catastrophe that was Leolin and Calix's illnesses, only today he was facing the very real possibility of losing his beloved mate.

Five hours it took, five incredibly long, agonising, silent hours before someone came to see them. Harry felt his lungs constrict and his whole body went icy cold just from the look on the Healer's face.

"I'm sorry. It's not good news." The Healer told them and Harry fell backwards into Nasta's arms, his knees collapsing on him. This couldn't be happening to his family. Not again.

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