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?


108. Chapter One Hundred – Adaption Part 1

Xerxes was hunched forward in a comfortable, if a bit stiff, armchair that was right beside Harry's hospital bed, elbows on his knees. He was staring at his clasped hands between his spread legs. Being here, in the Dracken Healing Halls, was a very different experience for him, where all he had to do was sit here and think endlessly about anything and everything, most particularly about tiny Harry, who was younger than all six of his grandchildren. His twenty-seven year old Yasmina, his twenty-five year old Raina and his youngest grandchild, twenty year old Suria, by his oldest son, John. The twenty-six year old Madeline by his only daughter, Hannah and Clora and his only grandson, Corbin, were the twin, twenty-three year old children of his youngest son, Joel.

He remembered hearing Harry's distress call, the immediate internal panic that it had caused him and the overwhelming urge to protect him. He had dropped everything that he'd been doing and when Harry had called a second time, he'd rumbled to him through the bond created between them by Max, assuring Harry as much as he could that he was on his way. That he was coming to help and protect him.

When he'd arrived in that disaster zone, smelling the blood, hearing babies crying and seeing Blaise flat out on the floor…he'd frozen for a moment. His twin brothers had arrived very soon after him, and his Father was there too, immediately taking stock of everything and he'd moved straight over to Harry, hunching down behind him and bringing his own wings out to curl around Harry's own, bleeding, white wings.

He had leapt into action then, grappling with Max as best as he could, which was very difficult as Max was bigger, heavier, bulkier and younger than he was. He was thankful when Richard and Myron had arrived to come and help him and he happily let Myron take over grappling with Max, though he did automatically pin down Max's legs when he snarled and tried to kick out after Myron had gotten him on the floor and pinned down his hands.

The destruction of just one fight was shocking and all at once devastating. One dead, one seriously injured in the hospital, two babies injured and the others traumatised. Not to mention one house destroyed. Xerxes watched his hands clench together tighter and he flexed his fingers, even as his jaw muscles bulged because of how tightly he was gritting his teeth. How had it come to this?

He was so deep in his thoughts, therefore, that he jolted in surprise when a small hand touched his arm and he quickly looked to the side of himself, to the large, soft bed and into the heavy lidded, glassy green eyes of Harry, whom he had been watching over all night.

Harry's dominant mate, Nasta, had been by every couple of hours to check on him, all through yesterday afternoon and all through the night too, ever since Harry had been admitted to the Healing Halls, and the last couple of times he'd come, Max had been with him too. He could tell that his emotional nephew had been crying, and crying hard, just from looking at his pale, drawn face and his sore looking, red rimmed eyes. Their subordinate mate, Blaise, had died last night. Harry didn't know that yet. He was in no fit state to either hear such news, or to retain it.

Harry was being kept heavily drugged by potions while the senior Dracken Healers, Alfred Grant and Jackson Moore, tried to fix him up as best as they could. Even now Harry's leg was going to feel leaden, heavy and cumbersome, as if it was completely asleep, as it had been badly broken and the thick piece of wood had pierced right through the muscle. He would be unable to stand on it for at least another week and even then he would only be able to put his weight upon it for a few moments at a time. Given another week he would be able to walk a little more normally, but he'd need to take baby steps or the leg would give way underneath him. His stomach injury on the other hand was going to stop him from sitting up for a long while. It had been healed, but not perfectly, and the pain and soreness was going to remain for a while longer as Harry's organs shifted back into their rightful place and the muscles healed from the trauma of being ripped open. At least when Harry gave birth the muscles were shifted out of the way by the swollen sac. Submissives were sore and pained enough by giving birth without ripping open their muscles too, he couldn't imagine how much pain Harry had been in when he'd received the serious injury. It was bad enough currently if the way he was grimacing and pulling faces was any indication and he was on the strongest pain potion that could be given to him and at the highest dosage that his slight weight allowed him to take.

"How are you feeling?" Xerxes asked him softly.

"Don't 'member 'at happened." Harry croaked out, trying to sit himself up, before finding that he was unable to. He then tried to move himself, but he found that it was too painful and he stopped.

"You're at the Dracken Healing Halls, Harry. You were very badly hurt."

"Don't 'member, Myan."

"I'm Xerxes." He told Harry gently, with a smile.

Harry peered at him owlishly, he nodded after several moments of staring at his face. "Not Myan."

"Just stay still, you won't be able to move for a while."

"I'm sore." Harry told him, looking up at him from the big bed with such wide, pathetic eyes.

Xerxes smiled at him and laid a hand on the top of his head, stroking the thick, black hair comfortingly.

"It'll be alright. The Healers will be back to see you soon." Xerxes assured him, petting his hair some more. It was very soft and fluffy…he'd expected it to be more coarse because of how messy it always was, but it was almost completely weightless despite how thick it was.

Harry drifted in and out while they waited, sometimes he was lucid, other times he was so out of it that he started talking about eating mud and giving birth to centaurs while trying to dig the 'snakes' out from under his skin with his nails, snakes that Xerxes assumed were Harry's visible veins.

It was quite amusing and he would laugh for a moment or two, but then Xerxes would remember why Harry was so drugged up that he was talking this way and he would remember why this tiny, slip of a boy was here and he would sober up and go back to being morose as Harry babbled about being mated and eaten by Acromantula and living underground like a worm.

"Where are my babies, Xerxes?"

Xerxes looked to the bed to find Harry awake once again, but it seemed that he was more lucid this time around.

"They're safe, at home." He said calmly.

He didn't need to lie about that either. Nasta had been by earlier and he'd told him that Leolin had been given a clean bill of health and that he'd been released early that morning by Healer Cole with a dire warning that they had been incredibly lucky this time around and that the next time could prove fatal to Leolin. His warning was clear…that there was never to be a next time.

"I want my babies."

"Soon, Harry. I promise. You just need to be cleared to leave." Xerxes explained to him yet again.

He didn't think Harry had been in a state of mind capable of taking in his explanation the first time around. The fact that Harry didn't actually remember him explaining this before only proved that he hadn't been entirely lucid or in his right state of mind at that time.

"I miss them."

"I know you do, I'm sure they're missing you too, but you need to be cleared by the Healers."

Harry nodded and then grimaced when it pulled on something. Xerxes felt for the boy, if merely nodding hurt him, then he was in no fit state to be doing anything.

One of the Healers entered Harry's room and smiled at seeing him awake. Xerxes had been telling them that Harry kept waking up, as he'd told Nasta that morning, but he'd been out of it every time that they'd made their rounds to check on him and the healed wounds.

"Hello, Harry. It's nice to see you finally awake. I'm Healer Jackson Moore."

"Hi." Harry croaked.

"Here, take a sip or two of water." The Healer instructed, picking up the cup that Xerxes had been offering to Harry on a regular basis throughout the night and the subsequent morning.

Harry slurped and coughed into the water, but he managed to get a bit of it down his throat, though most of it did go over his front and the sheet covering him.

"I want my mates." Harry said.

Xerxes shared a quick look with the Healer. "Max is watching the babies at your home, but Nasta has been around to see you twice today already. I'm sure he'll be back soon."

"If I can't have my babies, I want at least one of my mates." Harry compromised stubbornly.

Xerxes sighed. "I'll go and see what the situation is."

He stood up and left Harry in the capable hands of Jackson Moore and he came out of Harry's room and into a corridor filled with similar doors. He knew that some of them were patient rooms, like Harry's, but others were the offices of the Healers, observation rooms, birthing rooms and one room was a surgery room, as rarely used as it was, it was still sometimes needed and it was there, just in case.

He made his way down the corridor and into the reception slash waiting area and nodded to the young receptionist who sometimes had absolutely nothing to do all day. It was rare that a Dracken needed a Healer at all, least of all a specific Dracken Healer. He'd never had need for one in all of his seventy years, all of his injuries had been healed by regular medi-personnel or Healers at Saint Mungos. Harry was the first one in a while who he'd actually known to need a Dracken specific Healer, except for the debacle with Draco and the damage he'd done to himself by taking the suppressant potion…he knew all about that and he wasn't surprised that the boy had flown off the handle after how much of that potion he'd taken. He didn't care what anyone said about detoxification and being weaned off of it, those potions were dangerous and they were heavily regulated for a reason. Merlin only knew how the boy had gotten his hands on the recipe for it in the first place!

He went through the floo, using the lone fireplace in the waiting room, to the new address that Nasta had given to him yesterday afternoon, when Harry had first been brought to the Healing Halls.

The floor no longer looked like a sea of wriggling babies as he landed. He remembered arriving at the old house and struggling to find a place to put his feet that wasn't tiny fingers or brittle ankles, but in this, much, much larger house, there was at least three feet of space between each baby and there was still plenty of room to walk around in without the fear of stepping on one of them with his large feet. It helped him to relax.

"How is Harry?" His nephew, Maximilius, asked in a strained tone.

Xerxes could see the sheer terror behind his dark blue eyes at the possible reason for his sudden, and unannounced visit, when he was supposed to be with Harry for another few hours and he felt so sorry for Maxie. No mateship ever deserved to go through something like this.

He smiled to ease down their stress and fear. "He's demanding to be released. He just wants his children. Though I'm here to collect whichever one of you is free…Harry's compromise is that if he can't have his babies, then he want's one of his mates with him. He's being very stubborn and uncooperative."

"I'll go." Nasta said immediately. "He needs to know what happened and I don't want you to have to go through that, Max."

Max, who had opened his mouth, perhaps to argue, closed it again and he swallowed hard. He nodded miserably.

"He doesn't remember what's happened. He's been too drugged up. He talks bollocks half the time that he's actually awake. This morning he's talked about having sex with Acromantula and then being eaten after he's been mated, he's also mentioned giving birth to centaur babies and then said something about becoming a worm and living in the mud. He's definitely a strange one."

Max cracked a weak smile and collapsed back on the settee with a sigh, but at least he had actually smiled, even if it was a small one.

"Is he alright apart from that, Zerry?"

Xerxes glared at his baby brother. "I told you to stop calling me that forty years ago."

His shit of a baby brother just smirked at him, those jet black eyes, completely identical to his own, danced with amusement.

"Harry's fine other than the fact that he can't move an inch without it hurting and the fact that he doesn't remember why he's there. The Healers say it's the fault of the potions that he's being given for the pain, they knock him for six." Xerxes had turned away from Myron to address Nasta and Max.

Nasta nodded and then he flooed out of the house. Xerxes collapsed into a convenient seat and smothered a yawn.

"Do you want me to take over the rest of your shift?" Myron asked.

"You look as tired as I feel." Xerxes answered with narrowed eyes.

"I'm twenty years younger than you."

"You look ten years older than me at the moment."

"I wouldn't go that far." Myron's mate and Husband, Richard, piped up.

"You just sit and look pretty, Richard." Xerxes teased.

Myron growled lowly at him, one massive fist clenching. If it was one thing that his brother hated, it was anyone, absolutely anyone, either looking and lusting over his mates or putting either one of them down or disrespecting them.

A sharp smack to both of their heads and the tension was cleared away immediately.

"We've had enough fights and enough devastation to last a lifetime without you two starting, do I make myself clear?" Their Father told them, staring hard at each of them in turn and they both hunched down and rounded their shoulders, as if they were still small boys who'd been caught sneaking away biscuits and sweets before their dinners.

Without waiting for an answer, Alexander strode around the settee and picked up a clamouring Tegan, who had rushed to get to her feet the moment she'd heard Alexander's voice and had toddled to him, arms up in the air so that he didn't have a hope in hell of misunderstanding what she wanted.

"Hello, sweet girl." He cooed to her, giving her puckered mouth a kiss when she searched for one.

"Gadad." Tegan babbled. "He nano batha."

"I'm sorry sweetheart, I'm just not as good as your Mother at deciphering your words." Alexander had to say after Tegan stared at him, obviously expecting an answer.

"Mammy." Tegan said and then looked around, peering at every face around her before realising that Harry wasn't there.

Her face pulled into a frown and she pointed at Max. "Daddy Mass." She pointed at the fireplace next. "Daddy Nasa." She looked around again and shook her head. "No mammy."

Max held his arms out and Alexander handed her over, letting Father and Daughter have a moment as Max tried to explain to the seventeen month old where Harry was. Alexander was completely amazed that she actually seemed to understand, then he'd been very impressed that she knew that Nasta had gone through the floo.

He sighed and tried to be a pillar of strength for his family, but the pressure was immense after the events of yesterday afternoon and last night. He was tired…old and tired. He felt every single one of his (almost) ninety-four years and they weighed heavy on him. This devastation had aged him, had aged them all, of that he had no doubt.

Harry was so happy to see his mate walk into the room that he was lying in that he actually trilled in delight, which made Nasta smile in the way that Harry loved. He tried to sit up and couldn't and he tried to raise an arm and he couldn't.

"Stay still, Caru." Nasta soothed him, nodding to Healer Moore as he left the room silently, closing the door behind himself.

"I missed you. They wouldn't let me have my babies. I can't move to get to them."

"The babies are all at home, Harry."

Harry nodded and then grimaced as it pulled on something.

"Lay still." Nasta said again as he came and sat by Harry's bedside, pulling the chair right up until his knees were flush with the bed. He picked up Harry's tiny hand and squeezed it between both of his own, just touching his mate and staring into those open green eyes. He reminded himself yet again that Harry was going to be just fine. He just couldn't help worrying, not after what had happened last night with Blaise. He needed to touch Harry, to talk to him and hear him, see him breathing. He needed Harry to be at home, where he could look after him himself without having to leave him for hours on end in a hospital.

"I just want to come home." Harry told him, frowning at him. "Me and my babies want to come home."

Nasta's stomach did a neat flip when he heard that and he swallowed, Harry wasn't actually his Harry at the moment. He was still caught in a potion induced delusion.

"Our babies are already at home, Harry. All of them."

Harry frowned harder and then looked around Nasta and then back at him.

"My babies are by there." Harry told him. "They're sleeping at the moment."

Nasta couldn't prevent himself from looking to where Harry was directing his gaze, despite knowing that there was nothing or no one in the room with them.

"Nothing is there, Harry. You're hallucinating."

"Everyone says that." Harry said bitingly. "They are my babies and I will not have anyone hurting them!"

Nasta nodded dutifully and Harry's scowl turned into a smile. It pained him to see Harry like this. Dosed up so heavily on the strongest of pain potions, and still feeling some degree of discomfort if the way he kept grimacing was any indication, that he was hallucinating. He had become so scared in the early hours of the morning that he hadn't even been able to bare having him or Max touching him. He'd been afraid of them, his own dominant mates! It had shattered something within him to see Harry in such a way, sobbing and screaming, not recognising any of them as he curled up to try and get away from them, crunching his recently healed, but still agonising, stomach muscles as he did so. He'd only calmed down after he'd passed out.

"Where are the Faeries?" Harry asked him.

Nasta frowned. "I'd imagine that they were in the Faerie City, Harry. I informed Dain and Kailen of what has happened, but I neglected to mention that we'd moved house."

"The Faeries are funny. They have dragonfly wings."

Nasta should have known that Harry wasn't thinking clearly and he could have answered that the Faeries were in space for all the notice that Harry took of what he'd said.

"How do they fly with dragonfly wings?" Harry asked, pouting his lips in thought. "Aren't they too heavy for their tiny little wings? Maybe they can't fly at all! They just want people to think that they can."

Harry nodded as if everything that he'd just said had made perfect sense and Nasta's smile was thin and shaky. He clenched his fist and firmed himself. On a subconscious level Harry needed him, he needed to know that his mates were here for him, to support him and look after him, but seeing Harry like this was devastating and watching him flinch and grimace with the pain that he was in, his face pale and sweaty, was steadily grating on him and his Dracken, who was getting angrier.

"Do you think the Faeries eat rainbows?" Harry asked him in a way that was reminiscent of an innocent, curious child.

Nasta's chin wobbled with the urge to cry. "I'm sure they do, Harry." He said as strongly as he could manage. Harry didn't notice either way.

"I like rainbows." Harry's eyes widened and he looked at himself. "Maybe I'm a Faerie! Am I a Faerie?" He asked.

"No, Harry. You're a Dracken."

"I'm a dragon!" Harry said excitedly. "Are you a dragon too?"

Nasta nodded and he had to stop himself from clenching his hand around Harry's. He needed more Firewhiskey. The bottle he'd shared around last night in the fire lit living room was not enough to deal with this. How was he expected to deal with this? He felt sick and on the edge of tears. He just wanted to clutch Harry to his chest and cry, but he couldn't. Not only would it hurt Harry to move him while he was healing, but he needed to be strong. He needed to hold it together to support his family. He'd never hated being the top dominant of his mateship more than in this moment.

He wanted to breakdown, he wanted to cry and rage and sob his heart out. He wanted to breakdown and curl up with a bottle of Firewhiskey and emerge on the other side and find that it had all been a dream, or that someone else had dealt with it all for him, but he couldn't. He was the top dominant and he had to stay strong for all of them. For Max especially, whose grief over Blaise's death and his all-encompassing guilt over how he had acted instead of how he should have acted during the fight was completely draining him.

Max had had a spectacular breakdown last night after being forced back home from the hospital three hours after finding out about Blaise's death. Nasta remembered every agonising minute of Max hanging around his neck, all out bawling onto his shoulder, begging him to fix everything while he'd just stood there, murmuring false promises that he knew that he couldn't realistically keep.

Max had cried so hard and for so long that he'd vomited bile all over him, having had nothing to eat for over twenty-four hours. Nasta had ignored it as he'd shushed Max and tried to calm him down. Max had eventually cried himself into a restless, nightmare filled sleep and he woke up every forty or so minutes, searching for him, needing soothing and comfort, meaning that he himself couldn't go to sleep because he needed to stay awake to sooth Max when he woke up from yet another nightmare and that was without factoring in the children too, all of whom were restless and had woken up often throughout the night, needing his attention and comfort.

He was exhausted himself and when the sky had started lightening through the massive bay window in the living room, he'd roused himself, getting up from where he was sat by a dozing Max's head, and he'd gone to sort out breakfast for the kids, pulling up a mask of smiles and happiness when he really just wanted to shut himself away and mourn for everything that he'd been through, everything that he was still going through and everything that he'd lost in such a tiny amount of time. Twenty minutes. Just twenty minutes and from that came this wrecked devastation. From twenty minutes had come ruin.

He'd given those staying at the new house with him rooms to sleep in, even as he and Max had stayed in the living room, waiting, waiting, waiting. Nasta had half expected to get a floo call to tell them that Harry had died in his potion induced haze, or that Leolin had taken a turn for the worst or that they'd found something wrong with their baby that they'd initially overlooked in their preliminary examinations.

He had his Leolin back home now, as of eight O'clock that very morning, he was being cradled and cuddled and soothed by numerous, willing family members who were babysitting for them. Leolin had fed once, with his eyes closed as if he still thought that he was in the hospital, and this theory was supported by the one and only time that Leolin had woken up fully just an hour ago, as he had looked around himself, at all the faces around him, and then he had screamed, properly screamed, for Harry. Harry who was away in the Dracken Healing Halls and couldn't sooth their hysterical Faerie baby, Harry who couldn't even support his own body and wouldn't be able to pick up or hold their children for a long while yet. Leolin had cried himself back into an exhausted sleep.


Nasta turned to Harry and those hazy, glassy eyes were clear for once.

"Harry! How are you feeling?" He asked, feeling like he was actually talking to Harry for the first time in days.

"Hurt. I ache, Nas. I can't move either."

"You were very hurt, Harry. Do you remember?"

Harry nodded minimally and still his face pinched and went a shade paler, making him look an unhealthy, sickly grey.

"Where's Max?" He asked, peering around the room, frowning as if he remembered that he'd seen things, but not why he'd seen them.

"You've been hallucinating." Nasta told him and Harry's expression cleared and he sighed heavily.

"I feel like I need to apologise for that." Harry said ruefully.

Nasta smiled and he bent forward to kiss him. He had felt wrong kissing Harry when he wasn't in his right mind and talking bollocks, so he hadn't done it. Kissing Harry now felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off of his chest.

"I love you." He declared seriously, passionately.

"I love you too, but where is Max?" He repeated.

"He's at home, love."

"Is he okay? I wanted to see him."

"He's alright." Nasta lied through his teeth. Max was far, far from alright.

Harry nodded. "My babies? Is Leolin okay?"

"Leolin is completely fine and he's back home getting some much needed attention from his adoring grandparents, Aunts and Uncles." Nasta didn't think he needed to mention that even though Leolin was getting all the attention and love that he could ever wish for, he was screaming for Harry throughout it.

Harry smiled then. Tiredly. Very, very tiredly as he sort of sagged into his pillow.

"How's Braiden, is his leg better?"

"All better, I promise. There isn't even a tiny mark on him. It was healed right up." Nasta told him. Again he didn't think he needed to mention that Braiden was silent. That he hadn't said a single word since he'd been injured or that he wasn't eating properly. Nor did he mention Calix's tantrums or how he was acting up and lashing out. They were all very unsettled and unhappy at the moment, they'd all been traumatised by what had happened, even Regan, Farren and Tegan, who hadn't actually been in the living room at the time, but he didn't want Harry to worry, so he said nothing. He could shoulder the burden of that too. The one thing that he felt that he couldn't lie about was Blaise and he could see that that was what Harry was working up to, though he hadn't once asked after Draco, not even when he was delusional on his pain potions.

"How's Blaise?" Harry asked quietly, proving Nasta right and he took in a deep breath, mentally preparing to tell Harry everything that had happened while he'd been out of it.

"He was hit very hard in the head, twice. He had swelling of the brain and a slow bleed. He died last night, Harry, at ten O'clo…." Nasta started and before he'd even finished the first sentence Harry's eyes had widened and he had started struggling, trying to force his damaged muscles into making his body sit up. He ended up with a face full of sweat and a green tinge to his cheeks from the pain of him struggling to move.

"No!" Harry screamed, interrupting him.

"Calm down, Harry, please. Let me explain!" Nasta insisted as he climbed onto the bed and tried to hold Harry as he screamed and cried.

"Blaise!" Harry screamed, his hands raising to fist into Nasta's shirt as Harry forced himself to move them, needing the comfort more than he cared about the pain of moving parts of his body. The grief and emotional pain far outweighed the physical as he screamed and screamed, trying to wind his body closer, tighter, around Nasta's.

Nasta couldn't calm Harry back down and his mate vomited hard, just like Max had done last night, and Nasta tried to ignore that Harry had thrown up on his chest and in his lap as he tried to talk to Harry, to calm him down.

Harry started hyperventilating and panicking and Nasta was shocked to realise that Harry was having a panic attack in his arms. The ward on Harry went off and in less than five seconds, three of the several Dracken Healers were in the room with them.

"Calm down, Harry!" Nasta pleaded, trying to tell him more of what had happened, but Harry either couldn't hear him through his panic, or he wasn't willing to listen as his panic attack continued as he choked in sharp gasps and panted like an overheated dog.

Nasta was forced to cradle his mate, trying to get Harry's face into his neck, but Harry was struggling to breathe and all at once, he collapsed down and went floppy in his arms.

The Healers were there then, helping him, and with a swish of a wand, Harry's sick was vanished and the Healers were talking to one another calmly and Nasta felt pushed out and banished to the side lines. He didn't know what to do any more. Perhaps it had been a bad idea to try and explain what had happened to Blaise to Harry, he'd just decided that Harry had deserved to know exactly what had happened throughout yesterday.

He put his face in his hands and he rubbed at his eyes, pushing his fingers in hard as he tried to ignore the headache that he had and the gritty feeling he felt from lack of sleep. Maybe if he'd grabbed an hour or two he would have handled this situation better, or at the very least he would have been able to explain it all better. He should have started by telling Harry that Blaise was fine, but that he had had swelling of the brain and a slow bleed that a senior Healer had been able to control and eventually correct. He was too tired and now he felt absolutely awful for what he'd just put Harry through needlessly. Hindsight really was a fucking curse.

Aneirin was back in Saint Mungos with Blaise. He was bone tired, but he didn't care as he touched the hand of the almost comatose Blaise, his fingers finding the pulse in his wrist, just to reassure himself that the boy was still alive after the heart wrenching, gut churning fear last night when Blaise had officially died for six and a half minutes.

He'd never seen Max or Nasta so scared looking, nor so relieved when they'd arrived back at home, three hours after they'd gone to the hospital, to tell them that the Healers had been able to revive Blaise after a very tense and fear filled six minutes. Blaise had still not regained consciousness.

Aneirin looked to the drawn face of one of the boys that he'd come to love as his own, through his son, Nasta, and his heart clenched again at seeing Blaise like this. It wasn't right.

A choked, gagging, gasping noise had Aneirin snapping his head back to Blaise's face, to see glassy indigo eyes opened and darting around in fear.

"Blaise." Aneirin said softly, slowly, even as the ward on Blaise sent a jolt to Healer Almus. "Blaise, it's alright, just stay calm. You need to stay calm."

"Where my?" Blaise asked, his throat so dry that he croaked, his eyes fluttering, almost rolling back into his head.

"You're at the hospital, Blaise." Aneirin told him, just before the door opened and Healer Almus came striding in.

Blaise's eyes showed no recognition of Healer Almus and Aneirin's heart skipped in fear. Did Blaise not recognise him either? Had Blaise's memory really been that affected that he couldn't remember the specialist pregnancy Healer that Harry had been seeing since he was pregnant with the quintuplets?

"Do you remember your full name?" Healer Almus asked, obviously coming to the same conclusion that Aneirin had, even as he lighted the tip of his wand and peered into Blaise's eyes, checking the reaction of his pupils to the light.

"Blaise Mariano Zabini." Blaise croaked.

"How old are you, Blaise?"

"Nine…nineteen?" Blaise said, but Aneirin swallowed. That answer had come out more of a question and had had a lilt of uncertainty to it.

"Are you asking me or telling me?" Healer Almus asked shrewdly.

"I don't know. I don't know what day it is."

"When is your birthday?"

"October the twelfth." Blaise said with no hesitation. "Nineteen-seventy-nine." He added.

"It's currently May, nineteen-ninety-nine."

Blaise nodded, as if he'd suspected just that.

"Do you remember who you live with?"

Blaise's face pulled into a frown and he just stared at them both, going from one to the other.

"Are you being serious?" He croaked.

"Deadly." Healer Almus insisted.

"I live with four other men." He said as if they were stupid. "Harry, Max, Draco and Nasta. Your son." He added to Aneirin. "You should remember that."

Aneirin chuckled, mostly in sheer relief.

"Do you remember how many children, if any, that you have?" Healer Almus asked, not relenting even the smallest bit.

Blaise blinked, his glassy eyes getting clearer now the longer he was awake and interacting with others.

"You should know, you've been inspecting them since they were born. I have one biological son, but seven other children too."

"Can you tell me the date?"

Here Blaise looked a little uncertain again, which was hardly surprising as he had missed a full day being completely unconscious.

"Perhaps I should rephrase that for you. Can you tell me the date of the last day that you remember?"

Blaise frowned and looked thoughtful. "May the twenty-sixth. Harry was in court and Draco got scalded. I brought him here with our twin daughters to be healed. I don't remember anything after that. Is he okay? Is he here too? What about the girls?"

Aneirin closed his eyes and breathed in and then out to calm himself.

"It's the afternoon of May the twenty-eighth today, Blaise. You've missed a couple of days."

"Oh, have I been here the whole time?" Blaise asked.

"Not exactly. You were admitted into the hospital yesterday, on May the twenty-seventh."

Blaise frowned and he lifted his hand to touch at the hideous bruise at the front of his head, as if there was a sensory memory that he remembered, even if he couldn't remember what had caused it. His eyes widened, not because he touched the bruise, but because he realised that his head had been shaved and his hand rubbed over the entire of his head and he looked devastated, not because he was in the hospital or because he couldn't remember the last two days, but because he no longer had any of his hair.

"What happened to my hair?" He demanded shrilly, his voice breaking as his throat was too dry to get the words out at any sort of higher volume.

"Here." Healer Almus waved his wand over a Styrofoam cup and it filled with small chips of ice. "Take a few of these into your mouth, let them melt and suck on them. It'll really help your throat, Blaise."

"Where did my hair go?" Blaise demanded stubbornly, accepting the cup, but not putting anything in his mouth.

"It was charmed off." Healer Almus said simply.

"Why?!" Blaise hissed.

"Take some ice chips, perhaps it would be best if your mates were here?"

Blaise tried to sit up straighter then, at the mention of his mates, and he nodded.

"Take some ice chips first." Healer Almus compromised and Blaise tipped a few little balls of ice into his mouth immediately, his arm shaking from the effort it took to lift the cup to his mouth.

Aneirin took the hint and he stood, bending forward to kiss Blaise's brow. He got the strangest, most horrified look that he could have imagined, but he didn't care. He loved Blaise as his own and he wanted to show it as he did to Nasta. It was just a shame that it had taken such a devastating tragedy for him to grow the balls to realise it.

"I'll go and get who I can. It's like a mad house over there." He said before he left, leaving Healer Maximilian Almus to do whatever tests he needed to do.

The neurological Healer needed to be called too, just to check on Blaise and to assess whether Blaise's lost couple of days was just because he was a bit disorientated after waking up or whether it was something a little more sinister. Aneirin didn't frankly care, he was just infinitely glad that Blaise was now awake.

He flooed over to the new house yet again and as soon as he landed, he saw Max's wide eyed, devastated face and he heard Nasta, his beautiful, youngest son, inhale sharply, painfully. Nasta had come home after his visit to Harry earlier that day to tell them that he'd been the trigger of a massive panic attack that had caused Harry to pass out. Aneirin felt for all of them, his boys really were having no luck lately.

"It's okay. Everything's okay." He assured them quickly as he stepped over the fireguard and raised his hands as if he could take away the fear, the utter terror, that all of them were exhibiting with just a few gestures.

"Blaise isn't…he hasn't…" Max stuttered.

"He's awake. He's awake and he's okay."

There was a loud, collective sigh of relief and several of them sagged into the settee.

"Is he really okay?" Nasta asked. He looked completely exhausted and Aneirin knew that he'd been awake all day yesterday, all night and all of today too. His son needed some sleep or he was going to run himself into the ground. He couldn't help anyone if he was too exhausted to think straight, as he'd already proven with his mishandling of Harry.

"He's alright, very angry and devastated to find out that he's now bald."

That got him several laughs. Myron Maddison was not one of them as he studied him and his body language.

"I sense a but." He interrupted gruffly.

"There is a but." Aneirin sighed tiredly. "Blaise doesn't remember any of the past two days. His last memory is of taking Draco and the twins to the hospital. He doesn't remember anything after that point, not even coming home from the hospital that day. He believes that he never left the hospital, that he arrived with Draco and the twins and that he woke up there today. He's asking after Draco and demanding to know if he's okay."

Nasta let out a shaky breath and Aneirin felt awful for him. Harry had been so devastated to find out about Blaise that he had had a massive panic attack and he had blacked out again in grief. Nasta had been the one to break that news to Harry and he'd been the one who'd had to sit with him and hold him as he screamed, cried himself sick and then eventually passed out through lack of oxygen. Now he had to go and tell the same to Blaise, about the fight that had landed him in the hospital, what had happened to him, what had happened to Harry and to Leolin and to Braiden too.

"I'll go and see him." Nasta said.

"I need to see him awake." Max said quietly.

Nasta nodded. "I understand. I do, Max, but he needs to know what's happened and why he's in the hospital. I don't want you to go through that. How about you go and tell Harry that Blaise is awake? Maybe he'll actually listen to you and you can explain what happened properly."

Max looked torn.

"Harry deserves to know." Nasta tried and Max sighed heavily, nodding. "I fucked up trying to tell him, he deserves to know what actually happened."

"Okay. But I want to see Blaise while he's still awake."

Nasta nodded. "That's fair. I'll explain it to Blaise and see how he reacts, only if the Healers believe that it's a good idea, of course. If they don't think it is, then I'll come and get you and we can swap places. Harry is going to want to see Blaise too."

"It'll be a bit difficult for him when he can't even move his head from left to right." Max said with a tired, weak smile.

"Are all the kids down for their naps?" Aneirin asked.

Max nodded. "Yeah, Braiden still isn't eating like he used to and Farren screamed half the morning away for Harry. They're really unsettled at the moment."

"This is a trying time for you all." Alexander said comfortingly. "Just go and see to Harry and see to Blaise. They both need their mates around them. We'll look after the kids and you can resettle them once everyone is out of the hospital, but until then, none of us are going anywhere."

Nasta nodded and he went through the floo first, arriving at the hospital, in the office of the head neurological Healer, Aeneas Narkissos Odell. He made his way from the office, down the ward corridor and then into Blaise's room and the all-encompassing relief he felt at seeing Blaise sitting slightly upright and awake almost knocked him off of his feet. He ignored Healer Odell checking results on a piece of parchment.

"Blaise." He called out, his voice barely a whisper, as if this were all a dream and that if he spoke too loudly it would shatter, and he'd be in this room and Blaise would be comatose again.

Blaise looked up at him and he smiled tiredly.

"Hey, Nas. The Healer says I've been here for over twenty-four hours."

Nasta nodded as he went and pulled Blaise into a tight hug. He kissed Blaise's forehead and then he couldn't stop himself from peppering his face with little butterfly kisses as he rested his own face against Blaise's.

"I love you. So very much."

"I'm okay." Blaise assured him. "First your Dad and now you. What the hell happened to me? Why did I just collapse?"

Nasta looked at the Healer, who inclined his head ever so slightly.

"You didn't just collapse, Blaise." Nasta told him as he sat on the bed and swung his legs up.

"I'll give you both some privacy." Healer Odell told them. "I'll be just down the hall in my office."

Nasta pulled Blaise to rest against him and he kissed him again as Healer Odell left them, shutting the door quietly and firmly behind himself.

"If I didn't collapse then what actually happened to me?" Blaise asked confusedly.

"It was a fight, Blaise. A very bad one and you weren't the only one who was hurt."

Blaise eyes widened. "Draco? Max? Harry? Where are they?!" Blaise demanded.

Nasta held Blaise more securely against his chest. "Harry was very badly hurt. He's in the Dracken Healing Halls."

"He needed the Healing Halls?" Blaise asked, trying to get up.

"Blaise, just calm yourself down, this was all very early yesterday afternoon. Harry is fine and awake and Max has gone to see him."

"So…so he's okay?"

"He's okay." Nasta assured.

"So me and Harry were the only ones who were hurt?"

Nasta grimaced. "Well…you, Harry, Braiden and Leolin."

Nasta had to clamp his arms around Blaise to keep him in the bed.

"You never said that the kids were hurt too!" Blaise exclaimed as he fought his hold, trying his hardest to get up.

"Leolin was the only one admitted to hospital and it was only as a precaution because he was in shock, he was released this morning. Braiden was healed up at the house without needing to be admitted to the hospital."

"They're both okay too?" Blaise asked, peering up at him and Nasta kissed him again.

"Yes, love. It was just you that we were so worried about."

"Why? I was only knocked out, wasn't I?"

Nasta sighed and made himself comfortable, bringing Blaise down with him. "Not exactly, Caru."

"What do you mean?"

"You were hit very hard in the head…twice. Your brain started to swell in your skull and you had a slow bleed too."

Blaise gaped at him. "What?!"

"It's why your head has been completely shaved, Blaise. You're in the neurological ward of Saint Mungos…the Healers had to control the bleed in your brain and reduce the swelling quickly. It's why you can't remember what happened over the last couple of days."

"I…I'm brain damaged?!" He demanded in a sort of shocked horror.

"So far, it doesn't look like it, Blaise." Nasta said reassuringly. "You just can't remember yesterday or the day before. You're only awake now because you're a Dracken and I gave you my blood."

Blaise looked completely shell shocked and Nasta felt Blaise's hand tighten its grip on him. He tightened his own hold on his mate in answer and he tilted his head slightly away from Blaise, allowing him to turn his own head to bury his nose into Nasta's neck, so that he could inhale the calming, soothing scent that he was emitting through his pheromones.

"There's something else too, Blaise."

"What more could there be?" Blaise demanded.

"There's no easy way to say this, but you did die, Blaise." Nasta said gently. "Only for…"

"I died?! Properly died?!" Blaise all but screeched, his voice breaking as it was unused to speaking so shrilly, especially recently.

"For six minutes and thirty-eight seconds. I felt it, deep in my heart, but I didn't recognise it. I've never felt anything so painful before, I thought at the time that it was just an accumulation of everything that was happening. Then my Dad came and told me that you'd officially died and that the Healers were trying to resuscitate you. I knew then that what I was actually feeling was your death through my top dominancy bond. Thankfully Harry was unconscious at the time, so he didn't feel any of the all-encompassing pain that I felt in my heart."

"I could have been brain dead!" Blaise hissed.

"You're not." Nasta told him. "You're awake, you're moving, you're talking. You might not remember the last couple of days, but you remember everything else. You're going to be fine."

"Where is my Mother? She wasn't here when I woke up."

"She's on a heat period, Caru. Remember?" Nasta told him softly.

"So she'd be here if she wasn't?"

Nasta chuckled. "Blaise, my beautiful mate, I doubt we could have gotten her to leave long enough to eat and sleep if she'd known. She wouldn't have left your bedside and she'd have threatened anyone who would have tried to make her leave."

"And you and Max and Draco have been going between me and Harry?"

"And Leolin until this morning. He was only in overnight, but we were allowed to go and give him a short visit every couple of hours." He answered, controlling the urge to bare his teeth and growl at Draco's name.

"But he's completely fine?"

"Absolutely fine." Nasta nodded. "He's been asleep all morning, but he has taken a bit of milk. He didn't fully wake up for it, he sort of suckled with his eyes closed, but he had enough."

Nasta stayed in the bed, holding Blaise and rubbing his fingertips into Blaise's skull. It felt strange to do this when Blaise had next to no hair and he looked like a shaved cat, the very short bristles that he did have, felt strange on his fingers, but it calmed and relaxed his mate. It didn't take long for Blaise to fall asleep and it wasn't too long after that that the Healer came back to see them.

"Is he going to be okay?" Nasta asked as soon as he saw Healer Odell.

"He's going to be a bit confused for a time." The man said carefully. "Especially around the circumstances of what landed him in the hospital, but he should make a full recovery as soon as he's been up and about. If he's exhibiting any serious problems or symptoms, however, such as a ringing sound or noise in the ears, blacking out, forgetting where he is, or any sign of blood, particularly from the ears, I want you to bring him straight back here. No hesitating or dithering, straight here."

Nasta nodded his understanding.

"When can he be released?"

"As early as tomorrow morning, but expect it to be more in the range of Sunday or Monday. I want to keep a very close eye on him." Healer Odell told him sternly, his incredibly pale blue eyes boring into him. Honestly his eyes were like two chips of ice with only the tiniest hint of blue to them. It made Nasta wonder if in certain lighting the Healer's eyes appeared completely white.

"I understand." He answered. "I do want Blaise home, but I want him looked after and healthy too."

The Healer nodded and then started waving his wand over Blaise, performing more tests and recording his progress on a chart.

"His brain activity has leapt up and has started to smoothen out since he has woken up. This is a very good sign. You'll find that when his brain activity tapers off onto normal levels and settles down, he'll be able to remember perfectly well. But until then, expect him to be unsettled and slightly confused for as long as several weeks."

Nasta nodded his understanding and he went back to stroking Blaise's skin.

"I'll leave you be for now, but I will be back soon. I need to run some tests when he's awake, so I'll need you to leave for those, just in case you give him any answers that could inflect on Blaise's own. In order to fully help him, I need to know just how bad the damage done is and how much his memory has been affected."

"I understand. May I come back after the tests?"

"Absolutely, I wouldn't dare stand in the way of lovers." Healer Odell answered before leaving the room. Nasta had to smile.

Nasta stayed where he was for three hours, in which an Orderly had been around twice to check if there was anything that he needed, as well as to check on Blaise and Healer Odell had been around once more to check on Blaise's progress.

He moved slightly to try and relieve the ache in his back, not to mention the urge in his bladder, but it was all it took for Blaise's indigo eyes to blink open and his hands to clutch deep and tight to him.

"Don't leave me." He begged, like a frightened child, and immediately Nasta let out a soothing rumble from deep in his chest to reassure his mate that all was well and that he was still here, on guard over him.

"I'm not going anywhere." He said strongly and seriously. "I'm still here."

"I don't want to be alone." Blaise insisted in a small voice.

"You're never going to be alone, Blaise. I'm here for you. I love you."

A knock on the door and Nasta growled. A high whine came back and immediately, Nasta knew that it was Max.

"Come in, Max." He called out gruffly.

Max slipped into the room and shut the door and he carefully made his way over.

"You're supposed to be with Harry." Blaise told him. "Is Draco with Harry?"

Max darted a look to Nasta, begging him to say something, anything to fix this. They both knew that Draco was being kept at Malfoy Manor, that it was Sandor who was standing guard over Harry at the moment.

"We wouldn't leave Harry unprotected, don't worry so much." Nasta said calmly and soothingly.

Blaise nodded and he didn't even think to question why neither of them had so much as mentioned Draco. He naturally assumed that it was Draco who was with Harry and he took a breath and rested back onto Nasta's chest.

"Max is going to take my place for a moment, Blaise. I need the bathroom. I will be back." He swore in a no nonsense tone.

Blaise nodded and as Nasta shifted and rolled away, Max took his place and wrapped a massive, heavy arm around Blaise and held him lovingly, bending down to kiss him.

"I missed you so much."

"Nasta said it was only a day." Blaise answered tiredly.

"It was. But I still missed you. At least we could have a conversation with Harry, well, sort of. We couldn't with you because you were unconscious."

"Wasn't Harry unconscious too?"

Max shook his head. "No, the Healers had to put him to sleep while they were working on him, but he was awake afterwards, he's just been very heavily drugged. Sometimes I think it might have been easier if he was unconscious, I asked him how he was feeling and he babbled something about how I should replace my eyeballs with oranges. From there he decided that he was hungry and he started demanding that I hand over my eyes, or in his words my 'oranges', for him to eat."

Blaise laughed and it shook Max's chest and made him smile. Seeing Harry in such a state was terrifying. That he was so delusional and hallucinating because of the exceedingly strong pain potions that he was being given was frightening to witness, but seeing Blaise so happy soothed over his worry. He would likely be laughing at the things that Harry was saying in a couple of weeks' time, when he had them both home and he'd stopped trying to smother them with tender love and care. For now though, he was upset with and scared of the things that Harry was saying and seeing and his heart was aching at seeing Blaise with a shaved head and so very tired. It was strange that he was being so cuddly and clingy, it wasn't like him and it upset something within him to see Blaise this way.

Nasta came back a long while later and he had a bottle of ice cold water, an apple and two muffins. Nasta had been here for hours, Max knew that he'd not only gone to the bathroom and to get a drink and something to eat, but he'd gone for a short jog around the corridors too, to stretch his legs and to clear his head.

Nasta didn't try to move him or tell him to get out of the way and Max was thankful for that. Nasta sat in the chair next to the bed instead and put his hand on Blaise's, where he was holding onto Max's shirt.

Nasta ate his muffins, feeding small morsels to Max as Blaise slipped back off to sleep. After finishing the small amount of food, Nasta stood back up and moved his chair around to the other side of the bed and he rested his hand on Blaise's back instead.

"Everything's going to be alright." He said aloud, reassuring himself as much as he was trying to reassure Max.

"Draco's not…."

"I know that." Nasta interrupted. "But Harry and Blaise are going to be fine. That's all I care about at the moment. We can deal with Draco later."

"I'll deal with him alright." Max growled.

"We've had enough fighting." Nasta told him.

"More than enough." Max agreed with a sigh, relaxing his body back down and letting go of all the anger, the deep seated rage, that he felt towards Draco. He didn't need to deal with it. Nasta would deal with it, he trusted Nasta to deal with it.

"How was Harry?"

"Scary." Max answered before telling Nasta the story about his eyes and the oranges. "I hate seeing him like that. I hate seeing the both of them like this."

"It won't be for much longer. The Healers want to lower Harry's dosage later tonight and Blaise is going to be released in the next few days."

"Is he okay to be released?"

"They want to do some more tests first, but he should be okay, just unsettled for a few weeks while his brain recovers from the trauma and he regains his memories. He is still a Dracken though and I got my blood into him pretty fast after he was knocked out."

"I'm so relieved that everyone's come out okay." Max made a strange, half aborted sob and Nasta moved his hand to clutch at Max's, around Blaise's shoulders.

"I'm going to go and see Draco tomorrow afternoon, after the kids have had their lunches. He needs to be properly punished and he will be going to these anger management classes. If Harry and Blaise forgive him, I don't want this to ever happen again. I'm still trying to get over how he tried to attack Harry to begin with."

Max shook his head. "I was expecting him to come after me, not Harry. I wasn't prepared for it. Harry was only trying to reach Leolin."

"As Harry's dominant mates, there is no way in hell that we should be trying to attack him. Draco is going for those anger management classes."

Max nodded his agreement. "Do you…"

"What?" Nasta prompted after Max fell silent for several long moments.

"It's a stupid question." Max admitted ruefully.

"It's only us here, Max and you know that I won't laugh at anything you say and I won't judge you for it either. Just ask."

"I was just thinking out loud." Max said quietly.

"I can't help if you don't actually ask the question." Nasta told him after another pregnant pause.

"I already know the answer."

"Will you please just get this off of your chest, it's obviously bothering you." Nasta said sternly.

Max sighed. "I was just going to ask if you thought that maybe we might be able to heal after this…if everything could be forgiven and we could move on. But I know that's just a fantasist's dream." Max said bitterly. "There's no way that we can get over something like this and even if we could, there's no guarantee that Blaise or Harry will, they were severely injured and they could have both died…hell Blaise did die from this." He said emotionally.

"Only time will tell. You know that Harry's going to be wound up over Braiden and Leolin, that's why he attacked Draco a second time, after he saw the state of Braiden's leg. Blaise is already concerned about Harry, then he doesn't really know what's happened. He knows now that he was attacked, that Harry, Leolin and Braiden were hurt too, but he still doesn't know that it was Draco who started the fight and Draco who technically killed him for six and a half minutes."

"Please…please don't say it." Max begged, clutching Blaise tighter and placing two fingers over his neck to check for his strong, steady pulse.

Nasta looked at him softly in understanding and he nodded.

"If Blaise can get over it and Harry can move on, then there is every chance that we can move on too, with a lot of work, and as I said, Draco will have to go to those anger management classes. It'll be a condition that he has to complete before he even returns to our house. I won't have him there otherwise."

Max nodded. "I agree with you. We just have to see if Harry and Blaise agree."

Nasta smiled as he continued to stroke Blaise's back, watching as Max cuddled with him and eventually slipped off to sleep along with Blaise. Nasta stayed and watched over them both for a while, guarding them and rumbling back to Max when he subconsciously sought out any danger that might be lurking around in the unfamiliar environment.

Nasta sat and he thought long and hard about what had happened and how he felt about it. He felt sure that he could get over the fight, but only if Draco went to a specialist to help him control his terrible temper. It was another thing to be seen if Harry and Blaise could both get over what had happened. Nasta hoped that they could, he wanted his family to stay together after all, but ultimately the decision was completely up to Harry as their submissive. Only he had the power to cast any of them out of the mateship, he may already have cast Draco out after what had happened without even realising it, he hadn't mentioned Draco once since the fight had happened, but only time would tell. They would see what was going to happen now in the coming days.

Nasta steeled himself as he flooed directly into Malfoy Manor. He usually would have announced his visit, or even Apparated over to knock on the door, but no. Not in this situation. Draco was his mate and he would not be blocked or allow the elder Malfoys to stand in his way of dealing out the needed punishment.

He scented out Draco before anyone could track him down and he sent the poor house elf who tried to get him to wait in the Malfoy's receiving room running. He would rather not be doing this, but as the top dominant of his mateship, again it fell onto his shoulders to deal out punishments where it was needed.

He went into Draco's bedroom, not knowing what to expect and not knowing how he would react. He knew that if Draco had been doing anything at all normal, like reading or doing his favoured hobbies, then he'd have completely lost it and torn his throat out right then and there.

Draco was not doing anything normal. His bedroom was a total disaster, the bed was in a splintered mess, the mirrors were in broken shards and every piece of furniture was destroyed. Draco himself was curled up in a ball in the middle of his bedroom floor, his back to the door, his hair was unwashed and a complete mess, he was wearing pyjamas in the middle of the day, pyjamas that looked like he'd slept in them for the past two days, and he smelt like he hadn't bathed since he'd left the house after the fight two days ago…he was still scabbed and bloody from where he'd been beaten and hurt. He hadn't healed them or allowed anyone else to heal them.

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