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?


116. Chapter One Hundred-Five – Waiting Games Part 1

Myron Maddison was not often left speechless, his mate and Husband, Richard, certainly wasn't used to not having something to say, but truly, what could they say here, in this situation, when they'd just been told that their son was under investigation by the Elders for cruelty and mistreatment of his submissive mate.

"Surely you're mistaken." Richard said desperately, his voice strained and wobbly because of his emotions playing havoc with his scar tissue. "Max would never harm Harry! Never!"

"Harry has been injured yet again." The Head of the Dracken Counsel himself, ancient Anthanaric Vipond, said seriously. "He is once again in the Healing Halls and we cannot allow this to keep happening, you know that. Harry, the poor boy, has a very bad concussion following a panic attack that was the direct result of his dominant mates' actions. One of our Healers rightly invoked the Submissive Protection Act and thus Harry and the children were removed from that environment."

"I can't…I can't even believe it, so soon after that belly wound." Richard said softly. "They know what Harry has already been through!"

"We had hoped that you could explain to your Maximilius exactly how serious this is, before the assessment is conducted, so that he has a better chance of passing it. None of us at the Halls want to see a mateship pulled apart if there is an option of reconciliation."

Myron clenched his fist and he sucked in a huge breath. "You know that I will take him to hand." He said gravely.

"See that you do, Myron. Another instance like this and Harry could be permanently removed or your son could be executed."

Myron heard Richard suck in a sharp breath and he offered his hand to support him.

"We will deal with this." Myron said firmly.

"I must go and inform Aneirin and Marianna. Though as I'm told that her Blaise was not directly involved in either instances of Harry being harmed, then I shouldn't imagine him being separated from his submissive or children for long."

Myron saw Elder Vipond to the floo on automatic and after the goodbyes, he turned to Richard with a face of thunder.

"I'll kill him." He swore. "I'll kill that boy myself, Richard!"

"Get in line." Richard growled. "Working on Harry's case, going through the court case with him and now on his behalf, hearing those people speak of him as they are, like he's some sort of mentally subnormal delinquent. You haven't had to sit there and listen to these people, you haven't seen the pictures that I have, Myron. You haven't seen the injuries they gave to that poor boy, the pictures of his scars and injuries, the st…state of his living conditions." Richard broke off of a sob. "Our own son is abusing an already abused boy. I can't…what did we do wrong? First Ashleigh, now Max…did we fail at everything?"

Myron strode forward and pulled Richard into his arms, soothing his mate and stroking his back as Richard covered his mouth and nose with a hand and cried into his chest, Richard's other hand was wrapped around him, holding him desperately.

Myron clutched his mate to his body tightly and offered him silent, calm comfort as Richard cried out the emotions that he was feeling, stroking his hair as he did so and all the while his heart was breaking.

"I need to see him." Richard said once he'd calmed down.

"I don't think either of us are in a state to confront Max at the moment, my love." Myron rumbled. "Give it an hour."

"Not him." Richard snapped. "Harry."

Myron paused for a moment and then he nodded. "Yes, let's go and make sure that he and the children are alright."

Richard pushed away from him, wiped his sleeve over his face, before he hurried to the fireplace and took a pinch of floo powder. Myron followed him through and they met a very red faced Aneirin, who was pacing the waiting room.

"What's the word?"

"They're just finishing off a very broad diagnostic spell, I think they're looking for more signs of mistreatment." Aneirin said angrily. "When I get my hands on Nasta…" He trailed off.

It was a very tense, emotional wait for the Healers to finish up and then they were allowed to see Harry, who was tucked up to his chin, very pale and small looking in the big double bed.

Aneirin picked up one tiny hand and closed his eyes and Richard touched the tufts of hair at the front of Harry's head.

"Where are the children?" Myron asked.

"Through here, they're sleeping too." Healer Moore told him, pointing to a door beside him. They had been denied unsupervised access to Harry, as they were not biologically related to him.

Myron went through the door, being quiet so that he didn't wake them, into the dim room beyond. There were three night lights, one on each wall, so that the cots could be easily seen.

Myron critically checked on each of his grandchildren and, naturally, Tegan woke up, sensing that someone new was near her, or perhaps because this was not her own cot, was not her mattress and she didn't have her little penguin with her.

"Ganda." She said as she rubbed her eyes before peering up at him with those big, hazel-gold eyes.

"Shh, sweetheart." He said softly. "Go back to sleep."

"Pengy." She said, looking around…she was awake because her penguin wasn't with her.

"Let's go and find it, I'm sure it would have been brought with you."

He picked her up and she snuggled into his shoulder sleepily, her tiny fingers playing with the hair at the nape of his neck as she sung to herself softly. She was very tired, but she needed her penguin to sleep.

"Aneirin." He called out softly. "Is Tegan's penguin in that bag?" He asked, nodding to the familiar nappy bag that had been placed beside Harry's bed.

Aneirin, turning and seeing Tegan on his shoulder, hunched down and looked through the bag. He stood up with the toy in his hands.

"Here you go, sweetheart." Aneirin said as he tucked the penguin under Tegan's chin, making sure that her hand had wrapped around it.

"Ta, ganda." She replied and Aneirin smiled softly at her, bending forward to kiss her soft, sleep creased cheek.

"Are they all alright?" Richard asked, still touching the sleeping Harry.

"Perfectly fine. They're all asleep, but Tegan wanted her penguin." He answered as he carried her back into the nursery.

He pulled Tegan from his shoulder and held her flat between both of his hands and he laid her gently into her cot, making sure her penguin was tucked up tight to her chin so that she could feel and smell it and he tucked the light blanket over her hips.

"Go to sleep now, sweetheart." He said softly.

"Ganda." She said softly, her eyes dropping to half-mast.

"Everything's going to be fine." He insisted to her as she dropped off to sleep slowly, yawning with her tiny mouth and chewing on air as she wriggled around. "Just go to sleep now baby girl."

He murmured to her softly, gently, as she drifted off, until he was sure that she was sleeping. He checked on the other children once more, made sure that Leolin was still perfectly on his back, before he went back to his mate and to Harry.

"How is he?"

"Badly concussed." Aneirin answered. "But nothing else showed up on any of the diagnostic scans."

"He'll be fine?"

"Just fine." Healer Moore answered. "We cannot keep doing this, however. Harry cannot keep being hurt in such a way. Accidents do happen, we understand this, but that belly wound was not an accident, this concussion was not an accident. It needs to be sorted."

Myron sucked in a huge breath. "I am calm enough to deal with them now."

"I'm going to kill him." Richard swore as he petted Harry's hair still.

"Perhaps you should stay here." Myron offered. The look that his mate gave him could have buried him six feet under if he were any lesser man.

"I'm not staying here while that boy has done this to our son, Myron!"

Myron nodded. "Come on then. Let us go and tell him exactly what he's done wrong."

Aneirin fell in beside them and Myron took a huge breath before he flooed over to the boys' new house…the one that was supposed to mark a new start and a line in the sand, where the past stayed in the past. Instead they had dragged the past and all the pain and hurt with them to this new house and it had been tainted already, in just a few weeks of them starting to live here.

Richard flooed in behind him, and Aneirin behind Richard, but they didn't need to go searching, they found Max immediately, he was curled up in a ball on the living room floor, crying.

"Get up." Myron ordered him furiously.

"They've taken…"

"We know." Myron interrupted. "And they were right to take him from you! What is even going through your head?"

"It was a misun…"

"If you say one more word I'm going to punch you in the head." Richard growled. "How can you possibly misunderstand a panic attack that ended with a concussion? How do you miss the signs of it happening? He was in so much distress, he was panicking so much that he passed out in front of you! Why didn't you stop and calm him down?!"

Max didn't answer and Myron's fists clenched tight.

"You never distress your own submissive to such an extent. There is no excuse for what you've done. I have never been more ashamed of you, Maximilius."

Max's head dropped as he looked to the floor and his shoulders shook as he started crying again.

"There's no use crying over it." Myron told him dispassionately. "Your submissive mate is once again lying, unresponsive in a hospital bed. Did you boys not learn from his stomach wound? The one that he's still not fully recovered from? How can you even attempt to justify harming him again?"

"It was an acci…"

"It was not an accident!" Richard cut in harshly. "An accident would have been him tripping over the rug and hitting his head. No! You and Nasta distressed him so much between you that he was panicking so hard that he couldn't breathe and he blacked out! Do you even remember what that boy has already been through? Do you remember that I am representing him in a court of law for one of the most disgusting and serious cases of child abuse that I've ever had to deal with in my entire professional career? You disgust me!"

Max started crying in earnest then, great, wracking sobs that tested the both of them, but Myron took Richard's hand and squeezed it. This was for Harry, their youngest son, who didn't deserve to be treated in such a way. They needed to get these boys to see that what they'd done was not an accident, that it was not a one off or anything else that they tried to claim. It had been a direct result of their behaviour and it was absolutely not acceptable. It would not be tolerated and it would stop, here, today.

"Stop crying and stand up!" Myron demanded over the noise from next door, as Aneirin took Nasta to hand.

Max ignored him, so he strode forward and dragged his oldest son to his feet.

"You have hospitalised your own submissive." He hissed. "That blame is on you and Nasta. You need to do better than this if you have any hope of keeping him! He will be taken from you permanently, Max. Is that what you want? To have your mate taken from you, to leave your family with the shame of your actions as you're executed, leaving Harry widowed and his children Fatherless?"

"Of course I don't want that!" Max cried out.

"Where is Blaise?" Richard interrupted harshly.

"He had nothing to do with this, he was sleeping up…"

"Did I say that he had anything to do with this? Where is he?" Richard demanded.

"In the kitchen." Max said miserably.

Richard left the room and he left Max to Myron as he went to see how the injured man was doing. If any of those boys needed support at the moment, it would be Blaise. He found Blaise slumped on the table, crying silently into his arms.

"Blaise." Richard sat beside him and pulled him into his arms.

"I didn't even know." He cried. "I was sleep…sleeping and I still can't see them."

"It seems unfair, but it's a security measure to ensure that the submissive is fully protected at all times." Richard explained. "You have done nothing wrong, so you should be back with him quickly, as soon as your assessment has been completed."

"I just…I trusted Max and Nasta to look after him while I slept off a headache, I didn't even know what was happening."

"You're still recovering, Blaise." Richard told him. "You needed the rest and you should have absolutely been able to trust that Max and Nasta would look after Harry and the kids while you did so. The fault lies with them, not with you."

"Then why do I feel so guilty?" Blaise demanded.

"Because you are focusing too much on what could have happened if you'd been awake and present at the time. Put it behind you, there is no use in thinking of such things, Blaise. It didn't happen that way and you have no idea if it would have helped or not. Think to the future now, on when you get Harry back."

"What if we don't?"

"Of course you will." Richard said kindly. "You've done nothing wrong and no one truly believes that any of you are hurting him purposefully. This is just the Counsel making a point. This cannot keep happening, but on both occasions, you were not involved, Blaise. They can't penalise you for something that you haven't done."

"Have you seen Harry? Is he okay?"

"He's unconscious, but the Healers have done all the relevant tests and he's going to be alright, Blaise."

"Thank Merlin." The young man breathed out in relief.

"Where is my son?! If you've harmed him again too…!" Came the very loud, explosive shout from Marianna Lychorinda in the other room.

"Madre." Blaise called out, a moment later Marianna was in the kitchen and speaking rapid, angry French to her son.

Richard left them to it, as he couldn't understand them, and instead he went into the family room to check that Aneirin was laying into Nasta. He wasn't anymore, but he had done, he could already tell that from the browbeaten look on Nasta's face.

"How is Blaise?" Aneirin asked him.

"He's feeling guilty. He believes that if he hadn't taken the rest that he needed to recover, then he could have stopped Harry from panicking and passing out."

Nasta looked away, his already buckled shoulders slumping further. Aneirin had well and truly laid into him and he hadn't needed to resort to shouting in order to do so.

Max came in seeking comfort and Richard swallowed as his son went right to Nasta and held the other man like the kids held their teddies. That had once been him in Nasta's place, comforting his son and soothing him, telling him that everything was going to be alright.

He took a breath as Nasta wrapped his arms tight around Max and murmured to him softly, their faces nuzzling together.

"Where is your Father?" Richard asked, less harshly now that they'd gotten the both of them to understand the seriousness of what they'd done and what the consequences of what they'd done could be if they carried on.

"He's…he's gone to tell granddad." Max said in a defeated tone.

Richard sighed. Alexander Maddison had advocated the protection of submissives and he had strived for it his entire life, pushing forward laws and outlining the need for there to be more safety during all meetings of Drackens, including the yearly meeting in May. He had written proposals, debated with the Counsel about the need for his laws to be passed, he had campaigned tirelessly, exhausting himself until he had achieved what he'd set out to, adding measures to protect both submissives and dominants during mate meetings, setting up the Dracken guards, where mated dominants would volunteer to protect unmated submissives and ultimately he'd set up the Submissive Protection Act, which was now a very fundamental part of their society…Alexander Maddison had meticulously written and campaigned hard for the inclusion of his Submissive Protection Act to become law and it had become so with overwhelming support in nineteen-fifty, the very same act that Harry had been removed under, from the care of his very own grandson.

Myron had reformed the Submissive Protection Act that his Father had passed into law in nineteen-eighty-seven to make it even harder for dominants to abuse their submissives, and again, his own son had been found in breach of this act, this very important, fundamental law of their society. If Max was found guilty and Harry was removed from his care indefinitely, it would make a complete mockery of all the safeguards that the Maddison family had made over the decades, it would undermine Alexander's life's work in supporting submissive protection.

"Where are you?" Alexander's furious voice cut through the almost silent house.

Max swallowed and steeled himself. "In here, granddad." He called out.

Alexander wrenched open the double doors and strode into the family room. He was starkly pale, but with two high spots of colour on his cheeks. His dark grey eyes looked almost as black as Myron's in his anger.

"You tell me, right now, that Myron is mistaken." He hissed, as furious as Richard had ever seen him before in his life. "Tell me that Harry was not removed from this house, from your care, under the very same protection act that I campaigned my entire life to have written into law!"

"It's true." Max said, and Richard had to hand it to him, at least he was owning up to what he'd done. He wasn't sure if he were facing Alexander Maddison at the moment, while that furious gaze was directed at him, that he'd even be able to speak.

"If I was any sort of violent man…" Alexander hissed, trailing off and that he'd even threatened it was enough to shock Richard.

"I'm sorry, grand…"

"My entire life I've spent trying to make this society safer for submissive Drackens." Alexander cut in. "My entire life's work has been about protecting those who weren't able to do so for themselves, those who were open to perfectly legal abuse and mistreatment by those who were meant to love them the most, and my own grandson is mistreating his submissive mate! How could you, Maximilius? How could you find it within yourself to harm that poor boy?"

"It wasn't purposeful." Max insisted.

"That does not make it better or alright for you to do." Alexander snapped. "That you didn't even realise that you were abusing him makes it worse! That you can treat him so appallingly and not realise that its mistreatment makes me feel sick!"

"You will be going for therapy." Myron said sternly, from his Father's shoulder. "All of you. It's a requirement of your assessments anyway, but you will be having private therapy too. This will never, never, happen again. Am I clear?"

Max and Nasta just nodded. They'd been talking about seeking therapy after Harry had been removed from their care. This couldn't carry on, they knew it. Nasta had known that Max needed help dealing with his guilt from the fight, now he knew that he should have gotten straight on that and gotten Max settled much sooner. Blaise would need therapy to help him get over the shock of finding out that he'd died, that one of his own mates had actually killed him. Now he knew without a doubt that all of them, even himself, needed therapy after the fight that had started all of this.

"We were talking about seeking therapy before." Max said softly. "Before today even, but now, it needs to be done. I can't…I need them back. I love him so much, I just can't believe this has happened."

"Well it has and once again poor Blaise is being dragged along for the ride, tarred with the same brush as you both." Alexander said.

"Where is Harry going to stay?" Nasta asked.

"He's staying with me." Alexander said. "You will not see him. I will not allow it and I will not break the laws that I wrote just to make an exception for you. He will be staying under my care and you will not see him until you have fully passed your assessments."

Max and Nasta nodded. "Can we request that Blaise goes for his assessment first? He doesn't deserve to be apart from Harry and the kids when he hasn't done anything wrong."

"I will put forward my thoughts on the matter." Alexander said. "But the Counsel can do as they wish under these circumstances, Harry is now under their care and their protection, they will decide what to do next."

Max swallowed and Nasta held him tighter, taking comfort for himself from giving comfort to Max.

"I need to go and set the bedroom up for Harry. I'll send Oliver and Keanu over to pick up what the little ones need, do not hinder them. Pack what Harry will need for a few days too, clothes, underwear, toiletries and such."

Alexander said no more, he turned, still pale with fury, and he left.

"I have nothing more to say to you." Myron said, turning and striding off himself.

Richard sighed and he shook his head. "You boys have a lot of making up to do. What you've done is unacceptable and none of us would have ever expected it from you. I would suggest calling your friends and explaining to them what has happened before they hear from others that you've had your submissive mate and your children removed from your care for allegations of abuse. This will get out to the public sooner rather than later and it would be better if you got your side of events across first."

Richard left himself, with nothing more to say. He was so angry with Max for this, but he needed to turn his attentions to his own mate, to Myron, who was going to be smarting from this.

He flooed back to their home and he found Myron pacing in tight, angry circles, his teeth gritted, his fists clenched and a vein throbbing at his left temple.

"We need to tell Ashleigh." Richard said softly.

Myron didn't break his stride. "Not just yet. Tomorrow. We'll go and visit her tomorrow. I'm far too angry at the moment and I don't want her to think, for even a moment, that she is to blame for that anger. It could set back her progress."

Richard nodded and he stood, watching Myron as he tried to work out his anger. His top dominant stopped, shook his head and he moved then. Richard followed him, with a leaden heart, to their small home gym. Myron was very angry if he felt the need to work out his anger by punishing his own body.

He sat on one of the weight benches and watched his mate as Myron tugged off his outer robes, all but tore the tie from his throat and undid his shirt while simultaneously kicking off his shoes.

He was still a glorious sight to behold and Richard felt a tingle of arousal as Myron, naked from the waist up, bent down and sorted out the weights on the bar in angry movements. Richard wetted his lips as he saw Myron adding some serious amount of weight to the bar.

His mate started out slowly, taking the bar to his hips, to his chest, then up and over his head, before taking the bar back to his chest, back to his hips and to the floor. He repeated this slowly, carefully, before he found his rhythm and he started taking the bar up faster, pushing the weight above his head and holding before taking it back down, quicker and quicker, the sweat sluicing down his neck and chest and Richard knew that it would also be flowing down his back too.

Myron started slowing down and Richard knew that he was warming down and then, with a final lift, Myron brought the bar down to his chest, down to his hips and then down to the floor and he stood back up without it, stretching his warm muscles, becoming lithe and flexible and Richard couldn't help himself as he stood and approached his mate and Husband, reaching up to link his arms around his neck, pressing the full length of his body against Myron's.

"Really, Richard?" Myron grumbled. "After all that has happened today?"

"You know that watching you always arouses me, My. Seeing you all sweaty and warm, your big muscles bulging…I need you." He whispered into Myron's ear. "Don't leave me wanting."

"I never do." Myron growled, placing those huge hands on either side of his ribcage, near his armpits, and picking him up. Richard automatically wrapped his legs around Myron's hips, grinning happily at getting his own way.

"No, this could be what we need, my love." Richard said.

Myron hummed consideringly. "Perhaps it is, I've always felt better after I've taken care of you."

"So take care of me then." Richard grinned.

He was surprised when he was tipped backwards and his back hit the bench that he'd been sat on.

"Here?" He asked with a frown.

"Why not here?" Myron smirked.

"And you call me the kinky one."

Myron snorted. "You are the kinky one, Richard."

"You love that I'm kinky, Myron, don't even try to deny it."

"I wasn't going to." Myron said before diving down, on top of Richard, and kissing him hard. "I love that you can keep up with me."

Richard made himself look affronted. "What was that old man?" He demanded. "I need to keep up with you? Oh no, you need to work to keep up with me, that's why we have this home gym in the first place."

Myron laughed then and bent down to kiss Richard again, before pulling back and smiling down at his lover.

Missing Scene.

"Let's get you cleaned up, my love." Myron said as he picked Richard up and carried him out of their home gym and up the stairs to their Master bedroom.

"I love you."

"I love you, Richard." Myron answered, placing his mate and Husband down on the bed gently before going into the en suite bathroom to clean himself off before taking a damp cloth back into the bedroom to clean off Richard.

"Will everything be okay, Myron?" Richard asked him.

Myron sighed. "I'll make it so, Richard. I can't even speak to Max at the moment, but we'll make this right. I'll personally make those boys go to therapy if needed. I will not allow this to ever happen again."

"When I think of Harry in that hospital bed, knowing that Max put him there…it makes me feel sick, Myron."

"You and me both." Myron insisted. "We'll take a few days to calm down, see Harry and the kids alright, and then we'll take Max to hand. We all know that those boys will pass their assessments, it's just ensuring that they don't brush this incident off because they have passed. There will be punishment, to ensure that they receive the lesson that they need to learn from this, so that it never happens again."

Richard nodded. "Come and lie with me for a bit. I just need…I need a cuddle for a bit. Then we need to go and see Ashleigh."

Myron sighed and he nodded, climbing naked onto the bed and wrapping Richard up in his big arms.

"Just rest for a bit, Richard. Everything will be alright. We'll make it so. Those boys will not get away with this and Harry will never again be harmed by their actions."

Richard nodded in his arms and cuddled in tight to him. Myron just held him and stroked his hair as Richard drifted off to sleep in his arms. Richard was always tired after a bit of rough sex.

Myron slipped his mate from his arms and covered him over, getting out of the bed and dressing himself in clean clothes. He needed to sort out this entire mess, thankful that his Father had offered to take in Harry and the children, as he knew that he couldn't stay impartial, not while he was still so angry with those boys for doing this in the first place.

He sighed as he made himself a mug of coffee. He sat down to his paperwork, but he found it did not provide an adequate distraction from his thoughts. He found himself so angry that that he could barely think past what had happened, of what his own son had done to a boy who he saw as his son.

He found it inconceivable that Max had just stood and watched as Harry distressed himself so much that he had had a panic attack and had passed out. He just…he tried to imagine it with Ashleigh in Harry's place, but he couldn't. He couldn't even imagine it with Richard, his subordinate dominant mate.

He understood that they had been through a terrible time lately, that the fight that had almost resulted in two fatalities had unsettled them all, but it was no excuse really. There was never any excuse for harming a submissive, whether your own or not, but it was just worse that they had led to the injury of their own submissive mate, it was why Harry had been rightly taken from their care. It all boiled down to Harry and he didn't deserve to be treated in this manner. He didn't deserve to keep being injured in such a way, it just wasn't right and he needed to make those boys see that. No…he would make those boys see that. This would never happen again. He would make sure of it.

Harry woke up groggy and not entirely sure of where he was or what had happened. He recognised the familiar ceiling of the Dracken Healing Halls and he cursed, wondering if he'd pulled his stomach too much when he was so close to being cleared as fit and healthy.

"Harry, sweetness, stay still."

Harry frowned up at Elder Trintus, wondering why he was there, of all people. He wondered where his mates were.

"Nasta?" He called out, hoping that his top dominant would be there for him.

"Your mates aren't here, sweet one. You've been removed from their care for your own protection."

"What?" Harry demanded, sitting up too quickly and causing a sharp pain in his gut. It made his head spin and he groaned.

Alfred Grant came running, sprinting incredibly well for a man of three hundred and four years old, as the ward placed on Harry went haywire with his increased heart rate, and he breathed easier at seeing Harry awake and sat up.

"How are you feeling?" He asked.

"I'd feel better if you told me that what I've just heard is some sort of joke!" He ground out.

"I'm sorry, sweet one, it's not a joke." Elder Trintus said in what Harry assumed was supposed to be a soothing way. It made him feel angry and more than a bit sick. "We take submissive health and wellbeing very seriously, and I'm sorry, but this is the best option. We cannot leave you to suffer with abusive dominants."

"They're not abusive!" Harry yelled out.

"They caused you to have a panic attack which led to you getting a concussion." Healer Grant told him sternly. "What would you call that?"

"An accident! They didn't know I was going to have a panic attack, I didn't even know!"

"That is beside the point, they are your dominant mates. They should have realised what was happening and calmed you down, not pushed you harder." The Healer said.

Harry made a harsh noise of frustration and he tugged on his own hair. "What are you people even doing to me? Why do you do this to me?" He demanded. "What have I ever done to deserve this? I want to be with my mates! I want to be in my own home!" He growled.

Elder Trintus looked shocked at his behaviour, but the Healer looked like he'd been expecting it. Alfred Grant shushed him and soothed him gently. Harry realised that the dominant was releasing his calming pheromones and it reminded him of his own mates and he clenched his hands tight.

He swung himself out of the bed and he forced himself to run. He knew he had to get to the floo with enough time to actually throw the powder into the grate and say his address. He felt such an overwhelming need to be with his mates that the emotion almost choked him.

"Harry!" He heard Healer Grant calling after him, but Harry kept running, down the Healing corridor, right past a startled young woman at the reception desk and he spilled out into the main foyer of the Dracken Halls.

A massive, muscled arm wrapped around his chest and lifted him up off of his feet, holding him gently and shushing him as he started crying, struggling fruitlessly to reach his mates. A distress call slipped from his throat and he was juggled in those arms gently until he was facing a big chest and was held securely and safely.

"Shh, Harry." Georgio's voice broke through his distressed cries.

Harry shifted and wrapped himself around Georgio and he snuffled his wet face into the Healer's neck. Georgio didn't care as he stroked the back of his head gently, keeping up a stream of soothing noises and murmurings.

"I want my mates." He cried.

"You can't see them just yet, but soon, I promise." Georgio said. "You've had a nasty knock to the head, you shouldn't be running around like this."

Harry was placed back on the hospital bed.

"I need them." Harry insisted.

"I know, just let us explain." Georgio tried.

"My babies!" Harry sobbed. "I can't be without them, please."

"You're not without them, they're next door being fussed over by our trainee Healer who should be learning medicine, but we can't pull her away from them." Healer Grant put in quickly.

Harry was up and gone again before anyone could think to stop him. He burst into the room and he sighed out heavily upon seeing his sweet babies. His heart wrenched in his chest…he'd almost gone back home and left them here. He'd almost left his eight babies here alone, without him. He choked back a sob and instead he dragged up a smile for them instead as they all turned to look at him.

"Mama!" Calix cried out happily, crawling to him on fast hands and knees.

Harry cried out joyously and he sunk to his knees, embracing his baby. It seemed so wrong to see them in such a sterile room. It brought back memories of the hospital and seeing Leolin on the verge of death and that was it, he needed his little Faerie baby.

He hefted up Calix, tiptoed through his other clamouring babies and peered into the three bassinets, his twin girls were in two of them, and Leolin was in the third, all of them sleeping. Harry picked him up too and he held them both tightly, inhaling their soft, sweet scents and he sat down on the floor in relief. They might be in a hospital room, but neither of them were sick.

"You shouldn't be moving so much." The trainee Healer told him.

"Leave us alone." Harry replied back, still holding his two youngest boys and accepting the prods, pinches and pulls of his others as they screeched around him happily as they all dived in for a kiss that he readily gave to them all.

"Be careful, Harry." Healer Grant told him. "You don't want to be admitted because of that stomach wound again, take it a little easier. At the moment you're only here for the concussion that you have."

Harry blew out a breath. "I want to see my mates." He repeated.

"Out of the question."

"Stop trying to tell me what I want!" Harry hissed, easily defaulting back to anger. "Why does every one insist on telling me what I want or telling me what's best for me? I know what I want, I know what's best for me better than anyone else! Stop telling me what to do!"

"There's the little spitfire I know and love."

Harry actually smiled as Elder Kirrian came into the room.

"You're being released into the care of your Grandfather, Alexander Maddison. He is under strict orders not to allow you to see your mates, so don't ask him or beg him, it will only make you both feel worse."

"I want to see them."

"You can't just yet. Not until after they've been assessed."

"How long will that take? I have a heat period in a few days!"

"If the assessment is not complete by the time you go onto your heat, you will be placed back into your home and then taken again as soon as it's over while the assessment continues. I know those boys well, they'll pass the assessment with no problem."

"Then why is it happening if you already know that they'll pass it?!"

"Because you were removed from their care, boy." Elder Kirrian told him kindly. "It was supposed to have happened when you got that belly wound, but they were given the benefit of the doubt because you had a mate in the hospital and an injured baby and another in the hospital and the mate responsible was removed from your vicinity. This incident cannot be overlooked, not when you might be at risk. It's an automatic response to your injuries, even if we know that they're not abusive to you, this procedure needs to be carried out fully and to the letter."

Harry blew out a massive breath.

"Can I not even have supervised contact with them?" He asked desperately.

Elder Kirrian shook his head. "No, as they caused you to have a panic attack that directly resulted in you being hurt yet again, it's not possible until after the assessment has been completed. It's for the safety of the submissives involved, in this case you, as your dominants might misuse their hold over you to get you to lie and that would potentially cause us to release you back into an abusive home. We can't allow any submissive to be placed into such a position, where they don't want to be in their own home, with their own dominants, yet they've been forced to say that they do. It would be a most horrific mistake on our parts to allow such a thing to ever happen again. You can see your mates now as soon as they're cleared, however. They're assessed one at a time. We've started with your first mate, Blaise, as soon as he's been cleared, you can see him."

Harry breathed and he closed his eyes, recognising the need for the complete separation but still not liking it, yet knowing that nothing he did or said would change anything. "How long does an assessment take?" He said as a way of a compromise.

"It could be several hours to a couple of days, depending on how cooperative the dominants' are with us. We started with Blaise as he was the only one of your mates who was not involved in either instance of you being harmed. He was also the calmest of your mates, he wasn't shouting over us and demanding you and the rugrats be given back once the Elders went to explain what was to happen next. He alone was quiet. I'm not sure how much of that is his head injury, but we decided to start with him as he seemed the most cooperative at the time."

"Blaise has always thought of me first." Harry smiled as he looked to his children around him. "He always puts what I need or want first. He's always done it."

"Then it should be a very straight forward assessment and you should be seeing him at some point tomorrow."

Harry breathed out a sigh of relief. He knew that all of his mates would pass this assessment, no matter what it was or entailed. They loved him and the kids too much.

"What happens if they fail?" He couldn't help asking. "Not that they will, but hypothetically, what would happen then."

"They would be assessed again and if they failed that one too, then they'd be evaluated by the Healers, if nothing physically or mentally wrong is found with them, then they'll be executed to free their submissive from their sadistic cruelty."

Harry gaped. "None of my mates are cruel!" He hissed.

"Then you, or they, have nothing to fear." Elder Kirrian said simply. "No one believes that they're abusive or cruel, Harry, the Healers are just concerned for your high level of injuries within a very short amount of time. It is their job to be concerned for their patients, Harry boy. They were worried for you, so they removed you from the environment that you were in. I'm conducting the assessments myself, I'll do it as quickly as possible and you'll be all together again before your heat period hits you."

Harry smiled then. "Thank you."

Elder Kirrian smiled back and he sighed. "You just play with these kids and keep them happy. You have absolutely nothing else to do, so spend some time with them. Aelia will help you, as you're not supposed to be lifting or bending. So you just stay here and play with them and let her sort out everything else."

Harry looked at the unknown woman and he narrowed his eyes on her.

"I'm a Healer." She told him softly. "Well, a trainee Healer, but I'm not going to ruin my dreams of working here in these Halls by running off with one of your children, I promise."

"Aelia is mated, Harry. She has enough of her own brood without adding in any of yours." Elder Kirrian added helpfully and it made Harry laugh.

"I've only got five!" She insisted. "He has more than I do and he's six years younger."

Harry grinned. "It's because I had five at once. If they'd been one baby instead of five I'd only have four babies."

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