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?


72. Chapter Seventy-One – Desirability

Harry groaned under the onslaught of revision that was piled on them over the next month. Draco had fallen into a near sleepless loop of revision and homework. Blaise wasn't much better and Harry was ashamed to admit that most of the childcare had fallen heavily onto Max and Nasta and as May approached; everyone was feeling the strain as the Professors piled more and more and more onto the seventh years and the children got older.

A few weeks didn't sound like a lot, but in baby terms, it was a lot of growing and development in that time. Regan had started rolling and rocking, he was very interested in every toy that was near him. Tegan had cut her first tooth, thankfully with not as much fuss as Braiden, but still with a fair amount of screaming and crying, Farren had finally grown tired of plain milk and had progressed to stealing Braiden's breakfast as well as his rusks and all four of the older quintuplets were sitting up as they approached four months.

The biggest milestone they had reached however was with Braiden, who at nearly nine months had finally taken those first few shuffles forward on his hands and knees.

Harry and Draco had gone for their afternoon tea with Narcissa and Lucius, taking Tegan along for the trip and Harry had enjoyed the bonding time with two of his in-laws, even if both Draco and Lucius were uncomfortable and out of place with the situation, Narcissa was ecstatic to see him and Tegan to catch up with him and to see how much Tegan had grown.

April had been a very boring, wet month apart from those few baby milestones and the afternoon tea with the Malfoys and Harry was glad to see the back of it. He'd be even happier to see the back of the school year completely and he was thankful that the end of the academic year wasn't too far off.

The biggest let down of the last few weeks was Ashleigh refusing to see the mind Healer, claiming that she didn't need to see another one and that there was nothing wrong with her. Myron was now threatening to drag her there, but as she smarmily pointed out, even if he did, he couldn't make her talk to the mind Healer.

Harry's heat was approaching yet again, but it was something not talked about, they had too much to deal with at the moment without any of them stressing over the heat period too, so Harry wasn't causing added stress by worrying about it. The children would go to Alexander and Kimberly once more, no one needed to say it, they knew he'd go onto his heat soon and with the family as they were, there was not much else they could do.

The last Quidditch match of the season was coming up, the final between Gryffindor and Slytherin, who had narrowly scraped past Ravenclaw to claim second place after the appalling performance both teams put up, not that Harry blamed Blaise for being so distracted, but they had both sworn to give one another their best game in two weeks' time. The game had been moved to the Sunday by Dumbledore 'for ease of seventh year study sessions' but it had been because the Dracken meeting was on the Saturday and they needed the time to finish off their homework, do some revision, eat and then prepare for the meeting.

Leolin was coming on in fits and starts as well, he was awake for longer, not much longer, but it was still an improvement. He had put on a pound in weight and he had grown an inch and a quarter and he had finally increased his milk intake by half an ounce. Harry was so proud of him that he had sent an owl to Aneirin boasting about it.

His heat had hit him on the second of May, in the early morning; he didn't remember much of his heat, only that it had started in the bathroom as he had been brushing his teeth. He woke up six days later in bed. He had had another unfertile heat and he could hardly keep the grin from his face at the news that he wasn't pregnant for at least another two months.

The Dursley trial had been back pedalled, yet again, due to the defendants 'not being ready or prepared for court' Harry thought this was a blessing really, as he had so much that he had to do now, so if they could hold it off until June or July, he'd be so much happier, though he made a mental reminder to dig out the damning photos that he had buried at the bottom of his trunk, for Richard and his team. He didn't want this trial coming around so soon, though he was sure that every day and night in a cell was only adding to his 'family's' misery. Limited food would make Vernon miserable, limited food, limited TV and no computer games would make Dudley miserable and no cleaning supplies, no house and no flowery dresses would make Petunia miserable.

The day of the Dracken meeting finally arrived and it was a rush just to get their most urgent homework assignments done because they wouldn't have much time to do it on Sunday either, but Harry was feeling the stress and the strain, two days off sounded like heaven to him, especially if he got to have a little bit of fun along the way.

"Ma ma."

Harry looked down with a smile to Braiden, who had shuffled over to him and flopped on to his thigh.

"Hello, Braiden love. What do you want, hmm?"

Braiden just giggled and reached out for him.

"Do you want a cuddle or one of Daddy Nasta's cwtches?" He asked with a grin as he picked up his now heavy baby. He was nineteen pounds and twenty-seven inches, he was growing fast.

Harry cuddled Braiden tightly, swaying with him to hear him laugh before putting him back down and going back to his Charms homework. He regretted that he couldn't play with his children or lavish them with the attention that they needed and deserved at the moment, but just two weeks and the exams would begin and then two more weeks before they were all over and he could spend every moment of every day with his five sons and his lone daughter.

Braiden didn't seem to mind as he clumsily crawled off to a distant toy. Harry watched him proudly for a moment with a smile, before he went back to his homework, rushing through it just to get it done, what was the point in homework this close to exams anyway? If they didn't know any of this by now then they were fucking screwed, but he did it anyway and then when he was done, he dragged his Herbology essay over and he started that.

He did look down when Braiden crawled back to him with his favourite toy at the moment, sitting between his legs and bashing the little aeroplane about. Harry pulled him backwards to sit more firmly between his legs and he started writing again, keeping an ear out for Leolin waking up or for any of his other children, who were being entertained by Max.

"I'm done!" He declared three hours later, just as two in the afternoon approached.

"Did you do it properly?" Nasta asked from his own paperwork, which had gotten backed up over the last few weeks as well.

"I don't care, it's done." Harry said, shoving all his books and homework into his bag and kicking it under the table, he walked over to Braiden and picked him up, turning him around and raining kisses over his little face.

"Do you want to play, Braiden? Mummy has said bye-bye to homework for the weekend!"

"Bye-bye!" Braiden repeated enthusiastically.

Harry looked at him shocked before grinning and looking around him. "I wasn't the only one to hear that, was I?" He asked.

They shook their heads and Blaise abandoned his homework to come over and kiss Braiden's cheek.

"He's growing day by day and we're missing it because of school." Blaise hissed.

"A month, love, just one month and it'll all be over." Nasta soothed.

"He'll be ten months old then, he could be walking."

"Don't stress about it, he's only just learnt how to crawl." Max added.

"He could go straight from crawling to walking in a matter of weeks."

"We won't miss it, even if we aren't there in person, I'm sure Nasta or Max will record it for us, won't you?" Harry turned to them.

"Of course we will, we wouldn't want you missing something so important and life changing, as soon as he's on his feet, I'm teaching him how to kick a ball." Max declared.

Harry laughed. "One thing at a time, love, though rolling a ball to him might be fine; do we have any balls here?"

Blaise snorted and Harry gave him a dirty look, Blaise giving him the innocent look that didn't wash with him anymore.

"I don't think we have, I don't even think there are any at Max's, though he had so much stuff for Christmas I might have missed it."

"I don't remember him unwrapping one, we'll have to get him one. A nice, big bright one."


"Yes Braiden, but look, Daddy's here too. Can you say Daddy?"


Harry grinned at the look on Blaise's face. Braiden had said Dada before, but never to Blaise and never like he recognised him, this time he did both.

"Say bye-bye, Daddy, you have to do your homework." Harry coached, waving to Blaise.

"Bye-bye, Dada!" Braiden said as he clenched his fingers into his palm repeatedly at Blaise.

"Oh god he's so cute!" Harry gushed, cuddling Braiden tightly.

"Watch out, Braiden, I think you've got a fan girl already!" Max laughed.

"You shut your mouth!" Harry demanded.

"Oh come on, I can't still be in the dog house after one mistake."

"It was a huge mistake, how dare you fall asleep without feeding Regan! That's twice!"

"I'm sorry I rushed off without feeding Braiden, but Regan wasn't crying for food, love, he was fast asleep. I wasn't going to wake him up when he didn't want it."

Harry huffed and sat on the floor, pulling the remains of Braiden's block stack towards him and putting Braiden in front of it, watching him build the tower with the biggest brick on the bottom, all the way to the fifth and littlest brick, before his beloved aeroplane went through it and moved on to attack a teddy bear.

"He's getting a little boisterous, isn't he?" He said worriedly.

"Knocking over a few blocks isn't boisterous." Nasta refuted. "Of course he's going to knock them down, he's learning what happens when he does it, he needs to know if they fall down every time he knocks into them and he'll keep doing it until he's sure."

Harry nodded his understanding as he scooted over and snatched Calix from Max and blew a raspberry on his neck. Calix screeched in absolute delight. "Baba!" He cried out.

"Oh I'm loving today." Max grinned as he kissed Calix.

"Ba ya!"

Braiden crawled over and looked at Calix through indigo eyes. "Mam be."

"Gee na." Calix answered.

"Are they actually having a conversation?" Draco asked, picking his head up from his Potions essay.

"I think they are." Max answered.

"Braiden?" Harry called out and when Braiden looked at him, he indicated to Calix. "This is your baby brother Calix."

"Baba Ca."

"Oh, we have the most intelligent babies in the world!" Harry gloated.

Nasta was grinning indulgently at him like he was precious, but Harry didn't care, nothing could bring him down today, not even the thought of the Dracken meeting later on.

Harry realised that he may have spoken too soon earlier as he slipped into his new dress robes. These ones weren't as tight as he wasn't pregnant and had no baby bump to show off, but they were tailored to show off his body shape to the max, what he had left of it anyway.

Braiden was wearing his own little dress robes, but the quintuplets were wearing just plain, sleepsuits. Harry had adamantly refused to dress them up when all he wanted to do was put them to bed.

Leolin was in the baby carrier, which was strapped around Nasta. Harry trusted him to protect their vulnerable son and not accidentally have him squashed against his chest by the crowd.

Harry had Braiden sat on his hip, his wiggly nine month old curious about his new clothes. Max had Farren hefted over one shoulder as the four month old was nearly the same length and weight as Braiden. Blaise was cradling Regan and Tegan and Draco was rocking a fussy Calix. Harry wasn't sure what he'd do when he had more children, they didn't have enough arms to carry them all.

"If this destroys their routine I'm going to kill the Elders."

Nasta smiled at him. "Done deal. Are we ready?"

Harry nodded and hoisted Braiden higher on his hip, holding his chubby thigh.

"Right, touch the Portkey and hold the kids tightly."

"We know." Blaise whined, touching the Portkey with his thumb with both arms full, Nasta had a hand on his shoulder just in case.

At half five the Portkey sent out a pulse and a few moments later it activated. Harry landed heavily and groaned as his knees hit the floor. Max hauled him up and dusted him off.

Braiden was looking around himself curiously. The man who was standing at the podium was very interested in them and the family. Harry glared at him.

"I…I…go ahead please." He quaked out.

Nasta took Harry's hand and smirked at him. "Now now, Cariad, don't make the poor event workers wet themselves in fear."

"He shouldn't be looking at my babies like they're in petri dishes."

Max snorted. "I hope to Merlin I don't look like him when I'm looking in petri dishes."

"No, I imagine you look a lot sexier doing it." Harry grinned as he entered the familiar room full of chatting, laughing people.

The armed guards were back, in force this time as Harry noticed that there were unmated dominants around. They were standing on guard at the bar area and every few feet around the walls and by pillars.

The crèche area had four more guards than last year, but the laughing, screaming children inside made him smile. There was a small, cordoned off area just for very young babies, he didn't think a single baby in that tiny crèche area was over two, the youngest had to have been two or three months being held by her Mother as she was dipped in and out of the little, shallow ball pit, it reminded Harry that Braiden had had a ball pit for Christmas, he'd have to dig it out and set it up for him, but first he wondered if Braiden would like it in the crèche area with the other babies.

He kept him with him for the moment, not confident enough to leave him just yet; it would be a huge milestone for him to leave Braiden in the crèche. Instead he followed Max, who was dodging people and avoiding small talk, Farren still over his shoulder.

"There you are! I was beginning to wonder if you were coming!"

Harry grinned at Alexander. "Would I give up the chance to show off my children?"

Alexander laughed and patted Harry's back before chucking Braiden under the chin.

"And how is my gorgeous Grandson?" He asked. "Is he crawling yet?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, he started the other week, he's a bit awkward and clumsy, but otherwise mobile."

"That's wonderful. How about the other five?"

"Leolin's awake for longer he's gained some weight and length and he's eating more, Regan can move himself to get to the toys he wants, it's not quite crawling, more belly flopping, but he can move. Tegan's cut her first tooth, Farren's on weaning food and little Calix said his first words."

"It's been a very busy month for you and them."

Harry nodded with a grin.

"How are your exams coming on?" Myron asked, he looked tired and stressed and strained, but he smiled nonetheless when he heard about his grandchildren's developments.

Harry scowled. "I came here to get away from revision and homework, but I'm confident I'll do well, not excellent, but then I don't care much past passing."

"Max had better be doing his share of childcare."

"Oh he is, Max and Nasta have taken over, Max more so because Nas still has paperwork, but still, you can't keep me away from them for long." He grinned.

"Here you are! Oh give me my grandson; I've missed him so much."

Harry grinned at Marianna, who took Braiden from him and kissed him so ferociously that she left lipstick smears on his cheeks and chin. He laughed happily enough though and clenched dribble covered hands in her perfectly coiffured hair, not that Marianna cared, she just extracted his little fingers expertly and held him a bit lower.

"Blaise used to love hair too; it just used to fascinate him. Where are you, Blaise?" She asked, looking around for him.

"I'm here, Mother." He cut in smoothly, coming to stand beside her.

"Oh you boys are doing a wonderful job; I can't believe how big they all are! Look at this gorgeous Princess."

She took Tegan from Blaise and hugged her gently. Tegan grinned at her with her lone front tooth.

"She's cut a tooth? Oh were there as many problems as Braiden's?"

"No, she was surprisingly mellow about it."

"Well of course she was! She's a woman; she has a higher threshold for pain."

Harry shook his head and chuckled. He'd missed Marianna terribly.

"Hi Harry, Blaise, Draco."

Harry smiled at Sanex and hugged him tightly.

"Where's my hello?" Max asked with a pout.

"You look like you can squash me; you don't get a hello when I'm flirting with these three babies."

Nasta smacked his brother sharply. "You even try and flirt with them and I'll break your jaw. And don't call them babies."

"They're less than half my age!"

"That mean's your old, nothing else." Harry grinned.

"Cheeky little baby."

"Stop teasing the lads, Sanex." Aneirin chastised as he suddenly loomed over his son, an inch or so in their heights, but when Sanex was cowering it looked like Aneirin was that much taller.

"Hi Aneirin."

"Hello, Harry, now what's this about Leolin's development? I got your owl just this morning."

Harry nodded. "He has grown and he's gained weight and he's taking an extra half an ounce of milk. He stays awake for longer too, but not too much longer. I'm still proud of him though."

Aneirin placed a hand gently on Leolin's head and rubbed his thumb softly over his black hair.

"That's wonderful news, he's started growing faster than average Faerie babies, most don't start until at least seven months. I'm very proud of him, of all of them and of you too."

Harry grinned at that and puffed up slightly, he liked knowing that he had done a good job with his children and his Dracken liked it too.

Within ten minutes the only one of them still holding a baby was Nasta, who refused to allow Leolin out of his baby sling, especially not when he was sleeping. Max was trying to pull him towards the bar without getting Nasta's attention, Blaise was talking in rapid French to his Mother and Draco was slowly slipping away, looking at his pocket watch. Harry remembered then that he'd invited his parents at the afternoon tea session.

"Draco, what time will your parents be here?" He asked.

"Lucius and Narcissa are coming?" Marianna interrupted. "Oh it's been too long since I last spoke to Narcissa."

"They should be arriving in fifteen minutes." Draco told her.

"You should wait at the entrance for them, so they don't get too overwhelmed by the armed guards."

"We'll come with you." Max offered, pulling Harry more firmly, who reached his hands out for his children.

"We've got them, Harry and we won't let anyone take them." Myron assured, bumping Calix higher onto his shoulder gently.

Max won his tug of war battle, he was just too strong for Harry to withstand and Harry frowned as his children were lost to the crowd. He took a deep breath and calmed himself. This was another test; he trusted Nasta and Blaise to look after their babies.

Max went dead ahead until he couldn't see his family anymore, then dragged both Harry and Draco towards the bar.

"What are you doing?" Draco asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Getting a drink, I've been dying for one since we arrived." Max answered as they finally made it to the very large bar.

"Maximilius!" A man behind the bar grinned widely.

"Steffan, how've you been?" Max asked.

"Great! Ruby's pregnant again, though I'm not fond of all these gem names for my children." Steffan pulled a face. "I know it's a family tradition and all, but I have six children now."

"Ha! Snap, I have six as well."

"What? The last time I saw you, you were unmated! How'd you get six? Who'd you end up with after? It wasn't Gretchen was it?"

Max pulled a face. "Fuck off was it!" Max pulled Harry into his side and kissed his head. "This gorgeous young man is the Mother to my children."

"And now I'm envious of you." Steffan laughed. "It's nice to meet you…?"

"Harry." He answered softly.

"So the stud that is Max finally gets picked and settles down, it's about time you old man and you got a real star by the looks of it."

"Yeah, yeah I did." Max smiled and hugged Harry tighter.

"Come on, you can catch up later, my parents will be here at any minute!" Draco interrupted with a snap.

"And who is this?" Steffan asked with a teasing grin.

"Harry needed four mates, so I got landed in a family of five." Max revealed happily.

"Five of you and six kids? No wonder I've barely heard from you! You must be kept busy."

Max nodded. "I wouldn't change it for the world."

"So how many kids are yours?"

"All of them, but biologically I've got two boys, Farren and Calix."

"So who else did you land yourself with, or rather who has your submissive landed you with."

"This blond beauty here." Max answered pointing at Draco, who scowled. "Blaise Zabini and you'll never guess the last."

"Who? Come on tell me, I've been out of the loop for so long, what with Ruby being pregnant every single fucking year."

"Nasta Delericey."

"Ha! I always knew there was something between the two of you! There were bets going on about who would cave for a fuck first, you or him."

"We were just friends."

"There's nothing wrong with being friends with benefits. I bet you get more than enough sex now though."

Max rolled his eyes. "So what's your newest lot called? The last we spoke you had Diamond and Sapphire."

"Diamond is seven now, she's over in the crèche with Sapphie, Amber, Jade and Jasper. I'm hoping for another boy, because four daughters is more than enough for me, but Ruby wants to call our next boy Jett, I mean, come on! I know it's tradition but every male in their family is either Jett, Mica or Jasper, I want my kids to have an identity, I've tried to give them proper first names and gemstone middle names, but Ruby won't have it."

"What if you have another girl?"

"Don't jinx it!" Steffan grumbled. "If we have another girl she'll be 'blessed' with the name Opal. I tell you, I wouldn't have fought half as hard for Ruby if I'd known her family name tradition was gemstones."

"Do most Dracken families have naming traditions?" Harry asked with a frown.

Max nodded. "Yeah, my family is warriors and rulers, Aneirin's great grandfather refused to carry his family name tradition on after they were kicked from the Faerie loop, so that broke their line, but most families do have traditions and whatnot, some choose not to follow them on, I rather like my family's tradition and I'm glad that you decided to carry it on with my sons."

Harry smiled.

"Well you're practically unlimited in your options, how many rulers, kings and warriors have there been worldwide? I'm limited to gemstones and every name has been reused several times in her family, she's Ruby the eleventh, I've got a Diamond the eighth, a Sapphire the sixth and a Jasper the fourteenth. They have no identity or special name as Ruby won't give them middle names, she says it 'spoils' the gemstone names."

"That's horrible; she should at least ask you." Harry said. "I asked if you liked the names before making them official didn't I?"

Max nodded. "Yeah, I love the names you picked out for all of our children."

"Alright, rub it in." Steffan laughed. "So what are your other kids' names?"

"My oldest is Braiden Blaise Enzo Zabini." Harry answered with a smile.

"Obviously Blaise Zabini's child."

Harry nodded. "I had quintuplets then…"

"Quintup…five kids at once? Fuck me, no wonder I haven't heard from you, Maxie! I'm rushed off my feet when Ruby's had a singleton birth every year since we mated. Though at least you get a nice long break now."

Harry licked his lips and averted his gaze and Steffan's eyes widened.

"No. Never. You're back on your heat periods after quintuplets? How old are they?"

"Braiden's nine months, the quintuplets, Farren, Tegan, Regan, Calix and Leolin, are four months." Max answered.

"I've had two heat periods since."

"That's insane! You must be wicked fertile." Steffan said.

"I don't mean to interrupt." Draco said in a tone that implied that he not only meant to interrupt, but that he wanted to do it rudely too. "But I am supposed to be meeting my parents when they arrive."

"Alright, Draco we're going. Give us five champagnes please, Steffan." Max said with a smile and accepted the flutes easily, handing one to Harry and two to Draco, keeping two for himself.

"Nasta won't like this." Harry warned as they said goodbye to Steffan and moved to the entrance to find Lucius and Narcissa.

"Why five?" Draco asked.

"Your parents like champagne don't they?" Max answered Draco before turning to Harry. "I don't care if Nas likes it or not, a couple flutes of champagne aren't going to down me."

"They might down me." Harry mumbled as he took a sip of the bubbly liquid and grimaced. "Next time get me a sparkling grape juice, it tastes better than this."

Max rolled his eyes. "Oh, I can see platinum blonde heads; it must be your parents."

Max led them over to the overwhelmed Malfoy's, who were trying their best to look like they weren't overwhelmed and that they fit in just fine.

"Mother, Father." Draco greeted with a smile as he handed them a glass of champagne each and kissed his Mother's cheek.

"These halls are spectacular, Draco darling."

Draco smiled as Max handed him one of the flutes in his hand. "It's lovely to meet you again, Mister and Mrs Malfoy."

"Oh darling, please, Narcissa and Lucius is fine." Narcissa said with a smile as Max took her hand and kissed it.

Lucius gave Harry's hand a shake and then Max's, but he hugged Draco, despite being in public and it put a real smile on Draco's face.

"Harry sweetheart, how are you? Are you pregnant again?" Narcissa asked, hugging him.

Harry shook his head. "No, it was unfertile."

"I bet you're happy about that?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, it means another heat period in two months, but at least I can get the exams out of the way first."

"Don't say that too loud, love, no Dracken should know your cycle outside of family." Max coached.

Harry nodded understandingly and he started drifting off to the side. He didn't realise that he was doing it until Max pulled him back with a frown.

Harry excused himself to the Malfoys and drifted quickly off to the direction that he had been heading in before. Max excused himself and followed him worriedly. They ended up near the crèche.

"Don't you get enough with our own babies?" Max teased catching up with him.

"I'm looking for Marisa, Natalie and Kayla." Harry said.

"Those little girls who turned your hair into an abomination? Harry, that was a year ago, how do you remember that?"

Harry shrugged. "I just do."

Max chuckled and threw an arm around him, more because the armed guard who was closest to them was looking at them sternly, his grip on the deadly weapon he held tightening.

"We're bonded alright, fella? Leave us alone!" Max snapped when the guard sidled closer.

The guard just narrowed his eyes. "Just doing my job."

"Well do it properly. We have six babies under a year old, we don't need any more."

"Why are you here then?" The guard demanded.

"Nothing says that we can't be here." Max stood up tall and threw an arm in front of Harry protectively as a gun tip subtly came to stomach height.

"Barty, what are you doing?" A large, older Dracken stomped over and knocked the raised gun back down with his hand. "You never unsling your gun unless you have need to use it! Are you trying to cause a scene or mass panic, idiot boy?!"

"They're lingering around the crèche, Elder." Barty replied, putting an inflection of mistrust and tension on the words.

"That's Maximilius Maddison, Myron Maddison's boy, you shoot him and you're as good as shooting yourself you idiot boy."

"Elder Kirrian." Max nodded respectfully.

"How you doing, boy? Who's your little one, your sub? Myron told me that you'd mated."

"Yes, I'd like you to meet my mate, Harry Potter. Harry, this is Elder Henry Kirrian."

"Nice to meet you." Harry replied softly.

"Harry Potter? As in, the Harry Potter?" Barty asked with wide eyes.

Harry smirked at him and flashed his lightning bolt for a second before smoothing his fringe back down. He hated showing off his scar, but when it got him the reaction of Barty, the whole fish gaping, wide eyes thing, especially after being threatened, he could show it for a second.

"So not only did you try and shoot a Maddison, you tried to shoot a submissive too. A submissive who happens to be Harry Potter no less." Elder Kirrian snorted. "Idiot boy. Go behind the bar."

"But, Elder…!"

"Behind the bar now, boy!"

Barty loped off with a sour face as going behind the bar was obviously a punishment. Barty was replaced immediately by another man, younger than the Elder, but older than Barty.

"Are we going to have a problem here, Yassen?"

"No, Elder." Yassen answered.

"Good, you watch over these boys, you hear me, boy? I want my crèche team sharp; I need you to be able to identify a threat from a thrice damned non-threat! I want all threats terminated, even if it's your own fucking Mother, you hearing me, boy?"

"Yes, Elder."

"Good, now where is your Father, Maximilius. I wish to speak to him."

"Would you like for me to take you, Elder?" Max asked respectfully.

"Did I ask you to take me like some senile fool, boy?! I asked where he was, now you have fingers, point, boy."

Max pressed his lips together to keep from laughing and he pointed in the direction of where they'd left the family and the Elder turned and left.

"I love that man." Max chuckled and hugged Harry to him tightly.

"I can see why." Harry grinned.

"Come on, you're not going to drink that, let's get you a grape juice."

Harry walked with Max back to the bar, Steffan was busy this time, so the trip to the bar was quick. They moved on and Max introduced him to some of his friends and people that he knew. Though as soon as they saw Gertrude and Gretchen they rushed away like guilty children, the news floating around the hall was that Gertrude had held back Gretchen's mate meeting, apparently waiting for more 'prime' men to turn up. Harry still remembered Gertrude's words the first time he'd met her and he wasn't going to let her take his mates.

"Why, hello there, gorgeous."

Harry stopped and looked up at the tall, muscled dominant, a small sniff was all it took for him to realise that he was unmated and was leaking his scent all over the place to let everyone know that he was unmated.

"I haven't see you around here before, are you just coming into your inheritance? I bet your parents held back your meeting, you're just too gorgeous to let loose though. There are some very desperate, dangerous dominants about tonight."

"Like you, you mean?" Harry sneered. "Don't flatter yourself, I'm not interested."

The dominant blinked and looked at himself, as if to say, you're not interested in this? Harry snorted.

"Oh now you are vain."

"I'm the best unmated dominant around; you won't find anyone better than me."

Harry laughed out loud. "Oh I bet I could and I wouldn't even need to search that hard."

"You're a very beautiful submissive, I bet you've had a lot of offers tonight, but only I can make it worth your while."

Harry rolled his eyes at the blatant topic change and the unsubtle come on.

"Look, I'm not interested, okay. I'm happily mated and I have six children."

"There's no need to lie, gorgeous, anyone looking at you can see you're too young to be mated and definitely haven't had six children, not with that luscious body."

"That 'luscious body' is mine." Max cut in, slipping out of the crowd and glaring at the dominant.

"Go away, Maddison, I'm busy talking to someone a little out of your league, why would he want you when he can have me?"

Harry laughed then and pulled Max down into a kiss that was anything other than innocent and chaste.

"This is my dominant mate, he is definitely so much better than you and I'd choose him over you every single time."

"This is my submissive mate, Daighton, he chose me out of hundreds of others, you must have been there for the meeting, unless you fucked off to the New Zealand meeting before he had finished his own meeting, but you missed out and I have him now, you don't deserve to lick his cute, iddy biddy feet. So fuck off!"

Harry and Max slipped away from the stunned dominant, laughing and giggling; they stopped to get more drinks from Steffan, who was disgruntled because Amber, his third daughter, had squashed green playdough into Diamond's hair and his oldest daughter had thrown a tantrum to end all tantrums.

Max downed several more flutes of champagne while Harry stuck to sparkling grape juice and after ducking away from another flirty unmated dominant, they had almost run into Gretchen, whose eyes had widened at seeing Max and had tried to make a beeline for him, Harry tugged him down and they weaved away giggling like little girls.


Max stood up straight, the grin and childish giggling turned into a polite smile, the perfect gentleman in an instant.

"I…yes, can I help you?" Max asked the pretty woman in the blue dress.

"You don't remember me?" She asked, sounding offended at the very thought.

"Umm…no." He said, a frown taking over the handsome smile that had been there previously.

"It's Becky. Rebecca Silvermoss."

Max frowned and pulled the face that Harry knew meant he was actually thinking about it and hard.

"Sorry, I don't remember anyone of that name. Where did we meet?"

The woman, Rebecca, looked so offended that Harry wondered if they were in danger of being attacked.

"At Hogwarts."

Harry's mind immediately shot to the story that Dumbledore had told him about the Ravenclaw that had rejected several young men and his hand touched Max's elbow gently as his whole body stiffened. He wondered if Max and Nasta had been two of those young men rejected.

"I remember now." Max said almost breathlessly, he sounded winded and Harry's heart ached for the young Max as it became apparent that yes, Max was one of the rejected men.

"So…I…I was a fool back then, but my mate died last year, I'm looking for a new one, if…if you're still interested." Rebecca tried flirtatiously.

"No I'm not." Max bit out.

Rebecca blinked. "I know I turned you away, but you were only young, we were both young and I am sorry, if you'd prefer we could go on dates first, like humans do."

"No." Max said strongly. "I don't want to go on dates; I don't want to be your mate. You had that chance, I don't give second ones."

"Look, you know it wasn't anything personal, it was your wings."

"Yeah, I believe you called them scrawny and stubby." Max hissed.

"They were." Rebecca sniffed. "But they're not anymore, everyone knows that you still hold the record wingspan, you're unmatched and unbeaten still. Can I see them?"

"No." Max growled. "Again you had your chance to do more than just look at them, but you gave that up."

"They didn't look like they do now!" Rebecca said stubbornly. "I'm your only chance of a mate, everyone knows that submissives don't want anyone over twenty-five, thirty is the absolute maximum, you're what, thirty-two now? I am too, we can be happy together."

"How many kids did you get?" Max asked then.

"I've only got three. Three girls. A fifteen year old, a ten year old and a six year old. They're no trouble, all the hard parts are over and I'm ready for more if you want them." Rebecca said desperately.

"Those three girls should be your main focus, not throwing all your attention into finding another mate, are any of your girls Drackens?"

Rebecca shook her head. "No, my mate was weak, he couldn't give me a Dracken, but you could, I know you could! Please, Max."

"You haven't been around lately have you?"

"I…no, I live in Australia with my girls. You'd like it there." Rebecca insisted.

"I like it here."

"We could come back and live here then! We could be happy, Max, I know it!" She tried, moving to grip his dress robes tightly.

Max pulled her off and grimaced. She had caught his skin and Harry slipped under Max's arm and stood in front of him, glaring at the woman who had hurt him.

"Who are you?" She asked. "Is he one of your cousins, Max? You know, I have a daughter about your age, she's lovely, her name's Coral."

"Rebecca, this is my submissive mate, Harry, who is eighteen this summer. Harry, one of the submissive's who rejected me, the very first one actually."

"Ma…mate?" She breathed pained. "No. No, you can't have a mate! I was planning…I was counting on you not having a mate!"

"Well I do have a mate. I mated last year; apparently there are still submissives out there that'll have a thirty-one year old dominant, just because you wouldn't have picked anyone over a specific age doesn't mean that you should paint everyone with the same brush." Max snapped dispassionately. "Harry's oldest mate is thirty-eight now and we're all very happy with one another."


"Sorry, but he's mine." Harry smiled viciously. "You missed out, he's lovely, kind, funny, strong, intelligent, protective and he's a fabulous cook. His wings are gorgeous and absolutely huge, the feeling of being wrapped in his arms and those wings is unmatched. You missed out on a hell of a mate and lover, Max is big all over if you get my meaning." Harry grinned with a wink. "It's been a year and we already have six children, two are Drackens and one is very special. You hurt him terribly when he was younger, but I'm glad that you did, because if you hadn't then he wouldn't be mine now and he is mine, all mine, so back off before I make you."

Max wrapped his arms around his chest now and Harry grinned at the woman in front of them. How dare she try to guilt Max into a mateship just because she liked the finished product? She should have seen the potential in him from the beginning and taken a chance on him, but she hadn't, she had been too vain and prideful to realise that at sixteen Max hadn't finished growing by half. She couldn't have him now just because he was different to how he was back then, just because he was an amazing man who had grown up and filled out and apparently held a record for the largest wingspan.

He felt stupid for not connecting Dumbledore's story to Max earlier on, he felt stupid for at least not asking them before now. Max and Nasta would have been there, at Silvermoss' meeting, and they would have remembered who the story was about, but it just hadn't clicked. He had had no idea that the young sixteen year old in the story had been Max, he hadn't realised that Max held a record for the longest wingspan.

"Goodbye, Miss Silvermoss." Max said firmly and he tugged Harry along through the crowd and he chuckled. "You showed her exactly who was boss, love."

"You never told me that you held a record for the longest wingspan."

"I didn't think it mattered to you."

"It doesn't, but knowing that you have such an achievement makes me proud, you shouldn't hide that."

Max chuckled. "Don't mention it around my Dad; I took the record from him when I was twenty-three and I don't think he's forgiven me yet."

Harry chuckled. "You know that means Farren will take it from you."

Max's face sobered and when they got back to the family he took Farren from Richard and held him in front of his face.

"What are you doing?" Richard asked with a laugh.

"Is he bigger than I was at his age?" Max asked.

"I…just about I think, why?"

"No! I will not have a son bigger than I am! It'll be a travesty!"

"Now you know why I was disgruntled." Myron huffed. "Though I'm glad that you stopped growing at six, eight."

Max pouted as he looked up those tiny two inches to his Father's eyes.

"What brought this on, Maxie?" Alexander asked.

"He met the girl who rejected him when he was sixteen."

"That bitch from your first ever meeting?" Richard asked. "Where is she? I owe her a punch to the face."

"Please tell me she didn't bring all your feelings of inadequacy back, you are not a sixteen year old boy any longer, Maximilius and you have four mates and six children, you have nothing to feel inadequate over." Myron told him.

"No, she wanted to mate with me and for me to take on her three kids."

"Excuse me?" Myron asked shocked.

"Yeah, her mate died last year, so she's looking for a new one."

"Why you after everything that she said to you back then?" Nasta asked.

"You were there?" Harry asked.

Nasta nodded. "Max and I became friends over her. He was only just sixteen, his first ever meeting, but I was twenty-two and had had several meetings before. I took him away from her when she started on him and rejected him, I tried to help him, but he left before my message could sink in fully."

"It did help." Max smiled. "But it took months before I stopped trying to kill myself with weight training and weight gain diets."

"She wasn't worth it." Harry snorted. "If that's what she looks like at thirty-two, imagine when she's sixty-two? It would be like waking up to a horror film every morning."

Max laughed along with Richard, and Alexander and hugged him tightly.

"I'm glad I never chose her, or rather that she never chose me. You're perfect, Harry and I'll never regret choosing you."

"Glad to hear that. Now tell me, why is it at every meeting I've come to, someone has tried to get you to be their mate?"

"I'm just that desirable." Max grinned, striking a pose.

Harry laughed. "You are, I'm not denying that, but why don't they know that you're mated with children?"

Max shrugged. "Some people don't want to believe it. It's happened before, one submissive tried to kill the submissive of the dominant that she loved, 'so they could be together' do you remember that?"

"That was horrific." Aneirin pulled a face. "Disgraceful and horrific."

"Wasn't that Charlotte?" Sanex asked with a strained face, obviously forcing the memory up.

Max bobbed his head. "Charlotte was a lovely submissive, a bit like you, Harry, only just less so, because no one can be as perfect as you are, but her first mate was called Barron. Strange name for a kid, but his parents were weird too, but they got on really well, there was another submissive called Tina, she had always crushed on Barron, even before they came into their inheritances, but as soon as Barron met Charlotte, he was in love. Charlotte chose him just four months before Tina had her own inheritance, along with another dominant Sampson. Sampson was wicked protective of both of them, he really lucked out as Barron was a really pretty boy, we all thought that he would be a submissive, but he turned out a dominant in the end, a very small, slender dominant, but he was drop dead gorgeous, I'll give him that. Tina was so jealous that she would rant and rave whenever they met up because Barron still tried to be a good friend and stay in contact, even though Sampson hated it."

"So Tina attacked Charlotte?" Harry asked.

"She damn near killed her before Sampson tore Tina's head off. Charlotte wasn't a fighter, she was raised like a prim and proper young lady and her first reaction was to call to her dominants for help, the second was to curl up on the floor to try and protect herself and the baby she was carrying."

"She was pregnant?" Harry asked horrified.

"Yeah, and Tina was so far gone that she tried to dig the baby out of her." Myron's face showed exactly what he thought of that. "I was one of the one's that tried to drag Tina off of Charlotte, I got a claw to the gut for my efforts, perforated my damned intestines."

"He still has the scar." Richard smiled.

"Others tried to get her off, but most were trying to be careful with her, she was still a woman, still a submissive, and it wasn't until Sampson seized her head and threw her into a pillar that that fight stopped, but a new one broke out when Sampson ordered Barron to get Charlotte to the Healers and he turned on Tina. That was a harder fight to break up, he was determined to kill her and he did. Most of the damage done to Charlotte was to her stomach and head, so he gutted her and then tore her head from her body and then he stood tall before the Elders and he asked them to judge him. He got off and rushed to his lovers."

"How was Charlotte?"

"She survived, but she had permanent scarring and she lost the baby. They don't come to the meetings anymore."

"That's hideous." Harry pulled a face.

"I was only young then." Max said. "I had to have been, what, fourteen?"

Myron nodded and ruffled his hair. "I liked you better at fourteen, very sweet and agreeable and you came up to my waist."

Max laughed and bumped his shoulder into his Dad's. "Wait until you're the other side of two hundred and you start shrinking, I'll be taller than you then."

"You wish, boy!" Myron snapped. "You'll never be taller than me."

"I'm sure you've cursed me to stay this height." Max laughed.

"I wouldn't put it past him." Richard added, before he flinched and a hand went to his throat. He curled over and Harry was shocked to see his face rapidly turn purple.

"He's choking!" Harry exclaimed in shock.

Myron uncurled Richard's body forcibly with his own and two thick fingers forced his clenched jaws open, tugged his head back by his hair and he emptied a bottle down his throat. Most of it was spat back out over his chin, but Richard swallowed a good amount first and Myron rubbed his back firmly and harshly, keeping his body straight and forced upright.

"That…that's the worst I've ever seen you." Max said in a small, worried voice. Harry had never heard Max sound like that before.

"It's the stress, he's always been worse with stress." Myron answered. "Don't look so worried, Max; your Dad will be fine."

Harry bit his lip, it sounded to him like Myron was trying to convince himself more than anyone else. He looked at Richard and saw the stress and strain on his face, which was red and flushed, the veins in his neck puffed up and visible through his skin, the scar tissue looked inflamed and tight. Richard looked worse than Harry had ever seen him and his mind slipped down that dark and dangerous road of what would happen if one day, Myron wasn't there to help Richard through an episode like this one.

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