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?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8022667/1/The-Rise-of-the-Drackens

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34. Chapter Thirty-Four – Revelations from Reluctant Lips

The drive to Max's home had been silent and tense. Neither of his mates had said a word and Harry hadn't wanted to say anything either. He had felt that maybe he should say something just to cut the growing tension, to diffuse the situation, but he hadn't known what to say, so he had remained silent too. He had kept his head down, looking at his growing bump as he tried to ignore the almost silent growls that Nasta, who was sat next to him, was letting out every couple of moments as his mind wound him up, riling his Dracken side.

Harry had been escorted straight into the house with a mate on either side of him for his protection and he got a small chance to look around the beautiful, fully detached house that seemed to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Harry nervously looked around the bright, open and spacious house as he was escorted straight to the first door in the hallway and into a lovely living room. Max really did live in a very beautiful house, but Harry couldn't bring himself to properly see or appreciate it. Not when he was sat on a comfy settee with both of his older mates stood over him, staring down at him, and demanding to know how the Dursleys had treated him during his childhood.

Okay, so they weren't actually demanding anything from him, they were asking softly, pleading with him, saying that they only wanted to help, but it felt like they were demanding something very deep and personal and Harry huddled up a bit more. He didn't want to tell them, he didn't want to drag it all up, not when he already felt so confused.

Max knelt down in front of him and gently picked up his restlessly twisting hands, holding them in his own, warm larger ones. He bent his head over them and laid a kiss to his skin and Harry bit his lip to stop it from trembling, even as his vision went wobbly with tears.

"Harry, my love, please, just answer us this, did they ever hurt you in any way?" Max asked him softly.

Harry let out a great, shuddering breath as his welled up tears made him blind, but he would not let them fall, he had shed too many tears already, the Dursleys didn't deserve to have any more of his tears than he had already given them. But he had decided long ago that he wouldn't outright lie to his mates, yet he couldn't even turn the question around or twist it because he had been hurt both physically and emotionally by the Dursleys. He let out a choked, dry sob instead as he realised that there was nothing else for it, he would have to give them an inch and he would have to put his trust in his mates. He loved them and he trusted them and he would have to hope that they still loved him after this as he choked on his emotion and he inclined his head.

Both Max and Nasta held onto their decades' worth of control by the skin of their teeth, Max's hands flexed and twitched, but he calmed himself enough so that he didn't tighten them at all around Harry's tiny, pale hands which were still clasped in his own.

Nasta came and sat beside Harry, holding him soothingly, offering him comfort. Max made sure not to move to the other side of Harry, he made the conscious decision to stay in front of him and closer to Nasta so that Harry didn't feel like he was being surrounded, trapped or blocked in. He made sure that Harry knew that still had an escape route if he needed it, even if it was a subconscious gesture to keep him calmer as neither he nor Nasta would have stopped or obstructed Harry in anyway if he tried to get away from them.

"We guessed that you were at the very least being neglected." Nasta broke the silence with words barely above a whisper. "You acted very strangely at times, there were some rather odd comments that you made and you were obviously unhappy where you lived, but Harry, how bad did they treat you?"

Harry floundered as he tried to answer his mates, but he had absolutely nothing to say, he had nothing to compare his treatment to, how badly had they treated him?

"Perhaps that is an unfair question." Nasta spoke again, understanding that Harry was trying to answer, but didn't know how. "Maybe a better one would have been to ask if any of them have ever hit you."

Harry sucked in a deep breath and looking down at his knees, he nodded his head minimally. Max's hands almost crushed his own before his largest mate got himself back under control and loosened his hold, rubbing his thumbs gently over his hands in silent apology.

"Was this a…normal occurrence?" Nasta asked, stumbling, rightfully so, over the word normal.

"No." Harry answered hoarsely, finding his voice. "I was only ever hit if things were really bad."

"And things didn't get very bad that often?" Max asked, failing to keep the slight hope from his voice.

"No. I'd have had to have done something very bad to be hit, though not with Dudley."

"What do you mean?" Nasta asked him, swallowing back the urge to unsheathe his fangs.

"Dudley used to hit me for fun."

"Which one was Dudley?" Max asked in forced calm.

"My cousin."

"The very fat, blond…boy?"

"Yes. He's always been overfed."

"Where you haven't." Nasta observed as he looked to Harry's still relatively skinny frame, despite the baby bulge.

Harry's lips quirked into a wry smile. "I wasn't allowed to eat if Dudley was still hungry."

"When did they start holding back your food intake?"

"I think I was about seven when Dudley started complaining that he wasn't getting enough to eat. Of course my portions were then smaller and Dudley's were bigger. I was slowly staved and Dudley grew to the size of a baby killer whale. I'm not entirely sure of who had it worse, him or me."

"Do you get enough to eat now?" Max asked, seemingly unable to stop himself from fretting.

Harry lifted his head and he smiled softly. He leant forward to kiss Max reassuringly, taking comfort for himself from his mate's lips.

"I get more than enough now, these past few months I've eaten better than I ever have in my life. Whilst at Hogwarts I have never been short of food, I've often found myself unable to eat too much without the risk of feeling very sick, the pregnancy is both a curse and a blessing when it comes to food."

Harry sighed and sagged in the seat. He felt drained and he had only really spoken about the withheld food, not even the weeks of being locked in his tiny cupboard with a slice of bread every other day and a beaker of tap water.

He hadn't been hit often, or at least Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon hadn't hit him often, but when they had, Harry shook his head; he didn't want to go there.

"Harry, this…well it isn't really much of a surprise because we had fleeting suspicions before now, but it truly is a shock to hear the truth, you are so sweet and kind, you don't seem to have let what has happened to you sink in, which isn't really a good thing."

Harry went to angrily reply but Nasta silenced him with just a look, carrying on from where Max left off.

"It's a bad thing, Cariad because if you haven't let it sink in, if you are denying that it has happened, then you can't get on the path to recovery. You need to take in everything, reopen your scars and let them bleed anew, let it all out of you, only then will you begin to heal."

"I don't want to open the scars." Harry whispered.

"It will be painful, Harry, for all of us, Draco and Blaise included when you tell them, but it needs to be done."

"Why?" Harry asked stubbornly.

"What if something sets you off again?" Max asked as gently as possible. "Like how you reacted back in our rooms when you were cleaning? We still don't know what set you off or why and we have been walking on eggshells to ensure that it doesn't happen again, but we can't stop it from happening again, Harry, if we don't know what will set you off. What if you have an…episode, when you are caring for our son? What if he gets older and says something that sets you off on a trip down memory lane and he's left unsupervised for several minutes?"

Harry swallowed and moved a hand to protectively cover his son who was happily bouncing gently around in his abdomen.

"It was the comment." Harry said, painfully quiet.

"What comment, Harry?" Max asked. "The one I made about you getting back into the cupboard?"

"Yes."

"Why did that one comment send you into a flashback of your childhood?" Max asked. Harry had been expecting that follow up question, but it still made him flinch.

Harry braced himself for the coming tidal wave, but he sent out his little finger to test the waters, if his mates couldn't handle the cupboard, then how could he ever expect them to handle anything else that had happened to him during his childhood?

"For as long as I can remember I've lived in a cupboard."

The look on Nasta and Max's faces brought the slightest of wry, humourless smiles to Harry's lips as he played with the hem of his shirt to give his hands something to do as he extended a tiny inch of trust in his beloved dominant mates.

"When I was bad or my relatives just didn't want me around anymore they used to yell at me to get back in my cupboard and not to come back out until I was told to. I had to crawl into my cupboard and shut the door on myself and then I was locked in."

"You stayed in a cupboard?!" Max asked in horror, his voice rising uncontrollably. Nasta placed a soothing hand on Max's shoulder, a silent warning to watch what he said and did and to keep control of himself and his tone.

"Harry, they actually kept you in a cupboard? Where was this cupboard? In their front room? The kitchen?" Nasta asked much more calmly than he felt on the inside.

"The cupboard under the stairs. It was out of the way and large enough to hold me until I was almost eleven."

A large vein in Max's temple throbbed furiously as he ground his teeth together in an effort to control himself, when this failed he bit sharply into his own lip. The wash of fresh blood, his own blood, and the sting of pain helped him keep his anger in control.

"Almost eleven?" Nasta asked, his gorgeous hazel eyes, darkened in anger to an almost brown colour, narrowed as his own anger at the treatment of such a young child overflowed his emotions.

"Yeah, after I started receiving my Hogwarts letters, which were addressed to 'the cupboard under the stairs' they thought that the wizards were watching them so they moved me into Dudley's second bedroom."

The vein that had started to sink back into Max's head jutted out once more, throbbing an angry red colour. He had to take his hands away from Harry's so that he could clench his hands into large fists without hurting Harry.

"Your cousin had two bedrooms and you lived in a cupboard?" Nasta asked, his eyes almost going true brown in his anger, not the light, goldish-greenish hazel that Harry so loved staring into.

"To be honest he needs two bedrooms to fit his bulk." Harry tried joking as he was getting very, very uncomfortable and nervous. He scratched the back of his neck and breathed out a bit shakily as he looked to the two angry men in front of him. He had never dealt well with angry people and he had some incredibly bad memories of people being angry with him, or even just around him…after all Uncle Vernon had been a very, very angry person by nature.

"Don't Harry. Don't try and make light of this. What those…people have done is a terrible, awful thing; I won't be able to control myself if you start joking about how they treated you." Max stated seriously.

"I don't know how else to react." Harry confessed, shifting restlessly. "I've never had to tell anyone about any of this before, no one has actually been close enough to me to notice anything amiss or if they do they play it off as a one-time thing. No one really cared."

"I'm sure they would have if you had told them."

Harry shrugged inelegantly. "Ron and his brothers pulled bars from my window when I was just twelve. They told Mrs Weasley and she didn't do anything, so I just brushed it off. No one wanted to look deeper, no one wanted to bother with me. It was easier for them to just see the surface, the happy boy they wanted to see and nothing more."

"What bars?!" Max demanded at the same time Nasta asked "You told someone and they did nothing?" looking horrified.

"It was the summer after my first year in Hogwarts." Harry started softly, taking a hand from each of his mates to comfort himself. He played with their fingers, stroked their skin, anything to not have to look up at them, to see their faces or their anger darkened eyes.

"I had just turned twelve that day and a house-elf came to see me. His name was Dobby."

"The house-elf you called in the hospital wing. Are we about to hear how that unlikely friendship struck up?" Max stated thoughtfully.

"Yes, but in the beginning Dobby and I weren't really friends."

"Why not?"

Harry sighed and he knew that the lengths to which Dobby had gone through to 'keep him safe' would not go down well at all.

"He kept trying to kill me."

"What?!"

Harry jumped at the bellowed word and was soothed almost immediately afterwards by both of his oldest mates. Max looking particularly apologetic after his outburst.

"In Dobby's mixed up mind what he was doing was perfectly logical."

"Was he following his Master's orders?"

"No. He was going almost directly against his Master, who was funny enough, Lucius Malfoy, Draco's Father. Dobby believed, truly believed that he was helping me, keeping me safe, but in those attempts he tried to get me killed twice and almost got me expelled twice. He truly thought he was saving my life, but when I freed him from Lucius Malfoy's enslavement we struck up an odd sort of friendship."

"What does this have to do with bars on your window?" Max asked.

Harry sighed. "One of Dobby's attempts to stop me from going back to school was smashing a pudding in a giant crystal bowl on the kitchen floor when my relatives had guests over, Muggle guests. Not only was I almost expelled because of the underage use of magic restriction, but my Uncle lost his big business deal and he blamed it on me. I hadn't told them that I couldn't do magic outside of school, so when the letter turned up and so kindly informed them that I wasn't allowed to do magic outside of school, my Uncle lost it. He said that he was going to lock me up and that I was never going to be allowed back to Hogwarts. He fitted bars over my bedroom window and I was locked in my bedroom day and night. Much like I was in the cupboard, but at least the bedroom was much bigger and I could walk around."

"Like a prison." Nasta hissed.

"I suppose, but I've never seen inside a prison cell so I wouldn't know. I was allowed out to use the toilet at about midday and that was it."

"What about meal times?" Max asked.

"My bedroom door had a cat flap in the bottom so I could be fed."

Max and Nasta looked so horrified to be hearing this and Harry ducked his head to look at his hands, which still held one of each of his mate's hands.

"It wasn't that bad." Harry hurried to explain. "The worst part of it was the boredom."

"You are seriously misguided if you think the worst part of your treatment was boredom, Harry." Nasta told him, looking murderous. "The fact that they actually had the sheer level of cruelty to lock you up all day every day, not feeding you properly or even giving you the basic human right of bathroom facilities is horrifying. Even Azkaban gives their prisoners twenty-four hour access to a toilet."

Harry shifted uncomfortably and let go of his mates' hands to hold his bump between his hands, cradling his baby as best he could whilst his son was still inside of him.

A large arm around his shoulders squashed him into a broad body and Harry held onto that body for dear life as he choked back another stifled sob. He had been too young to understand the overwhelming level of neglect that he had been shown by his relatives, too naïve to realise that his treatment was actually considered as abuse. He knew that he had never been treated particularly well, but he tried not to think about it, he had always just put it all out of his mind and enjoyed what he could of his freedom whilst he was at Hogwarts. Why would he want to ruin the best days of his life by thinking of the Dursleys? Why would he spoil Christmas by thinking of his treatment at his relatives' house? Why would he darken Easter by talking of his punishments? He just wanted to forget, pretend that none of it had ever happened, was that such a terrible thing?

Harry had claimed tiredness and had refused to speak another word despite Max and Nasta's best efforts, they had even brought their unborn son into their argument and that had made Harry angry, that they dared suggest that he would ever hurt his son, unknowingly or otherwise!

When he hadn't been shown to a bed because Max was trying to keep him talking about his relatives Harry had slid onto the living room floor and had curled up on the patch of carpet in front of the fire, his back to his mates.

"Harry, please love." Nasta begged. "It'll be better to get everything out in the open. I know it's hard for you, especially after so long of no one doing anything about it, but, love, please talk to us."

Harry stayed silent. He had said all he was going to today and nothing, not even the threat of a punishment from his mates was going to get him to talk anymore.

Harry heard Max sigh deeply and he was scooped into his biggest mate's arms. Harry lashed out and kicked and swung punches, but Max shushed him and held him as still as possible.

"If you won't talk, Harry, then we had best get you to a bed before you get a crick in your neck from sleeping on the floor. We don't want to ruin all the hard work Blaise put into rubbing the knots from your neck the last time you fell asleep on the floor, do we?"

Harry stayed silent and he felt like an ungrateful wretch, but he didn't want to talk anymore so he was going to have to put up with feeling like a brat as Max laid him down on a wonderfully soft bed, removing his shoes and undoing the zipper of his trousers so that he was more comfortable. He was covered with a thick duvet and kissed on the side of the head before Max turned to leave the room.

"Max?" Harry called back.

Max was by his side before Harry blinked; looking down at him with a saddened expression, but there was still love and adoration in those blue, blue eyes.

Harry sat up and kissed Max firmly on the lips, pouring his love for the man in front of him into that one kiss.

"I can't talk about it anymore." Harry told him. "I just can't. I don't want to break down in this condition."

Harry indicated the baby bump, Max's hands jumped to cup his bulge and Harry smiled sadly.

"I never really understood how bad things were. I don't think about it much during the school year, I have never had flashbacks before and it did scare me when I was stuck in my own memories. I always knew I was treated differently, but it wasn't until I was older that I actually understood that I was being treated badly, that I was being abused. I think it was made worse by the adults around me too, if they ever noticed that anything was amiss then they never said anything and that pushed me to be closed lipped about everything. I felt like if they didn't say anything, then I shouldn't say anything either. I don't mean to be a brat, but I can't speak any more about it, I just can't."

"You aren't a brat." Max told him exasperatedly, moving a hand to cup his cheek. "I think Nasta and I knew when we started asking you about it that you weren't going to spill everything in one afternoon, we know that it'll take time, but what we have already heard has made us dread what else could have happened to you. These people obviously have no limits if they are willing to lock a child in a cupboard under a set of stairs and starve him. This dread is going to eat away at us and the worst possible scenarios are going to be floating around our heads until the entire truth is out and we can either put our fears to bed, or some of our worst nightmares are going to become a reality."

"You promise you won't treat me any differently?" Harry asked a touch of fear in his suddenly young voice.

Max was reminded with a stab to his heart that Harry was only sixteen. He was often so mature and acted much older than he was that it was so very easy to forget that he wasn't actually an adult yet, that he wasn't fully grown up regardless of how he acted in a situation.

"Would we ever treat you any differently?" Max asked him with a small flick to that little nose. "Everyone has different, difficult trials to get over in their lifetime; it's just cruel that yours came so early in life. True you have been through some horrific things, but they weren't your fault, why would we treat you any differently for something so out of your control?"

Harry broke down and started sobbing on Max's chest, taking comfort from those large arms that wrapped tightly around his back and the soothing smell of pine that always surrounded Max.

Max rocked Harry until the mentally exhausted boy fell asleep in his arms. He carefully extracted Harry from him and laid him back down, oh so gently. He covered Harry back up and eased himself carefully to his feet. He watched Harry sleeping for a minute or two, just to make sure his beautiful mate hadn't been disturbed by his weight leaving the mattress. He bent down and kissed Harry's soft cheek.

He couldn't help but wonder if his mate had ever been hit harder than any child should. Harry had said that he had been hit by his…relatives, but how hard had those hits been? Had they caused any damage? Physical marks? Or had they just been sly slaps that stung for a bit without leaving a mark to be seen? He tried to keep the images of a battered Harry from his mind, of that beautiful, perfect face swollen, bruised and bleeding because someone had battered him, but he failed.

His claws and fangs ripped themselves out of his skin and gums with such force that he almost cried out. He breathed deeply and slowly to dispel his anger, but he knew that he had lost when his wings unfolded themselves from his spinal cord and pushed out of his skin in a burst of blood and shiny blue and black scales.

Resigned to walking around in his Dracken form for a couple of hours until he calmed down enough to control his Dracken attributes, Max left the bedroom before he accidentally woke Harry up. He went back into the living room and Nasta jumped up when he saw that he was in his Dracken form, sniffing deeply to scent out any threat.

"There isn't any danger, I lost control." Max admitted.

"I almost did when I heard your conversation. I can't believe he thought that we would treat him differently or that he thinks himself a brat just because he couldn't bring himself to speak any more about what he went through."

Max flumped down beside Nasta and scrubbed a hand through his hair, being very mindful of his claws. He smiled in remembrance of when he was a newly turned Dracken and had had a temper tantrum over something so insignificant that he couldn't even remember what it was about now. His Dracken form had exploded out of him and he had been in so much pain that he had crumpled to the floor. His Mother and Fathers had held him and rocked him as he cried in agony.

Once he had calmed down and had sat in the circle of his Dad's arms he had done the same thing, he had pushed a hand through his over long hair to get it out of his soaking wet face and as a result, he had gouged four deep rivets into his scalp with his claws. His Mother had been screaming at his Father to get him to the hospital as he sat on the floor bleeding profusely from his head, but his Father, ever the calm one in crisis situations had taken him from his Dad and had held him tightly to his front and urged him to bite his shoulder and drink his blood. The four deep marks hadn't even scarred.

Max smiled and let himself indulge a little as he leant on Nasta and let the older man calm and sooth him. He was glad that no one else was there to see it though. Harry wouldn't have done or said anything except perhaps worm his way between them and join in the cuddle, but Draco and Blaise were still too young to understand that being a dominant didn't mean they had to be strong and tough twenty-four seven. They would see him as weak and challenge his position in the hierarchy and the last thing he wanted was to have dominance battles with them when he had only wanted a bit of comfort. He couldn't wait for when they were older and more mature and realised that there was more to weakness and strength than bravado and icy exteriors.

Nasta wrapped an arm around him and kissed his forehead. The older man was enjoying the peace and comfort of the silence that Draco and Blaise being absent created. Not that he didn't love them, he did very deeply, but their arguments and debates and childish fights gave him no end of headaches.

Max closed his eyes and let out a huff of breath, shifting a bit until he was more comfortable against Nasta.

"This is nice. I usually hate the silence of this place because it reminds me of how alone I am, but silence when I know there are people here is so peaceful."

Nasta smiled and he relaxed back against the settee, soaking up the warmth of the large body next to him and the peace of the atmosphere. Neither of them were going to think about what Harry had gone through, neither of them were going to ruin the mood and the moment by mentioning it or speculating on what else could have happened to Harry in his childhood. They would speak about it when they had knowledge of everything that Harry had ever been subjected to, of everything those people had ever done to him. But for now they just wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet before hearing any more about Harry's life or before Draco and Blaise came to visit and ruined it by inciting one of their many arguments. The next one would probably be over whom got better marks on their exams, neither of the older two were looking forward to that inevitable argument.

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