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?


36. Chapter Thirty-Six – The Nest

Harry had only just landed back on the grass and tucked his wings back into his skin when Nasta came barrelling out of the house, scooped him to his chest and began licking and sniffing every inch of his body.

He sighed and held on tightly to Nasta's shoulders as he was carried back into the house and into the living room, where only the women remained. All of the males had vanished and Harry had a pretty good idea of where they had gone if Nasta was this wound up. He had taken too long coming back from the bathroom, his mates had gone looking for him and found the bathroom empty and they had panicked and gone hunting for him around the house.

"Oh, Harry darling, we were so worried when you didn't come back from the bathroom after twenty minutes and then when Maxie told us that you had gone…" Kimberly Maddison exclaimed, faffing over him.

"I only went outside for some air, I felt a bit stuffy." He lied smoothly. No one was to know about his nest, not even his mates.

"Are you still too hot?" Ashleigh fretted.

"Just a bit." Harry answered as he fought with Nasta to get his arms free.

"Keep still."

Nasta's voice was guttural and slightly feral and Harry stilled immediately as he felt sharp teeth graze his bare shoulder in a warning for what was to come if he didn't obey.

Harry let Nasta sniff at his skin, lick him and gently suck at him until his dominant was assured that he was still perfectly well and in peak health. Nasta sat down and lingered for a very long time around his bump, even using his hands to gently press and stroke his skin.

"You found him?"

Harry looked up at Max's relieved face and cocked his head. Max seemed to be more in control than Nasta, but as the top dominant shouldn't Nasta be the calmer one? Some aspects of being a Dracken still confused the hell out of him.

"He's more wound up because he's the top dom." Max answered the question in his eyes. "Not that I wasn't worried, because I was, I thought I was having a heart attack at just a little over thirty, but his Dracken dictates that he is the one responsible for the submissive and all subordinate dominants, so he's more wound up because he had his Dracken in his ear harping on at what a terrible person he is for losing you."

Harry hugged Nasta tightly and kissed the underside of his jaw.

"You aren't a terrible person, Nasta, I only went to get some air. I would have called one of you if I had known it would upset you, but I stayed on Max's grounds, I barely left the back door, I was never in any danger."

"What if you had fallen?" Nasta forced out harshly, his throat sounding like it couldn't get human words out.

"I wouldn't have fallen, there were no stairs." Harry said lightly, kissing Nasta lovingly.

Blaise rushed into the room and after seeing Harry he fell at Nasta's feet, laying his head on Harry's thigh.

"I was so worried, Mio Bello." He exclaimed tightly.

Harry run his fingers through Blaise's hair and tugged at a freshly cut, neat section of hair.

"You've cut it." Harry pouted.

"My Mother always cuts my hair in the summer. She says a respectable boy can't go around with a scruffy mop of straw for hair."

"Thanks for that." Harry replied dryly, tugging at a clump of his own hair that stuck in the opposite direction to all the others and would possibly reach his shoulders if it ever lay flat.

Blaise chuckled and kissed Harry's chin. "I don't believe that, Mio Amore, I just get my hair cut to keep her happy."

"Speaking of cut hair, how long has yours grown now?" Max asked.

Neither of the older two had been happy when it had emerged that Harry had cut his hair in a rebellious act against his two dominants. But they were actually more angry with Blaise and Draco for putting Harry in a position where he felt the need to do something so drastic as to cut his hair than at Harry himself for actually cutting his hair. Nasta had nastily told them that at least it was his hair that Harry had cut and not his own body to get their attention. He had then regaled them with a gruesome story of a lazy dominant who couldn't be bothered to look after his mate and the mate in question had sliced her own wrists in a desperate hope of getting her dominant's attention. She had died alone and cold on their bedroom floor. The dominant had been executed by the Counsel for gross neglect of his submissive. Harry still shivered at that story, he couldn't imagine how desperate and hungry that young girl had been for her mate's attention, he couldn't help but think that if she had had two dominants and not just the one bad dominant then maybe she would still be alive. That thought made him very sad.

"I don't think it's grown at all." Harry replied with a shrug.

"You've cut your Dracken hair?" Myron asked in astonishment.

Harry wondered at what point during his cuddle fest with Nasta and Blaise the other males had come back in, then decided that he didn't actually care if they saw him cuddling and kissing with his mates and he focused on the question asked.

"Yeah. In a, how did you phrase it, Nas? A rebellious act of needless violence against the wishes of my dominants for attention that should have been freely given."

Myron pinned Max with a glare and Max dodged the smack to the head, proving that he was more than capable of moving out of the way of his Father's smacks if he wanted to, and he held his hands up.

"WOAH! Wait a second, Dad; it was before I was even a mate! It was Blaise and Draco's oversight, not mine or Nasta's, we put them right when we joined the mateship and found out what had happen."

Myron nodded but he didn't apologise, not that Harry was expecting him to as he hadn't actually hit Max, but it still ruffled Harry's feathers that the man hadn't apologised for going to hit his son, Harry's mate.

"What did you boys do?" Alexander directed at Blaise, who was the only one of the two dominants involved here to question.

"It was just after Draco had joined our mateship. Harry really dislikes violence, yet Draco and I foolishly tried to settle our differences in front of Harry, who didn't want to see us fighting. He threatened to do a lot of things if we didn't stop immediately, but we were too riled up to stop as we are both relatively young Drackens, we couldn't stop, not even as Harry begged us. We selfishly immersed ourselves in the fight that we were engaged in and it was only when Harry threatened to cut his hair that we were able to pull ourselves from the fight and focus on him instead of ourselves."

"If you managed to regain control of yourselves and give your submissive the attention he needed then why did he still cut his hair?" Myron asked with a dangerous edge to his voice.

"Blaise calmed me down and I was about to throw the scissors down when Draco insulted me. I got so angry that I just clenched my hand and my hair fell away."

"Can I see it?" Caesar asked. "I've never seen a submissive with hair shorter than mid back length. Is it shoulder length? You'd look cute with shoulder length hair."

"You misunderstand, I didn't just trim it." Harry told them and he smiled a bit at their horrified faces. "I cut all of it off, every last bit. I put the scissors to the base of my skull and I cut, I had barely any hair left."

"At least you didn't give yourself a bald patch." Max said with a grin. After the seriousness had been dealt with and Blaise and Draco had understood that gravity of what they had done, as Harry could have just as easily cut his body and not his hair, Max had pitched a laughing fit about it. The larger man loved playing with his tiny tufts of silky hair.

"You love it like this." Harry grinned.

"It's amazing, your hair in human form is thick and soft, but your Dracken hair is so smooth and silky, it feels wonderful to compare the two textures, one like velvet the other like solid water."

Harry chuckled and pulled his Dracken form from within himself, he felt his hair recede into his head until it was shorter than his human hair and Max plunged his hands into that thick softness, putting his nose into it and inhaling deeply.

"Chestnuts." He whispered. "You always smell of chestnuts."

"Except for the one time that he smelt like coconut." Nasta reminded him with a grin.

Harry blushed a bit as he remembered that he had had a clumsy moment and knocked all of Max's hard made coconut milk drinks over himself. He had smelt like a coconut for a week afterwards.

"Well it does look nice." Talia complimented as her parents stared at the haircut in stunned silence.

"I like it." Harry grinned. "I'm going to keep it this way, not that it's grown any since I cut it."

"It doesn't grow because you don't want it to grow." Alexander told him simply.

"Really? That's so cool; it saves a hell of a lot of money on haircuts as well."

Harry blinked as he remembered Aunt Petunia shearing his hair off with the kitchen scissors until he was nearly bald, leaving just a covering of spiky stubble and four inches of hair in the front to hide his scar. He had looked so ridiculous and he had cried himself sick in his cupboard as he spent a sleepless night torturing himself over going to school the next day.

His hair had grown back without him noticing some when during the night and even though he had been punished for it, even though at the time he had had no idea of how he could have possibly made his hair grow back overnight, he had been so happy to have his hair back that he hadn't cared. Was it a wizard thing? Or was it a Dracken thing? His hair had always stayed the same really, until Aunt Petunia had taken him to the barber's and had it cut, but then his hair always grew back on the walk home until by the time they got back, it looked like he had never been. His hair never really grew when it was left alone, but when it was cut; it grew back exactly the same.

"Harry, love?" Max coaxed him gently.

Harry looked around and sighed heavily. He was on Nasta's lap being surrounded by his three mates, Max's family all around him looking concerned. He had slipped into his memories too much and had been unaware of the outside world. He could have kicked himself; his mates were already so very worried without him doing shit like that!

"I'm fine." He stressed, even as he knew they wouldn't believe him.

"What was it about this time?" Nasta asked. "What caused the flashback?"

"My hair."

That confused the whole lot of them, but none more than Blaise, who was looking severely puzzled. Harry touched his smooth chin and kissed him.

"You and Draco have missed a great deal." Harry sighed.

Blaise lowered an eyebrow in question. "We've been gone for a few hours, what could we have possibly missed?"

"My relatives came to pick me up from the station."

"Ah, so they know that you're pregnant now. Did they not take it very well?"

Max snorted and looked like he didn't know what to do or where to look as he had the most fierce glare on his face and he didn't want to direct it at anyone.

"They were never going to take it well, Blaise." Harry sighed.

Blaise quirked up an eyebrow in question, but Harry sighed and turned away. Today was never going to end.

"He has a right to know, Harry." Nasta coaxed him gently.

Harry nodded his head, stood up and walked out of the room. He couldn't deal with the situation. He wanted to go back to bed but it was only when he tried to pick his foot up to climb the stairs and couldn't that he remembered that it was impossible for him to get up the stairs by himself.

He sunk down onto it instead and sniffled as he felt the burn in his eyes and in the back of his throat which signalled a crying fit coming on. He closed his eyes and squeezed the tears back.

How did it come to this? He had been happy without them knowing; now not only did his mates know, but Max's family knew, if Max's family had been told, Nasta would tell his Dad and brother. Blaise would confide in his Mother and possibly even his step-father and Draco, Draco would tell the world in his rage. He had felt better when they hadn't known.

A small fluttering in his belly had Harry moving his hand to his bump in an almost reflexive movement, patting his own belly as he started humming quietly under his breath. He kept the humming soothing and light, full of his love for his baby and not including any of his current dark thoughts or feelings.

Max dropped down beside him, his huge hands covering Harry's own as the large man leant into him, resting his head on Harry's.

"I fear we've pushed you too hard. For that we are sorry, Harry." Max whispered, afraid to ruin the soft humming.

Harry stopped his humming and turned to Max, his tears still threatening to fall. Max sighed painfully when he saw them and he moved his hands to cup Harry's cheeks, moving his thumbs to brush those unfallen tears away gently.

"It was great before you all knew." Harry warbled, trying to control himself and failing. "I never told you because I've never wanted to speak about it. I wanted to forget about it, I was never going back, it was all over. I could carry on with my life, I could be happy. Then I had that damned flashback to my poor, neglected childhood and that was it, I knew from your faces that day that you weren't going to let it drop, that none of you were going to accept anything less than the truth. I knew my happiness was going to shatter around me."

"Why?" Max asked looking at him hard. "Why would your happiness shatter around you? Did you think that we wouldn't love you any more if we found out?"

"No. I know you all love me, I'm secure in that knowledge, but I knew that when you found out I'd have to talk about it, that I'd have to relive it all again. I was never happy there, Max. Never, not even once and I knew that once I started talking about all of those painful memories and the fear, the loneliness and the unhappiness I felt back then that I'd feel it now as well. The happiness that I had found, that I had made for myself would crumble around me under the onslaught of such memories."

"Oh, Harry." Max exclaimed wrapping large arms around him tightly, not saying anything else, just holding his little lover.

"I can't talk about it, Max, I just can't. The things those people did to me, the things they said, I don't want to relive those times, I don't want to go back to how I used to be…please."

Max's arms tightened around him and he squeezed his eyes shut to stop the burn in the corner of his eyes from forming his own tears as he listened to Harry begging him not to make him speak about what he had gone through.

"You have to talk about it, love, not all at once and it was perhaps a bad idea to push you to tell Blaise as well as my entire family in such a short amount of time, but I can't begin to think on what you went through, what you must have felt as your own relatives hurt you and neglected you like they did, I know I wouldn't be able to cope alone if anyone did those things to me, I would have had to tell someone.

I've grown up knowing that I can go to all three of my parents for anything. I know that they will listen to my fears, my worries and my dreams without judgement or ridicule. That they will guide me through the toughest of challenges and be there for me whenever I need them to be and even when I don't. I've come to learn that no matter how old I am, or how old I'll get, they will always be there to help me, to listen when I need them to, to protect me from all the dark and dangerous things in the world, even if I am fully able to do it myself because that is what loved ones do. To learn that you never had that growing up, that you couldn't rely on those who were supposed to love and protect you makes me feel sick and light headed.

If anyone deserved a loving family growing up it was you, Harry. You are so special, so kind and so full of love that it's hard to believe that you never had any growing up. It hurts all of us to know what you've been through, it hurts us deep inside our chests, it squeezes our hearts because child abuse is so terribly wrong that it brings tears to our eyes. Hurting a child goes against every fibre of my body and I ache with the knowledge that one I love so deeply has been hurt in such a way, I just want to help you, Harry, but I'm making it worse by pushing you. You can't do this on your own, but pushing you to tell us everything in one huge onslaught isn't going to help you and it isn't going to help us to help you either, so you tell us in your own time what happened, but know that we will never let you keep it bottled up inside for long, know that no matter what time of day or night that you decide to tell us, we will hold you and love you through it, because we are your family now and that's what families do."

Harry had tears streaming down his face as he fell onto Max's chest and sobbed his heart out into the soft shirt. He took in deep, gasping breaths and cried until his throat felt like it would tear.

More hands on him alerted him to Nasta and Blaise joining him and Max on the stairs and he huffed a bit, trying to stop his tears, but gave up when more kept coming. A drop of wetness on his forehead finally broke through his ball of comfort wrapped up in his mates' arms against Max's chest and he looked up through tear blurred eyes at Max, who was silently crying himself.

That alone is what gave Harry the power to finally calm himself down enough to stop his tears and to stop the great, huffing breaths. He slowed his breathing until he was breathing normally, only a small hiccup now and then breaking his slow and even breaths. He rubbed his face with his bare arm before reaching up and swiping at Max's tears.

Max smiled at him and it was a sad smile as if even though he was smiling, he didn't really feel happy.

"I'm glad to have you as my family." Harry said softly, his voice a hoarse croak after all of his sobbing.

Max crushed him back to his chest and just held him, one hand on his back, the other the back of his head, stroking his hair softly as he rocked them both slowly.

Nasta laid his head between Harry's shoulder blades and he felt Blaise on his left side. It was at moments like these that he wanted all of his mates around him and he felt the loss of Draco like a stab to his stomach and he wished that his blond lover were here to hold onto him as well.

Max let out a weak, watery chuckle.

"Look at us all here acting so soppy." He broke away from the hug and brushed away his own tears. "I'm going to make us all hot chocolate, we deserve a treat."

"It's going to go right to my thighs." Nasta sighed as if put upon.

Harry grinned and pinched at Nasta's thighs, they were so solid that he couldn't even get a purchase on the skin, let alone any fat.

"Yeah I can see that, look at the size of them!" Harry teased. "Mine however."

Harry grabbed a handful of flesh and jiggled it about.

"Come off it." Blaise said with a laugh. "That's all pregnancy weight; it'll fall off you when our son is born."

Harry patted the baby bulge in pride. "Either our boy is going to be ten pounds born or I'm going to be keeping some of this weight for myself. It wouldn't surprise me, after all not only am I eating more now that I'm pregnant, but Max is such a genius cook that I can't help but gorge myself on his delicious meals."

Max wrapped an arm around his shoulder and nudged him lightly, even though he had a faint blush on his neck from the praise.

"No lie there." Blaise added. "Our son will be the size of a house before he's three."

"If I carry on I'll be the size of a house before he's born."

"That's not true." Nasta said seriously as they walked into the kitchen. "You'll be a small shed at best."

"Just more of me to love." Harry replied, shrugging a shoulder. He let out a surprised giggle when Blaise latched onto him and tickled him, digging those slender fingers right into his ticklish sides.

"I think you need a bit more flesh before you even get to kitchen chair stage."

"Kitchen chair stage?" Max questioned as he pulled down four very large, tall mugs.

Blaise nodded seriously. "It's where you get so big your body fat eats a kitchen chair."

That made all of them laugh and Harry wiped tears away. "I think Dudley surpassed the kitchen chair stage when he was fourteen."

"It looked like he had." Nasta said darkly before he swiped the large bar of chocolate Max had uncovered from one of his cupboards and snapped a large chunk off for all of them.

They all watched Max mix ingredients into a large jug, pouring in hot milk and mixing it with melted chocolate and cocoa powder before pouring it into the mugs and adding whipped cream on top of them, sprinkling the cream with cinnamon and topping it off by shaving off curls of the chocolate bar with a small chocolate grater.

He handed them the tall mugs and watched as they took their first sips. Harry actually moaned at the taste, whilst Blaise sipped his consideringly, Nasta just sipped it once before draining almost the entire mug.

"Why have you never made these before?!" Harry demanded.

Max shrugged. "They're a comfort drink that I usually make in the winter to stave off the cold when I'm fed up of coffee and want something a little more luxurious than tea."

"I say he's been holding out on us." Blaise stage whispered to Harry.

Harry nodded seriously. "I think he should be forced to make us these when we demand them."

"I'd do that anyway." Max protested.

Harry and Blaise looked at each other with grins, then to Max. Nasta chuckled deeply.

"You should have just accepted the 'punishment'." He told the younger, but bigger man. "Now they'll think of something else."

Max smacked himself in the face and groaned. "Damn my treacherous mouth."

Harry and Blaise teased Max until Nasta was laughing uncontrollably. Harry was happy in that moment, but there was a sense of shadow at the very corner of his mind, an awful, looming knowledge that sometime soon, he would have to tell all of his mates everything that he had had to go through in his childhood. He didn't like it, but that didn't matter because he would be forced to tell them whether he liked it or not, he just couldn't wait for everything to be over and done with and for them to never speak of it again.

Blaise had been told of what had happened to Harry by Nasta whilst Harry had been comforted by Max on the stairs. Blaise had gone home that night reluctantly as Harry climbed into bed with Nasta on one side of him and Max on the other. Max had the biggest bed that Harry had ever seen and that included the magically enlarged one at Hogwarts.

Draco had come over the next day and he had been told by Max whilst Nasta tugged Harry upstairs for a lengthy bath together. They had heard Draco's yells, screams and destruction even though they were on the opposite side of the house. All of them had known that Draco would take the news the worst, his temper was inconsolable.

Harry had been dried and dressed by Nasta, who held him tightly as they walked down the stairs. Max was in the kitchen supporting a swollen and bloody lip. He smiled wanly at them even as Harry gasped in surprise.

Nasta deftly sunk a single claw into his own arm and held it out to Max who smiled thankfully and sealed his mouth over the bleeding cut. When he pulled away, his lip was healed.

"I sent Draco home. He was in no state to see you, Harry." Max told him. "I told him that he couldn't come back until he was calm and thinking rationally."

Harry nodded silently and sat down on Max's lap. He kissed the place where the cut had been and rested his head against Max's chin.

"I can't believe he hit you."

"It was only because I stood in his way of going to see you. I knew you wouldn't have wanted to see him like that, he was too angry and he wasn't thinking properly."

Max cuddled him and kissed the space of skin between his temple and his cheek, beside his eye, and he nuzzled him gently.

"I couldn't have him shouting who knows what at you whilst you're pregnant, hell I wouldn't let him do it anyway. He was angry and he was in no fit state to see you, pregnant or otherwise. He was looking for a target to unleash his anger upon and I feared that it would be you, so I made myself his target."

"He still shouldn't have hit you. I'll speak to him about his anger problems."

"We can put him in for anger management classes." Nasta suggested. "He might resent it, but if it helps him with his anger problems then I really don't care. He can't go around hitting us just because he's angry."

"I'll speak to him about it." Max said as he rubbed his head against Harry's. "If he refuses out right then we'll have to think of something else."

"If he does refuse then I'll speak to Severus." Harry put in. "If anyone can sort Draco out it's him."

Harry was so unused to just lounging about all day every day that it took him a week before he stopped waking up at half six every morning to start chores he didn't have. He had no classes and no endless list of chores to do; he didn't ache from exhaustion at the end of every day and he was so well fed that he really had gained weight that he was sure would stay on after his son was born.

Max and Nasta still had to go to work, but there was always someone in the house with him. Blaise came over often and even Marianna came to visit him and her first grandchild. Nasta's brother, Sanex, had shown up a couple of times and together with Caesar they had almost burnt the carpet from Max's living room floor and had almost set the settee alight.

Myron had hit Caesar until Harry thought the man had gone unconscious, but he had just curled around his Father's feet begging for forgiveness for his stupidity.

Myron had forgiven Caesar by hugging him and giving him a kiss to the forehead, but Myron had then been unable to stop himself from holding on tightly to Harry and licking and sniffing at him. Harry then realised exactly how close to hurting him that Caesar and Sanex had been with the stupid stunt the two older, more childish men had pulled. He had been sitting on the settee that had almost gone up in flames, very close to where Caesar had aimed his wand, a few inches over and he would have been hit.

Harry had fallen asleep on Myron and had woken up on the man when Nasta flooed home. When told of what had happened, Nasta had immediately jumped on him and after assuring himself that he and the baby were fine, he had yanked his brother away and Harry knew no more, but Sanex had come back in looking thoroughly reprimanded and had apologised once again with his disapproving younger brother looking on.

Harry had been sneaking away from his mates in the dead of night, every night now and he stashed ordinary household items into his roof top nest. Neither of them had noticed a thing yet and Harry wanted to keep it that way. He had warded his nest so thoroughly that nothing was going to get into it. He had tested it out the next time that it had rained and he had sneaked away as soon as he could to find the roof puddled with water, but his nest and the area around it was bone dry and warm and cuddly.

He had wadded it up with more towels, his own, too small, Weasley jumpers from past winters that reminded him of how loved he was at the Weasleys, he had stashed away a couple of Nasta's trousers and so far the older man hadn't noticed them gone, but Harry was sure that he would notice as soon as he ran out of clean ones. He had even robbed the front parlour rug, so far it hadn't been noticed, but as Max liked to lie on it when he wanted to relax, Harry was sure it would be the first thing that was noticed missing, that or the curtains from one of the empty bedrooms which he had also stolen away in the dead of night.

Tonight he creeped out of the bedroom and out to the back garden where he had stashed a large pile of leaves in the orchard and a very, very soft blanket that he had found under Max's bed. He would use it to wrap the baby in when he was born.

Harry dried the leaves with his wand until they were almost curling at the edges from the heat before he levitated them after him as he unleashed his wings and flew expertly to his nest. He felt the wards around his nest shiver as he passed through them and immediately he was bathed in warmth and comfort.

He dumped his pile of leaves outside of his nest and used them to make a ring around it, pushing them up tight against the smaller ring he had made from towels. The curtains were spread out on the floor and the rug was on top of them, layering up to create softness and warmth.

He laid the blanket carefully to one side, bunching the edges until they made a soft cradle shape, his baby would be swaddled and placed in this blanket before being wrapped up tighter again after he had birthed him.

He needed to build the walls of his nest higher to keep out any chill winds that would make his baby sick, he would also need to layer the floor some more, perhaps that warm duvet that Max had would help. He would snatch it tomorrow night now; he was running out of time. If he stayed any longer then he would be caught, he just knew it.

He glided down to the ground and landed softly, hurrying back into the kitchen and locking the back door quietly. He heard feet on the stairs and knew that he had been noticed missing. He quickly grabbed a glass and filled it with water that Max kept in a filtered jug on the work top.

He gulped some down just as Max padded into the kitchen. His biggest mate let out a relieved sigh and run a hand down his sleep filled, yet panic alert face.

"I found him." He called out, obviously for Nasta's benefit as the older man flew into the kitchen and let out his own sigh of relief.

"I only needed a drink." Harry feigned innocence, looking at them a bit unsurely.

Max melted and strode to him, holding him against that large, muscled chest tightly.

"Of course you're allowed a drink, Harry, but I keep tumbler glasses in the bathroom for this, so you don't have to struggle to get up and down the stairs. We were worried."

"I forgot about that." Harry lied with a bashful look. "I went down the stairs on my bum and I was going to crawl back up them."

Nasta shook his head with a smile. "What are we going to do with you?"

"You can take me back up to bed if you want to." Harry grinned, smothering a yawn with his hand.

"With pleasure." Max answered, putting the empty glass in the sink and picking him up to carry him back to bed. Harry was asleep before they even made it to the top of the stairs.

- X

It was Blaise who first noticed that something wasn't quite right. He had taken a wrong turn to the bathroom and had ended up in the empty, disused bedroom where Harry had been robbing most of his nesting material.

"Didn't your spare bedroom have fabrics?" He asked as he came back down.

"Huh?" Max eloquently asked as he was immersed in a battle of chess with Draco, who was winning.

"The spare third bedroom is missing every stich of fabric."

Max looked up then and raised an eyebrow. "Of course it has fabrics, I made sure before you all came here for the summer."

"Well it doesn't have any now, there's no bedding, no curtains and a section of carpet is missing."

"What?!" Max demanded. "That carpet cost me a fortune!"

He stood up and Harry huddled down and covered his face with his book as Max stormed through the upper level of the house. Max let out a strangled yell and a loud thump was heard, like Max had either gone to his knees or had hit something.

Max stormed back down the stairs and immediately grabbed a handful of floo powder.

"I'm going to kill Caesar; he knows how much I love that carpet!"

Harry let out a silent sigh of relief and he felt his arms go weak. His nest hadn't been found. He refused to feel bad about Max blaming his brother when his nesting place was in jeopardy.

"Why the hell would Max's brother steal all the fabric in Max's spare room?" Draco questioned. He had refused anger management classes, but had accepted talking to Snape about the problem, he had felt awful for hitting Max and had beat himself up for days before coming to apologise.

"You've only met Caesar once. Trust me he'd do it just to piss Max off." Blaise answered.

"Why the spare bedroom though? Why not the Master bedroom?"

"Probably so that Max wouldn't notice right away and give him time to hide it all." Harry answered; sticking so close to the truth that not even his eyes would give away his lie.

Nasta took that moment to floo home very early from work. He had another shiny, raw looking burn that covered the entire one side of his leg, shown by the borrowed shorts that he was wearing. His ruined, still smouldering, jeans were thrown over the crook of one arm. It was obvious why he was home so early and Harry whimpered in worry, Nasta gave him a reassuring smile.

"I'm fine. Remember the last time? This burn is the same, just bigger. It'll be gone by tomorrow, the afternoon tops; you forget that I've had a million of these burns throughout my career."

"What caused it this time?" Draco asked concernedly.

"We got a new buck all the way from the Russian reserve. He's so ferocious that only the experienced handlers are allowed near his enclosure."

"I thought the enclosures were only for sick dragons." Harry said questioningly, recalling something that Charlie had told him at the Quidditch world cup.

Nasta looked at him with a prideful smile and Harry flushed a bit in happiness.

"Usually they are, but after this particular dragon ate four baby dragons, one pregnant female and sliced up another buck; we sedated him and quickly put him in an enclosure until we can figure out what the hell to do with him."

"He ate four baby dragons?" Harry cried out as he unconsciously moved to protect his baby.

Nasta saw him and chuckled. "No one is going to eat the baby, Harry, even if we are part dragon."

"What breed is he?" Blaise asked.

"Ukrainian Ironbelly. He's the first one to ever come to the Brecon Dragon Reserve as a permanent addition and not just come to us on loan for the breeding season. It's why we agreed to take him in, but he's decided to be a massive pain in the arse."

Harry giggled and Nasta looked at him with a grin. He flumped down beside him and tucked him under an arm that was soot stained, like it had gone too close to a flame, which was actually much too close to the truth for Harry's comfort.

"Where's Max?" Nasta asked looking around as if he had just noticed that Max wasn't there.

"He went to kill Caesar." Blaise replied helpfully.

Nasta cocked an eyebrow in silent question.

"He stole all of the fabrics from Max's spare bedroom and cut out a section of carpet. Apparently Max loves the carpet and he has gone to chase his brother all around their parent's house."

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only sane one in this family." Nasta sighed.

Draco snorted. "Says the man who comes home with half his leg looking like a pan roasted drumstick."

Harry giggled again, joined by Blaise, who slid into Max's vacated seat and made his chess move for him. Draco grinned as he turned back to face his opponent and made his move, which took out Max/Blaise's knight.

Harry went back to his book and Nasta soaked up all the peace he could whilst it was being offered, he closed his eyes with his arms around Harry, the only sounds were of Draco and Blaise moving pieces, cursing as they lost a piece or cheering as they made a good move, Harry turning a page and his soft, almost inaudible breaths. It was quiet, peaceful, but it wasn't silent and Nasta thanked every deity out there for that. The peace he could handle, welcomed it even, but he never, ever wanted to hear the silence again, the lonely silence where he could hear his own heart beating in his empty, one person apartment. He never wanted to go back to that ever again.

The floo turned green and spat out a foul looking Max. He took a deep breath and surveyed them all looking at him. He smiled a bit tightly, but genuinely.

"Caesar swears blind that he never stole my carpet, like that little weasel wasn't guilty right from the off."

Max then noticed Nasta's leg and the look of horror on his face brought a sigh from Nasta's lips.

"I'm fine. It's already been treated at the Reserve; I'm in no pain whatsoever. It'll be gone and healed by tomorrow, but I have been given the week off to 'recover' from my injury."

Max nodded and clapped his hands together happily. "Who's for an early dinner?" He asked rhetorically as he immediately went for the kitchen without waiting for their answers.

Harry breathed easier knowing that his nest hadn't been found, that none of them had any idea that he was even building a nest. Caesar was going back to Amelle in America in two days, one if the rest of today was discounted. Hopefully Max would carry on thinking that his brother had ripped up the carpet in the spare room when really it had been him to make his nest more comfortable. Max could have the segment of carpet back once he was finished with it, it would slot right back into place, but Harry also loved that carpet and he had wanted it for his nest, surely Max would forgive him for it, it had gone to a good cause after all.

Draco hadn't been allowed to stay for much longer than it took them to eat dinner, his parents had expected him home, but Blaise had been allowed to curl into bed with them as his Mother knew exactly how hard it was for all of them to stay apart from each other.

Harry shot awake at three in the morning, his Dracken instincts taking over as he crawled out of the bed, but it was so warm in the bed and tonight had been unseasonably cold. The duvet would make a brilliant addition to his nest. But his mates would know that he had taken it, they would catch him if he just took the duvet from their bodies as they slept, but he wanted it for his nest! What to do?!

Harry silently moved to his hiding place and uncovered the tea towel that Draco had wiped his hands on. It had lingering traces of Draco's scent on it. He pulled out Max's oven gloves, which the big man was bound to miss that very morning and the freshly laundered bathroom mat too.

He rushed as fast as he dared down the stairs and out into the back garden, he flew up to his nest and placed his new items into it without arranging them, he would be missed sooner rather than later on this cold night, his missing body temperature would rouse the other men.

A gust of wind had Harry holding his pyjamas tighter around himself, he wasn't dressed to be outside, he hadn't even put shoes or socks on and his bare feet were like ice.

He glided down to the grass and shivered as his feet started burning with the cold. It felt like he was standing in snow and not on wet grass.

He made it back into the house and locked the back door again before he crawled up the stairs on his hands and knees, his bump rubbing across each stair as he went. He crawled into the bathroom to wash his hands and feet from evidence of his nightly trip outside, his feet were muddy from the wet ground and his hands were filthy from landing heavily on the roof. He sent up a prayer that he had remembered his wand to remove the filthy footprints that he had left on the kitchen floor.

He cleaned himself off, but when he went to stand he went very dizzy. He caught himself on the sink before he could injure himself or the baby by hitting the floor. His stomach clenched and he knew a moment before he did that he was going to be sick.

He retched into the toilet and he couldn't stop, he shivered as a wave of cold gripped his very bones and made his eyes roll into his head. He let out a distressed call, noting that it was higher pitched and more shrill that usual, before his head bounced on the tile floor, knocking him unconscious. The last thing he heard were roars and the splintering of heavy wood from the bedroom.

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