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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Growing Up Potter - Part Six

Mother...” Padma growled.
All I'm saying is that I don't understand why you two insist on living here,” Mrs. Patil pointed out. “It'll be hard enough finding husbands now that you have babies. The fact that you are living with their father will likely scare away any suitable man who is interested.”
Mum!” Parvati hissed. “This is not something we should be discussing now!”
Mrs. Patil waved her hand to indicate everyone sitting at the massive table. “I'm sorry if I am embarrassing you, but it needs to be said, and when else can I say it? You wouldn't speak to me for more than five minutes a day via firecall!”
That's because you keep nagging us to get married!” The twins burst out.
Mrs. Patil ignored their outburst. “And you didn't even invite me here to witness the birth of my grandchildren. At least the Malfoy boy had the decency to invite his parents!”
Narcissa reached across the table to take Mrs. Patil's hand. “It may be true that we were here for the birth, but as I understand it, you at least found out about this whole situation before it was reported on in the paper. We had no idea until we opened the Daily Prophet that day.”
You didn't?!” Mrs. Patil asked in horror. She turned to look at Draco. “Shame on you! Do you have any idea how a mother worries about her children?!”
Mum!” The Patil twins cried out.
Oh shut it!” Pansy roared, getting to her feet and slamming her hand on the table. “At least your parents care about you! So what if they're terrible nags and controlling pricks! At least they're here!” She clutched Pearl to her chest as she extricated herself from the long bench. Then she stomped out of the room.
Pans!” Draco called after her. He thrust Scorpius into his mother's arms, and then rushed after his best friend.
Molly cleared her throat. “Eat up, there's plenty more. Shall I brew another pot of tea?”
There was a general murmuring of denial, and then Padma sighed.
Listen, mum,” Padma said, obviously trying to be patient. “I'm not planning to get married anytime soon. I'm in training to be a Healer and I have a new baby to look after. I simply don't have time to date!”
Me neither!” Parvati added.
So let us arrange a marriage for each of you!” Their mother insisted. “I'll do all the work and then you'll be happily married.”
Parvati let out a prolonged groan as she pulled on her hair. She decided to utterly scandalize her parents. “Fine, if you insist on making me say it out loud... I am perfectly happy in my shared relationship with Harry! I live here with him because there's nowhere else I'd rather live. He's family!”
Harry smiled politely at Mrs. Patil. “That much is very true. I consider Padma and Parvati to be precious members of my family. With them living here, all the babies will grow up knowing each other, and the ten of us? Well, we look out for each other.”
Exactly!” Padma exclaimed. Then she frowned ever so slightly. “Oh, looks like one of your twins is starting to fuss. Do you need me to feed him, Harry?”
No, I think this one actually needs to be changed,” Harry murmured. “Would you mind holding James so that I can take care of Al?”
Padma reached across the table. “Sure, and I'll keep a hold of him so that you can eat more. Though I must say that I'm impressed by your wordless and wandless levitation charm work.”
Harry chuckled. “It's the only way that I'm going to have a third hand when needed!”
Andromeda kissed Harry's cheek and took Albus before Harry could get up. “You eat; I'll change the baby.”
Lucius was now holding Scorpius and looked mildly upset. “He's not in need of a change, but he's fussing.”
He's hungry,” Luna observed. “Usually Pansy feeds him, but I can do that.” She passed Pandora over to her father so that she could take Scorpius. She then pulled one breast over the top of her shirt and helped him latch on.
Lucius looked away, a bit ashamed to feel a blush sting his cheeks. “Shouldn't do that where everyone can see it,” he muttered under his breath.
They all heard him and ignored him. Ginny even went so far as to loudly exclaim: “Oh! Looks like Lily's hungry too!” Then she also pulled out a breast and held her baby to it. Lily sucked so greedily that Ginny inhaled a pained breath. “Does this ever get better?”
Molly clucked sympathetically. “Yes and no. I was nursing for so many years that I'm not entirely sure if it stopped hurting or if I just got used to the pain.”
Narcissa took everyone in the room by surprise when she spoke. “It shouldn't hurt. I know the recipe to a salve that has been passed down through my family for generations that will help. Not even Andromeda knows it, although she might know of something similar.” Narcissa shrugged. “I can make some and bring it by later on. I didn't think to do so already because, well, Draco won't be needing it.”
Before Ginny could respond to the rather shocking and unexpected offer, Mrs. Patil drew everyone's attention again.
Parvati! That is not the correct way to nurse a baby! You'll get sore nipples and probably mastitis!”
Mum,” Parvati growled. “I'm nursing just fine; see?”
Mrs. Patil simply rolled her eyes and reached over to adjust the way her daughter held the baby. A second later, Parvati looked surprised.
Oh... I can feel the difference!”
I clearly need to leave the room,” Lucius remarked once he found that he really couldn't look around without seeing a breast with a child attached to it. He was happy that he'd finished eating. Sheer manners kicked in. “Thank you for this excellent meal, Mrs. Weasley.”
You are very welcome, Mr. Malfoy,” Molly replied politely, but with a warm smile.
Come,” Arthur invited, getting to his feet. “Why don't we men move to the parlor where we can sit in comfort and wait for all these babies to finish their breakfast.” This was purely a diplomatic gesture since he was completely comfortable with public breastfeeding after fathering seven children. Lucius, Mr. Patil, Xenophilius Lovegood, Ron, and Mr. Granger took his suggestion, most seeming eager to escape the room.
This left Harry in a room full of women. He would have been disgruntled by Ron abandoning him, but a quick look proved that Ron was actually trying to help his dad out a bit, so Harry couldn't stay mad. Even so, he felt a bit embarrassed to be the only man in the room.
Andromeda returned with Albus and handed him back to Harry. “I'll go look in on Pansy now,” she murmured, kissing Harry on the cheek.
Thanks Gran!” Harry called after her, giving her a big grin.
Susan, Hannah, Luna, Ginny, and Hermione had taken their tops off completely now that the uncomfortable men were out of the room. Susan looked over at Harry. When she saw that he was rubbing noses with a fussy Albus, she grinned.
I'll trade babies with you, Harry,” Susan offered. “Little Amelia has finished eating and is dozing off, and it looks like Albus is getting hungry.”
Thanks Suze!” Harry stated. He then walked over to Susan to make the exchange.
Mum, you're just going to have to hold Rose for me!” Hermione burst out in frustration. “Hugo is squirming too much for me to keep a hold on both of them while they nurse. She'll probably fuss, but I'll finish feeding her in a few minutes.”
Mrs. Granger took Rose and delighted in kissing her all over.
Actually,” Hannah interrupted. “Remus is more asleep than he is eating, so I could feed Rose for you,” she suggested.
That would be great!” Hermione accepted with a grateful smile. Her mother decided to switch babies and cuddle with the little boy.
What sort of name is Remus anyway?” Mrs. Granger asked curiously.
Hannah smiled. “He was one of my favorite Professors. Not my favorite Professor, but I liked him a lot. However, I really thought I was having a girl, so I didn't think of any boy names,” she ignored Hermione's muttered: I told you that you should have asked what sex the baby was! “So when I had to name a boy, Harry suggested Remus because the Professor was very close to Harry. Harry's the Godfather to Remus' baby Teddy.”
Who was currently taking a nap, although he had been running around quite loudly earlier. Mrs. Granger frowned in thought. She looked around the room for a moment.
Teddy is that little boy with the constantly changing hair, right?” She asked, frowning when she realized that he wasn't in the room. “Where are his parents anyway?”
Hermione wasn't the only one to sigh sadly, but she was the one to answer her mother. “They both died in the War. Teddy lives here with us because his Grandmother Andromeda decided to come live with Harry for many reasons. The best reason is that Teddy will grow up loved among many children rather than mostly alone.”
I see,” her mother murmured, and then fell silent.
Ginny exclaimed softly in triumph. “Hooray, now that Lily is asleep, I can take a bath! Mum, will you keep an eye on her?”
Of course love!” Molly stated with a tone like she was amazed Ginny thought she had to ask.
Oh! Mine too!” Luna insisted, handing Pandora to Molly and Scorpius to Narcissa. “A bath sounds lovely!”
Pansy and Draco both entered the room just then, Andromeda a step behind them. “I'd kill for a bath,” Pansy murmured.
Andromeda took Pearl from her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Go on then.”
Are you coming, Draco?” Pansy asked, slipping her hand in his.
Draco looked over to find his mother holding his son. “Will you be alright with him?”
Of course,” Narcissa assured him with a smile.
Then yes, Pans, I definitely need a bath too,” Draco stated.
Call Ron back in here to hold Hugo so I can join you!” Hermione called after them.
How big is this bathtub?!” Mrs. Granger asked incredulously.
Hermione snickered, knowing that her mother was scandalized but trying to hold it back. “The tub is plenty big enough for all of us. We could even bring the babies, but I am positive that none of us wants to risk an accidental drowning just yet.”
We should just conjure a couple of bassinets and let our mothers watch over the sleeping babies,” Padma suggested, and then did exactly that. She and Parvati each lay a baby in the bassinet, but since one of them was James, this meant that Padma's actual baby was currently in Mrs. Patil's hands.
You're not seriously going to take a bath with a man, are you?!” Mrs. Patil asked her daughter incredulously.
We're 19, mum,” Parvati pointed out. “And we have babies. I am pretty sure that you can assume that we've seen naked men before. Especially these two.”
Padma chuckled at their mother's expression. “And actually, it's so much easier to all bathe at one time than to have to wait all day for the bath to free up.” She then smiled at Harry. “You coming?”
Susan and Hannah had also conjured bassinets and were now baby free and tugging on Harry's arms. “Come on!”
I'm not sure I could stay awake long enough to take a bath,” Harry protested.
Cheer up!” Parvati encouraged him. “Even if you fall asleep in the tub, your last sight will be of a naked Draco.”
Washing up,” Padma added with a smirk.
Harry's eyes glazed over for a moment, and then he perked up. “Er, yeah! I think I will have that bath!”
The room was silent for a moment after they left before Molly giggled. “I'm not sure that I'll ever get used to the fact that my daughter regularly bathes with two men who are so besotted with each other that they don't even notice her anyway!”
Narcissa snorted in amusement. “Imagine how I feel knowing that my son is sort of the half father to 12 babies and seems to know all the mothers quite intimately.”
Molly laughed. “I can imagine actually as I do think of Harry as one of my own. When he and Ginny explained what had happened, I was tempted to cast an infertility spell on Harry to prevent him from doing anything like this in the future!”
Mrs. Patil snorted, sounding pleased with this idea. “That would have only been a fitting punishment!”
Mrs. Granger frowned. “Would that actually matter? As I understand it, the lust and fertility potions they were given were so potent that it would override an infertility spell anyway.”
Molly tilted her head to the side and looked at Mrs. Granger curiously. “I'm not sure, actually. I assume that Hermione told you that?” At the nod of her head, Molly continued. “Well, she would know. She's not only the smartest witch I've met, but she's the one that did all the research on what happened. I should probably contact Minerva to see if I can take a look at that diary.”
Mr. Weasley entered the room with the rest of the men.
Where's Ron?” Molly asked.
Arthur shrugged. “Apparently taking a bath with Harry.”
Him too?” Mrs. Patil asked, holding her hands to her face in mild shock.
Him too?” Arthur wondered curiously, not sure who else was being referred to.
Molly giggled. “They're all in the bath!”
All of them?” Lucius reiterated as he looked around the room and found it full of sleeping babies and women looking after them. He was also surprised to find his wife and her sister eyeing each other speculatively. Both seemed impressed by the other's willingness to accept this bizarre situation.
The silence was awkward now that none of them had children in the room to talk to or harass.
So... er...” Molly fumbled to find something to talk about. “Anyone want more tea?”
Yes!” Mrs. Patil cried out in relief.
Tea would be lovely,” Narcissa agreed.
As I was saying,” Arthur stated as if he had been in the middle of a conversation. “England United is the most likely to win the Quidditch Cup this year.”
I disagree, Bulgaria is clearly still the favorite,” Lucius argued.
This broke the ice and led to a surprisingly in depth debate on the various teams and their chances at winning the World Cup.
Meanwhile, in the bathtub, 11 exhausted new parents – including Ron who was a parent because of his relationship with Hermione – were soundly asleep.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Growing Up Potter - Part V

Harry sat up in bed with a gasp. “Oh Merlin's repugnant flat nose and horrid red eyes!”
I think that was the Dark Lord,” Draco corrected sleepily, rubbing his eyes. “Actually, I'm sure of it.”
Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph!” Harry cried out.
Who?” Draco wondered with a frown.
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow! Oh mother fucking son of a bitch! Just kill me now!” Harry was rocking back and forth as he cradled his stomach in his arms.
This finally caught Draco's attention and he sat up. He watched Harry with deep concern. “Harry?”
Seriously Draco! Find your wand and Avada Kedavra me right now!” Harry insisted, curling forward even more. “Fuck it! I think I'm dying anyway!”
Draco was far more scared than he had ever been in his life. He stumbled out of bed and waddled toward the door as fast as he could. A soft curse escaped him when he stubbed his toe.
ANDROMEDA!” Draco shouted at the top of his lungs. “Harry says he's dying!!!”
Oh, must have gone into labor then,” Ginny remarked from the doorway of her bedroom down the hall.
From the room behind him, Draco – and likely the whole house – heard Harry let out a low roar of pain that continued on for eons. Draco felt all the blood drain from his body and nearly fainted. Pansy caught him.
I've got you,” she assured her best friend.
Andromeda had finally emerged from the bedroom she shared with Teddy on the first floor, and was now rushing up the stairs. “I'm coming love, calm down!”
Pansy sat Draco in a chair and firmly told him to: “Stay there!” She had just enough training by this point that she could assist Andromeda as needed.
Andromeda entered the room and tossed her medical bag on the bed. She promptly used her wand to scan him. “Yes, he's definitely in labor. Those babes need to come out now. Pansy? Please give him a pain potion and a numbing potion.”
Yes Ma'am,” Pansy responded, complying quickly. As she did so, Andromeda used the strongest medical grade cleaning spells possible to disinfect her arms. When Harry's cries calmed down a little, she cast a very precise cutting hex across the bottom of his abdomen.
Draco had to look away as he was sure the sight was going to make him vomit in short order if he didn't. He felt dizzy, and the room seemed to be spinning. Just when he thought he was going to faint for sure, he felt a hand slip into his.
Just a few more minutes,” Hermione assured him. She rubbed his back sympathetically. “Andromeda is working really fast, so it will be over in practically no time.”
Ron stood on Draco's other side, but he was facing the wall. “I can't watch either.”
Draco looked up at Hermione. “You don't look so well.”
She was pale and a bit shaky, but gave him a tiny but genuine smile. “I'm fine. Just tired.”
He watched something ripple across her face, her eyes closing briefly as she held her breath. “Are you sure?”
Positive,” she affirmed breathily. Then she decided that this would be a good distraction for Draco after all. “Unlike with a male pregnancy – that is created and sustained by potions and magic – mine is normal. This means that when the magic or fate or whatever decides that it is time for the male pregnancy to progress to labor – it does. Bam! So long as someone can cut him open and pull the babies out, everything is fine and it's soon done with.”
She took a breath, still rubbing Draco's back with one hand as she held his hand with her other. “It might be painful – from what I could see and hear – but it's over quickly. As for me, well, I have to go through labor and delivery the normal way. My contractions are minutes apart and may only be practice contractions at this point. It could still be days before I go into active labor.”
Oh,” was all Draco could think to murmur before a tiny wail distracted him.
As healthy as expected!” Andromeda announced. “Hold him close and keep a monitoring charm on him, Pansy.”
Pansy nodded and cast the charm. The babies were born early, although at 32 weeks they could survive without magical help. Even so, often these babies that were considered full term but early had trouble maintaining their temperature. Pansy's current job was to see if this was the case.
As she did so, Andromeda pulled the second baby from the womb and handed him to Padma – who was also studying to become a Healer. Padma promptly cast the same monitoring charm. Then both trainees watched closely as Andromeda cast a few spells to safely remove the magically created womb from Harry's body without damaging him.
Lastly, she held the womb up so that the blood could drain from it into the two babies it had sustained for eight months. Padma and Pansy were both fascinated to see how the babies went from looking pale and probably healthy to normal and definitely healthy. Andromeda cast a diagnostic spell on each of them after signaling her helpers that it was time to clamp and cut the cords.
Definitely well formed. Nothing wrong. They're healthy!” Andromeda announced with a proud grin. She magically created a tag for each of them detailing their date and time of birth down to the second. After attaching the tags – which would also help everyone know which one was which – she gestured to Draco.
Pansy and Padma carefully handed the babies to Draco to occupy his attention as Andromeda and her helpers finished up healing Harry. Harry was conscious and watching his babies, but he also felt a bit out of it. Even so, it made him smile to see the expression of adoration on Draco's face as he thoroughly inspected the babies.
Ron and Hermione each took a turn holding them for a few moments before Draco made some adorably anxious sounds and insisted on taking them back. Harry felt so much love flowing through him at the moment that he really thought he was going to float off into space. Draco looked over at him with watery eyes.
Harry... They're beautiful!” Draco whispered in awe.
Andromeda had just finished with him, and so she helped Harry to sit up. Harry now felt much more focused, so he held out his hands. “Let me see.”
Draco very carefully got out of the chair and slid into bed next to Harry. Harry noticed that Hermione and Pansy were both watching them with tears in their eyes. Padma, Ron, and the rest of the people living in the house – aside from Teddy, who was still asleep – wore happy smiles.
One or both?” Draco asked, holding the closer of the two babies out to Harry.
One is good for now,” Harry said, taking the baby and cradling him as Draco shifted the other so Harry could see him better. Harry kissed the one he was holding and stroked the soft peach fuzz on the one he wasn't.
That one was first,” Draco informed him, pointing to the baby in Harry's arms. Harry realized that someone must have wrapped them in blankets at some point.
I know you don't like the names I've chosen, but we all agreed that the person carrying the baby got to name him or her,” Harry reminded him.
Draco sighed in reluctant acceptance, and then nodded.
So, this one is James Sirius Malfoy-Potter, and that one is Albus Severus Malfoy-Potter,” Harry announced.
Draco raised one eyebrow. “Remind me again why you chose Severus?”
Because he was the bravest hero I ever knew,” Harry stated, feeling emotional for so many reasons.
Draco felt his heart melt just a little at that. He gave Harry a kiss on the cheek. “Well... it's starting. In just a month or two, there will be more babies in this house than adults! Unless we don't count Teddy, then it would be equal.”
Hermione tried to stifle a soft moan, but everyone looked at her anyway. “I'm fine.”
Andromeda cast a diagnostic spell. “Yes,” she agreed with a grin. “You're fine and well on your way to delivery. I estimate another 10 or so hours before the first one is born. The second twin usually takes a few hours after that.”
This is really happening!” Ron blurted out, wringing his hands in worry.
Hermione rubbed his back. “Breathe... It's fine. I'm fine.”
But babies!” Ron protested. “We're going to have babies!”
Hermione giggled and shook her head. “Yes, but we already knew that.”
Oh Merlin's crooked teeth!” Ron exclaimed, feeling faint.
Hermione gently pushed Ron out of the room. “Come on, I've only got a few hours left to rest, and I'm going to need every second of it!”
Almost exactly 24 hours later, Hermione was sitting in her bed after her ordeal. She and Ron each held a baby while Harry sat in a large armchair next to the bed. Draco stood behind Harry, and they each held a baby too.
Hermione looked up at Ron with a huge grin of accomplishment. Then she looked over to Harry. “Meet little Rose and Hugo Granger-Potter.”
They're beautiful,” Harry assured her.
Pansy groaned from where she stood with the rest of the people living in the house. Andromeda smirked at her and cast a diagnostic spell. “Seems like you'll probably pop before this time tomorrow.”
Wonderful,” Pansy gritted out in a way that indicated the exact opposite.
Draco chuckled. “At this rate, Harry, you're not likely to get any sleep at all for the next eight days!”
Harry winced as he wondered just exactly how much more inventive Pansy could be than Hermione when it came to threatening Harry's life for putting her in this situation. Harry glared lightly at Hermione rather than remind everyone that it was actually her fault. But really! The way that Hermione had cursed up a blue streak during her labor and threatened to murder Harry for doing this to her was just not fair!
It was only 20 hours later when an exhausted Pansy held up her new daughter for Harry to see. “Pearl Parkinson-Potter.”
Merlin's inverted nipples, that's a mouthful!” Draco muttered as he held Harry's twins.
Harry took Pearl in his arms and gave Pansy a soft smile. “She actually looks more like me than any of them have so far.”
That's not necessarily true,” Draco denied. “I think the twins you gave birth to look exactly like you.”
Harry chuckled. “See, when I look at them, all I see is you.”
Merlin's moldy toe nails!” Parvati cursed loudly as she clutched her stomach.
Padma was panting and groaning and clutching her stomach too. Through gritted teeth, she swore: “Merlin's raunchy hole!” She then burst into language so foul that even a member of the American mob would blush.
Oh...” Andromeda murmured as she cast spells on them. “Looks like I am going to need to call for an assistant or two to help me.” She smiled at Pansy. “I'll let your supervisor know that you've had the baby.”
The Patil twins now seemed to be vying for who could swear the most creatively. Harry winced as at least half of it was threats to cut off or severely damage a certain part of his anatomy.
I'll also let your supervisor know you're in active labor,” Andromeda informed Padma as Ginny and Luna ushered the twins into their shared bedroom.
No sooner had help arrived than the twins delivered. Thankfully for all concerned, Parvati went a few minutes after Padma. As he had with Hermione and Pansy – Harry sat between them holding their hands. He was pretty sure that he'd need to take another Skelegrow Potion as soon as this was over.
Just as Harry sighed in relief – and downed that potion – Andromeda warned her assistants not to leave just yet.
Why not?” The younger trainee Healer asked curiously, looking from Padma to Parvati and then back again. “They're definitely done.”
Andromeda smirked knowingly. “Would you please do us all a favor and take the twins from Draco?”
Draco was currently clutching the twins tight because he was deathly afraid that he was going to drop them. His face was paler than usual and his legs were wobbling like jelly. A pain slowly knifed through him like fiendfyre.
The assistants each grabbed a baby before Draco slumped backwards into a chair. “If I so much as see a hair from Hermione's bushy head, I'm going to hex it into oblivion! The next time we come across a secret room, I'm running the other way! This hurts worse than breaking a bone – or hell! All the bones in my body!”
Harry wished he had more time to look at the Patil-Potters, but he felt like he couldn't breathe. “Draco! Are you in labor?” He asked as he rushed to help Draco back to their room.”
Ron was right! What wizard in his right mind would ever willingly go through this?! Harry, I'm telling you right now, if you ever want more kids, you're carrying them yourself! And that's if I let you near me again, which at this point, is not very likely! And you'll be lucky if I don't just cut it off!” Draco roared as they entered their room and Harry settled him into bed.
Harry chuckled wryly. “You'll have to wait in line. Everyone wants to murder me!”
As well they should!” Draco cried out. “What sort of evil man forces eight innocent women and an even more innocent me to endure this sadistically horrible torture?!”
Harry took his twins from the assistants and settled them into their bassinet. They were currently awake, but hadn't been the type to fuss unless they were hungry, so they would be fine. Plus, Luna and Ginny volunteered to look after them if necessary.
Harry crawled back into bed with Draco and took his hand as the assistants gave Draco pain and numbing potions. “It'll be over soon.” Harry promised.
Don't you dare leave my side!” Draco insisted, squeezing Harry's hand even tighter than any of the girls had so far.
I won't,” Harry assured him as Andromeda finished her disinfecting spells and prepared to cut into Draco. Harry forced Draco to look at him. “I saw how pale and nauseous you looked when it was me delivering, so don't look at what Andromeda's doing. Just keep looking at me.”
Draco nodded fervently, really not wanting to see his stomach opened up.
I've brought your parents as you asked,” Susan informed them softly, and then added: “You should probably sit over here, out of the way.”
Draco barely even heard his parents murmur in agreement. He was too busy crying out as a contraction hit him. “I thought the pain potion was supposed to stop me from feeling like I have a kneazle clawing its way through my insides!”
That may actually be me,” Andromeda informed him. “But don't worry, everything is fine.”
Breathe,” Harry reminded him, stroking his cheek.
Then there was the sound of a newborn's cry. Draco gasped out the breath he was holding. “Is he okay?!”
He's lovely!” Andromeda assured him. “Healthy and perfect.” She handed the baby to one of the assistants to hold while the womb was dealt with.
Harry forced Draco to keep looking at him. This was fine by Draco as he was certain the sight of all the blood would probably make him faint. Draco clung to Harry's shirt with the hand that wasn't holding Harry's.
I did it...” Draco murmured.
Harry pressed kisses to Draco's forehead. “You did, and he's beautiful. He looks just like you.”
When the baby was ready, Andromeda handed him over to Draco before using his distraction to finish healing him. Draco looked ready to burst into tears of sheer joy. Harry stroked the baby's peach fuzz.
What did you decide to name him?” Harry asked in a soft murmur.
Draco smiled up at Harry. “Scorpius Hyperion Potter-Malfoy.”
Harry smiled at him. “I love it.”
And you're wrong, he looks just like you,” Draco added, stroking Scorpius' face with a finger.
Harry laughed. “You think the twins look like me too when they clearly look exactly like you!”
Draco narrowed his eyes and twisted his lips. “I've just realized that you're blind as a bat!”
Susan groaned, interrupting anything Harry might have said. Andromeda was prepared for this and scanned Susan with a diagnostic spell. “No worries! I predict that we have another six or so hours before this one pops. I suggest that everyone gets as much rest as they can in that time!”
Harry sighed in profound defeat. “I'm not sure I know what rest is anymore.”
Ginny carried Harry's twins over to him. “I'm going to bring them to Padma and Parvati's room. They promised to feed these two and take care of them so that you can rest up. Also, cheer up, there's only four of us left now. It's almost over!”
Harry kissed each of his twins, and then kissed Ginny. “Thanks Gin!”
Ginny walked to the other side of the bed so that she could kiss Draco. “Congratulations!”
Thank you, Ginevra,” Draco replied with a genuine smile. Luna replaced Ginny when she stepped away.
I'll take charge of little Scorpius for you. Pansy volunteered to feed him, and I'm sure that your parents would like to see him,” Luna said in her soft voice that sounded almost like she was humming.
Thank you Luna,” Draco murmured, giving her a kiss when she leaned her face next to his.
It's my pleasure,” Luna assured him. “I already know that I will have to wait for last, so I may as well help when I can.” She gave him a kiss, and then took the baby from him. “Aww! He's so adorable!”
Luna sat on the edge of the bed and beckoned Lucius and Narcissa over. Both looked quite teary eyed at having witnessed such a miracle. They took turns hugging Draco. Narcissa even congratulated Harry, pulling him close for a kiss on the cheek. However, Lucius maintained a civil politeness for his future son-in-law.
I'll talk with you later,” Draco promised his parents when he saw how exhausted Harry was.
They nodded in understanding, then followed Luna out of the room.
In less than 48 hours, the entire ordeal was over. Luna was right in that she delivered last. Which was probably a good thing since it meant that no one other than Harry – and Neville and her father – was in the room with her. Her labor and delivery were so easy that it felt a lot like a tea party.
To Harry's astonishment, Luna did not curse him. She didn't curse at all! She didn't scream or cry in pain. All she did was hum serenely, then set down her cup of tea and gasp: “Oh dear!” when the baby crowned and it was time for Andromeda to go to work.
By the time that Luna set little Pandora Lovegood-Potter in Harry's arms, he wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep. Instead, he kissed Luna and gave her a huge grin.
She's brilliant!”
Luna grinned at him in return. “I know.” She then took her daughter back. “Go on and get some rest. I'll come feed the twins when they get hungry again. You know, in the future, I'm going to have a pair of twin boys myself.”
Harry wasn't sure if this was one of those times when Luna seemed to know everything, or if she was telling him about a dream she'd had. It didn't matter to him either way, so he simply smiled.
That's good,” he said as he handed Pandora back. After that, Harry went back to his bedroom. Ginny intercepted him on the way.
Can you look after Lily Luna for a while? I need some sleep and mum is making up a feast for everyone.”
Harry took the baby girl from Ginny's arms. “Sure. I'll send my Patronus to wake you if she gets hungry.”
Thanks!” Ginny exclaimed before promptly spinning around and returning to her room.
Harry settled into his bed with Draco and their three sons. Draco was only half dozing, and the boys were all sort of looking at each other. They weren't silent, but they weren't fussing either. They were making soft little noises that only newborns could make. Harry set Lily on the bed with them, and she seemed happy enough to squirm until she was in a pile with the boys. Like puppies.
Harry was beyond grateful that his bed was huge. Even so, Draco shook his head and chuckled. “This is too many babies!”
Harry giggled. “And it's not even all of them!”
We should take a picture of them tomorrow,” Draco suggested. “Just them. And maybe you.”
And then a picture of all of us with them,” Harry added. He reached over and brushed a stray hair out of Draco's face. “I love you.”
Draco smiled, his eyes closed. “I love you too. Now shut up and go to sleep before one of these tiny monsters decide to start squalling.”
Harry smirked and closed his eyes. “I can do that.”

Go To Next Part 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Growing Up Potter - Part IV

My belly is too big!” Harry whined. “It's in the way if I try to do you or you try to do me!”
Draco sighed. “Yeah, mine's in the way too, but that doesn't mean that we can't do anything at all. My hands still work, and so does my mouth.”
Harry lay on his side and watched as Draco shifted around on their bed until he had his head between Harry's legs. With their bellies in the way, Draco was not close enough to Harry's mouth for him to return the favor, but Harry could still reach Draco's shaft with his hands. Draco's mouth was talented enough that Harry had a hard time concentrating on manipulating Draco's shaft.
Even so, Draco'd had a kinky dream and was more than ready to squirt. There was enough force behind it that he nearly got it in Harry's eye! Harry stuck a finger of spunk in his mouth even as he thoroughly enjoyed Draco's moans of pleasure on his own shaft. Harry was so close!
Their door burst open and Pansy stomped in angrily. “Draco, darling, if you don't hurry up and come down to breakfast, I'm going to send the howler up here!”
Harry groaned in disappointment as Draco's mouth moved away.
Draco looked over at Pansy. “What are you talking about?”
Our lovely interview from yesterday has already made its appearance in the Prophet, and there's a rather tenacious eagle owl carrying a howler addressed to you that won't let any of us eat in peace!”
Oh bugger!” Draco exclaimed as he jumped out of bed and rushed to clean up and get dressed.
Harry felt like crying a lot more than he wanted to admit to. “But Draco...”
Take care of it yourself!” Draco called out absently.
Pansy stood next to the bed, smirking at Harry. “I'd offer to take care of that for you, but I rather think that Draco would kill me for it.”
Draco wasn't really paying attention to them at the moment, so he replied honestly and without thinking. “Not so much since I am willing to let Harry have whatever he wants.”
Both Harry and Pansy stared at him in astonishment. Harry recovered first. “Thanks anyway Pans, but I think I should probably get dressed too.”
Pansy shrugged and walked away. “Suit yourself.”
Draco seemed to realize what he had said. He stood up a bit straighter and glared at Pansy. “What I meant to say was, don't you dare touch my boyfriend or I'll have to hex your hands off!”
Pansy smirked at him, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Sure you did!”
Harry waited until Pansy was out of the room, quickly finished tugging himself off, and then threw on a bathrobe so that he could follow Draco – who was already rushing down the stairs from their third floor bedroom. As he approached the dining room, Harry watched Draco stop short just inside.
How in the world did she find me here?!” Draco wondered incredulously, referring to his family's majestic eagle owl.
Hermione shrugged as she devoured her breakfast. “We adjusted the wards a while back to let in owls from family for all of us.”
Draco's hands shook as he took the steaming red howler from the owl. She bit one of his fingers angrily for making her wait so long, making Draco suck in a sizzling breath, swear hotly, and then try to push her off her perch.
I've never gotten a howler before,” Draco muttered nervously.
It really is better if you open it before it explodes,” Ron reminded him, surprised to find himself feeling a bit of sympathy for the snarky git.
With a deep breath, Draco ripped open the howler.
The howler paused as if to take a breath, and then calmly turned to face Harry. “And Harry, I'm glad to see that you are doing well. Not even something as scandalous as this can make me regret saving your life. Please come with Draco to the Manor when he finally shows up to explain himself.”
And with that, the howler tore itself into tiny pieces, which disappeared with a series of small poofs.
Harry stopped looking at where the howler was and looked at his boyfriend. He couldn't stop a smirk from twisting his lips when he saw the pale and vaguely nauseous look on Draco's face. “So, I guess I was wrong in assuming that it's me they'll want to kill.”
I was really hoping that they'd never find out,” Draco murmured, still shaking just slightly as he stared at the spot the howler had been.
Harry pulled Draco into a warm embrace. “Why not?”
Mostly I figured that after I moved here – a place that they couldn't find me – that I'd be able to live my life without them trying to tell me what to do. They've been trying to arrange a 'good marriage' for me for years, and I figured that if I stayed away, they couldn't pester me. Also, I thought the shock of me dating you might kill them,” Draco explained.
Pansy laughed rather cruelly. “So naturally, you let them find out about it in the Daily Prophet!”
Draco glared at her. “I was planning to go tell them today before the article could appear in the Prophet. I guess I should have known that it wouldn't wait even a day!” He sighed and slumped a bit.
News concerning Harry never does,” Ginny murmured as she grabbed yet another slice of toast off a plate in the middle of the table and slathered thick apple butter on it. And then layered a sunny side up egg on top.
Harry looked around, still finding it a bit amusing that all eight of the pregnant women had ultimately decided to live in his house with him. Ginny had originally planned to stay with her parents, but it turned out that Molly had baby fever something fierce and wouldn't leave Ginny alone about it. Thus Ginny moved in for a bit of quiet. Well... relative quiet.
And Luna – being the only one of them that didn't have any reason whatsoever to live with Harry – had decided to do so anyway. She still saw her father everyday as they worked on the Quibbler together, so she felt it only fair that she join in on all the fun. Harry chuckled as he remembered that Luna had actually called it that. Fun. As if the copious bickering that happened when nine women, three men, and little Teddy Lupin all lived in one house was actually a form of relaxation.
Speaking of, Teddy was bouncing around like the ball of energy he was. His hair changed color at least every 30 seconds, and he got as much food on the floor as he ate. At about a year and a half old, he still felt like the world and all the people in this house revolved around him. He clapped happily when Harry looked at him, and then stood up in his highchair and flung himself into Harry's arms, provoking a pained ooph!
Harry hugged him tight, murmuring: “I'm so happy that you and 'Dromeda decided to live here!”
Luv you 'arry!” Teddy announced, kissing him on the cheek. Harry just about melted all over the floor.
Draco pulled out a chair and helped Harry sit down. “Let's try to eat something before we go visit my parents.”
I could eat a dozen chickens!” Harry exclaimed as his stomach growled. “I still think it's unfair that my body is supposed to make room for two growing babies and yet somehow, I still need my stomach to work despite it being pushed up into my throat!”
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. She was unsympathetic because she was also carrying twins. “Rather than complain, only eat one or two chickens right now and pack the other ten or eleven up to take with you. It is okay to eat constantly, one bite at a time.”
Harry ignored her, shifting Teddy forward on his lap since Teddy kept accidentally jabbing him in the stomach. “Ooo! Bacon!”
Just make sure you at least eat some eggs to go with that bacon,” Draco stated, narrowing his eyes at Harry as if daring him to disagree.
Luna hummed, taking another egg onto her plate before slurping the runny yolk right out of it. “I'm not sure if I've said this yet, but in the Chinese culture, an expectant mother would eat as many eggs a day as she could afford in order to have a smart baby. Except the yolk had to be runny, otherwise the nutrients in the yolk that develop a baby's brain are destroyed and eating the egg does nothing special for intelligence.”
We have a similar belief in our culture,” Padma murmured as Parvati nodded in agreement. They also tended to eat at least two eggs each morning for breakfast.
Really?” Hermione asked, sounding both intrigued and a bit offended that they hadn't told her this earlier. She served herself another egg. “That actually makes sense when I think about it. I was researching infant nutrition, and a lot of the nutrients that formula makers try to fortify their formulas with – for brain health (she air quoted this) – come from eggs.”
Draco smiled at her. “The Malfoys believe in the power of eggs too. One of the reasons that we breed peacocks is that there is an old legend that Hera – Queen of the Greek Gods – would bestow her favor on any man that consumed a peacock egg each year on his birthday. That said, peacock eggs are not very tasty. They have a strong, gamy taste. My mother always had the yolks of mine whipped into a pudding to hide the taste.”
Harry smirked at him. “And you breed albino peacocks because you're a bunch of vain gits!”
Draco snorted. “Actually, I have no idea how long we've been breeding them albino like that, but I would not put it past one of my ancestors to think that turning them blond elevated him to the status of a God!”
Luna giggled. “Actually, if that were possible, that would make him a Goddess. Perhaps you are not the only Malfoy who also likes men.”
Hmm...” Draco hummed speculatively as he stroked his chin. “Something like that would be hard to figure out since society once expected a man to get married and produce heirs no matter what he might prefer. Not to mention, my family usually tried to keep quiet about affairs.”
Harry was a bit confused. He gestured at his stomach. “If this is possible, then why isn't it common for wizards to marry men if they want?”
Padma sighed. “I think I have perspective on this since the culture my family came from before moving to Britain – before we were born – is still to this day mostly against same sex relationships. Perhaps the reason why it isn't common even though it is possible is that muggles are against it, and thus it would be dangerous – historically – for wizards to get pregnant whenever they wanted.”
Hermione nodded in agreement. “And the wizard would have had to remain secluded for the duration of the pregnancy so that muggles didn't see it and think he was a minion of the devil or a specimen that needed to be studied for science. I presume that such a thing would be harder in times before we had large wizarding communities.”
Ron snorted in amusement. “I think you're all rather forgetting that it would take a rare and possibly insane man to knowingly get pregnant!”
Harry and Draco looked at each other with expressions that clearly stated that Ron may have a point. Then Harry shrugged. “I don't know. Maybe if I wasn't carrying twins, I might feel a little more comfortable and I might actually like this whole pregnancy thing.”
Not me! I'm beyond delighted that I am able to have my heir without marrying someone chosen by my parents, but I don't think I would have ever chosen to do this voluntarily,” Draco informed them all in that posh accent of his that made almost everything sound like a sneer. Then he sighed a bit morosely. “I'd have chosen a woman to co-parent with eventually since I am not adverse to having sex with them. I just don't want to marry one.”
Harry pushed his empty plate away and set Teddy on his feet. The toddler was rubbing his eyes sleepily – likely from having gotten up much too early and then running around all morning like an eager greyhound. To Harry's relief, Teddy wobbled and toddled over to his grandmother, who picked him up and carried him off to take a nap.
We should do this now and get it over with,” Harry suggested, getting to his feet.
Draco sighed in reluctance. “You're right. We should.” He got to his feet and linked his hand through Harry's. “Nervous?”
Yes, but I think probably not as much as you are,” Harry stated with an encouraging smile. Harry tilted his head in confusion. “Out of curiosity, where do your parents think you've been living?”
I told them that I was staying in a flat with Pansy,” Draco stated with a shrug.
Ginny giggled and shook her head. “How very Slytherin to lie by telling the truth!”
Mostly,” Pansy added with a grin. “Not sure most people would consider this big old house a flat.”
Probably a good thing that your aunt 'Dromeda is currently not speaking to her sister,” Luna observed with a dreamy smile. “Or your mother would have known ages ago.
Good point!” Draco exclaimed with a considering look. “Although, maybe that would have been better in the long run than this.”
Stop stalling,” Harry urged, tugging on Draco's hand. Draco followed him at a sedate pace toward the fireplace designated to floo travel.
Care to explain to me why my mother seems to like you so much,” Draco asked grumpily.
Harry gave him a careless shrug and a charming grin. “I don't know why, but mothers always seem to love me!”
Both Ron and Ginny snorted at that. “Yes, they do!” Hermione nodded in agreement since her mother had also taken quite a shine to Harry when they'd met.
No matter how much Draco tried to drag his feet and delay the inevitable, they were soon stepping out of the fireplace into Malfoy Manor.
I really thought that my mother might have forgotten to adjust the wards to let you through,” Draco muttered, then shrugged. “It's good she didn't though as I can throw you to the wolves – so to speak – if they start badgering me.”
Harry chuckled and slung an arm around Draco's shoulders so that he could use that hand to turn Draco's face toward him and give a quick kiss. Draco smirked and snogged him in return.
We could always turn around and go home,” Draco suggested. “Go back to bed and stay there forever.”
Harry chuckled. “Forever seems a bit excessive. Besides, we'd eventually have to get out of bed when these bundles of joy arrive.” Harry stroked Draco's belly with the hand not still pressed to Draco's face.
Not so,” Draco denied haughtily with his nose in the air looking adorably snooty. “I'm quite certain that we can hire a nanny to look after them while we lounge around.”
Harry snorted. “Maybe you can, but I couldn't stay in bed for very long. If we weren't sleeping or having sex, I'd be so bored that I'd have to go do something.”
Is that honestly all you can think to do in bed?” Draco asked curiously.
Well... What else is there?” Harry wondered with a puzzled frown.
I could read you an interesting book or you could draw on my back or we could have a picnic featuring strawberries. Mmm... a pie; some pudding; a cake. Merlin's mangy hair! That sounds so good right now!”
Harry snorted. “It does! And you know, all those suggestions sounded a lot like sex to me.”
Draco rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Only you, Potter.” He turned so that he was facing Harry just a bit more directly, and then pulled on Harry's shirt as he kissed him. Harry moaned and opened his mouth, preparing to take the kiss to the next level.
Really Draco! Are you planning to stand there snogging in the entryway all day?!” Lucius demanded after loudly clearing his throat.
They turned to find both of Draco's parents watching them with strange expressions. Harry wondered how long Lucius and Narcissa had been standing there. Or more importantly, how long they'd been able to hear Harry and Draco talking since they were apparently quite stealthy, even in the privacy of their own home.
If I say all day, will you leave us to it?” Draco asked pertly. He was fighting a deeply embarrassed blush over being caught by his parents – despite being 19!
Lucius looked a bit put out, like he dearly wished to sigh and roll his eyes but was fighting it. “Come. Let us have tea in the parlor.”
Narcissa took this as her cue to smile and pull Draco into a tight hug as she kissed his cheek. “I missed you so much!” She then turned to Harry and gave him a brief and mostly impersonal hug as well. “It's nice to see you again, although, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this situation.”
Harry decided to just go with it when Narcissa slipped her hand into the crook of his arm. She gave him a puzzled frown as they followed behind Lucius and Draco. “The Daily Prophet reported that you are carrying twins, and while you are noticeably bigger than Draco, you don't look big enough to safely be carrying two babies.”
Harry smiled at her. “My Healer assures me that they are growing within the healthy range. They are a bit smaller than the other babies, but that is common in twins.”
Oh?” Narcissa asked with a tone of mild disbelief. “And who is your Healer? Perhaps you need one more qualified when it comes to wizards carrying twins.”
Er...” Harry flushed and rubbed the back of his neck as Draco blurted out: “Is there such a Healer?”
I understand that it's not all that common, but considering that these two carry Malfoy blood, a little extra caution can't hurt,” Narcissa insisted.
Er,” Harry awkwardly tried again. “Well my Healer is the best and I trust her implicitly.”
Implicitly?” Draco questioned with a brow raised. “You continue to make me wonder if Granger made you swallow a dictionary.”
Harry rolled his eyes at Draco. “As it happens, she did back in our third year when she was tired of me grunting like a caveman.”
Draco snorted. “Why does that not surprise me?”
Harry decided not to let himself be sidetracked. “And besides, even you agreed that she's a skilled Healer.”
That's because I know how motivated she is to keep my bloodline alive and thriving,” Draco stated with a careless shrug.
Who?” Narcissa politely asked again.
Er...” Draco drawled hesitantly.
Harry gave him a look that was clearly asking if he should confess or keep it a secret. Draco sort of looked away evasively, not entirely sure. Harry sighed, and then gave Narcissa a determinedly cheerful smile.
My grandmother... Andromeda Tonks.”
Wha...?” Narcissa blurted out in surprise and shock. She stopped short, looking back and forth between Harry and Draco. They felt quite sure that she thought they were trying to put one over on her.
Lucius gestured into the parlor. “We may as well sit for this discussion.”
They all remained silent as they walked into the parlor and took a seat. Harry was pleased to note that the room was arranged so that there was a comfortable and roomy loveseat facing two overstuffed armchairs. He wasn't sure which he was intended to sit on, but he plopped onto the loveseat before anyone could object. Draco sat next to him without being asked.
A house elf served them tea and a plate full of strawberry tarts.
Yes!” Draco hissed, grabbing the plate, which he then tried to keep out of Harry's reach.
Hey now!” Harry protested. “I'd share with you!”
Which just makes you a bloody Gryffindor! If you want one, you have to earn it like a Slytherin,” Draco informed him, and then shoved a bit of a tart into his mouth as if proving a point.
Harry put a finger to his lips and looked to the ceiling as he thought this over. Both Lucius and Narcissa were torn by being appalled by Draco's lack of manners and being impressed by his very Slytherin attempt at manipulation. Narcissa opened her mouth to insist that Draco share while Lucius opened his mouth to remind everyone that he could always have a house elf bring them more. Both parents ended up being too curious about how this would play out to say anything.
Hmm...” Harry hummed, a sly look crossing his face. “How about,” he whispered the rest in Draco's ear.
Draco flushed, nodded, and promptly handed over the plate after taking just one more tart.
Harry smirked at him. “Didn't I ever tell you that the sorting hat spent a good ten minutes trying to persuade me to go into Slytherin? But I stubbornly refused.”
Draco gave him an appraising look as he ate another bite of his tart. “That means that our boys have a good chance of all going into Slytherin after all.”
Harry chuckled. “And Hermione and Padma think their kids are going to be a dangerous combination of rule breaker and genius!”
Draco looked supremely pleased. Harry had a point. A trio of Slytherins with Gryffindor tendencies could be very dangerous indeed.
They'd be rule breaking evil geniuses!” Harry teased.
Draco narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips. “You know, I think that they'd get the evil bit from you.”
Harry merely shrugged as if saying: Hey, what can I say?
Narcissa finally decided that she had an opening to bring the conversation back around. She took a demure sip of tea, and then delicately placed the cup back on the saucer. After that, she smiled at Harry as sweetly as she could.
Harry, care to explain how my estranged sister is suddenly your grandmother?”
Harry gave her one of his brilliantly charming grins. “It's not a blood connection, as I'm sure you know, but I consider her a member of my family for two reasons. First, Sirius was my godfather and he made me the sole Heir to the Black fortune – thus connecting me to Andromeda as a cousin at the very least. But then Tonks and Moony – er, Remus Lupin – named me as the godfather to their baby before they both died.
So, when I found out that we were all pregnant and needed a private Healer, I asked 'Dromeda if she'd move in with us. It didn't take long before she jokingly told me that I acted like a big kid myself and I just grinned and called her gran. We both know that she's not really old enough to be my grandmother, but the way she clearly cares for me and the babies inside me – and all the babies and those who are pregnant – well, she comes across very grandmotherly. So, we've sort of adopted each other,” Harry finished this explanation with a fond grin.
I have to agree,” Draco murmured as he sipped on his tea. He'd stealthily asked a house elf to bring him some more tarts and a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream, and was now eating his way through the berries. “About Andromeda caring, that is. She does an excellent job of monitoring our pregnancies, but she's also there for us anytime we need an ear to complain to, a bit of wisdom to stop us from panicking, or just some tea and scones because we're hungry. Again.”
Harry chuckled and wrinkled his nose at Draco in a way that was utterly adorable – although he was going for impertinent smirk. “And she doesn't try to intervene every single time some combination of the ten of us are bickering!”
Draco smirked at him in return. “Haven't you noticed? Now that Pansy is off training so much, there's less bickering in general. Pans likes to wind people up.”
Harry put a hand on his chin in thought. “Now that you mention it, yeah. The house is almost... I was going to say quiet when she's not around, but I think quiet isn't the right word. Maybe still chaotic but less argumentative?”
Draco nodded in agreement. Then he noticed his father giving him the strangest look. “What?”
I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea that you are living in a house with eight pregnant women, and you're dating the only other man that lives there,” Lucius remarked.
Unless you count the weasel,” Draco added, and then decided to try to wind his father up. “And I'll have you know that all of us have become quite close since the orgy. I'm sure you'd really rather not think about what we get up to.”
Both Lucius and Narcissa looked as if they couldn't decide whether to be intrigued by that statement, or repulsed because their son was involved in the implied naughtiness. Harry snickered a bit secretively for a moment. Then he decided to back Draco up.
For example, while there are a couple of small loos, there's really only one bathroom. Fortunately for us, it's huge! I really have no idea what the builders were thinking when they built the house with only one bathroom – and I suspect that it's been added onto with an extension charm or two – but the tub can comfortably fit at least 20 people. Which is for the best really, as once all the babies are born, we're going to need all that extra room to take a decent bath,” Harry explained. The funny thing was that he was being honest.
It's not like a set bath time was announced and then everyone piled into the tub. Instead, it seemed that – at any given point in the day – someone would decide that they needed a bath, and then at least half of the people living in the house would shrug and announce that since a bath was being drawn anyway, they may as well not let all the water in that huge tub go to waste. Thus, Harry wasn't lying when he implied that they all tended to bathe together.
Even Ron had gotten used to what basically boiled down to the same lack of privacy as living in a dorm, except with eight pregnant women and two pregnant men. It was a godsend that he had such a sense of humor, because Ron could often diffuse a tense situation with just a joke or two. He once told Harry that he was completely used to lightening the mood because Harry and Hermione were both such serious or intense people that if he left them to it, they'd probably never laugh at all.
Harry had to admit that he had been an intense and serious person back during the war, but that was because he was always so stressed out by trying to save the world. Now that he had defeated Voldemort and won the war, his playful side was coming out. There was a reason that Andromeda thought of him as a big kid!
Lucius sighed and visibly pushed away all thoughts of possible inappropriate behavior. Then he gave Draco a serious gaze. Draco tensed up when he noticed this.
Son... we would like for you to remember that after you've played happy families for a while – say a couple of years – you should still get married to a suitable witch and move back into the Manor.”
Draco looked crushed. He sighed to give himself time to think of a response. Anger took over, but he tried to control it.
Happy families? You think that I'm simply playing around?” Draco ground out, trying to sound mild but not quite managing it. “Is this your way of telling me that the child growing inside my belly will not be my Heir in your eyes? Do you plan to snub him? Or what about them?” Draco pointed to Harry's belly. “They're mine too!”
Lucius was feeling so many conflicting emotions that he was at a loss. “Draco... I just want what is best for you. I know you don't believe it now, but there is a deep comfort in being married. In knowing that you will always have someone there for you, no matter what happens.”
Lucius reached out and took his wife's hand. “Believe it or not, children eventually grow up, and then what will you have left?”
Harry had been attempting to pretend to give them a bit of privacy by asking a house elf to bring him some fresh cherries and a vanilla pudding to dip them in, but he was listening to every word. He was shocked to find that he thought Lucius had a valid point. None of them had really thought about the future beyond the necessary: what will happen when the babies arrive?
Draco rolled his eyes. “So your solution to a problem that may or may not exist in 20 years is to try to marry me off to a pureblood witch? That's what you've been trying to do since I turned 16!”
Harry moaned as the cherry dipped in pudding practically melted in his mouth. As he took another cherry and dipped it, he murmured: “Draco could always marry me.”
Draco gasped in astonishment and Harry looked up to find all three of them staring at him in shock. Harry gave them a puzzled frown and set his food aside.
Er... couldn't you? Or is there some sort of law in the Wizarding World that forbids it? If so, I'll set Hermione to changing the law,” Harry stated in determination. “And actually, now that Kingsley is Minister, I could ask him to either help change the law or grant special permission.”
You're serious?!” Draco exclaimed with a tone that was both incredulous and happy.
Well yeah, why wouldn't I be?” Harry wondered, confused. “You said it yourself; we're a family. I'm carrying your children and you're carrying mine. It would be agony not to be together!”
Draco – showing possibly the most emotion that he ever had in his life – flung his arms around Harry and buried his face against Harry's neck. “Oh Harry,” he murmured softly.
Harry chuckled nervously, sliding an arm around Draco's back. “Is that a yes then?”
Draco straightened up, his face already a cool Slytherin mask. “That's a: You had better get me a damn good ring and ask me properly, you arsehole!”
Harry snickered. “Oh. So I guess that makes you the girl then. You plan to wear a dress too?”
Draco grabbed the pillow from behind him and hit Harry over the head with it. “I most certainly will not! How dare you suggest such a thing?!”
Narcissa was watching them with an expression of happiness and parental pride, but Lucius looked aghast. He desperately wanted to protest! However, he couldn't recall seeing his son look so happy since he was 11 years old and about to go to Hogwarts. And oh Merlin's scraggly beard! Draco actually looked like he was in love!
And so did Harry.
Harry snatched the pillow from Draco, using the motion to pull him close, and then gave him a kiss. Draco blushed and turned his head so that he was looking behind Harry. “Not in front of my parents,” he mumbled.
Narcissa laughed. “Oh Draco! I assure you that we will not be so scandalized that we burst into flames if we see you kiss your boyfriend.” She sobered up a moment later. “Is that why you didn't tell us? Were you afraid that we'd be so upset that we'd disown you?”
Draco looked down at his lap and tilted his head to the side as he shrugged. “Maybe. Probably. Yeah, I think so.”
Narcissa got to her knees before him. “Oh my darling boy!” She lay her head in what remained of his lap and slid her arms around him. “Don't you know by now that your happiness is my happiness? I love you so much!”
Mother...” Draco exhaled in awe.
Lucius cleared his throat and looked like he was trying to swallow something acidic and bitter. “I... suppose... that you could do worse than marrying the Savior of the Wizarding World.”
Draco was gobsmacked. “Did... Did you just... give me your blessing?!”
Lucius sighed. “Yes, I suppose I did.”
Draco gently pushed his mother off his lap. “I need some air!” He then Disapparated without another word.
So, er...” Harry mumbled awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Any idea what Draco might consider a good ring?”

Go To Part V 

Charts and Readings