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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Growing Up Potter - Part Three
“Why in the ever loving hell did I let you talk me into this?!” Draco demanded in a growl.
“It's necessary if any of us want to show our faces in public again,” Harry said with a resigned shrug.
“No it's not!” Draco snapped. “We're doing just fine hiding out here in Grimmauld Place!”
Which was true enough. The house – which was fairly large even before the Blacks selectively enlarged portions of it – was three stories plus a basement. The entire third story was full of bedrooms – including the master bedroom Harry and Draco shared, along with the slightly smaller bedroom Ron and Hermione shared.
The second floor had a few bedrooms, as did the first floor. Thus, everyone living with Harry had their own room (unless they wanted to share). The rooms were big enough that the impending babies would fit just fine. Beyond that, there were lots of other rooms to keep them occupied – such as the library, the drawing room, the ballroom, and the kitchen.
All of which meant that Draco was right. They theoretically could continue to live here and never go out in public again. Even so, Harry gave him a flat look.
Draco growled and sighed, and then growled and sighed again. This repeated a few times even as he finished dressing. Their bedroom door flung open.
“I swear to God that I will straight up murder you two if you aren't ready in five minutes!” Hermione informed them seriously.
Draco glared at her as he held his arms out to the sides so she could look him over. “Whaat? I'm ready!”
Harry snorted in amusement and kissed Hermione on the cheek. “I'm ready too.”
She looked them over for a moment, and then nodded in approval. “Good!” She grabbed an arm from each of them and dragged them to the parlor where Luna was finishing up the cozy atmosphere.
“I think this will do nicely,” Luna announced in satisfaction. Aside from the two or three strange items no one could identify, everyone had to agree.
Before Draco could grumble too much, Ron called out from just inside the door to the house. “We're here!” For today only, the fidelius charm had been adjusted to allow a stranger through the wards. Even so, they didn't actually want information about Harry's home getting out, so the man was blindfolded until he was in the parlor.
It was literally this man's lucky day! He was the one reporter that Harry felt tried to report the news honestly and reliably, and he had a fairly good reputation. He was funny and engaging and had a loyal following of fans. All in all, he was loads better than Rita Skeeter.
Thus, he was being given the opportunity of a lifetime. Something that could launch his career into the stratosphere! An exclusive interview with Harry Potter mere months after Harry had left Hogwarts and only a little more than a year after winning the war.
“Randy,” Harry greeted him with a friendly smile, his hand outstretched.
Randy looked exactly like a kid on Christmas morning. He shook Harry's hand enthusiastically. His sharp yet merry eyes took in Harry's appearance for a moment before looking around the entire room.
“I didn't actually believe this interview was real until just now,” Randy admitted. He was clearly shocked to see Harry with a large baby bump, but he didn't comment on it.
Harry answered his unspoken question anyway. “I had Ron and Hermione contact you to arrange an exclusive interview because I have big news to share, and I want it done right. Thank you for meeting with us.”
“Us?” Randy asked, taking another good look around at all the people watching him.
“Yep,” Harry confirmed. “First, I am going to tell you our story, and then you can ask questions. After that, you can take a few pictures to accompany the article in the Daily Prophet.”
“Sounds like a plan to me!” Randy agreed easily. “Would you like us to sit down?”
Harry nodded, taking the seat Luna had arranged for him. It was on a cozy loveseat with just enough room for two pregnant men. Placed around him were other comfortable chairs so that four women sat on either side of him. Not directly around him – but still sitting in the room – were two more chairs; one for Ron, and the other for Andromeda Tonks (née Black).
Before they could begin, the pleasantries must be seen to. Andromeda offered and then poured tea for everyone. Harry took a few sips, and then held his mug in his hands as he smiled at the reporter. Randy also took a few sips, and then gave Harry an attentive look.
“I'm all ears,” Randy promised with a small laugh. “And I'm going to use my automatic quill to write down everything you say. I assure you that it writes exactly what is said, and is really for my reference only. I will write the actual article later based on the interview.”
Harry nodded in permission. In the past, Rita had used a similar quill, but hers had a tendency to write poetic nonsense that Harry never said. He wasn't necessarily comfortable with the auto quill, but he decided to trust the man since he was considered fairly honest in general.
“To begin, I'm sure it must be pointed out that I'm sitting next to the bloke who was my rival throughout school,” Harry said, giving Draco a tiny smile. “Even in 8th year, we didn't get along, but we at least tried since the 8th years shared a common room, bathroom, and our dorm rooms were right next to each other.”
Harry paused to take a sip of tea, and Draco stared off into space as if he was completely disinterested in the story.
“One day, my best friend, plus the girl I tried dating for a while during the war, and well, everyone you see here,” Harry said as he gestured around him. “Almost all 8th years from all four of the houses, well anyway, we discovered a place that locked us up for the night, giving us all both fertility potions and lust potions.”
Randy sat up a bit straighter, intrigued. Before he could ask anything, Harry held up a hand to prevent him.
“We all decided that it wouldn't be wise to give out too many details concerning that. Sorry,” Harry said with a tone that let the reporter know that he wasn't really all that sorry. “Suffice it to say that the lust potion was powerful, and the fertility potion worked exactly as it was supposed to.”
“Suffice?” Draco questioned, looking askance at Harry. “Did Hermione write a speech for you or something?”
“I know what suffice means!” Harry protested with a little glare.
“And Harry wouldn't let me write a speech for him!” Hermione added.
“It comes across more naturally this way,” Luna murmured with a soft smile. “Though I still think that we should have run the story in the Quibbler.”
“Luna,” Pansy muttered dryly. “We want people to believe this story!”
“Why wouldn't they believe the Quibbler?” Luna wondered, sounding like she honestly didn't know the answer.
“Because dear,” Pansy drawled snootily. “Your magazine has a habit of reporting on things that do not exist.”
“Everything we report is 100 percent factual,” Luna insisted. “And besides, you may recall that we ran the exclusive on Harry Potter back in 4th or 5th year, and people believed it then.”
Harry reached out and took hold of Luna's hand. “I'll have Hermione write up a piece for you to run in the Quibbler. Something smaller and more personal – like a letter.”
“Oh!” Hermione gasped excitedly. “I have the perfect idea!” She then looked at Randy and stopped abruptly. “But we'll talk about that later.”
Harry smiled at Randy, who was watching everything with an amused grin.
“As I was saying, due to a combination of fertility and lust potions, the ten of us are now pregnant. Again, details not so important – and probably not suitable for a general audience anyway. All you really need to know is that I am unquestionably the father to all of the babies. That means that everyone sitting here with me is carrying my child,” Harry stated, driving the point home by saying it more than one way.
Randy seemed shocked – even more so than when he had looked at Harry and noticed the baby bump in the first place. “So... You're having ten babies all in one go?!”
Harry laughed, looked away, and scratched the back of his neck. “Well actually...”
Hermione giggled with a mischievous smirk. “He's having 12!”
Harry nodded. “Hermione and I both had two of the fertility potions, and so we're carrying twins.”
“Oh my...” Randy murmured when he found he had nothing to say. “Twelve...”
Harry laughed again. “Imagine being in my shoes!”
This made everyone in the room laugh.
“Are you then implying that you are dating all of the lovely ladies in this room?”
“Nope!” Harry denied, shaking his head. “Actually, I'm in a very serious relationship with Draco.” He took hold of Draco's hand, and Draco unsuccessfully tried to stifle a blush.
“So wait,” Randy had to wrap his mind around this. “You – Harry Potter – are in a serious relationship with former death eater Draco Malfoy?!”
“Yes,” Harry confirmed with a somewhat hard expression. “And will you please not put the whole death eater nonsense in the article?”
Draco squeezed his hand. “I don't mind if he mentions it, so long as he doesn't focus on it and make a big deal out of it. It's true after all, and it doesn't make sense for us to be in a relationship.”
Harry gave Draco a loving yet concerned look. “Are you sure?”
“Very,” Draco stated with a firm smile.
Pansy laughed. “I'm not sure which would make a bigger scandal: Harry dating 8 women at the same time – each having his baby – or Harry dating Draco Malfoy. Whose also having his baby.”
Harry chuckled and turned his head to look at Pansy. “Actually, Pans, I'm rather hoping that the biggest scandal will be the fact that I am carrying twins for Draco!”
“How is that going to work?” Padma asked curiously, speaking up for the first time since the interview started. “Is his baby going to be named Potter, and your two named Malfoy? Or all Potter? All Malfoy?”
Harry looked at her. “Just as I said when I talked to all of you, I really want all the babies to have Potter in their name. So, if you agree, yours would be Patil-Potter. Mine will be Malfoy-Potter.”
“And mine will be Potter-Malfoy since he will be my heir,” Draco added, also looking over at Padma. He gave her a smile – which was rather rare as Draco liked to save all his smiles – or at least most of them – for Harry.
“Yeah, I agreed to Patil-Potter,” Padma stated, also smiling.
Hermione waved at Padma to get her attention. “And I agreed to just Potter since I plan to marry Ron and become a Weasley at some point. It would be sort of weird for my child to be Granger-Potter while I'm a Weasley.”
“You could always go with Weasley-Potter like I am,” Ginny suggested.
“Oh Merlin's saggy balls!” Pansy blurted out. “I just realized that I more or less agreed to Parkinson-Potter!”
Draco laughed. “That is rather a mouthful!”
“We could just name them all Potter,” Luna suggested. “It rather avoids complications. Such as Lovegood-Potter... Lovegood-Potter,” she repeated slowly.
Ginny smirked at that, sniggering softly. “Love. Good. Potter.”
“Love Potter good,” Susan muttered, catching onto the joke.
“Love Potter really good!” Ginny burst out, laughing into her arm. Susan was laughing outright too, but the rest were merely giggling. The giggles carried them all away for a good minute before they calmed down again.
“That's rather how we got into this mess,” Harry stated with a grin. Of course, this renewed all their giggling.
When finally they all calmed down again, Parvati sat up straight since she had something to say. “Maybe Luna's right. Maybe it is rather silly to give our babies two last names and we should all just pick Potter. One cohesive family name.”
“That's all well and good,” Draco sneered with an expression like he was smelling something foul. “Until they all go to Hogwarts and are sorted into their houses, have double potions, and the Professor snaps: Potter! Tell me which potion can send you into such a deep sleep that you appear dead! And half the class looks at each other in confusion as to which Potter the Professor is referring to.”
Pansy lost it again, this time laughing so hard that she found it hard to breathe and started coughing. “Imagine... Snape!” She manage to choke out.
“Snape teaching a class with 12 Potters!” Hannah gasped out before covering her mouth with a hand. She then whispered: “Oh... he must be spinning in his grave...”
Draco snorted. “Maybe we should take a family photo after the babies are all born and send it to McGonagal so that she can show it off to all the portraits!”
Harry threw his head back and roared with laughter. “Ah! I want to be there to see the look on Snape's face when he sees it!”
Ron spoke up from where he was sitting in the corner. “I'm actually still trying to picture McGonagal – or whoever actually conducts the sorting 11 years from now – holding up the list and reading off names, and they're all Potter!”
“Surely not more than half!” Hermione gasped, a bit scandalized by the thought. “I know that the student population varies, but there were approximately 40 students in our year!”
“Imagine if they're all sorted into Gryffindor!” Ginny called out, sounding excited beyond belief.
Draco looked a bit ill. “All except for my Slytherin – thank you very much!”
The rest of them were laughing.
“No!” Susan cried out, holding her sides in an attempt to soothe the ache of laughing too hard. “They really are all sorted into Gryffindor, and thus the entire Gryffindor class for their year is nothing but Potters!”
“The Professor!” Hannah gasped, leaning on the arm of her chair and reaching out to hold Susan's hand as she tried to stop laughing. “Taking roll call! Potter. Potter. Potter.”
“We should totally do it!” Parvati cried out a bit maniacally.
“Oh! Oh! What if they all have wild black hair, green eyes, and look exactly alike!” Susan burst out.
“Hogwarts won't know what hit it!” Hermione sniggered.
“Especially if they all have their father's careless disregard for the rules,” Draco added with a sneer, although his eyes were twinkling and he was chuckling along with everyone else.
This sobered Hermione up instantly as she pressed the fingers of her hands into her temples and looked at the floor. “Oh God! My children are going to be rule breakers!”
“Cheer up, 'Mione,” Harry encouraged, looking over at her. “They'll probably take after you.”
“That could be worse, actually,” Padma pointed out. “Having Harry's sense of adventure and disregard for the rules, and Hermione's sheer genius – or mine, for that matter. They'd have everything planned out so that they never got caught.”
“Merlin's hairy chest!” Ron swore in awe. “They could break into Gringott's and get away with it!”
“Didn't we already do that?” Harry asked.
Hermione gasped and ground out: “Harry!”
“Er, right!” Harry stated with a nervous gulp. “I keep forgetting, that was just a dream brought on by my over active imagination.”
Draco was giving him a strange look. Harry couldn't decide if it was disbelieving or impressed. Draco wasn't the only one looking at him strangely, and the laughter was dying down. Harry firmly looked to the ceiling.
“Er... aren't we supposed to be having an interview?” Harry asked.
Randy had been having so much fun just listening in that he hadn't spoken up in quite a while. Now he decided that it would be prudent to change the subject.
“Harry, you seem to get along pretty well with all the mothers and father of your children; do you think this will continue as your children grow up?”
Harry smiled and looked around. “I hope so. I'd like to think so. I'm pretty sure I consider each and every one of them good friends by this point. We're all going on seven months along, and so naturally, we've been busy getting the house ready for the babies. Each baby will sleep with his or her mother, but the entire house needs to be baby proofed at some point.”
“Oh Merlin's scrawny arse,” Draco muttered and put his hand over his forehead. “I just realized that means that we're going to have three babies in our room with us! How are we going to fit five people in one room?!”
Harry shrugged. “So we Tardis our bedroom, no big deal.”
“What does that even mean?” Draco asked in confusion.
“Bigger on the inside,” Harry answered as if this explained everything.
Hermione took a bit of pity on Draco. “He means that we'll use a few extension charms on your room to make it a bit roomier than it usually is.”
“Well that's not fair!” Pansy growled grumpily. “They've already got the biggest room in the house!”
“It's my house,” Harry reminded her with a mildly evil grin. “Besides, who said you couldn't do it too?”
“God you're such a smug bastard,” Pansy grumbled.
“Oh! Sounds like it's time for some food!” Harry interjected. “Before Pansy looses her sanity and goes on a killing spree!”
“Yeah, I'd kill for a snack right about now,” Hermione stated in agreement.”
“Wow Hermione,” Draco drawled a bit snidely. “You've been plotting murder all day. Should we all wear Protegos and stick together so that you can't pick us off one at a time?”
“Oh heavens no!” Hermione assured him. “If I wanted you dead, I'd do it while you were sleeping!”
Draco gaped a bit and unconsciously scooted closer to Harry. Harry put his arm around Draco and pulled Draco's head onto his shoulder. Draco snuggled even as he kept a wary eye on Hermione.
“Don't worry, I'll protect you,” Harry murmured soothingly.
Ron snorted. “Mate! I think not even you could stop Hermione if she were determined enough!”
“Damn!” Pansy exclaimed in appreciation. “That's so Slytherin it's sexy!” She leaned over and gave Hermione a kiss on the cheek. Hermione looked inordinately proud of herself.
“I disagree,” Luna purred softly. “I think it's rather Ravenclaw to kill someone in their sleep. It's the smart thing to do so that they don't fight back. The Slytherin way to kill someone would be to have them drink poison and think it was their own idea. Whereas a Hufflepuff would probably give them a pleasant tour of the back garden, hit them over the head with a shovel, and then bury them before anyone knew they were missing.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, except for Susan, who muttered: “Actually, they'd feed them to a carnivorous plant,” and then Harry couldn't help himself. He just had to ask: “Er... And how would a Gryffindor do it?”
“In a duel, of course,” Luna stated, and this actually made a lot of sense, so most everyone nodded in agreement.
After that, they ate the sandwiches that Andromeda had Kreacher bring them. Then they answered a few more questions from Randy, such as: “Not that I think you'd make this up, but how can I verify that you're telling the truth?”
“About the which part?” Harry wondered curiously. “Because if all you need to verify is that I am in fact pregnant – and thus so are we all – you can talk with Andromeda. She's sort of the closest thing I have to a grandmother, and she's also our live in family Healer. She's monitoring all our pregnancies and can confirm that we are actually pregnant. She has permission to give you a few details about my pregnancy if you need it, but the rest are confidential.”
“I see,” Randy murmured with a smile. He then moved onto photographs, getting a lot of pictures that he promised to send them whether they appeared in the Prophet or not. After that, he left via the floo so that he wouldn't see where he was leaving.
At the end of the long and inexplicably exhausting day, Draco and Harry crawled into bed and snuggled up to each other.
“I suppose that could have gone worse,” Draco said with a sigh.
“I think it went rather well,” Harry observed with a smile. “I had fun.”
Draco shrugged, unwilling to confirm or deny the possibility that he'd had fun. “So... do you think we should tell my parents before or after they read about it in the paper?”
Harry sat up abruptly with a gasp of horror. “Merlin's wrinkly old prick! We're going to have to talk to your parents!”
Draco tugged Harry back into his arms. “Yes, well, we can wait to do that until at least tomorrow. I don't think I could be civil to them with as tired as I am right now.”
“Draco... they're going to kill me, aren't they?” Harry whispered in dismay.
“Don't worry,” Draco murmured soothingly, rubbing a hand up and down Harry's arm. “I'll protect you.”
Harry smiled at him for a moment. “Good!”
They snogged until they fell asleep – for once, too tired to get hot and heavy. As Harry drifted off, he vowed to make up for it in the morning.
Go To Part 4
Go To Part 4