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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.
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.”
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