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Hadrian called Neville after they arrived home on Monday. "Hey Hadrian, I thought you were to have the babies today?" Neville greeted him.
"They came a little early, we've just arrived home from the hospital. Two healthy baby wizards Liam Sebastian Black-McGee and Archer Finley Black-McGee, born on Saturday," Hadrian replied.
"Congratulations! And how are you feeling?" Neville asked.
"Tired, but surprisingly well," Hadrian said smiling.
"Malfoy asked me to let him know what happened with the birth," Neville said.
"Yes, he saw my stomach and I told him I was booked for caesarean on Monday. Feel free to tell him about Liam and Archer," Hadrian said agreeably.
"Can I show him the pictures you sent me?" Neville asked.
"The one's of the babies," Hadrian agreed. "We were talking about accidental magic and I told him that Daisy is already using it so I don't want to upset him by showing him how young she is."
"I'm afraid I might already have told him that Rosie and Daisy were doing controlled accidental magic before they were old enough to understand the words 'no' or 'stop'. He wasn't all that upset, it's the sort of thing people expect of your children," Neville said, almost wincing at the reminder that the British wizarding world expected his children to be as magically powerful as Hadrian was.
Harry sighed at the weight of the expectations, it was one of the reasons he was glad his children would not be going to Hogwarts. "Show him all the photos then."
"Malfoy also asked me to help him purchase and learn to use a cell phone, he wants to be able to stay in touch with you. Or maybe he just wants to be able to talk to you without being monitored," Neville said.
"You'll need to get one from one of the magical shopping districts outside of Britain, a muggle cell phone won't survive long around magic. Tim or I can take you next time you visit," Hadrian replied.
"You're okay with me giving him a way to contact you whenever he wants?" Neville asked.
"Sure, it's not like he can harm me via cell phone. The only issue will be I'll have to tell him what time zone I'm in so he doesn't try to call at 3 am," Harry replied, not telling him that his phone had a recording feature that he used for work and he would also be using for all Malfoys calls until the man had proved himself trustworthy.
Tim had been given two weeks of paternity leave and had taken another two weeks of his annual leave to have a month at home while they adjusted to the twin's routines, or as with most younger siblings, encouraged the twins to fit in around the established routines of the rest of the family. This time at least he had been able to book his leave and hand over their current cases to the TAD ahead of time since the babies were due to come home from hospital on the day the caesarean had been booked. Ned Dorneget had laughed as Tim met him first thing Monday morning and gratefully handed over their current case at being the one to TAD for him yet again having just returned from six months as Agent Afloat and having a short break before moving on to a team at the Pentagon.
The others crowded around as they came in congratulating Tim on the safe arrival of the twins and oohing and aahing over the photos. Ziva and Tony had both bought baby gifts which they forbid Tim from opening until Hadrian was with him. Gibbs didn't have a gift which didn't surprise Ned but he was shocked when after Ducky and Jimmy both came up to congratulate Tim and made plans to visit with their gifts during the week, Tim invited Gibbs for dinner one night as well.
"Two boys, does that mean these two will be the last little McGoos?" Tony asked.
"We've decided since there are two of them that we won't decide whether we want to have another baby before they turn three and have both been sleeping through the night for a least a year, but yes with the twins Hadrian has now met his need for heirs to reseparate all the family lines he inherited like he wanted, so we will only have more if we're crazy enough to miss having a baby in the house," Tim replied, making Gibbs and the other fathers in the room chuckle sympathetically.
"Does that mean if he has another child they wouldn't inherit a title?" Tony said. "I thought all titles went to the first born, or to the first born son if the line is patriarchal?"
"Some do and Archer is Hadrian's first born son," Tim reminded him.
"Surely five is a lot of children, especially in America?" Ziva asked.
"Yes, five is more than most people will have, especially in a first world country where infant mortality is low and the country is not at war. But Hadrian and I love the children and we could easily afford another one and we have plenty of room and lots of help so it's not like the two of us are trying to do it on our own," Tim replied. "It's too soon to know what we'll want to do in future. We will wait and see what we feel when the time comes."
"Breena and I would have a house full as well if we had as much support as Tim and Hadrian, though Breena would want to adopt most of them, I don't think she'd want to be pregnant more than once or twice," Jimmy said.
"I can't say I blame her, we definitely wouldn't have five if I was the one falling pregnant," Tim agreed wholeheartedly.
"I too would not be willing to have five pregnancies," Ziva said. "Perhaps you are lucky you're not married to a woman if you want more children."
Knowing that Ziva and the others believed that they'd used a surrogate and this was not a slur on his husband allowed Tim to let the comment pass. It was true he was glad to have the twins join their family but it had been Hadrian's decision, he would have supported him if he decided he didn't want another pregnancy and helped investigate ways to use a surrogate to have a child with Hadrian's DNA if he wanted to go that route. He still would if that's what Hadrian wanted in three years' time, even though there wasn't any pressure from the British government for them to have more children now that Hadrian had a biological son or he would happily accept that the five children he had now were enough for a perfect family if Hadrian didn't want to go through the night feeding and toilet training and trying to teach a toddler responsible use of magic and not to use it around nonmagicals.
"Your husband must be a saint, putting up with the hours you work with five children at home to look after on his own most of the time," Balboa said.
"He works as many hours as I do and travels a lot more too, when he's not on leave. Thankfully he's still actually employed by the Brits so he gets their paternity leave entitlement and can afford to take it, so he has the next six months off. We hire a very good nanny, and my mother is staying to help out for a while. But that is why I have the next month off to help out, so if there's nothing else Ned needs me to bring him up to date on, I'm going to go and start my leave by bringing Hadrian, Liam and Archer home from the hospital," Tim replied getting up.
"Your husband is a saint! Five kids and his mother-in-law," Balboa's SFA said fervently. The rest of the agents laughed but you could feel they were agreeing with the SFA.
"That's everything Tim. Don't worry about work, I'll look after your team." Ned replied.
"A month off!" Tony protested. "Boss you can't let him take a whole month."
"I already approved it. He's needed at home more than we need him. Good luck Tim. Call me if you need anything I can help with," Gibbs said, head-slapping Tony.
"Yes indeed, do not hesitate to call if you want help with the wee ones Timothy," Ducky agreed.
"I too am just a telephone away," Ziva added.
"Thanks Guys," Tim said smiling, knowing that they all meant their offers. Tony would be there for him too if he needed him just not for help with the babies since he had admitted that newborns frightened the life out of him.
"Hadrian had twin baby boys. Liam Sebastian and Archer Finley Potter-Black-Slytherin, well probably a few other surnames as well but they'll use Black-Slytherin formally in our world and probably Potter-McGee or Black-McGee in everyday life. They're all well, the twins are a bit small but the healer is happy with their size and development," Neville told Malfoy when he saw him the next day. He was amused that Malfoy had made sure he was in the ministry foyer as he came to work each day since their last conversation. Anyone would think that he'd actually been concerned for Hadrian and the babies.
"That's great news, congratulate him for me," Draco said.
"Write and congratulate him yourself, his account manager will forward anything that isn't hexed," Neville replied.
"Which one is the first born?" Draco asked.
"Hadrian didn't say," Neville said sounding surprised as he realised the fact.
"Why'd he suddenly start calling himself Hadrian?" Draco asked curiously. "Don't you find it a bit odd to be calling him that?"
"The sad truth is that until he came of age, he didn't know his full name was Hadrian instead of Harry, he was happy to be called Harry by then but when he left the country, he wanted a fresh start and thought that a new name would help. Not to mention that the press haven't picked up on it so anybody overhearing us won't notice that we're talking about him," Neville explained.
"Makes sense but what do you call him when it's just the two of you?" Draco asked.
"Hadrian, it makes it easier not to slip up and I've started thinking of him as Hadrian, he's not much like the person he was at Hogwarts. Between the love and loyalty potions and the fighting for his life I have to wonder how much of what we saw back then was his real personality and how much was just an orphan desperately trying to survive on his own," Neville said.
"You're right he was different, the Potter I met the other day was far more Slytherin than hot-headed Gryffindor," Draco agreed. "How long do you think the Weaselette was feeding him love potions?"
"Since sixth year at least, he'd never have gone out with her without them, and honestly sometimes I wonder about his friendship with Ron was influenced by a loyalty potion, definitely after they resumed their friendship in fourth year and maybe before that too. Ron was a hot-head and Harry hates arguing. He'd actively avoid making friends with someone like that now," Neville said, hoping he wasn't admitting too much.
"Are they still friends?" Draco asked.
"Yes, though they aren't as close as they used to be and I think it's more due to loyalty and the fact that Ron's Hermione's husband than anything on Hadrian's part. It took time for Ron to see that ending his engagement to Ginny wasn't a slight against him, and how crazy and manipulative Ginny was in the whole thing," Neville replied.
"Did you ask Harry… Hadrian about assisting me to purchase a phony thing? Will he take my calls?" Draco asked.
"A mobile phone? Hadrian said that you'd have to buy a phone with a magically hardened case to protect the electronics inside so it doesn't burn out if you cast magic too close to it, or accidently forget you're not supposed to summon it. They're not available in Britain so he's going to send me one to set up for you next time he goes into the magical shopping district near their home but it might be a few weeks," Neville replied.
"That's understandable, if he just gave birth," Draco agreed. "I take it that means he will take my calls."
"Of course he will, he wouldn't bother giving you a means of communicating with him if he didn't intend to let you use it but he is in a different time zone. He's approximately six to eight hours behind us, so if you call him in the morning he'd get the call in the middle of the night. I try to call late afternoon or evening. That will change when he goes back to work, when he's working he can be all over the world so I send him a message to call me and he calls back at a time that's convenient for him and during time he knows I'm likely to be awake," Neville tried to explain.
Draco had never been further from home than France or Rome so he understood the concept of time zones though he was shocked that Harry lived so very far away from England.
"Did it hurt him to come all this way so late in his pregnancy?" he blurted.
"It didn't, though it certainly wasn't easy for him. In fact, we did speculate that that was the reason a no proxies allowed meeting was called at that time but we couldn't work out who would have a motive to harm Hadrian and the babies and also the insider knowledge to know that Hadrian was pregnant and when they were due," Neville admitted, not telling him how Hadrian had used his elves to get around the travelling restrictions.
"I don't know who scheduled the meeting like that, I had nothing to do with it, nor did I know anything about Harry bearing his own children. Have you also considered that it could have been a plan to get Harry away from his wife so she could be kidnapped?" Draco said earnestly.
"Hadrian knows that, he said that your surprise when you saw him stand up without his glamour on was very obvious and not at all Slytherin," Neville said grinning.
"But we spoke on the screen thing early in the afternoon?" Draco said.
"Yes, it was very early in the morning there, Hadrian had to get up specifically to speak with you but we had to choose a time the room was available rather than a time that suited him, being able to telephone him will be more convenient," Neville replied. "It wasn't a huge effort for him to be up early because he would have spent most of the day resting anyway and he needed to get up every couple of hours and move about a bit."
"I can't imagine being the one to carry a baby. It was hard enough watching Astoria go through it," Draco said.
"Me either but Hadrian said he'd rather go through it than watch Tim suffer like that. He always was a self-sacrificing bastard, and he said it isn't too bad with one baby. Though he did find it a bit astonishing that Mrs Weasley kept going after having Fred and George, when she didn't have a quarter as much help as Hadrian and Tim have," Neville admitted.
"Pity she did," Draco snarked.
Having the elves at home would have made it easier for them not to have to drag the twins around in the pram for school drop offs and pick ups and Daisy's playgroup and toddler gym but Tim and Hadrian also wanted to show the babies off and have them be accepted by their friends as new additions to the family, especially important since none of the nonmagical neighbours had seen Hadrian's pregnancy and of course nobody had met their 'non-existent' surrogate. Everyone was pleased for them and welcomed the twins though several expressed surprise that they had gone back for more children after the three they already had.
"I'm glad I don't live in a house like yours if having the extra room available makes you want to have more children to fill it up," one of the mother's at playgroup said laughing.
"You're lucky it was only twins, a cousin of mine went back for a fourth child through IVF and ended up with quads," one of the other mother's teased them.
"Four at once would be a real challenge but two isn't much busier than one, in some ways it's easier. They are content to be in their pram or bassinette so long as they can see each other unlike the girls who wanted to be either held or talked to every minute they were awake at this age," Hadrian said laughing.
"You wait until they start walking and are running off into danger in opposite directions," the mother of older twins said ruefully.
"Has having two more babies in the house convinced your mother-in-law to go home yet?" the first mother asked.
"No, but I'm not eager to have Heather leave, we get along well and we have more than enough space that she can stay with us without being woken by the babies or intruding on what little private time Tim and I manage to get when all five of them are asleep. She's staying to help until we get a routine established and for the first few weeks that Tim is back at work and then she's going to move into her new house nearby that she's just finished renovating," Hadrian replied.
"You're going to have to give your nanny a pay rise, with two extra babies and one less adult in the house to help," one of the other mother's said.
Tim laughed, Barbara was already much better paid than most of them would expect and since Tollie was training a second nanny elf her duties wouldn't increase much.
"She'd still be worth every penny," Hadrian replied smiling cheerfully.
"I'm sure she's worth her weight in gold, I just wish I could afford one like her," another mother laughed ruefully.
"Yeah, though even with the huge house and all the help, I wouldn't want five kids, or my mother-in-law moving in for months," the first mother stated.
"Did you end up asking Draco if he meant the vow he made to include all children not just his own?" Neville asked curiously, when he and Hadrian met up in London two months later. They'd spoken regularly but this was the first opportunity they really had to just chat without being interrupted.
"No, I'm not planning to. If he didn't mean it then I didn't want him to know he made a mistake and warn other people about it," Hadrian said. "I'm sure someone will eventually realise that they're not just vowing not to kill their own children but the more people that vow before someone tells everyone the safer the wizarding world will be."
"You think he would warn people?" Neville said frowning.
"I think he's trying really hard to turn over a new leaf and appear to be a good man. I know he loves his son and wants what is best for him but I don't know how much of the political agenda he's supporting is because he truly believes in equality and how much is just expedient. He may not be in contact with them publicly, but he did have friends at Hogwarts that are now very dark wizards and it would only take a careless comment in the wrong ears to halt the vows."
"You want him to have chosen that wording deliberately?" Neville realised.
"I think I do. I vouched for him and his mother at the trials after the war because I always believed he was following Voldemort out of fear rather than believing in the cause once he was old enough to think for himself. His mother used her freedom to have me attacked, though she did it because she is insane, I don't want to be wrong about Draco too," Hadrian said honestly.
Neville nodded understandingly and was quiet for a moment, hoping Harry wouldn't be disappointed in his faith in his old school rival. He'd always been curiously invested in what Malfoy was up to.
"Well, whether Malfoy intended it the way he said it or not the vow was printed in all the newspapers exactly how it was made and a lot of the general public have made it as is and nobody seems to have noticed the issue or if someone has they haven't had a problem with it. Minerva reported that almost all the fifth, sixth and seventh years stood up in the great hall and vowed, she had to prevent the younger children, and Robbards reported that all of the Aurors except those who've been on holiday since the wizengamot meeting have made the vow and a lot of the other departments are keeping record of those who have and haven't. Anyone trying to build up a following as a dark lord is going to find themselves leading a band of squibs as soon as they start attacking families or places children may be," Neville said with satisfaction.
"Let's hope it takes them a while to work out what their followers are doing wrong because they're going to come after the ministry and the Wizengamot with everything they have when they do realise," Hadrian replied. "And pray god he's taken the vow himself and cannot recruit children to carry out his attacks. The Aurors would be hesitant to fight them."
"If the Aurors aren't capable of subduing a group of children without risk of killing them then they deserve to be turned into squibs," Tim commented.
Hadrian laughed. "I need to get home and back to my normal job, my rational thinking skills are atrophying dealing with Wizengamot business too long."
"Oi!" Neville protested laughing.
"It's probably lack of unbroken sleep," Tim replied.
"That too," Hadrian agreed tiredly. They'd used the time turner to visit Britain and complete Hadrian's business while getting some rest from the children, but this was the first day of their visit so they hadn't caught up on their sleep yet. It was also the first time they hadn't made love as soon as Healer Roberts gave Hadrian the all clear and he was more than a little concerned about it. It was taking him slightly longer to lose the excess weight so even though the potions had taken care of tightening the stretched skin and muscles he was still feeling a little flabby and self-conscious. Tim seeming to not even notice that six weeks and the appointment circled on the calendar had past was not helping. In Tim's defence they seemed to have caught major case after case since he returned from leave, no missing children or emotionally taxing cases but all cases that depended heavily on his computer search and hacking skills to solve. He'd learned his lesson about not neglecting his family and his own health though and he came home each evening to have dinner with his family and help with the bedroom routine before going into his study and connecting through to the NCIS mainframe to continue working, and used the time turner to get some sleep and attend school events when he needed to, but his focus had been on his work and he didn't realise how much time had passed until the day his mother told him that she was moving out as soon as they came back from their trip to England now that the twins were two months old and Hadrian was fully healed and able to do everything for the children without her help.
Misunderstanding why Tim looked so stricken she reassured him that she was only moving a short distance away and that he was always welcome in her house if he needed to talk, or if he just needed a place to be quiet and on his own. She reminded him that she wasn't abandoning the children either, that she and Hadrian had made plans to get together regularly.
Tim had a moment of panic thinking that something was wrong with Hadrian that his healer hadn't given him the all clear to resume having sex but realised that he wouldn't have told Heather that he was fully healed if he wasn't. Then he wondered why Hadrian hadn't told him that he was fully healed and started to worry that perhaps his husband didn't feel like having sex again yet and didn't know how to tell him. Or perhaps having five children wore him out too much to even think about anything other than sleeping at the end of the day and sex would become a special occasion and while on vacation thing for them for a while. If that was the case Tim was suddenly looking forward to going to London for the meetings and getting his husband alone in their London bedroom.
A/N: Thank you to all those who reviewed followed or favourited this story for your support.
Stay safe everyone.
A/N2: To anyone who followed my attempts to help readers avoid plagiarists in "Hermione's Plan was Written by.." I apologise for my neglect in keeping it up to date recently and I am sad to announce that it was removed by the administrators for being a list instead of a story. Ironic really since I started the list to help send readers who cared to the real authors because the administrators were so bloody slow to remove stolen stories.