Last Time

"We will come and see you again soon, Draco, but if you do need help, you know where we are."

Draco nodded and he saw her and Lucius from his home. They would be back tomorrow to see Harry and their grandson again, but for now, the boys needed a bit of peace and privacy.

Chapter One Hundred-Thirty-Nine – Coveting

Harry was jolted awake with a soft groan in the back of his throat, the sharp pain in his body ripping him from sleep even though he was so exhausted he couldn't even open his heavy eyelids. His mind was groggy, confused, and he couldn't remember what had happened to him. He whined softly in pain, which was building steadily. So much so that he could no longer ignore it. Why was he in so much pain? What had happened to him?

"Harry, it's Healer Grant, you're in the healing halls and I want you to know that you're safe and please, don't move."

Harry wondered why he was in the healing halls, his mind trying to work out what had happened to him. His memories cycled around a fight. His mates fighting. Him being gutted.

The pain was low. It felt like it had gone through to his very spine. To his legs. What had happened to him?

He tried to move, just the slightest jostle of his body as he tried to shift to a different position, and the pain flared to white hot agony and he held in a screech only because his throat was so dry that his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth. He could only croak and whimper.

"Harry, stay still please." Healer Grant told him more firmly. "If you can open your eyes then I can give you a pain potion."

Harry wanted that pain potion more than anything in that moment and he tried to peel open his heavy eyes, but he felt groggy and his eyelids were just too heavy. They fluttered uselessly, but didn't open. He had a brief memory of the taste of blood on his tongue. His mates' blood. He only needed to take their blood if he was very seriously injured…or when he gave birth.

His memories came crashing back into him and his eyes snapped open, his fingertips aching to form claws, even as he cringed at the too bright light and the searing pain that formed in his head, right behind his eyes.

"Baby!" He demanded, forcing the words from his swollen, hoarse throat. "Where baby?!"

"Harry, please stay still. Your baby is at home, with your mates. The baby is perfectly safe and healthy and well."

The adrenaline seeped out as quickly as it had come, leaving him feeling exhausted and writhing in agony. The pain was now stabbing; sharp and unrelenting. He gasped for breath, trying to breathe through the pain, but he wasn't able to get a breath. He was rapidly turning to blind panic, the pain taking over.

A large, cool hand was placed over his eyes, blotting out the bright light. Another hand pressed against his chest, holding him still. The pain muted a little, in the dark and forced to lay still.

"You managed to open your eyes, Harry. Can you take this for me?"

The hand was removed from his chest and Harry was allowed to peer out from under the hand over his eyes to see a pain potion was being offered to him, held close to his mouth. It was one of the very strong pain potions that he had become overly familiar with. Harry recognised it immediately as he'd had to take them before and he happily sipped on it as it was tilted against his lips, ignoring the vile taste as he knew exactly how it would blanket his mind from the pain his body was in and that was exactly what he needed now. It could have tasted like shit and he would have still swallowed every last drop.

"Baby?" He asked, his throat still sore and feeling swollen. The potion hadn't helped soothe his throat at all and now his tongue felt too heavy and too thick as well.

"The baby is at your home, Harry. Would you like one of your mates instead?"

"Want Nassa." Harry said, trying not to move, trying to trust that he was safe enough to keep his eyes closed so that the light didn't make his head pound.

"Finish that potion and I will send someone to get him. You can go home then."

Harry knocked back the last dregs of the potion in one go, feeling more awake, more alert with his Dracken in the back of his mind, railing him about his baby. They hadn't had any sort of chance to bond. He didn't know what his baby smelt like. His stomach flipped…he hadn't even gotten to lay his eyes on his baby. He didn't know what they looked like. He was going to be sick.

He fluttered in and out of awareness, knowing that Healer Grant was always there, always talking to him and that he was in good hands, but the pain potion had made him a little dozy.

"Harry, caru."

Harry blinked his eyes open at the familiar voice, prepared for the stabbing pain but it didn't come, which made him relax and open his eyes fully. He thought that he tried to smile, but his mouth felt wrong, felt off, making the smile a little goofy, but Nasta looked at him as if he were the most precious thing in the world.

"Nassa. Baby? Baby?"

"The baby is absolutely fine. Do you want to come home and meet him?"

"Yeah, want my baby, Nassa. Want home."

"Can he come home?" Nasta asked.

"Yeah." Harry answered, nodding.

A small chuckle sounded from his other side, but Harry couldn't control his body enough to look, he kept his eyes on his mate. "Yes, he can go home now that he's awake. We're going to give you some potions to take with you, just to keep Harry comfortable, as long as you can cushion him through the floo. I do not recommend apparating with him in this condition."

"Max is waiting at the other end, he'll be there to steady us." Nasta assured the healer.

"Nassa, want baby." Harry said softly, before his Dracken side took over. "Give me my baby!" He raged.

"We're going now, Harry." Nasta assured him, slipping his arm under Harry's knees and then lifting him with the other around his back.

Harry made a soft noise of protest as something twinged uncomfortably.

"Slowly, Nasta, please. Harry has taken a pain potion, but the damage is still there, under the surface and despite the potion, his pain will still make itself known if he's jostled overly much."

The steps were torturous to Harry, who appreciated that Nasta was going slowly, carefully, but he still felt something tugging. Something pulling. He didn't like the feeling at all.

Travelling through the floo was even worse and Harry barely held back a scream, his eyes squeezed closed tightly and hissing through his clenched teeth to try and control the wave of nausea and the stabbing pain that broke through the fog of the pain potion, even if just briefly.

"Hey, lover, I take it you're not feeling all that great?"

"Maxie, want baby." Harry said, forcing his eyes open, though his vision was blurred.

"We've got him here. He's perfectly safe and well-fed. Can we just get you settled first and then you can have him?"

"How long was…was I out?" Harry asked, clinging to Max as he was passed over the fire guard.

"You had the baby last night, Harry. He's not even seven hours old yet."

Harry breathed easier. The pit in his stomach eased a little, but it wouldn't leave completely until he saw his baby, held them, and integrated them fully into his brain.

He was carefully, gently placed onto the settee and it was soft and padded out. Harry smiled as he realised that his mates had made up a little bed for him again. It was very thoughtful and it helped take the pain away from his aching limbs and back.

"Baby, please." He said demandingly.

"Here he is, Harry."

Nasta sat beside him and Harry could see the tiny, wrapped lump he was holding. He didn't try to grab for the baby, despite desperately wanting to. He, instead, let Nasta place his baby on his chest and then he wrapped his rubbery arms around the baby, tipping his head down to inhale deeply, his Dracken side slipping through to ingrain that scent into his mind. Into the most primal part of him.

"We haven't used any soaps or anything on him." Nasta assured him. "If anything, he'll smell of home and milk."

"Milk." Harry said, smiling. "Means he's well-fed. I'm happy."

"Just take a moment with him, Harry."

"Mine." Harry said possessively, growling a little.

"He is." Max said soothingly. "Just take the time you need to assure yourself, and your Dracken, that the baby is perfectly fine."

Harry did as his mates told him, letting his wings slip out of his back and snuggling the baby up to his neck and letting the scent of the baby absorb into him. He stroked the soft, blonde hair and he smiled.

"Blonde." He said, giggling.

"He's blonde and Draco is so incredibly happy about it. He thought your black hair would override his own." Max said, smiling down at him, playing with Harry's hair.

"He's perfect." Harry said. "He's not…he's not hurt?"

"No, Harry. He's okay. He's been feeding well, sleeping well. He's a dream baby…especially after our Taren."

"Taren okay?"

"He's fine, all the kids are."


"Leolin is an exception." Nasta admitted softly. "You know that he only ever wants you, but he's sleeping currently. He's on track with his feeding and we haven't let him oversleep, like Dain and Kailen suggested."

Harry nodded, but it twinged something that didn't like being twinged and he grimaced.

"My baby." He whispered, smiling as a tiny face turned and searched for his neck. The baby recognised him too, either his voice or his scent, maybe both, but his baby knew him. Now he just needed to know his baby.


Harry blinked and looked up at the new voice. Blaise and Draco were in the room with him. He turned, looking for Max or Nasta, but Nasta had gone. Max was still sitting by his head.

"He's enjoying his nest." Max told the other two.

Harry blinked again, frowning as he looked around him and…yes, the little bed he was in was bowled at the sides like a bird's nest, not quite how he would have made it, how a Dracken would have made it, but it was a nest all the same. It was padded out and warm and it smelt like his mates…his family.

"My nest! My baby! Out! Out, now!" Harry demanded, his words coming out as a snarl.

Max gave him a questioning look, then smiled. "Of course, love. Come on you two, let's leave Harry and the baby for a bit. He doesn't need anything."

Harry wrapped his wings around himself and his baby tightly, hiding them both from view and Max gently pulled Blaise and Draco away to give Harry some privacy.

"Is he okay?" Draco asked quietly as they left the smaller living room. Max closed the door tightly behind him.

"He's fine, but he's reverted back to a feral state for a while. It likely won't last long, not with him still recovering, but his Dracken side wants to meet the baby too…and apparently, he doesn't want us there to see whatever ritual he does with his newborns."

"The baby will be okay, though?"

"Draco, we're not going to ever start questioning Harry as a mother, do you understand me?" Max told him seriously. "He would die for those kids."

"Of course not!" Draco replied, offended at the very thought. "I just meant that Harry doesn't have bottles or nappies."

"Oh, I'm sure he'll be out of his feral state by then…he'll need another pain potion before that baby needs a feed or a change."

"Harry did go feral?" Nasta asked as he bounced Taren on his knee.

"Just as you suspected, lover." Max told him. "He's taking a moment with our little boy and he wanted some privacy, so he ordered us out of the room."

Richard chuckled softly. "I knew that Harry ruled your mateship, but I didn't realise his Dracken also ruled the roost."

Max laughed. "Of course he rules everything, Dad. Did you honestly expect anything else?"

"You're all very indulgent of Harry." Myron said, but the way he said it indicated that he approved, instead of disapproved, that they let Harry rule them.

Richard yawned and leaned into his husband and mate. "It's so early. When will the kids be awake?"

"In half an hour or so. I'll go and check them again in a minute." Nasta said, checking the clock. "Taren and Leolin are the only ones who wake before six, and I suppose that's true of our newest little prince too."

"At least he had us up ready for Harry's homecoming." Blaise said, going back to his second coffee of the morning.

"You can cut that out too." Nasta told him sternly.

"We have two babies under a year old, Nas, and eight others who are all over the place. I need something."

"Pace yourself a little and I won't cut you off completely." Nasta warned him.

Blaise rolled fond eyes as Nasta handed Taren to Max and left the room to peek in on Harry and then check on the other babies upstairs.

"You'll be on your feet soon, Taren." Max said, lifting the baby and tipping him forward so that he could kiss him.

Taren giggled and mouthed all over Max's face in a parody of a kiss, making him laugh.

"He's coming on so well." Richard praised.

Max hummed and pulled the baby to his chest, cradling him.

"He's eight months old now. He's getting so strong."

"I can't believe the size difference between him and the new baby. I thought Taren was tiny until I realised how well he'd been growing without notice." Myron said.

Taren started babbling and Max started babbling back and making the baby clap his hands together, which made Taren laugh.

"He's still tiny, just not as tiny." Blaise mused. "He's learning and growing so well."

"It helps that he was our biggest baby to date." Draco added. "He was a very good size."

"Hopefully, we can give Harry a nice rest now. Our newest little one was a surprise…Draco, but we can at least try to be more aware of fires, and the sun, and summer."

Draco rolled fond eyes. "Are we ever going to live that down?"

"That you had sex in front of the fireplace and didn't think it would result in pregnancy?" Blaise questioned. "No, you'll never hear the end of it. We'll still be reminding you of that in three hundred years."

"This way, Braiden." Nasta's voice called out from the kitchen.

"Is he awake again?" Blaise asked, looking on worriedly.

Nasta sighed and herded in Braiden, carrying Leolin.

"He's awake for good now." Nasta said, shaking his head. "Hopefully, after today, he'll settle back into his routine."

"No mummy?" Braiden asked, looking around the room, his purple eyes filling with tears.

"Come here, sweetheart." Richard said, standing and going to pick up Braiden.

"I want my mummy!" Braiden cried, trying to push away from Richard.

"Ma?" Leolin said questioningly, sleepily, looking around.

"They're both going to kick off now." Max sighed.

Both of them started crying, and Taren, who looked around in confusion, teared up and then joined them.

"This will bring Harry running." Myron warned…a moment before Harry stumbled into the room, eyes wild and the newborn clutched tightly to his neck.

"Babies. My babies."

Braiden clocked Harry's voice and turned blindly towards him.

"My mummy!" He called out through his sobs.

Harry snarled at Richard as he took Braiden from him.

"Harry, you're still healing." Max tried, only to get four fangs bared in his face. Harry tried to take Taren too, but his knees were threatening to go from under him.

"Harry, please, sit down." Nasta said over the crying, as Braiden latched his arms around Harry's neck, sobbing onto him.

Myron stood and he ignored the fangs hissing at him and he swept Harry gently off his feet and sat him on the settee.

"His claws are the biggest risk and he can't use them with his arms full." Myron said pointedly. "You need to react sometimes to keep him safe. He can't always be talked down, especially when he's feral, or semi-feral as he is in this case."

Max tucked Taren into Harry's side, sitting next to him to keep the baby upright, even as Draco worriedly took the newborn from Harry and Nasta replaced him with Leolin, who dug his fingernails into Harry's shirt, into his side, and tried to bite with his lone tooth.

"My babies." Harry cooed softly, wrapping his arms around them and smiling, much happier now that he had them in his arms.

"Mummy, where did you go?" Braiden asked, indigo eyes full of tears.

"I had new baby." Harry said slowly and stiltedly, as if he were thinking very, very hard about how to form words.

"This is your new brother, Braiden." Draco told him, kneeling down and showing him the tiny baby.

Braiden stared at the baby, then looked back at Harry.

"You not going away again?" Braiden asked.

"No. Baby here now." Harry assured him.

Braiden understood and he shuffled forward and he gave the new baby a gentle kiss before tucking himself back into Harry. Harry slipped his arm around Braiden and Leolin, holding them.

"Harry, how are you feeling?" Myron asked seriously.

"Sore. Pulling. Legs don't want work."

"You need to rest." Nasta told him. "Can you lay down for me? You can keep the boys with you, just lay down."

Harry nodded and Nasta helped Harry to lay down, with Leolin squashed against the back of the settee and into Harry's body and Braiden snuggled into Harry's other side. Leolin was still trying to claw and bite at Harry.

"Leolin, honey, don't do that to mummy." Nasta encouraged, distracting the faerie with his favourite light-up ball.

Leolin took the ball, but kept one hand gripped tight into Harry's pyjama top. This was a compromise they could accept, as Leolin wasn't putting Harry at risk of being injured, but he could still stay cuddled up to his beloved ma.

Harry did fall asleep, he couldn't stay awake and Braiden did, eventually, settle down and he shuffled off of the settee to go for his toys. He did keep looking back at Harry, though, just to make sure he was still there.

"Bop." Leolin called out, dropping the ball and turning to Harry, tugging at him. "Ma. Bop."

"Are you hungry, sweetie?" Max asked. "Do you want to come with me?"


"You want to stay with your ma?" Max asked. "Let me go and get your bottle then."

Leolin started fussing, clearly feeling the effects of his missed feeds while Harry had been out of the house, and Nasta knew he would gorge himself.

"Max, set up the big bottle. He's going to feed as much as possible now Harry is home."

"Already on it, lover." Max called back. "Is Taren getting fussy?"

"No. He's fed and content now." Nasta called back. "He'll need a nappy change soon. We'll let him play for a bit and then he should go down for a nap."

"Braiden, do you want juice?"

Braiden stopped playing and looked up as his name was called. He looked straight at Harry before considering Max's question.

"Yes, Daddy. The strawby one."

"Strawberry." Myron automatically corrected gently. "Strawberry, Braiden."

"Strawby berry." Braiden copied.

Richard chuckled.

"Strawberry." Myron encouraged.

"Granda, strawby berry!" Braiden insisted, standing and hurrying over to Myron.

"Strawberry. Say it, Braiden. Straw-berry."

"Straw berry." Braiden said, with a noticeable pause between the words.

"Oh, well done, sweetheart." Richard praised.

"Daddy, straw berry!" Braiden repeated.

"Well done, honey." Blaise praised. "You like the strawberry juice, don't you?"

"My fav'ite."

"Favourite." Myron corrected.


"That was close enough." Richard chuckled, bending to kiss Braiden. "He's coming on so well."

"We're really pleased with his progress." Draco said, smiling. "Our intelligent little boy."

"I'm clever." Braiden said, smiling.

"Oh, you most certainly are." Myron agreed. "Where are your shapes?"

Braiden stopped and started looking around for the shape sorter. Not seeing it, Braiden went right to the toy box in the corner and he went digging through it.

"Granda, here it is." Braiden said, hurrying back over with the shape sorter in his hands, the cube rattling softly as the wooden pieces were jostled inside.

"Pass it here." Myron said, taking the cube and then opening the hatch and tipping out the shapes. "Right, find me the square, Braiden."

Braiden shifted through the pieces. "Here it is!" Braiden called out, holding out the square piece.

"Good work. What colour is it?"

"Blue." Braiden said.

"Well done, sweetheart. Pop it in."

Myron held out the cube and Braiden slotted the piece into the right hole.

"Find me…the triangle."

Braiden loved this game and he happily sorted through the wooden shapes to find the triangle.

"Here it is, Granda!"

"Good job. What colour is it?"

"Green. I like green."

"Is green your favourite colour?"

"Yeah. Green my fav'ite."



"Braiden, here you are, honey." Max interrupted, carrying a cup into the room.

"Daddy, I'm playing shapes!" Braiden said, frowning.

"Okay, but have your juice too." Max said, bending a little to pass the cup down before taking the bottle to Leolin.

"If we prop the bottle on Harry's chest, Leolin might take more." Nasta said as he sorted the bottle how he meant, letting Leolin feed against Harry, without them there to distract their faerie baby, so it was like Harry was feeding him even though he was still asleep.

"Find me the circle, Braiden." Myron encouraged.

"This one is red." Braiden said unprompted as he showed Myron the circle piece.

"It is red, well done. Slot it in."

Max left the room and came back in with a tray of tea, handing out cups and mugs before he sat down, feeling better than he had in weeks, despite that he was still very tired, he was no longer quite as stressed as he had been. He settled back and just watched as his father played with Braiden, as Leolin fed on Harry, as Nasta played with Taren, and Blaise and Draco fussed over the new baby between them.

The slight peace they had slipped into wouldn't last as soon as the rest of the kids woke up, but for now…for now, everything was calm and it was exactly what he needed right now.

Harry woke sporadically, sometimes lucid and sometimes groggy, but it was when he woke with a cry, writhing suddenly, tears forming and falling, that they knew his pain potion had worn off.

Max leapt up to fetch a vial of the potion quickly, while Nasta tried to hold Harry down gently, soothing him.

"Harry, caru. You're at home, just lay still. Try to lay still for me."

"Hurts." Harry cried.

"I know, Max has gone to get you a potion, just wait one moment. Try to keep still."

Harry started crying hard, retching, and Nasta's eyes widened a little in panic before he calmed himself and he tried to support Harry as he rolled him onto his side, just in case.

"It's okay." Nasta soothed, trying to remain calm and convey a sense of calm to his mate as he writhed and cried and gagged on his own pain.

"Here." Max said, hurrying back, the potion in a glass, holding a straw, just in case. "Harry, drink this."

Harry's answer was a hard retch…if there had been anything in his stomach then Nasta was certain it would have come back out. He was glad that Leolin had fallen asleep and had been moved to a travel cot in the back of the room.

Max, as their first aider, took over, calm and confident in his own skills as he sat on the settee and then eased Harry against his own chest, sitting him up, supporting him.

"Harry, love, I need you to drink this. You'll feel better."

"No. No, drink. Don't want it."

"It's pain potion, Harry and you need to take it." Max said.

"Hurt, sick."

"This won't make you sick. Take a few sips, Harry. It'll make you feel better."


"Nasta, order him." Myron cut in as he tried to shield a worried Braiden from what was happening just across the room.

Nasta hated using his top dominancy bond to order his mates to do anything. He took a breath, pulling on his Dracken side.

"Harry, drink it." He ordered.

Harry was still crying, even as he let Max help him to drink the potion, their submissive spluttering and choking on it, gagging, but following the order and drinking it down.

The event was over as quickly as it started, as the potion worked almost immediately to soothe over the pain Harry was feeling, numbing him and settling him down. He was able to drink the rest of the potion more calmly, as his tears trailed off and his writhing stopped.

As soon as the potion was finished, Max took the glass from Harry and then laid him back down to take any pressure from his healing muscles.

"I'm sorry I had to order you to take it when you didn't want to, Harry." Nasta said softly, hunching down and kissing Harry's forehead…it was damp with sweat.

"Thank…thank you, Nassa." Harry said, trying to catch his breath, letting the potion work. "Was too…too gone to think properly. Needed it."

Nasta smiled softly and reached out to stroke gently over Harry's cheek, brushing the wet tear tracks away.

"I love you and I will always look after you."

"Mummy okay?" Braiden asked.

"I'm fine, sweetie." Harry called out and Nasta was impressed with how normal Harry had made his voice sound despite how terrible he looked. "Babies?"

"It's still early, but I'll go and see if any of them have woken up now." Nasta told him, standing up and heading out of the room to go and check on their sleeping children.

"New baby?"

"He's by here." Draco called out, standing and offering the baby to Harry, who gently patted his chest, showing where he wanted the baby to be placed.

Draco placed the newborn where Harry had indicated, letting Harry wrap his arms around the baby so that he could take a moment with him.

"Are you feeling better?" Richard asked him.

Harry hummed. "Hurts, potion makes it better, though still sore. Can feel it still, like it's at the edge of my brain."

"That's why you need to keep resting and lie still." Max encouraged. "You are still hurt underneath the effects of the potion. Though, I assume from your reaction, that you're not at all hungry or thirsty?"

"Not in the slightest." Harry said.

Max chuckled, bending to kiss Harry's forehead. "Okay, love. If there is anything you want, though, let us know."

Harry drifted a little. He woke sometimes to hear conversation. He could hear Braiden playing and Draco fussing over Taren, who had needed a nappy change. It was all very domestic. He loved it when everything was domestic.

"Tegan, not in that room." Nasta's voice cut through the peace. "This way, come on, sweetheart."

"Pengy." Tegan demanded.

"Pengy is in this room." Nasta assured her.

"No. I leave Pengy in that room, Daddy Nas!"

"Yes, and Daddy Blaise cleaned up after you went to bed and Pengy is now in this room."

Max chuckled as he heard Tegan huff.

Nasta came into the room carrying a sleepy Regan, Farren at his feet, and then, a moment later, Tegan came into the room.

"Mummy?" Regan asked softly, looking around the room as if he could spot Harry, but where he was lying, the back of the settee hid him from view of the doorway.

"Hi, Regan." Harry said gently, trying to look over to see his baby, but he couldn't see anything and the angle he'd turned his head in made him grimace and writhe a little in pain.

There was a lot of screeching as Harry's voice registered and Max took the newborn in anticipation as Farren and Tegan came running and Nasta appeared over the back of the settee with a struggling, kicking Regan.

"Be careful." Max said gently as he helped Farren and Tegan up onto the settee without jostling or hurting Harry. "Mummy is still very sore and we need to be gentle with him."

Harry hugged the kids and put a sloppy kiss on all of them, the pain potion making him a little dopey, slowing his reactions.

"We miss you, Mummy." Tegan told him.

"I know, love. I had to go and have the new baby. Your little brother." Harry indicated the baby that Max was holding.

Max tipped the baby forward a bit, so that the three kids could see.

"Hi, baby." Farren said softly, waving at the newborn.

"More brother?" Tegan demanded. "I want sisters."

"I know, sweetheart. I am trying." Harry chuckled sleepily. "No more for a while, though."

"Well, I'm not sure we can keep our hands off you for too long, lover." Max teased.

"Dad." Harry called out.

"What is it, son?" Myron asked him with a soft smile.

"Take Max home with you."

There was a round of laughter, particularly from Max and Richard and Nasta saw the small, pained smile on Harry's face.

"We'll keep our hands to ourselves." Nasta assured him.

Harry hummed, getting tired again…or rather, the tiredness he was feeling was getting overwhelming and was dragging him back to rest.

"Right, kids. Mummy needs his rest, so I want you on the floor to play. Daddy Max will get your breakfast on now."

"Mummy, kiss." Tegan said.

Harry gave a sleepy, rather goofy smile as he let Tegan come to him, giving her a kiss. Then Farren, then Regan, and the former kids, at least, slipped off to go and play. Regan was a little more clingy, but he was quiet and, most importantly, he was still.

Harry drifted back into sleep and Regan lasted only fifteen more minutes before the sound of his siblings' joy drew him in, allowing Nasta to gently cover Harry over with a blanket.

"I'll get breakfast started, the others should be waking up soon, so keep an eye on them."

"I'll go up and check on them now. Set up a bottle for Taren and our sweet boy while you're at it."

"Sure thing." Max agreed. "Anyone want tea or coffee?"

Nasta went back upstairs to check on the remaining children. He was surprised that Calix was sleeping as long as he was, but then, he had had a very late night.

He went into the room he shared with Farren and found him still sleeping, so he backed out of the room, letting him sleep. He went to check on the twin girls and they were both awake.

"Morning, girls. Bore da."

"Daddy." Ave said, bouncing in her cot as she saw him.

Nasta chuckled, tired himself, fucking exhausted even, but he loved his children so damn much and seeing their excitement, just to see him in the morning, made everything else slip away for a moment. He picked Ave up with one arm, then went to the other cot and picked up Eva with his other arm.

Their hair was plastered all over their heads and Nasta knew that Draco was going to snatch them both as soon as he could to tidy it up. Their curls always went like a mass of foam in the mornings, especially now that it was starting to get longer. He was a little apprehensive about bringing up the girls having a haircut, however, given how much Draco loved their hair.

He got them safely down the stairs and headed to the kitchen.

"Let's go and get you lovely girls some breakfast, shall we?" He said to them. "Do you want some milk?"

"Want banana." Eva told him.

"You want some banana?" Nasta asked. "I'll get you a banana, honey."

Eva grabbed his face and gave him several kisses, making him laugh.

"Oh, someone woke up on the affectionate side of the bed." Max teased.

"Eva wants some banana for breakfast, Max." Nasta relayed as he slipped one twin, and then the other, into their highchairs.

"Of course, whatever my angels want. Still no sign of Calix waking?"

"He wasn't even stirring. I don't want to wake him up if he's sleeping, but if it gets much later, then I will. He won't sleep tonight if he stays in bed much past eight."

Nasta checked the time, but it was barely seven in the morning. They had all been up very early because of the new baby, Taren too, and, of course, their worry over Harry kept them from getting much restful sleep.

Max was busy cooking, so Nasta made himself useful by slicing up some fruit.

"Look at you being helpful in the kitchen, are you trying to skyrocket my blood pressure?" Max teased.

"It's seven in the morning, calm down." Nasta said, but it made him smile. He could always count on Max to make him smile, to make him feel better even in the most stressful of situations, such as a newborn baby and an injured mate in the house.

"I'm always up for it, lover." Max assured him.

Nasta chuckled. "If only we had the time."

"We could make time." Max wheedled.

"I'm sure we could. Leave the kids and Harry in the care of Richard and Myron and then steal Blaise and Draco away upstairs for some much-needed stress relief."

"Harry would never forgive us." Max said, sighing.

"We can't go a week, let alone the six weeks minimum he's going to need to heal. He knows that we sometimes play without him."

"We'll see how the day plays out."

"I can't believe that's still you, being all responsible and denying sex."

"I will have you know that I'm denying nothing!" Max told him, turning to point a spatula in his direction. "But none of us have been sleeping well. My emotional state wouldn't be able to take it if we wound one another up and then couldn't perform because we're all tired and stressed out."

"A fair point." Nasta said musingly. "Perhaps I should take care of all three of you."

"Can you even go three times now, at your age?" Max asked him.

Nasta laughed, loud and bright. Max gave him a smirk before going back to flipping pancakes.

"Someone is too happy out here." Draco grumbled with a yawn.

Draco clocked the mess of hair on the twin girls and his head fell back in dismay.

"Do you want a comb, love?" Max asked, grinning.

"I'll go and get it." Draco said, trudging back out of the kitchen.

Nasta tried to stifle a giggle, but Max heard and giggled himself and Nasta couldn't control himself anymore as he started laughing. It felt good to laugh, especially when his laughter set off Max, and after a moment, the girls too.

"It's nice to hear you boys laughing again." Richard said as he slipped into the kitchen. "Draco said something about the girls' hair?"

No one needed to answer, as Richard looked at the twins with a smile.

"Granna!" Ave called out.

Richard went to the two of them, kissing them and ruffling their curls more.

"Oh, I remember this from when my own girls were little." He laughed. "You too, care bear."

"Should never have let my hair get that long." Max grumbled as he cooked.

"But you looked so cute." Richard teased.

Draco came back into the kitchen with a comb and the girls started fussing for his attention, each wanting him to do their hair first.

"I can't believe they actually clamour to have their hair done." Richard chuckled. "Our kids would run and hide the minute the brush came out."

"Ah, but Daddy Draco has a very gentle touch and he gives them a little head massage too. They love it." Max said as he finished cutting up some pancakes into strips for the girls.

As Draco started combing out Eva's hair, Max distracted Ave with her breakfast.

"Farren! Braiden! Breakfast." Max called out, putting the plates on the table where the boys would sit. "Regan, Tegan, come on."

The two older boys came running and Nasta was glad to see them behaving more normally, their appetites back as he filled up cups with milk and placed them by each plate.

"Daddy, mummy home." Braiden said, grinning happily.

"He is. He'll be staying home too." Nasta assured all of them.



Of course, both twins had clocked onto that and they were looking at him, as if for confirmation.

"Mummy is home." Nasta told them both. "You can see him after you've eaten your breakfasts." He added sternly.

Eva started crying, but Ave grabbed a fistful of pancake strips and jammed it all into her mouth at once. Max rushed around the table to prevent her from choking.

"That is not how we eat our food, Ave!" Max chastised, easing the food from her mouth. "Mummy is sleeping at the moment, you have time to eat your pancakes properly."

"Want mummy!" Eva wailed.

"I know, sweetheart. I know, but eat your breakfast first and then you can see him, I promise."

"Here is the banana you wanted." Nasta said, trying to distract her as he put a plate of banana slices next to her pancakes. "You must be hungry."

The twin girls did eat properly, but they were morose, even through the gentle head massage Draco gave them that they usually enjoyed so much.

"No Calix?" Draco asked.

Nasta shook his head. "He hasn't woken up. I'll leave it until eight and, if he's not awake, I'll get him up."


Nasta was gone, standing at the first call from Harry. His submissive was looking too pale and still sleepy, but his eyes were open, if a bit glazed, the pupil too wide because of the potion. Nasta hunched down in front of Harry, lifting a hand to stroke it through Harry's messy hair…he seriously needed a bath, there were still clots of blood knotting up his hair.

"Where did you go?" Harry asked him, a small hand clenching into his tee shirt and gripping tightly, keeping him hunched down.

"I was in the kitchen, caru. Our babies need breakfast."

"My babies." Harry repeated softly. "Are they…they okay?"

"They're fine, Harry." Nasta assured him. "They're eating and then they'll be back in here, playing, and you can watch them."


"He fell asleep. He's having a morning nap."


"The same. Our new baby is right there, on Myron."

Harry turned his head with a grimace, to see Myron holding the tiny baby. He smiled. "Love family."

"We love you too." Myron assured him.

"We really do." Nasta said, reaching out to stroke over Harry's messy hair again, trying to get it out of Harry's face. It was much worse than usual as he'd spent so long lying down, sweating through pain, and Nasta noticed that his hair was starting to look matted and not merely knotted. He tried to, very gently, tug out the worst of the knots that he could see, but it didn't budge and Harry hissed through his teeth as it tugged on his scalp.

"Sorry." Nasta apologised softly, leaving Harry's hair alone.

"Want babies." Harry murmured sleepily.

"Let me go and see if the kids are done eating." Nasta said, standing up and easing Harry's grip on his shirt and then bending to kiss him.

He went back to the kitchen.

"Draco, if you have a minute, Harry's hair is tangled. It'll be matted and unsalvageable if it's not sorted soon given that he has to remain lying down on it."

"I noticed." Draco nodded. "A proper bath will sort it out, but I'll get some hair oil onto it and comb it out. It'll help."

Draco stood to get what he needed, but he surveyed the table first, making sure none of the kids needed help with their food.

"Harry could use some proper pampering too." Draco added almost to himself and, seeing that the kids were all fine, he left the table for the hallway.

"The healers said to let him rest." Max said. "So, if it starts to keep him awake, you need to stop."

"I will." Draco assured him on the way out of the kitchen.

"Check in on Calix while you're upstairs, Draco." Nasta called after him.

"Of course." Draco called back from the hallway.

Nasta settled back at the table to oversee breakfast, eating the pancakes that Max placed in front of him. This was normal to their kids, having them all eating breakfast together.

Nasta ate quickly while the kids were eating their fruit.

"I'm done." Braiden declared, already looking to the family room, sliding out of his chair.

"Have some more milk, Braiden." Max told him.

Their three-year-old whined, but hauled himself back up into his chair, reaching for his cup. Braiden was their good boy, and he did usually do as he was told. Calix was the one who would usually refuse on principle.

"Look who is awake." Draco said, smiling, as he came in with a sleepy Calix, his little face still sleep-creased, his eyes at half-mast.

"Is he sick?" Nasta asked.

Max held big hands out to take the little boy, even as Draco shook his head.

"I gave him a sniff, I think he's just growing."

Max did several checks, including sniffing at Calix himself while the little two-year-old snuggled into his neck. It was all too docile, too placid for their usually rumbustious Calix and Nasta was worried about him.

"Hmm, perfectly fine, just not really awake yet." Max said consideringly. "Do you want some milk, Callie?"

"Callie, have pancakes so we can play." Braiden encouraged.

Calix lifted his head to look at his siblings and he managed a little smile.

"Want blue-bries."

"Blueberries." Max corrected gently, as he sat Calix in a chair and then moved to sort him some pancakes.

Nasta stood to get the blueberries and a cup of milk.

Calix did wake up over breakfast and he seemed more himself as he started talking to his brothers and sisters as he ate, which eased down Nasta's protectiveness, at least, but he would keep an eye on Calix throughout the day. The last thing they needed now was a sickness bug in the house and, of course, his mind took that moment to bring up memories of Calix struggling to breathe in the hospital. He shoved those intrusive thoughts out quickly, everything was fine. Calix was fine.

"Cal, banana." Eva offered, holding out a handful of squashed banana to her brother.

"No!" Calix shouted, all but cringing away.

Nasta put down the cup and the bowl of sliced blueberries and moved to diffuse the situation by wiping the mushed banana from Eva's hand.

"Your brother doesn't want your banana, Eva. If you're done, drink your milk and then you can come down."

Eva pouted but picked up her sippy cup and drank.

"Here you are, honey." Max said, placing two pancakes down in front of Calix, who picked one up and tore bits off it, but he wanted the blueberries more, which Nasta wasn't really upset about.

"I'm done now." Braiden declared, already off his chair and heading for the family room.

"Bay, take me!" Eva called out.

Like the good boy he was, Braiden did come back for his little sister and Nasta chuckled, even as he unclipped Eva from the highchair and placed her on the floor, where Braiden took her hand.

"Me too!" Ave called out, trying to stand in the highchair despite the straps.

Nasta quickly got her out and put her down on her feet, so Braiden had a twin on either side.

"He's a good boy." Max said, giving a soft smile as Braiden held his sisters' hands and helped them into the other room.

Regan, who was done eating, slipped from his own chair and just followed, leaving Max to roll his eyes.

"Want to play." Calix said, looking at his retreating brothers forlornly.

"You haven't eaten much, Calix." Nasta said sternly.

"Blue-bries?" Farren asked.

"Give me a second, honey." Max said.

"I got it." Nasta told him, going back to the fridge to get more blueberries for Farren.

"Callie, eat breakfast." Tegan told her brother as she placed her cup back down.

Calix looked at his sister, before tearing off more pancake and eating it.

"Do you want a bit of syrup on it?" Max asked in a conspiratorial whisper, as if Nasta couldn't hear them and it was a complete secret.

"Yes, Daddy." Calix whispered back.

Nasta busied himself with getting the blueberries for Farren, ignoring the giggling behind him as if he were completely deaf. But, if a spoon of maple syrup got Calix to eat his breakfast then it was a sacrifice Nasta would make, even if he didn't really like his children being 'exposed' to such sugars so young. He had to pick his battles, he'd more than learned that lesson over the years of being in a mateship.

Max moved back to the counter and Nasta turned with the blueberries, watching the three kids still at the table giggling between themselves.

"What's so funny?" He asked them, which made them giggle more, even as Calix used his hands to tear his remaining pancake up, a small, darker drizzle over the top of it where Max had spread the syrup. "Here are your blueberries, Farren."

"Thank you, Daddy." Farren said with a smile, digging into the bowl of halved blueberries.

"Daddy, I'm done. Can I have more milk?" Tegan asked.

"Of course, sweetheart." Nasta said, taking her cup and getting her a little bit more milk. "Here you go. Are you enjoying your pancakes, Calix?"

The three kids giggled again and Calix nodded, tearing another chunk of pancake to eat.

"That's good, don't forget to take a drink."

Calix swallowed his mouthful and then took a drink of milk before going back to his breakfast. He was actually eating without a struggle for once and Nasta, despite not liking the added syrup, didn't complain.

"I'm finished, Daddy." Tegan told him.

"Go on, sweetie." Max told her, taking her plate and cup.

Tegan slid down and then hurried off.

"You're eating so well, Calix." Nasta praised, keeping his attention on the plate and not the sounds of play coming from the other room.

"Like pancakes." Calix said, eating another chunk.

"You're almost done, you're such a good boy for eating everything."

"Me too." Farren said, almost done with his blueberries.

"You are, Farren. You're both so good!" Max praised.

"You really are. We're so proud of you both." Nasta added, nodding.

Max handed him a cup of green tea and Nasta happily sat down for a minute to drink it while it was hot.

Everything had worked out. The new baby was thriving, Harry would heal, and their family was back together and would soon be back to normal. Nasta could feel his shoulders easing, his stress melting away. The worst hadn't happened. He could shove all of the stress away and just relax. He could look after his family and, with some luck, they wouldn't have any more pregnancies for a little while.

Max smiled as Harry stirred again. He was ready with the pain potion and he knew what Harry wanted as his mate reached out blindly to grip at his hand.

"Maxie, give me."

"You know the rules, lover. Open those gorgeous eyes for me."

Harry tried, pulling several faces and then squinting at him.

"Good 'nough." Harry told him.

"No, it's not. You need to open your eyes, Harry." Max coaxed. "Come on, I know you can do it."

"Hurts, Maxie."

"I know. Just open your eyes and you can have the potion."

Harry did manage to get his eyes open, whining in pain, and Max supported him slightly upright as he helped Harry to drink the glass.

"Gross." Harry declared.

"I know, love, but it'll make you feel better. How are you feeling today?"

"Sore. Where Nassa?"

"He's taking a nap." Max said.

Nasta had come home from a work emergency, later on the same day that Harry had come home, to share the terrible news that they'd had to euthanise two dragons and that seven of them were on serious medication that only Nasta, as the senior Dragonologist, could sign off on.

He'd been going to the reserve every six hours to dispense that medicine, day and night. With a newborn in the house and Harry still recovering, it wasn't an ideal situation, but his dads were still here, helping them out, and Aneirin was here now too, also helping them out after finishing a big business deal in Belize.

"Sore." Harry complained.

"Well, I'm sorry, love, but this is because you wouldn't stay still when you were told to." Max said.

"Wanted babies. Wanted Nassa."

"Yes, and now you've compromised your healing and have to go back on the pain potions you hate."

Harry whined and Max smiled, bending forward to nuzzle into Harry's neck, giving him several kisses to comfort him.

"I love you."

"Love, Maxie." Harry replied softly. "Time it?"

"It's six in the evening. Our babies are upstairs having story time. Except for our little sunshine prince, who is having a bottle in the kitchen with Daddy Blaise."

Harry hummed. "I sit up?"

Max debated it, but he sighed. "Okay, let me help you."

Max wholly supported Harry as he sat him upright, watching Harry grimace, but he was now five days postpartum and he'd managed to have a bath (with a lot of support) and a couple cups of tea, though he never finished any of them. He hadn't eaten and his digestive tract hadn't really kicked back in yet. Harry was spending his nights in the smaller living room, in the nest they'd made for him, just so they didn't accidentally injure him in the night as they slept.

The kids had settled after a few days of Harry being back in the house. They, sort of, understood that he wasn't very well and needed them to be gentle, but they still tried to climb over him and pull him from the settee and to the floor. They wanted him to play with them, as Harry usually did, but Harry couldn't move. There was always an adult in the room with Harry, to cut in when this happened so that Harry could stay resting.

"Do you want anything, love?" Max asked as he propped Harry securely upright with piles of cushions.

"No. I should still be in my nest." Harry complained.

Max hummed. "We like that you're here with us, so that we can look after you properly, as you deserve."

Harry opened his eyes and gave him a rather goofy smile. The pain potion had kicked in.

"I like that…that you look after me."

Max kissed him again, though kept it chaste. None of them felt right kissing Harry while he was under the effects of such strong potions. Nor while he was still recovering from a traumatic birth.

"Baby?" Harry asked.

"He's being fed, Harry." Max told him again. "Our others are upstairs, getting ready for bed."


"He's by here." Blaise's voice interrupted, as he came into the smaller living room, where Harry had been resting in the little nest. "Do you want to hold him?"


Max hauled himself into the nest and sat beside Harry, to support him if it was needed. They'd had some instances of Harry's arms going weak, though Max was completely certain that Harry would cause himself more injury before he dropped one of their kids, but if his body did fail him…no, it was just better all around if he helped Harry until he was truly healed. None of them would forgive themselves if Harry or one of the kids got hurt because they hadn't been paying attention.

Blaise eased the baby into Harry's arms and Max slipped an arm underneath to help. Blaise then climbed into the nest on Harry's other side and Harry seemed so happy about that as he looked at them both with a wide, beaming smile, before looking back down at the baby.

"He's so adorable." Harry said, sighing softly.

"He really is. It helps that he's such a good baby. He's taking three ounces every three hours and he is very content to just sleep in between. An absolute dream."

"Baby dream."

"No, we're not allowed to call the baby random words, lover." Max chuckled, thankful that Draco wasn't here to hear.

Their blonde mate had almost had a heart attack when a drugged-up Harry had murmured about calling the baby Basil. He himself had almost caused another heart attack when he started calling the baby Sunshine and Harry had taken to repeating the word several times, but, thankfully, it didn't seem like the random words were sticking as an actual name.

"Baby random." Harry repeated softly.

"You're making it worse." Blaise hissed at him with narrowed eyes.

Max laughed. "I just know our mate, he wouldn't lumber a child with a terrible name."

"Good name for good baby." Harry murmured between them.

"That's right, lover. You need to find a good name for our baby. He's a Malfoy, but also related to the Blacks, so a star or constellation wouldn't be out of the ordinary."

"Draco's baby."

"That's right. His father is named after a constellation too."


"Yes, Draco does mean dragon." Max praised, getting a beaming, lopsided smile from Harry before he went back to look at the baby in his arms.

"Love babies. Love mates."

"We love you too." Blaise told him, kissing Harry's cheek. Max, not to be left out, kissed Harry's other cheek.

Harry laughed softly, wriggling as if the soft kisses had tickled. It made both him and Blaise smile.

"Is everyone alright in here?" Draco asked them, coming to peer into the little nest and finding them all cuddled up with the baby.

"Everyone is fine. Harry's had a pain potion." Max explained.

"Icky." Harry commented.

"They are, but they make you feel better, lover. A little more sleep and rest and you'll be back to normal."

"Boys, do you need anything?" Aneirin asked them from the doorway.

"We're fine, thank you." Max called back. "We're just snuggling Harry a little."

"I'm tired." Harry admitted.

"You need to rest." Draco told him, stroking black hair away from a pale, pain-drawn face.

Harry's hair was, now at least, clean and neatly combed. Draco had gently wrestled with it for several hours to get the tangles out with a comb and plenty of hair oil, though a small section at the back of Harry's head had had to be cut out when even a bath couldn't loosen the matt that had formed. Given that Harry's hair stuck out in all directions and had gotten a little overlong in recent months, the shorter patch was not noticeable, but Draco had promised that when Harry was well again, he would cut his hair properly.

Their submissive did not last much longer. Not under the effects of that potion. Max eased the newborn from Harry's arms and handed him over to Draco before he laid Harry down and Blaise shook out the blanket to cover him over.

Harry murmured just slightly, but Max channelled his Dracken side and rumbled to him soothingly and Harry immediately relaxed and slipped into a deeper sleep.

The three of them left Harry to rest and went next door, to the bigger family room.

Nasta was awake, but he looked like hell. He was actually drinking coffee and Max felt his stomach drop.

"Are you unwell?" Blaise asked, also looking at that cup of coffee.

"Just tired, caru." Nasta replied, holding out an arm, letting Blaise sit beside him and cuddle in.

"I can count on one hand the amount of times you've drank coffee in the five years I've known you." Blaise told him.

"I can do the same, but I've known him for a lot longer than you." Max added.

"I'm just tired." Nasta repeated. "How is Harry?"

"He's had a potion and he should be out for the night now. Our sunshine has fed and won't need another bottle now until nine, when we can go to bed. All the others are asleep."

Nasta nodded, but he was distracted by the paperwork on the table in front of him. Medicine schedules for the dragons, Max knew.

"Are they improving?" Blaise asked, also looking at what Max was.

"Yes. Terrwyn and Meillionen will be having their last dose tonight and Awsta, Ynyr, and Ioan have shown significant improvement on my last rounds, so I'm hopeful they'll only need another day."

"The other two?" Draco asked carefully.

"Eiry and Sulien. They're…struggling." Nasta admitted. "They're not responding to the medication like I'd hoped. I'm going to take a chance and up the dosage, it'll be an overdose given their size, but nothing else is working. They'll die anyway if I don't try something, but if it doesn't work I could be pulled up for malpractice for overdosing them."

"You've done all you can for them, Nas." Blaise said softly. "You have one last thing to try and you're willing to do that too. You've done everything and we love you and we support you."

"I was distracted because of Harry's pregnancy. I should have noticed that they were sick sooner."

"Harry was, and always will be, more important than anything else." Max said easily. "We all know that, and after what happened to him…" Max trailed off, his memories bringing up a picture of Harry gushing blood on the back lawn, his weak cries of pain and fear. "You're our top dominant, Nas, you, more than all of us, should be putting family first."

"Always." Nasta assured him. "But, I've gotten so good at juggling both home and work that…that this has hit me harder. If this pregnancy hadn't been so difficult, I would have seen the sickness sooner."

"You have always been the same." Aneirin told his son from the doorway. "You're always taking blame for things that aren't your fault."

"It's not that." Nasta insisted.

Aneirin gave him an unimpressed stare. "It is exactly that and you will let go of it. You have always held yourself to impossible standards, Nasta."

"I'm working on it." Was all Nasta said with a heavy sigh.

"Therapy?" Draco guessed softly.

Nasta nodded. "Yes, it's helping."

"I'm proud of you for sticking with it, Nasta." Aneirin said.

"I needed to change." Nasta admitted. "We all did."

"We are." Max said quietly, looking back over his shoulder to the double doors, behind which Harry was sleeping in a drugged haze.

"I'm proud of all of you for putting your family first, and, truly, yourselves as well."

"Harry comes first." Blaise said angrily.

"And is he not your family?" Aneirin asked pointedly.

Blaise eased down, back into Nasta's arms, who shuffled him more comfortably into his arms, pressing a kiss to his temple.

"We're sick of the insinuations that we can't look after Harry, or that we won't put him first. We made a dreadful mistake, a series of them really, and it was Harry who paid the price of that." Nasta said softly, playing with Blaise's hair. "But we're all in therapy, we're all learning, we're changing. We can look after Harry, each other, our children, and we will."

"We'll never repeat the mistakes of the past." Draco said, knowing that it had been his fault that that fight had happened in the first place, because of his issues.

He was now working through those issues, managing his own anger, and he refused to be the weak link in their mateship. He could be stronger. He could hold them all together if need be. He had that sort of strength now.

He also looked to the double doors, through which Harry was sleeping. He could do it. He could be strong and swallow his issues and keep his anger in check. For Harry.

A/N: A brief check in, lovelies for the 13th year anniversary for this fic, and sometimes I still can't believe it's still going. That it's been so long and I've managed to drag this story so far from where it all started, but I'm so glad to have you all here with me still, after all of these years, through all these chapters. Love you all.

StarLight Massacre. X