Restoration Part Three

Part Two

Chapter Seven

KING ARTHUR, Clive Owen, 2004, (c) Touchstone

It had been four months since the death of the king. Draco had taken the reins of the kingdom, and he hoped that there hadn’t been any wobbles. He didn’t think so, at least. No one had told him that there had been, and he was going to have to trust that he would be informed if things changed. He was pretty sure that he was going to be feeling that way for a while.

He was also worried sick about Harry. His lover had started getting sick multiple times a day, was avoiding certain areas of the fort, and had taken to eating in their rooms. Draco was about at the point where he was going to be getting Guin to nail his lover to the floor and find out what in the hell was going on.

The feel of magic snapping through the fort rolled over his nerves, and Draco jerked his head up, trying to figure out where it was coming from. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a dangerous spell, but it was attention-getting.

The sound of his lover’s voice echoing through the fort pulled him out of his office. “You had better fucking run like the wind, Draco Malfoy! Your bollocks are going to be gone when I get ahold of you!”

Discretion was totally the better part of valor and he turned around and went to find Tristan and the other knights. Whatever had caused Harry to scream at him like that, it wasn’t a good thing. Maybe the men would have a clue?

Ducking into the Round Table room he looked over his shoulder, checking to see if Harry was coming up behind him. Since it didn’t seem that he was, he turned to the four men and waved a hand at the roof. “I think I did something and I have no idea what I did,” Draco told them.

Bors started laughing and the other three joined in. “Lad, you are so fucked. Actually, that’s what got you into this situation. I hope your bollocks can grow back.”

“What do you mean?” Draco asked as he slid into a seat beside where Arthur had always sat. While he was king, he wasn’t quite ready to take his place in that seat. Not while the memory was so fresh.

“Lad, he’s going after your bollocks. In a woman, that means that you got her up the duff. I don’t know what it means for wizards, but I would expect things are going to get interesting in your relationship,” Gawain told him as Bors sat back and laughed.

“Pregnant? Harry can’t be pregnant!”

 

Peeking around the edge of the door into his rooms felt like he was taking his life into his hands. Harry was fully trained, both as a wizard from Hogwarts and as the latest Merlin. He was deadly and dangerous and apparently really ready to do damage to delicate parts of him.

“Killing you would be too quick, Draco. Get your super-sperm producing arse in here so I can kill you,” Harry told him from the inner room.

“Love? That makes no sense,” Draco told him as he walked into the room. The stinging hex to his bollocks was totally expected. He didn’t even bother to try to protect himself. If Bors was right, he really couldn’t see any way to get around or away from Harry’s temper.

“It doesn’t have to make sense, you blond bastard. I’m pregnant. And you never told me that wizards can get pregnant. I had to find out from Guin,” Harry told him. He was curled up in his favorite chair, slowly sipping at a cup of something steaming. “You’re lucky you ran. Because I wouldn’t have used a stinging hex when I found that out.”

“Right. I can’t say that I’m sorry Harry. Having a child with you has been something I’ve wanted since we started seeing each other,” Draco tried to explain. If things had been a bit different, he would have carried their child. But to have a child when and where they were?

“If we get to see Lady Magic when we die, I’m going to cunt punch the bitch. Because I didn’t sign up for this shite when I accepted that letter,” Harry muttered as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “And no one told me this was a possibility when two wizards started to shag!”

Draco cleared his throat and carefully made his way over to his chair before sitting down, trying to make sure that his very sore balls weren’t crushed. Harry had one hell of a stinging hex. He was going to have to make sure that he still had use of them later. Where Harry couldn’t see him checking.

“Love? Can I run a diagnostic on you? Check to make sure that you and the babe are good?” he asked, hands empty and letting his lover make the decision.

Harry nodded. “Guin did, but I didn’t fully understand her version of it. It doesn’t match the one that I know.”

“Okay. Let’s see what’s going on in there,” Draco offered. The flick of his wrist and hand was smooth and unconscious and the arrival of his wand in his hand was totally expected. For a moment, the movements of the spell were just out of his reach as his mind went blank from nerves. He took a deep breath and raised his wand again and let the movements flow. As the gentle magic covered his lover, he turned his attention to the visual results.

The spell showed that Harry was exhausted, needed to eat, and was sixteen-weeks pregnant with a baby boy. Draco swallowed heavily and let the magic go. “So, you’re sixteen-weeks pregnant. And need to eat.”

“If I eat, I vomit. There is no way in hell, Malfoy,” Harry told him, voice brittle and strained. “Guin was very cheerful when she told me that I could expect this to be the status quo for the rest of the pregnancy.”

“I don’t know if it’s going to last that long, love, but we can see if there’s a spell or something else to help get you through it,” Draco offered. He mentally combed through the catalogue he had for his bracelet and paused on the gingersnaps he had tucked in it on an impulse buy. Withdrawing them took only seconds, and he offered the tin to his lover.

Harry gave the tin a dark look before setting his cup aside and taking the container. The cellophane wrapper got an amused snort and then it was tossed into the fire. Harry was still trying to protect the time line, in great and small ways. When he got the tin open, the smell of ginger filled the room, and his mouth watered.

The first cookie was slowly and cautiously nibbled at, and when that didn’t cause any problems, he quickly stuffed a second in his mouth. The third and the fourth went down just as quickly before he capped the tin off. “Think we can get the goblins to import us some ginger?” he asked as he sipped at his cup.

Draco made the note on the pad that was on the same table as his book. The first meeting with the goblins had been very tentative on both sides; with nothing being really decided other than an agreement to do business together. He had an appointment with them in three days, and the list of wants and needs was getting long.

“Tea, ginger, paper, silk, sugar, more tea, maybe some citrus.” Draco ran down the list and tapped the items as he passed each of them. “Spices would be nice.”

“They would,” Harry muttered. “The food is fine here, but I would adore a nice curry.”

He could feel his mouth water at the thought. He had grown up as the pureblooded wizard son of two pureblooded lines. And that meant that take away, regional ethnic foods, and non-English foods hadn’t been on the menu for him on a normal basis. At best, he had gotten French food, and he was very familiar with that cuisine. Dining out with Harry had been an eye-opener.

“So you think they can get some?” he asked.

“I don’t think we can get them to produce some for us like a takeaway place. But we may be able to get the spices. I think I would adore having them at hand. Even if my stomach is rebelling against the idea right now,” Harry told him.

“Right. I’ll add it to my list,” he said and looked at the cup. “What are you drinking?”

“Cider again. It seems to be what I can tolerate without a problem. I’m not happy with the habit of drinking weak beer, and the local water is a horror. See if the goblins can figure out a way to get a water filter together for us? Because I can’t see those little bastards drinking the water in London,” Harry directed.

Draco nodded and added the item to the list. So many things to discuss with the goblins and he could only hope that they didn’t give him too much trouble over any of it. Setting aside the list he sat and stared at his lover. The revelation of the pregnancy was… It was world shattering and rocked him down to his core.

He knew that he was powerful. It wasn’t a boast. His magic had always been something that he could count on and it had just grown more and more powerful as he had aged. His magical maturity had added to the depth of his powers.

His lover was another thing altogether. Harry, before his final maturation, had managed to defeat the Dark Lord of their age. With his final maturation, he had reached the level of archmagus. He hadn’t joined the aurors like he had originally planned, but had taken up his title and the training for his magic. That had led to the first break with the Weasleys, and when he had started dating Draco, it had apparently broken the relationship for good.

When they had bonded, it had forced Draco’s core to expand in relation, and over their time together, he had been adjusting to the changes. So having his archmagus partner carrying his child was unexpected but not… unlikely. Magic responded to need and wants and this was something that he had been aching for since he had fallen for Harry.

He slid out of his chair and knee-walked over to kneel between Harry’s legs. “I just wanted to tell you, this is the most amazing thing ever. No matter what may happen, the fact that you are capable of doing carrying a child, and are willing to do it, and that Magic gave us such a gift, blows my mind.”

Harry closed his eyes and leaned forward, touching his forehead to Draco’s and sighed. “I could no more harm our child than I could harm you. That hex is just the skin. This kid is going to be so damn spoiled. I love it already, even if it is making me sick as hell.”

“It’s a boy,” Draco shared. “May I touch?” he asked as he stared at his lover’s belly.

“Sure,” Harry agreed before leaning back.

Looking at him, Draco couldn’t figure out how he had missed it. Harry had never been chunky, but since the defeat of the Dark Lord, had never again been thin. So the bump of the baby was obvious as he stretched out. He carefully reached out and let his hand cover the small mound. There wasn’t any movement to feel yet, but the potential for it was there.

Leaning forward, he rested his head against the mound and tried to project all the love he felt for Harry and the baby. “You are the two most important people in my life. I will never, ever be able to tell you how happy I am to know that you are there. Thank you.”

Harry curled over Draco and wrapped him in a hug. “You’re welcome.”

 

 

 

The goblins of this new time and place weren’t quite like the ones they had left behind. For one, they weren’t dressed like the wizards surrounding them. No suits, no ties, no little shoes. Fur and leather seemed to be the normal attire.

Second, they were more overtly bloodthirsty. The banker was accompanied by human and goblin guards, and all of them had their swords well-sharpened and at the ready. Draco would have been offended, but he had spent too long riding the countryside dealing with the dregs of the Saxon army not to recognize prudence. That and the goblins routinely dealt with masses of gold or trade goods and being well armed was just good sense.

“Razoredge, thank you for coming,” Draco greeted the goblin in careful Gobbledegook. “May your enemies die screaming and their gold enter your vaults.”

The grin that crossed the little creature’s face was full of too many teeth for comfort. “May our business be profitable and our enemies bankrupt. It is good to know you can speak a civilized tongue, wizard.”

“I have many skills, Razoredge. Let us do business together.” Draco waved at the papers before them.

“Let us then.” The goblin grinned that terrible grin again and sat down to start to deal.

The discussion between them went on for several hours, and Draco made certain to serve some goblin-specific foods that got him several sharp looks, but Razoredge seemed to appreciate it. Draco himself was slowly working his way through what was basically an antipasti platter of foodstuffs that the kitchens had put together for him. Neither offered to share their delicacies.

They managed to get through both of their lists, and Draco sat back satisfied. He hadn’t been cheated and he hadn’t cheated the goblin, so he was sure that they would be satisfied as well. Harry was taking care of going over their gold and finding all the most ancient of coins and getting them ready for a deposit. Thankfully, the Horde rarely changed the designs of their money, so most of it would be useful.

Sitting back in his chair, he slowly sipped at his mead, watching as Razoredge packed up his mobile office. “How soon do you think your people will be able to get everything to us?”

Razoredge gazed back at him, settled into his own chair and picked up his glass of ick. Draco knew what it was, but there was no way that he could describe it as anything other than ick. The goblin seemed to like it though. He started sipping it and was quiet for several moments before he set it aside. “We have most of what you want accessible via relays. Getting it up here can be done in two ways. The physical way that will take time and effort, or by magic, and we can get it to you within days.”

Days? Magic was indeed a wonderful thing. “For the sake of most of my subjects, I want to at least try to hold close to what they know. I would like to contract for twenty percent of our goods to be delivered via magical means. Also, I have no idea, but do you have an office in India?”

“You know an awful lot about bank business for a human,” Razoredge mused as he slowly sipped on his drink. “It is good that business with you is profitable. What do you want from India?”

“Curry. Or at least the ingredients for it. And rice,” Draco requested. “My partner and I have traveled extensively and enjoyed the taste of the dish when we last had it.”

“Neither of those are well known in this country, sire. You are indeed well-traveled.” The goblin relaxed slightly. “That will cost you. While we have an office in India, we don’t import from there.”

“I have no problems paying for what I want. And I have every faith that your people will come through for us.”

The look of satisfaction that crossed the goblin’s face was expected. Even if it was disturbing.

 

 

The first delivery from the goblins came in two days after his meeting with Razoredge. The bundle smelled amazing, and Draco took most of the spices down to the kitchen and talked to the fort’s chatelaine, Maude. While Jols was in charge of the knights and all the armed men in the fort, the chatelaine was in charge of the actual household of what was now the king.

The dear lady had managed to keep everyone fed and healthy through the winter, and the influx of spices and foods made her day. He took the time to talk recipes with her and left her office with some supplies for a private meal. Harry was pushing six-months pregnant and was incredibly picky on what he was willing to eat.

The package from the goblins had been timely since his lover had eaten the last of the ginger cookies two days before. He wasn’t quite at the stage of being ready to vomit, but Harry had admitted that his stomach was very touchy. He was still avoiding the more fragrant areas of the fort, and Draco couldn’t blame him.

When he made it into their rooms, he found that the suite was empty. The fire was banked, and he smiled in anticipation. Harry had a full set of cauldrons nestled into each other in his private work area, and Draco grabbed one of the smaller ones to start his surprise.

The spices were carefully laid out, and he worked with his ingredients, determined to come up with an edible meal. The end result smelled lovely, and he made sure to seal up the spices in well-labeled containers. Especially the candied ginger. He had well over a kilo of that stuff and more on the way.

He grabbed the smallest usable cauldron left and poured some of the ever-present cider into it and dropped in a small piece of ginger, a clove, and a small piece of cinnamon, and set it beside the fire to warm. Spiced cider, heavy on the ginger to soothe Harry’s stomach would hopefully go over well. The soup was simmering, he had the table set, and all he was missing was his lover.

Draco took a tour around the room and sighed. He and Harry had schedules that barely met, and he still hadn’t managed to get in lessons with Guin. She was expecting her three partners to arrive in a month, planting was going full tilt, the castle had broken ground, and he was swamped. If Arthur showed up, alive, right then and there? He would hand the whole mess back to him.

Noises from the outer room pulled him away from his fussing, and he leaned into the jamb. Harry had his first apprentice and was busy passing on his knowledge. Bors’ oldest boy had proven to be magically talented and seemed to be enjoying himself. His slightly younger sister was also talented, and Guin had taken her on.

Renfry had proven to be a very valuable investment. He had taken over the role of front man to Harry like he had been born to it. No one got past him or his siblings, who he pressed into service. Harry constantly had a small tribe of kids following him around, and a number of them were redheads. He had his suspicions about them, too.

From the way Renfry was hovering, the day hadn’t been too good. Harry was moving slowly and had a heavy frown on his face. One hand was pressed against his belly and his magic was curling under his skin as it worked to support the baby growing within him. Draco was sure that Harry wouldn’t appreciate the sentiment, but he thought his partner was beautiful.

“Hello, love,” he called softly.

The magic under Harry’s skin flared out for a moment and then pulled back as he tried to turn around. Draco sighed at the sight. It was coming up on the time when Harry wouldn’t actively be able to use his magic offensively as it was used by the baby. But right then and there, his archmagus lover was still armed and dangerous and on a hair trigger. Thankfully, he was also able to restrain the urge to kill everything in his path.

“You are so lucky I don’t want to rebuild the building,” Harry told him.

“Thank you for that,” Draco said dryly.

“Eh. Maybe we could put a skylight in,” Harry muttered in English and Draco snorted softly in laughter. Yeah, their quarters were a bit dark. He was looking forward to the castle. Really. Maybe they could get a window or two?

“I’ll do my best to get us a window,” Draco promised.

“Eh. I’m good. I smell spices?” Harry asked as he peeked around Draco into their bedroom.

“Yeah, I have some stuff for you. Renfry, I think your father is in the tavern. Might want to get him home before your mum cracks him over the head with a jug,” Draco directed.

“Aye, sire. Thank you. Master Merlin, I’ll be in the same time tomorrow?” the boy offered.

“That’s good. Wear something that you can get very dirty in. We’re going to be doing some tramping through the woods,” Harry told him, eyes on the boy’s clothes.

“Uhm… Sir, these are all that I own,” Renfry told him, voice small. “Mum hasn’t gotten around to making me any more.”

Harry nodded and obviously tried not to sigh. “Right. Well, we will be fixing that. There will be times when you need to be dressed in different clothes or have the clothes you’re wearing washed. See Jols for a few new sets in the morning. If he doesn’t have any for you, check with the chatelaine. I’m sure that we have extras around here somewhere.”

“Thank you, milord!” Renfry chirped with a big grin before running off.

“That was sweet of you,” Draco told his lover as he walked over to him. He reached out carefully and gathered Harry to him. He had to be careful with Harry because his lover wasn’t too keen on being manhandled. As pregnant as he was, he was very body shy and determined that he wasn’t going to be handled against his will.

“Kid needs to be able to change clothes because we get filthy. And there is no way that I’m going to let my apprentice look like I don’t care about him.” Harry sniffed, offended and upset. “If I can fix it, I will. I know that his mother’s thrilled that I’m feeding the kid at least. He eats like a horse.”

“And you don’t want to let any kid in your reach not have things that are nice and theirs?” Draco asked as he rocked his lover from side to side.

The next sniff was quiet but he still heard it. Draco had to refrain from mentally cursing every person who had ever given his lover shite about his clothes and belongings. He was including himself in that because he had been a little monster when he was younger. Now, Harry dressed well, stood proud and wasn’t even trying to hide the pregnancy. All things he could live with.

“Yeah. If it’s going to be years yet before Hogwarts gets up and running, I’m going to have apprentices. And I figure Renfry will be able to reach what amounts to journeyman status in about three years. Especially if I get Guin and her gang to help. And see if they can take on a few apprentices as well.” Harry sighed into his chest. “This is nice. What smells good?”

Draco started them towards the bedroom and his treat. “I made some soup and some spiced cider. We got a package from the goblins today and I already took most of the spices to Maude and she has them under lock and key. I have enough here for some goodies for you and the potion supplies. Everything is stored, sealed and labeled.”

“Good. Because you’re a bitch when you can’t find the potions supplies,” Harry groused.

Snickering softly, Draco nodded. He was and there was no denying it.

The small table in their room was set, and Draco served Harry the meal he had prepared. The scents and tastes of the soup were reminiscent of what they had left behind in their England, and Harry got a smile on his face. The cider was cooed over and drunk down to the last drop. All the spices were designed to be soothing on the stomach, and, from the way it was being enjoyed, it seemed that he had succeeded.

Draco refilled the cauldron and set it on the hearth to get warm and steep again. Settling into his chair, he sat back to bask in his lover’s contentment.

 

 

 

“You can’t be in here, Majesty!”

Draco leaned forward and growled at the little woman barring his way. Helga Hufflepuff was a sweet round woman with a spine of steel and a temper that had to be seen to be believed. He just didn’t give a shite, and his inborn respect for her name and place in his history weren’t stopping him. He needed to be in there with his lover. “Harry is my lover, my partner and my bonded mate. There is no way in hell that you are going to keep me out.”

“But birthing isn’t for men!” Hufflepuff waved her hands at him and tried to keep him out of the room with her body. “This isn’t for you.”

Draco hissed and wandlessly picked the woman up and set her aside. He remembered, at the last moment, to be gentle when he put her down. That was the extent of his consideration to anyone. Slipping into the room, he cast a wordless scourgify to clean himself up. A second spell he had learned from a healer at St. Mungo’s helped sterilize his skin and clothes and he was as clean as he was getting.

Harry was laboring to bring their child into the world and Draco wasn’t going to be looking too hard at what was going on below his beltline to allow that to happen. His concentration was on the head of the bed and he knelt by it, brushing Harry’s hair off his forehead. “Hello, love.”

“You, Lady Magic and whatever fucked-up thing that let me get pregnant are all getting beaten when I can. This is worse than anything Voldemort or my uncle ever did to me,” Harry gritted out between clenched teeth.

“I’ll hold still, not a problem,” Draco promised. There was a rag in a bowl of water on a table and he used the wet thing to cool down Harry and clean up some of the sweat that was running down his temples. He kept his eyes and attention on his lover and not what was happening south of Harry’s beltline. He saw nothing, he heard nothing, and he sure as hell smelled nothing.

Every single direction that was barked at him, he followed. When his son finally slipped into the world, he was there to cut him free of Harry. Helga took him while Guin finished the nasty last business on the birth, and Draco stood and vibrated. He couldn’t help Harry and he couldn’t assist with his son and he had nothing to do. How had the Weasley patriarch done this shite six times?

When Helga came back, she had the baby all swaddled up in a clean blanket. Harry was being cleaned up as well, and Draco held out his arms for the son he and Harry had made. Helga carefully transferred the baby to him and he looked into the face of his legacy. The child was a perfect combination of Harry and himself, and he fell in love in an instant.

Walking back to the bed, he knelt by the head and settled the baby on Harry’s chest. “Look at what you’ve done Harry. Look at him. He’s beautiful.”

Harry stared at their son and reached out a hand to touch him. “Poor kid, it looks like he’s got my hair. Hello, baby Kerrick Brice Malfoy, from the family of Pendragon.”

 

 

 

Draco had managed to get an afternoon free from his responsibilities and headed out with Harry, Salazar and Gryffindor. The knights came as a matter of course. The goal was to take a look at the castle and check on how the work was going. He had the plans for the compound rolled in a tube attached to his saddle.

“Do you think you will be able to strengthen the walls?” Draco asked as they crested the low rise that hid the site.

“Depending on what’s been done, I can tailor the spell to grow with the construction,” Godric told him. “Keeping the spell up will be something that needs to be discussed for a long term solution. Do you have any ideas, sire?”

“There is a ley line that runs under the site. We’ve got the major ward stone already in place and it’s tied to the line.” Harry waved a hand, drawing pictures with the motions of his fingers. “If we tie the spells for strength into that, will that work?”

“I would think so. Is the stone keyed to anything or anyone?” Salazar asked as he shifted uneasily on his horse.

Of the four Founders of Hogwarts, he was the one who liked roughing it least. Salazar was definitely a man of the cities and had made no bones about that. He was also sharp, witty and embodied everything that his future house adored. Draco honestly wanted to smack him with the flat of his sword about twenty times a day, but the man made him laugh about as often. Harry kept muttering about wanting to tape his mouth shut. To top it all off, the man was making his way through the female population of the fort. If he left any bastards behind, Draco was hitting him with a contraception hex.

“It’s keyed to Harry and me,” Draco said as he scanned the countryside around them. No one supposed to be working that day as all their workers were also their farmers. Food was taking precedence over a building that wasn’t going to be finished for at least another two years. And, even then, that would be the shell of the outside. The rest of it, including all the outbuildings the castle would need, would be taken care of as they went along. “We haven’t locked it off, but we’ve made it about as difficult as we can to tamper with. The wards we have on it say that it’s been left alone.”

“Then it’s good that you came along, sire. Have you ever done perpetual warding on this scale?” Salazar asked.

“No,” Draco admitted. “I’ve used wards, but never set up more than temporary ones around a space that I’m using. I was never taught how to set wards that could outlive me.”

“The longest lasting wards I have set are the ones on our rooms,” Harry admitted. “And even then, most of those are copies of ones I’ve seen. Understanding the various layers and reasons for them was never a lesson I got. I can mimic, but I know I need to get a firm understanding before we move into the castle.”

“I find that I don’t think much of your magical education, sire, consort, if your masters left you this ignorant of basic magical matters,” Godric muttered as he controlled his horse with the absent skill of the true master. Gryffindor was the opposite of Slytherin in that he seemed to thrive in the fort, enjoying the rough and ready lifestyle that they were in. He was far bigger than his counterpart and was indeed, brave, slightly foolhardy and willing to laugh at just about everything. In other words, he seemed to be the perfect Gryff.

Draco should have loathed the man on sight. He didn’t. He could see the traits that had been used to found his house in his lover and thus was reluctantly charmed. But unlike Slytherin, he could hit this one at least. Gryffindor spent several hours a day on the practice grounds with the knights training. It was very liberating to know that he had put the founder of his rival house on his arse several times in training.

“Our training is long and far away from here, Master Gryffindor,” Draco told him without the slightest bit of irony. “And we’ve both spent a great deal of time filling the gaps of our educations. Warding, while very useful, wasn’t high on the list. We had access to warded properties and that let us pass it by.”

“Still, I’m not happy to know you missed getting trained in that discipline. Sal, make sure we put warding high on the list of things we’re going to be teaching,” Godric called as he spurred his horse forward. The construction site was in view and the mage was apparently impatient to inspect it.

“Galahad?” Draco called out. The knight just shook his head and took off after Gryffindor.

“The man would lose his head if it wasn’t attached,” Salazar muttered as he watched Godric ride off. “But I hate to say that he’s right. While we’re here, you two need to get a through education on warding. Among masses of other things. Merlin did what he could, but we’re from a vastly different tradition of magic, Godric and I. Rowena and Helga are more like Merlin was.”

“Add it to the list that I know you all have going,” Harry sighed. Draco couldn’t blame him. The things they had found about their education after they had ‘graduated’ Hogwarts had made them both see red. Over the years, the institution had pared down the careful curriculum the founders had put forth to make something that had… Well, it hadn’t been enough. Independent study after they left the school had barely prepared them for their lives as lords. It was only their hobbies that were getting them through their current lives.

“It’s a long list, consort,” Slytherin warned. “And only so many hours in a day.”

“And of the two of us, I have the most free time,” Harry retorted. “While I have Renfry as my apprentice, he’s also in need of the lessons, and looking like an arse isn’t something that I’m unfamiliar with. He can learn some of this beside me.”

Draco moved forward and let them argue. Harry would let him know the results of everything, and he wanted to know what Gryffindor was doing. A glance behind him showed Bors and Gawain staying with the two, and he had Tristian at his side. They were as safe as they were getting, then.

“So what’s this Gryffindor going to be doing to the castle?” Tristan asked as he almost glided with the gait of his horse. Draco ignored the stab of envy at the man’s skill with the ease of long habit. “You seemed awful interested in getting him out here.”

“One of the things that Guin told us about Gryffindor was that he was able to manipulate stone. He will be making sure that we don’t have any hidden weaknesses in the foundations, that the stone will be strong as it’s built and stay sturdy after we finish. Plus, he’ll hopefully be able to give a clue at the quarry about where the best and soundest stone is located so we can use that for the necessary stuff like the walls,” Draco explained as he watched the mage push his horse all over the huge site. “And if we can slip it in where it won’t be noticed, he might be able to draw stone up from far away to add to what we have. Or even take some of the scrap stone and construct new stone blocks. It isn’t like we don’t need it.”

He had, after all, been ambitious in how he had laid out the castle. There were almost three acres contained in the walls and it was all going to be used. If he had time, they would be building a further outer wall with more acreage, but that was an expense that he couldn’t see right then. So, the castle itself, an inner wall, and the outer wall as it was. All as well-built and warded as he could manage.

“Not a bad idea,” Tristan agreed. “Will we be able to trust him not to sell the information he gets on the castle to anyone?”

And thank you, paranoia, you showed up right on time, Draco thought with a wry mental chuckle. He could always count on one of the knights to let it out. “Yes. He swore a very specific type of oath to me when he got here. It covered this. All of them did, as a matter of fact. Betraying us would be rather fatal.”

“I like it,” the knight said with a bloodthirsty grin.

“Me, too. Let’s go see what he’s got for us, shall we?” Draco asked as he spurred his horse into a trot.

Gryffindor was looking at the piles of stone they were using for the walls and waving his hands around in a manner that spoke of spells being performed, and he wanted to watch. Maybe see if he could pick up some new skills. After all, he and his people were going to be the ones to live in the castle, not the four founders. It would be best if he had some idea what was going on with the bones of it.

 

 

Chapter Eight

lh-harryasmerlin

“I want more children,” Harry told him as they lay in bed and watched as Kerrick played with the blocks that Tristan had carved for him. At three years old, he was a bright and cheerful child who was into everything and was as fearless as only a well-loved one could be. He had a nanny elf who had appeared within days of his birth and doted on him with all the loyalty of her kind.

“We have no idea how you got pregnant in the first place, love. And I’m not too sure I want you going through that again,” Draco admitted. “We aren’t in the 21st century, and medical care isn’t at a level that I feel comfortable trying again.”

“Agreed. We did the natural way once, but as interesting as the experience was, I don’t want to do it again. I’m certain that we can support a ritual child between the two of us. We certainly have the power levels,” Harry admitted.

Draco grunted in agreement. He was sinking as much of his personal power into the wards of the new castle as he could spare, and since he wasn’t actively using his abilities like Harry was, that was a fair amount of power. The construction was almost finished and the move from the fort to their new home was scheduled for midsummer.

He was happy they had finally gotten all the buildings ready and had started moving all the various supplies over. With the spring, they had eaten their way through most of the winter stores and that meant that there were very few perishable goods to move. For the most part, he had decreed that the supplies were to be left with the fort since he would still have men stationed there. The castle was going to have the greater majority of the men from the garrison, but not everyone.

Hadrian’s Wall was still useful, and, even if it divided his kingdom, it provided a great deal of protection to the fort and the lands surrounding it. He held sway above it because of Merlin, and Harry had spent the year of his apprenticeship with the old man traveling to all of the Woad villages, securing their fealty to him.

When Arthur had died, the village elders had all come round and pledged their fealty in person. Agreements had been hashed out on how much of each harvest they would get and how many men would be sent for military training. It had taken weeks.

With the fall harvests, they had sent out wagons and gathered what was promised. They had been rich in food and gotten through that first winter without a hitch. Draco spent the time looking at ways that his little kingdom could actually become financially solvent and started implementing the solutions.

His court, such as it was, was reassured that he had an heir, even if it wasn’t with Guin. Their arrangement was no real secret, and Draco found that he didn’t care. Guin had very few problems with the masses and most of the ones who had an issue with her, seemed to have it due to her inability to give a fuck on what they thought.

“We have two more years until the four of them head up to their castle. Godric says that they have the site picked out and he’s planning on taking an extended trip up there this summer to work on getting the ground ready for him to raise the structure. Salazar said he would go up with him,” Harry pushed on. “I want to have our next child before they are all out of reach.”

“I can understand that,’ Draco allowed. “So, I know how a child is created in ritual where we grew up, but do you have any idea how it’s done now?”

“Guin, Helga and Salazar all looked at me as if I was insane when I asked,” Harry admitted. “Godric was the only one who seemed to have a clue and he told me to ask the goblins. Something about them having access to everything and anything.”

“So a trip to Londinium then?” Draco asked as he started to mentally rearrange his schedule. It was early spring and the most important thing was the planting. Which, frankly, their steward could handle far better than he could ever dream of. And their chatelaine was able to coordinate all the various chores related to the running of their household without them.

“Yes. And if we’re going, we need to take Guin, her apprentice, Renfry, Kerrick, and at least Tristan.” Harry rolled out of bed and went to get his handy tablet to start writing down notes.

“Why the apprentices? And why Kerrick?” Draco asked as he smiled at their son. The boy had looked up at the sound of his name but gone right back to his play when he didn’t see one of his parents gesturing for him to come to them.

“Because both kids need wands, and I want to register Kerrick as our heir with our vaults,” Harry told him absently. “And Tristan said something about taking Lucan down to deal with Dagonet’s things. He’s almost to an age where he’s going to need to get a wand. I figure he’ll be heading to Hogwarts when it’s ready.”

“Okay, I can see that. I’ll take the kids to Ollivander’s and you deal with the bank and the goblins?” Draco asked.

“It needs both of us for the stuff with Kerrick,” Harry reminded him. “And I figure I’m going to have to talk to a goblin healer to get the globe I want. It won’t be fast, so you can take the kidlet with you when you head out.”

“Sounds like a plan. So, portkeying? Tristan will have to give us the location. Do you think he can?” Draco asked as he got off the bed to scoop their son up. “Hey, lad, time for you to be getting ready for bed.”

“No, Da! Wanna stay up!” Kerrick demanded as he twisted in his arms.

“Not happening, little man,” Draco told him cheerfully before placing a kiss on the boy’s brow. His son had gotten grey eyes and skin tone from him, and his hair from his other father. The combination was startling, and he figured that he was going to have to make very sure that his son didn’t make them grandfathers too soon. “Time for a story or maybe two before bed. Now let Nanny get you all ready.”

The grumbling from their son was deeply cute, and he shared an amused look with his love as he followed behind the boy. His nanny elf had his night clothes ready for him and a warm wet cloth to clean up the worst of the day’s mess. Kerrick was being raised like the boy he was in their new culture, but neither of them could stand the thought of him being as filthy as was the norm for the time period they were in.

Once the wipe down was done, with special attention paid to hands and feet, Draco settled in to tell his son stories about the knights, Arthur and even a bit about himself. By the end of the second story, his son was sleeping like the toddler he was. If nothing else ever came out of this adventure, he was thankful that he and Harry had managed to make the little human sleeping so soundly beside him.

Walking back to his bed, he hoped it was full of his lover. Draco had the urge to practice making their next child. Several times.

 

 

“Kerrick! You will not run off like that!” Draco barked out as he walked down what would be Diagon Alley someday, far in the future. “Get back here.”

“Yes, Da! Look!” his son shouted as he waved at the windows of a shop selling breads. The smell of hot sweet bread wafted out the open spaces and Draco silently congratulated the proprietor on their strategy. A quick stop got him a twist of pastry to share with his son, and he kept them moving.

He needed to get his wands looked at and Harry had demanded that he take Renfry with him to get him fitted for his first. Guin was with him to take care of her apprentice, and they were all making their way over to Ollivander’s. He knew that the wand shop had been in the Alley for a very, very long time, but he wasn’t too sure about who the proprietor would be at this point in time.

Opening the door to the shop, Draco smiled at the racks of small boxes that filled it from floor to ceiling. It seemed that the decorating scheme that he had seen when he had gotten his wand hadn’t been special to the Ollivander he had met.

“Hello! I’ll be out to see you in a moment!” a male voice called from the back. Draco frowned slightly and tried to smooth his expression out. Was he really sure? When they went back in time, it had been a few years since he had seen Garrick Ollivander, so he could be mistaken.

He wasn’t. Although, the Ollivander he was looking at seemed to be a great deal younger than the one he had met. Instead of crazy white hair that stood up worse than Harry’s, the wandmaker’s hair was black as pitch and just as messy as always. He was still dressed well, if comfortably, and his silver eyes were taking in every inch of them.

“Welcome to Ollivander’s! Are you here for wands?” he asked. Looking at Guin, he smiled in recognition. “Rosewood and powdered Han Fireball scale. Very powerful for hexes. Welcome back.”

Draco watched as Ollivander looked at the two teenagers with them and then waved Renfry to stand still as his tailor’s tape started measuring him. “It looks like you are here for a wand or two. Now, lad, which is your dominant or wand hand?”

Renfry glanced at Draco, and he nodded permission. The lad held out his right hand, palm up, and Ollivander leaned over to look at it for a moment before humming to himself and walking over to one of his shelves. Picking out several boxes, he set them on the counter that ran the length of the store and hovered his hand over them. Staring at the boy, he ran his hand over the boxes before nodding and holding one box out to him. “Try this one.”

When Renfry opened it, Draco smiled in appreciation. The wand looked to be willow, and whatever the core was, it apparently was compatible, because as soon as the boy waved it, a set of green and blue sparks shot out, bursting in the air like fireworks. “Ah, excellent. Willow, with a braided strand of unicorn hair. Very good for charms.”

Guin’s apprentice stepped up next and went through the same routine. Her wand was easily found and made out of rosewood and unicorn hair. It was obvious the teens were related, and it showed in the similarities of their cores. Draco paid for both wands without a wince and smiled softly as the kids chattered about their newest acquisitions. Lucan and Kerrick were peering in the boxes with avid curiosity on their faces.

“Milord Pendragon? If you could stay a moment?” Ollivander asked as Draco started to herd the kids out and onto their next stop. Draco had planned on coming back to the shop when the kids weren’t with him, so this was a surprise. Eyebrow raised, Draco looked at Guin, and she nodded. She would take the kids onto the next shop they had on their list.

“What can I do for you, Master Ollivander?” Draco asked as he leaned against the counter.

“I felt at least two of my wands enter the store when you came in. I knew Rowena’s wand, but yours… while they show as mine, they aren’t ones I know,” Ollivander told him, silver eyes shrewd as they gazed back at him.

And there was confirmation that Garrick Ollivander was far more than they had ever thought. And most definitely, far older. Harry was going to be pissed that he had missed this. “Can you swear an oath not to tell anyone what you learn today?” he asked.

Ollivander paused before nodding. The oath he swore was as through and binding as Draco could have wished and the whole shop lit up when it sealed. With two careful flicks of his wrist, he pulled out both of his wands. The elm and dragon heartstring wand that he had picked up from Ollivander after the war was serviceable at best. It fit his magic and did the job he needed, but it wasn’t his favorite of the two he had. The second was one that he had gotten from the family vault when he had lost the Elder Wand to Harry. It was made of Kingwood with a core made of the heartstring from a Ukrainian Ironbelly. His lover had laughed himself sick over the irony of it when they had realized the roles they had taken on.

While he might not use either wand as often as he used to, they were both well cared for and it showed. The wandmaker made no sound as he picked up each and examined them closely. “They are fine wands, well taken care of and don’t need anything on that vein from me. This one,” he said, pointing at the wand that had come out of his family vault, “is far older than the other. However you got them, I will not say, but they are mine of the making, even if I haven’t made them. Yet. I will keep your secrets, and when the time comes, I will make the wands. Thank you for showing them to me.”

Draco could only nod.

 

 

 

“You’ll be happy to know that the goblins have a means to allow us to get what we want,” Harry told him, leaning forward to speak directly into his ear. “And I got the book on it, the spell components, and one of their healers ran me through the spellwork needed to complete it. She did say that we’re going to be very, very tired the first few months, though.”

Draco leaned back in his chair and hooked one arm around his lover’s neck, pulling him close for a kiss. The sound of his son’s laughter was sweet to his ears, and he smiled against Harry’s lips. “I can live with tired. How tired is tired?”

Harry walked around and settled into his own chair beside the fire in their room. The inn had set up a meal for them, and he quickly poured a glass of small beer for himself and then started eating. After several bites, he sighed and took a drink. “Fillii Autem Cor et Anima or ‘Children of the Heart and Soul’ is the name of the spell and book. It’s in the range of grey arts because it takes blood, but the whole thing is doable. You remember how tired I was with Kerrick the first few months? That tired.”

“Sounds like masses of no fun at all. I’m guessing that having this out where anyone can find it would be bad?” Draco asked as he sipped at his own beer. Vanora, Bors’ woman, brewed a much better beer, one that had an actual flavor beyond alcohol, than the brewer the fort had kept on hand. And mead, cider and frankly anything that needed to be fermented. Draco had contracted her services after the first winter because he wasn’t facing rotgut for a second. She worked with the steward every year to make sure that they had enough supplies of everything to last through the winter and into spring.

“Well, it’s going to look like something deeply weird. And having people touch it would be bad. We also need to figure out how we’re going to explain the babe. And arrange for a wet-nurse,” Harry reported between bites of food. “You know, we’re spoiled. Our cooks are much better than the ones here. And let’s not talk about their brewers.”

Snickering softly, Draco nodded. “Maybe we can look into exporting some of our beer and stuff? I know we have some very nice orchards for ciders. Isn’t Cecily expecting?”

“She is. I’m not sure if it’s Tristan’s though. Speaking of ciders, the oak forests can make some lovely casks,” Harry said with a head tilt. “And we need to make sure that we replant the oaks when our woodsmen take the trees.”

“Sounds good. And maybe we can put a few casks of that stuff the goblins like for future negotiations?” Draco suggested as he took a final sip if his beer. “I’m not too sure if the babe is his either, but she’s healthy, right?”

“I think they would like that,” Harry admitted. “She was as of the last check with me. No diseases and she carried Indus without a problem from what Agnes said.”

Kerrick came up as Harry was finishing his meal, and he offered his son a sliver of apple which he took with a smile. Draco watched his two favorite people snuggle together and settled in to enjoy his evening.

 

 

They were back from their trip to Londinium. Thanks to the portkey, the trip took only minutes, not the weeks that it would have taken them if they had traveled by horse. They had spent two days in the city and picked up a large number of goodies. The second day of their trip, he had made it a point to visit the shops he liked and arranged to have stuff delivered to the bank and then sent up to him. Some of the goods were likely going to be sold to some of the freeholds that dotted his kingdom.

Marius Honorius might have had the best known of the freeholds, but he hadn’t been the only one. When the Saxon general had fixated on Arthur, it had let the rest of the countryside ride out the invasion. Once the army was destroyed, the various communities had reached out to Arthur. The trip the see those places had been wholly separate from the one to check on the various villages. The negotiations with the freeholds had rested almost entirely on Arthur, with Draco backing him up. Arthur had managed to get most of them in on that first trip and when he had died, the rest had joined.

Now after four years under Draco’s rule, the various freeholds had been fully folded into his kingdom and were basically his nobles. It was very weird. However, those nobles all had coin, and he had stuff that could be sold in the various shops in the town that was springing up outside the castle. It would be one additional reason for his nobles to visit, one more hook he could use to tie them to him.

Galahad and Gawain had no bastards among the ladies of the fort, and neither seemed to be interested in courting anyone there. Draco was actually hoping that would change. Vanora had staked her claim to a central location for her tavern and had made sure that Bors knew that he was going to be helping her build it. The knight had given her a look like she was insane. Draco’s money was on Vanora. Bors liked his kids too much to piss of their mother.

Bors’ two eldest were apprentices, and the rest of Vanora’s kids were too young to be used as shopkeepers. Draco needed to find a few shopkeepers who were honest, willing to sell what he could give them, and look for new products to add to their stocks. And then make sure that he got his percentage of the profits.

Something to look into then.

Harry had taken to reading the book he had gotten from the goblins at every hour of the day and poking at the little ball of silver and glass they had presented him with. Their private potions lab saw constant use, and there was always a cauldron bubbling away. Draco wasn’t going to indulge his curiosity on the contents until Harry gave him access to the book and let him at the whole thing.

While all of this was going on, he was holding court, training, and working with Salazar to make sure that, in case of invasion, he knew and could set the many little traps that would fuck people up. He had a great deal of fun working on that. Draco had honestly figured that he finally knew why the Weasley twins had done what they did. It was incredibly freeing to think of ways to be an arsehole to people.

Salazar was using the practice of the castle to work out what he wanted for the school. Draco had declined the moving staircases, but had accepted the secret passageways. He had declined the animated armor, and taken the reinforced front gate. So, his castle was mostly mundane, at least in looks. Anyone with the least bit of mage sight could see the spells woven into the very fabric of the place.

Three months after their trip to Londinium, Harry handed him the book, and he had to work his reading into his own schedule. Then he started to brew the potions needed. It took him a few times, but he managed to get it right. Comparing his potion to Harry’s, they were identical. He slapped his in stasis and set it aside. Cleaning up his mess, he took the time to survey their rooms. They had a bedroom and an outer sitting room again, along with a further outer room where they could hold meetings. The room looked to be very private, but it really wasn’t.

His office and Harry’s was also on the same floor with their potions lab, which was tucked into an alcove off his lover’s office, and an extension charm was laid into the stones themselves. It let them lock the area and also take advantage of the quirk of the architecture to expand it to fit their needs. Upstairs, the nursery for the royal children were located off what would have been the Queen’s quarters.

Guin was not living up there. She was on the floor below them. So the Queen’s quarters were doubling as the playrooms and classrooms for his son and the other children of the knights. It meant that all the kids were going to be literate, with at least the basics of a general education. For the kids who had magic, there were additional lessons from the four. Helga had cornered him to thank him for the opportunity to practice what they were eventually planning on doing later.

Draco didn’t have the heart to tell her that he was the one who was honored to see them teaching his son his letters. Salazar was having fun with teaching the kids the skills they would need when they started learning potions, Godric was laying the basis for transfiguration and Guin, or Rowena as she was known in class, was showing the kids how to love learning for its own sake. Helga kept taking the kids outside to help her with the gardens she had laid out. They were functional and full of things that could either be eaten or used in medicines.

Every day, his son came home tired, happy and full of the things he had learned from each of his teachers, and he shared it all with them. Even with all the things that he had to do, with all the responsibilities that had piled onto his shoulders over the last few years, he took the time to spend every evening with his son. He was never going to let his son think that he wasn’t as important as the kingdom he was going to inherit one day.

Walking out of Harry’s office, he made his way to their bedroom. He wasn’t expecting to see Harry there, but his lover had the small bauble made of glass and goblin silver in his hands. His magic surged inside of him and he made his way over to his lover. “I think it’s time. What do you think?”

Harry set it aside to slide into his arms, and Draco could feel the magic that tied them together surge again. “Yeah, I think it’s time. The potions lab?”

“It’s the safest place in the whole castle,” Draco agreed. “And the potion we need for this is there.”

Harry nodded and brushed a kiss over his lips before picking up the physical embodiment of their hope for a larger family. The trip back to the potions lab was silent, but not awkward. The stone they were using for the base was solid and attached to the floor, unlikely to move even in the worst of events. It was out of sight of the window, and he grabbed the potion as Harry settled the womb in place.

The spell needed to start the child was actually pretty easy to do. The potion was added, the blood was produced and the whole thing was infused with their magic. Holding each other, they watched the little ball sit. It stayed dark and still for several moments before there was a bloom of dark rose colored light from within. The blessing they had asked for was coming alive before their eyes.

It took time for them to pull themselves away from their little miracle. It was too soon to see anything, but the pulse of the light in the glass was moving as fast as a hummingbird’s wings. He couldn’t feel the drain on his magic yet, but he knew it was coming based off the information the book had given them.

The walk back to their room was silent, but filled with a great deal of satisfaction. Draco pushed Harry against the wall next to the bed and kissed him. He wanted to celebrate the conception of their second in the best and most traditional manner possible.

He worked his hands under Harry’s shirts and slid his hands over his runes. He didn’t push his magic into them, but he pulled out of the kiss to brush his mouth against his lover’s ear. “May I?”

“You had better. But if I get up the duff from this, I will cut off parts of you and roast them,” Harry hissed.

Draco chuckled softly as he cast a series of contraception charms on them both. Nothing that would affect their pleasures, but they would make sure that his lover wouldn’t be getting pregnant. The hint of stiffness that had marred Harry’s frame melted away.

His hand moved over the runes as soon as Harry relaxed into him and pushed his magic into them. The rush of their activation brought a moan to his lover’s lips, and his cock surged with blood and he was hard so fast his head swam. Using his position, he pushed the shirts over Harry’s head, baring his chest for him to play with.

Moving Harry away from the wall, he placed him on their bed and stood between his legs. Rubbing his cock against the seam of his lover’s pants, he started worshiping at every stretch of skin that he had ever found that made him squirm. His nipples had become incredibly sensitive after the birth of their son and Harry could almost come from that alone.

He got his hands on the buckle of Harry’s belt and managed to get it undone without smacking anything important. Drawing his pants down his legs, Draco ran his mouth down his lover’s belly and nosed against his bellybutton, riding out the giggles that caused. Running his hands down Harry’s legs, he used his magic to get everything off.

As soon as the way was clear, he stepped forward and took the cock before him deep into his mouth and swallowed around it. The short sharp scream as Harry bucked his hips was worth the blocking of his air for a moment. When his lover’s hands fisted in his hair, he hummed in contentment. He adored doing this for Harry, and, from the moans, Harry was enjoying getting it.

It took several tugs before he pulled off his treat, and Draco panted into the crease of his lover’s hip. Running one finger behind Harry’s balls, he could feel that the lubrication charm had done its job and he whispered a second charm to add some lube to his own fingers as he pressed them against his lover’s ass. They sank in without pause and he shuddered at the feel. Harry shuddered as well and spread his legs as wide as he could.

When Draco grazed his prostate with the tips of his fingers and pressed, his hips snapped up. “Draco, please! Stop teasing,” Harry panted. He sounded beautifully wrecked.

He pulled his fingers free after one last press against Harry’s prostate. A quick spell cleaned his fingers and scrabbled at his own clothes. He managed to get his flies open and pushed everything down enough that he wasn’t likely to strangle his dick. A second spell got him more lube and he slathered it all over his cock, hissing at the sensation. The lube wasn’t cold, but it was cooler than the flesh he was getting slick.

A third spell cleaned his hand, and he ran his clean hands up the back of Harry’s legs and pushed them back, baring his tender pink hole for his view. Lining his cock up, he pressed against the furled bud that he was going to be sinking into. Teasing himself, he pressed and relaxed several times until Harry tensed up and tried to push back against Draco’s hands.

“No, love, let me,” he ground out.

Harry glared up at him, lips parted in what looked like a pained grimace. “I would, but you are being a teasing bastard.”

“Oh, you want this?” he asked as he slowly sank his cock into the hottest part of his lover. From the strangled scream that clawed its way out from behind Harry’s teeth, he was getting exactly what he wanted.

Draco sank in until his pubic bone pressed right against the bulge of his lover’s perineum. He rested there for a moment and then slid Harry’s legs around his waist, before leaning forward to rest his arms against his lover’s shoulders. Draco had Harry fully bracketed, and, as soon has he was comfortable, he started fucking into him, strokes long and hard.

The clenching of Harry’s muscles against him pulled a moan out of him. In retaliation, he thrust in harder and rode out the shudder that shook his lover’s frame. He could feel the burn of his orgasm starting to gather at the base of his spine, and he did his best to push it back. He wasn’t going to come until he had made Harry fall apart.

He could feel the head of Harry’s cock brushing against his stomach, and he changed his angle slightly to push everything together just a bit more. Each and every thrust made contact with Harry’s prostate and his cock glided up Draco’s stomach. Draco could feel from the clenching of Harry’s muscles that he was getting close. He drew in a deep breath and decided that the hot slick head of his lover’s cock moving against his abs was a delicious sensation.

Draco shifted, kissing his way up from his lover’s neck to his lips, and he tried to pour his feelings into what his body was doing. Pulling back, he looked down into Harry’s eyes and watched as the green eyes he adored go hazy and blank as his pleasure washed over him. Draco let his control go, and his orgasm roared forward and he came in hot pulses into his lover.

Whimpering slightly, he locked his elbows and tried not to collapse. He didn’t want to pull his cock out of where it was; the hot sheath was still rippling slightly from their shared pleasure. The feel of Harry’s nails scratching his scalp pulled him back to himself, and Draco slowly pulled his cock free before falling to the side and sliding onto the bed.

“Happy baby conception day,” Harry muttered before giggling and rolling into his side to throw one leg over Draco’s torso. All Draco could do was laugh in response. Happy day indeed.

 

 

Chapter Nine

kingarthur2

 

 

Five years had flown by very fast, Draco thought. His marriage to Guin had been officially dissolved and Harry had been named his consort in truth. The polite fiction they had been living with was over. Kerrick and his sister Amaryllis were installed as his children and heirs and all was right in his world on that front. Any children that Guin had after the date of their dissolution weren’t his.

With the five years being up, they were planning on riding north to where they had started the preparation for Hogwarts. Each of the four had spent time on their site, making sure that the ley lines in the area all gathered under the location chosen for the castle. The soon to be founders had also bonded with a number of house elves, and they were all meeting them there. Draco was certain the little guys would be able to get the castle livable quickly. Once Godric got it built anyway.

The trip up had to be done in a traditional manner since everyone knew they were going. So, off they went on horses with a lot of pack horses trailing behind. The children were staying with their nanny elf, and Vanora had promised to keep an eye on them as well.

The weather was actually cooperating for the trip out, and they rode under clear skies with nary a hint of rain. Draco was actually happy with it since it meant his farmers could get their crops in without drama. A good bumper harvest was always nice to see. And would help pad their granaries for the future.

He was using the trip out to check on the various villages on the way. Peace was apparently doing great things for the population, too. He saw a large number of children running around, and he made a mental note to send some of the healers Hufflepuff had trained around to all the villages under his control. He wanted no diseases to run through his people if he could help it.

Draco had decided that he was going to basically say ‘fuck it’ and treat the time line they were in as a whole new universe. To do otherwise would lead to him going insane from trying not to change anything. It wouldn’t work and it would just damage him if he tried, to say nothing of what it would have done to the Gryff he had fallen in love with.

Besides, doing nothing would have meant they wouldn’t have their children and there was no way he was going to pass that up.

At any rate, the trip up to where Hogwarts was to be went smoothly. He was getting a good idea of what was happening to his kingdom at a ground level, and he was spending time with his lover. The food was good, they weren’t rushing to get anywhere, and he was actually comfortable on his horse. It was as close to a vacation as he had gotten in years.

When they reached the site for the castle, Draco stared. As a child he had never noticed, but now, as an adult looking at the empty landscape, he could see why the site had been chosen. The castle would be situated so to overlook the loch lapping at its feet. The forest spread out in dark waves, but currently without the more interesting wildlife. There was no village of Hogsmeade, but there was plenty of space for it to grow up.

It was a good site. He could even see where the Express would someday run. Sprout’s green houses had been inside the walls of the school, but if he squinted… Draco pulled himself out of his memories and started pitching in with the set up for camp.

Sitting around the campfire, he watched as the house elves attached to the four worked around them. Dinner was being prepared, the tents were being raised, a portable privy was going in, and enough wood had been gathered to last the night.

“Camping on our own. Isn’t this nice?” Gawain told the group as he leaned back against the carpet-covered log the elves had placed around the fire. “And I know my cooking isn’t as good as what they are doing.”

He grandly ignored the snorts of agreement from his fellow knights. Draco muttered his agreement as well. Gawain was not to be allowed to do more than stoke the fire. Any fire.

“If I didn’t think there would be some serious screaming, I would bond with more house elves, just so we can get them to cook for us. As it is I have Tans. Harry, of course, has Nanny and Pins.”

Tristan sat forward from his spot on the outer edge of the circle and looked at Harry. “Who is Pins?”

The rest of the knights nodded, and Harry sighed. Draco shrugged his shoulder against his lover and left the decision up to him. The four had proven to be utterly trustworthy, and there was no way in any universe he could see the knights betraying him or his family.

“Pins is Kerrick’s bodyguard. He’s there just to make sure nothing and no one hurts our son,” Harry finally told them. “We can’t be with our son every moment of every day. So for the times when he isn’t with us, Pins is.”

“Good idea,” Bors grunted. “The gods know, there are a large number of arseholes running around. And a child is always vulnerable.”

“And while we’ve vetted our people pretty well, not everyone who comes to the castle is going to pass our checks,” Draco admitted. “Causing an ‘accident’ for my heir isn’t outside the realm of possibility.”

Harry nodded in agreement and then chuffed out a laugh. “You can’t kill them long distance, Guin.”

Guinevere, now Rowena, flicked her hair over her shoulder before huffing in anger. “I can lay a hex on him that will only trip if someone approaches him in anger?”

Draco shook his head. “And what happens if I walk by him after a council meeting? You know I leave those meetings more pissed off than I entered 9 times out of 10.”

Her shouters slumped and she nodded. “Okay. I can see why that would be bad. I’ll research it. See if I can come up with something intent-based instead.”

Salazar nodded as well, and Draco could see the anticipation on his face. Something was going on in that sneaky mind, and he was certain it would be painful for someone. “Just make sure whatever you come up with ramps up from a deterrent to something bad, Salazar. Going right for the fatal response, while entertaining, isn’t good in the long run,” Draco suggested.

“Spoilsport,” Salazar muttered with his eyes alight with vindictive glee. “If I figure it out?”

“And it proves to be safe?” Draco finished the thought. “Then I can see placing it. Until then, no. Kerrick will have Pins, and we’re looking for an elf for Amaryllis. Nanny will likely have a new charge next year, so if your elves have someone that they can recommend, that would be good.”

“What about having one on you or Harry?” Galahad asked from his spot next to Gawain. It was typical of them to be within arm’s reach of each other every chance they got.

Draco was of the private opinion that the two of them needed to find a nice girl to put between them because they were as bonded as he and Harry were. Or, more likely, like Arthur and Lancelot had been. If they had a wife, it might help with the last bit of broodiness they both seemed to have.

“Stop matchmaking,” Harry hissed at him from where he was smuggled into his side.

“It’s been six years since we got here,” Draco muttered back. “How much longer do you think it will take them?”

“A lot less time than you think,” Harry informed him, voice even quieter as he used English. “They’re dating a girl in town.”

“Finally. Her family knows it’s the two of them, right?’ Draco asked.

“Yup. And they know that you approve of the union because they introduced me the last time I went down to check on Indus,” Harry told him.

“How’s the kid?” Draco asked, dropping back into the local language they had spent so long learning. English, while secure, was also fairly rude. He tried not to shove their origins to the fore any more than he had to. But getting the straight skinny on those two was too tempting to pass up.

“Enjoying being an older brother and looking forward to getting a wand of his own. He’s interested in going to the school when it opens,” Harry told him.

Godric looked up from his own spot and blinked a few times, obviously pulling his attention back from wherever it had been. “If I can get the basic building up tomorrow, our elves can finish the insides within weeks. Once that’s done, we can be ready for students with the fall.”

Bors and Tristan both grunted in satisfaction, and Draco hummed. That still fit the timeline in his head. The one person who had been quiet finally spoke up.

“Harry, I know you’ve got Renfry at the level of a journeyman, but have you figured out who he’s to go to for his mastery level classes?” Hufflepuff asked as she sat knitting something.

Of the four, she was the most baffling to Draco. She reminded him of Molly Weasley at times, but she seemed to have much more sense. Plus, a rather nice habit of not smothering everyone who came into her range with her presence. But she still tried to feed everyone in reach, made knitted things, and had the mothering touch the other woman had. It was creepy.

Harry stared over at Helga and then looked at Bors. “He’s your son, Bors. Do you want any say in this? Because I’m sure not going to make any arrangements that you and his mother don’t agree to.”

The knight looked up from his drink and shook his head. “Lad’s damn near grown. I just want him to be happy and remember to visit his mother every once in a while.”

“Then I would say that if he agrees, Helga, you can invite him to stay,” Harry agreed. “We’ll get together to talk about what his strengths and weaknesses are after we get the castle up.”

The pop of an elf arriving shut down talk for a moment, and the little creature looked at Rowena. “Cookie has dinner finished, milady. We serves it at table?”

“That sounds grand,” Rowena agreed with a clap of her hands.

Draco stood up and offered his hands to his lover and pulled him up firmly. Dinner was going to be one more thing to add to his list of good things about the trip. Someone else was cooking and definitely cleaning, because he was wretched at them and had never improved, no matter how many times the knights had tried. Camping was always more fun when he wasn’t expected to help with the mundane things.

 

 

The next morning dawned cool and clear. Breakfast was provided by the elves and everyone ate heartily. The sun had been up for an hour by the time they were ready to begin.

Godric settled on a spot on the rise and thrust both hands in the soil before him. Salazar stood behind him, hands on his shoulders, getting ready to feed him power as needed. Harry was behind him with Draco bringing up the rear. If it took the power of the four of them to do this, Draco was going to be horrified and impressed.

The site the mage had settled on directly overlooked the loch. The cliffs leading to the water were sheer, and before Godric started to work, there was no way down. The first flush of power from the mage pulled a seam of water up from the loch, through the rock, and carved a set of stairs down to it on the face of the cliff. The next pulse capped the water and formed a small fountain. A third pulse ran a series of pipes through the ground where the castle was to sit.

Draco had always wondered how the castle got water. Now he knew. They had talked about how to deal with waste, and he and Harry had made a case for a deep borehole to hit far enough down to incinerate it thanks to the heat of the Earth. Baffles and various other things made sure that the noxiousness that was endemic to things of the sanitary nature were filtered through many tens of feet of rock and soil. A second set of shafts were designed to pull heat up from the earth going straight down from the castle. Hogwarts had always been chilly, but not frozen, even in the depths of winter. Magic after all, could only do so much to overcome weather and a building made of stone. He wasn’t sure that they would be able to put enough fireplaces in to make the place warm if they didn’t use the heat of the Earth.

Once the basics were done, Godric moved onto the foundation. Draco could tell because the ground started to heave as the stones rearranged themselves. The shaking was intense, and he gestured Rowena over with a jerk of his head.

“Something tells me this is going to get worse before it gets better,” he called out to her. The noise was increasing and so was the movement of the ground. “Get the knights and our horses off the promontory.”

All she did was nod back before heading down to make sure the rest of their party stayed safe. As soon as they were out of range, she and Helga linked hands and raised a shield around the area. The small pebbles that had been rolling downhill stopped against it.

Godric was sweating, and Harry had his hands clamped to Salazar’s shoulders. The soil that had filled the space in with the foundations vanished and reappeared against the shield. The newly exposed basement and foundations looked an awful lot like the pictures he had seen of the muggle Colosseum. Just in better shape.

Draco kept an eye on the sun, and it was almost at its zenith when Godric pulled his hands free of the soil. The basement was fully done and the stone floors, or at that point ceilings, had started levering themselves into place to cover the arches. It was like watching a puzzle be put together by an invisible giant.

“Godric? How are you?” Draco asked as he signaled Rowena to cut the shield. The pile of dirt from the foundations shifted and he could hear the sound of it sliding. At least it was far enough away from anything important, he thought.

“I’m fucking tired,” Godric admitted. “I hope the elves have food ready. Because I’m going to make their day by eating everything.”

“Then you are napping, Godric,” Salazar muttered. “Because I’m tired, too, and I’ll be eating just as much as you will.”

Draco turned to look at Harry and relaxed slightly at the wave he got. “I’m good. Neither of them had started to draw from me, but Salazar was shaking pretty hard there towards the end. Help me make sure the two of them make it to camp without killing themselves?”

Snorting lightly Draco walked over and pulled Godric up. The walk over to where Rowena and Helga had been standing was complicated as he and Harry figured out how to carry their charges around the masses of dirt. The six of them then staggered down to the camp, and, true to their words, the men both ate everything they could get their hands on. The elves were thrilled that both wizards were finally eating what they thought of as proper meals. Snickering softly at the sight, Draco managed to eat until he was stuffed and then headed out for a walk.

Making his way back up the hill, he saw that the knights were all gathered around the pit that was housing the finished stonework. Walking up to them, he heard them muttering in the language of their childhood and he left them too it. Magic might let him translate anything, but common courtesy meant that he wasn’t going to stick his nose in.

Turning his back on them, he looked over the length of the loch. He had to wonder if the giant squid was in it? Were there merpeople in there? When had the forest changed from the typical Scottish forest to something that belonged in a muggle horror movie? He had so many questions, and he wasn’t too sure that he would ever get the answers.

“Draco.”

Twisting around, he turned to stare at the men behind him. “What can I do for you?”

Bors waved his hand the evidence of destruction and construction. “Can my son do this? My daughter? The rest of my kids; who I know that you’ve marked as being like you?”

Oh, shite. Well. It had taken him six years to ask the question, and Draco owed it to the man to answer honestly. Taking a deep breath, he spread his hands and tried to look sincere. “No. Your children are magically talented, but Godric Gryffindor is… Well, to use a comparison that makes the most sense, he’s like a Knight of the Round Table in his skills. Your kids are more like one of the guardsmen. Talented, even very talented, but not at the extreme level that you and your cohorts are.”

All four of the surviving knights frowned. Tristan was the only one with active magic. The other three weren’t really Squibs, but they weren’t magical enough to attract the attention of a teacher. Their children, as evidenced by Bors, all had a very good chance of being more magical than their parents.

Of the twelve kids he had, eight of them were magical enough for schooling. The other four were at the same level Bors was, magical, but not magical enough for anything special. Well, if they didn’t have Harry around them. He was going to make sure that those four kids got at least the basics of hedge witchery. It would let them brew potions and do some simple magics that had always proven to be useful to their communities.

“So, they can’t do this?” Bors asked as he walked over to the edge of the pit to look in.

Draco walked up to the edge as well and saw that the foundation was level with the soil. The center of the space was filled with the flagstone flooring. He could see that what he had thought were arches were actually barrel vaults that had the pipes and the like running alongside. He had no idea what Godric was doing with the base of the castle, but he had to trust the man that he knew what he was doing.

“No, they can’t do this. At best they might be able to put small things together like furniture or something similar. The level of work that Godric is doing is beyond them, both in power and knowledge. He spent years learning how to do this and not burn himself out,” Draco tried to reassure him. “I’m sure he could teach the small skills, but this is just beyond them.”

“Good. This much power is very disturbing. Because no one should have that much power,” Bors mumbled as he poked the shaft of his axe at the joins of the stones.

“You understand, this isn’t just Gryffindor, right?” Draco asked as he looked at his men. “He’s the one providing the direction and skill for sure and certain. But much of the power behind this is coming from Slytherin, Harry and myself, plus Godric. It’s going to take all four of us to build the shell of the castle. The ladies are keeping you safe by having a shield up, but the rest of us are only concerned with getting the major parts of the buildings up. Once that’s up, the elves will start working on the innards of the place under the ladies eyes.”

Tristan nodded and reached into the pouch at his waist to pull out an apple and a knife. Slicing off a sliver he carefully ate a bite before offering some to Bors. “Will my sons be at this level?”

“We don’t know,” Draco admitted. “We’ve got a decent idea about the rest of Bors’ kids, but one of them might surprise us. The rest of the children who show the spark of magic haven’t gotten any in-depth training and so we can’t really say what’s going on with them. That’s one reason why Guin and her friends are putting together this school. So they can make sure that all the kids who have magic can be trained. So they can have an ethical foundation on how to use, or not use the power they have.”

“Good. I’d hate to have to hunt my kids,” Tristan told him. “My training stopped when I was fourteen, but I knew what I was and wasn’t supposed to do with it.”

“So are we good?” Draco asked as he looked at Galahad and Gawain.

“You’ll keep an eye on any children we have?” Galahad asked as he looked at his partner and then at him.

Draco nodded. “Oh, yeah. We’re going to be keeping an eye on every single kid in our reach.”

“Good. If you and Harry are helping provide the power for this, you need to at least try to rest,” Gawain spoke up.

Draco chuckled slightly and bowed his head in acceptance. “I’ll get some rest. You four try not to freak out.”

The looks the four men gave him were as insulted as a wet cat, and he giggled all the way down the hill.

 

 

Midafternoon brought the four wizards back up to the top of the promontory, and the two witches had the shield up before anything started.

Godric sat down again and thrust his hands back into the soil. Salazar, instead of standing, knelt behind his friend and put his hands back on his shoulders. Harry took the standing position behind Slytherin again, and Draco went back to supporting his lover.

“Ready gentlemen?” Godric asked as he took in a series of deep breaths. At the sounds of assent, he relaxed back into the ground and picked the magic up again.

The invisible giant picked up the next pieces of the floor and started fitting them into place. Once the floor was finished, the walls started to grow in fits and starts. The central core of the tower went up first and then the outer shell. For a long time, nothing seemed to change, but Draco could feel Harry stagger as Godric started drawing on him.

He could only guess at what was happening inside the castle. He was betting the various floors were being put into place, the staircases, and the classrooms. He could see the basics of the castle he had known in his childhood taking shape, but there was still so much to go.

The castle wasn’t the tower that he had thought it would be. It was a large rectangle with the round towers at the corners. He looked up and smiled at the familiar façade that was appearing through Godric’s magic. As he watched, he saw the stone that made up the roof slotting into place. He had no idea how long the whole thing was taking, but he finally felt the tug on his magic about the same time the last roof piece was locked into place.

Draco relaxed into the tug and let his magic flow into Godric. He didn’t try to direct it, just let the man have access to the power he needed to complete the castle. Closing his eyes, he watched as his power was moved through the earth and directed around the castle itself. The wall was high, thick, and strong enough to protect a school full of children who only wanted to learn magic.

When the draw on his core slowed to a trickle, he opened his eyes to see that the walls he had seen in his mind’s eye had been made fact. The only thing missing from the whole place was the glass for the windows and the metalwork. Godric had only worked with stone. They would need to figure out how to use their magic to get the metal and wood gates they would need.

The trickle died off, and he took a step back and tried to breathe. “Wow.”

Godric was leaning back against Salazar, and they were both staring up at what they had wrought. “Well, fuck me. Look what we did, Sal.”

Slytherin chuckled softly and hugged his friend. “It’s magnificent. And it will be more so once the rest of us get to put our stamps on it, too.”

“Just make sure that nothing that you do can hurt the kids,” Godric muttered as his head rolled back on the shoulder behind him.

“They won’t be hurt. But I want to make sure that if we need to, the castle can help us defend the children,” Salazar murmured as he worked his arms around the other man. “And I don’t care about invaders. They can all fucking die if they try to hurt anyone I like.”

“Works for me,” Gryffindor mumbled before passing out.

“Jackarse. Draining yourself down to dregs,” Salazar bitched quietly. “Can one of you two please send a burst of blue light up to let the ladies know that we’re done and could use some help?”

The look Harry gave him was exhausted, and Draco nodded. Pulling his kingwood wand out, he got the burst of light out. He could feel the strain of it pushing against his core. What would have been done without a thought that morning made him ache after the pulls on his core in the afternoon.

Looking over at the empty gatehouse, he sat down on the ground, waiting on the ladies to come and fetch them. Instead of the women though, three of his knights made their way over to them.

“So, I’m guessing you overdid it?” Galahad asked as he grabbed the hand that Draco held out and helped heave him back up on his feet.

Staggering slightly with exhaustion, he nodded. “Oh, yeah. We pushed it just a bit too far. But trying to complete it all tomorrow would have meant that we would have basically had a seam in the middle of the castle. It wouldn’t have been good.”

“If you say so,” Galahad told him as he moved over to Harry.

His partner was basically passed out on the ground, and he sighed. Yeah, they had overdone it.

Each of his knights snorted in amusement before heaving the three unconscious men over their shoulders. “Think you can walk, sire?” Gawain asked as he shrugged Salazar’s unconscious body into a better position.

“You are not funny,” Draco muttered as he started staggering toward the exit.

“We’re hilarious,” Bors grunted as he managed Godric’s larger frame.

“You’re all arseholes.”

The laughter that followed was warming, even if he felt like shite.

 

 

It took two days for them to feel recovered enough to stagger back up to the castle. The house elves had fallen all over themselves to take care of the exhausted magic users. Food, potions and pampering had been the word of the day, and Draco wasn’t too proud to admit that he had wallowed in it.

Walking back up the slope, he saw that the gatehouse was still empty. That would need to be fixed before the school started. Maybe see if he could get the goblins to craft them?

The courtyard was dominated by the castle itself. Large steps led up to the main door leading into the interior of the structure, and he could see the giant wooden slabs in his mind’s eye. Again, something that would have to be dealt with and soon. “Maybe you need to contract with the goblins to get the gates and the doors?”

Salazar waved a hand in dismissal. “I set that up when I went to Londinium. It’s why I made sure that you followed the plans for the size we agreed on and didn’t go any larger.”

“You are pushy, you know that Salazar?” Helga asked as she poked at the dirt of the courtyard. Most of the space was strictly dirt, but the area in front of the doors was set with flagstones to form a flat area. The rest of the area in the walls still showed the natural lay of the land.

“If I wasn’t pushy, we would be years away from this point, Helga. And who knows when we would have our first class? Milord Pendragon has been willing to sponsor us for the last five years and now he’s helped us construct the castle we will be doing that in.” Salazar threw his arms out and spun around to draw her attention to the place they were in. “Overstaying our welcome would not have been wise.”

“And I’m going to be sending you your first class of students. But you need to get the castle ready for it,” Draco observed. “Where’s the ward stone for this place?”

“In the lowest levels of the castle,” Godric told him. “We’ll be waking and marrying it to the ley lines tonight. But the worst of this is done. Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

Something in Draco’s heart sang at the sound of the words. The best home he had ever known before he fell in love with Harry was back in the same world that he was in. One more piece of his reality had just slotted into place.

 

Chapter Ten

lh-stonehenge

One hundred years was an extraordinary length of time to have lived, Draco Malfoy, known as Pendragon, thought. To have lived as long as he had, he had seen an amazing number of events.

Hogwarts was a shining example of hope for the future of the magical world. The four founders were still kicking and teaching class after class of children. He and Harry had even closer ties to the founders than they had had while sponsoring them. Their son Kerrick had married the oldest daughter of Godric and Rowena.

Salazar had already been married when Hogwarts had been raised. The entire time he had been with them, he had kept quiet about his spouse. When she had shown up, Draco had completely understood why. Daughters of Cesare, even if they came from the wrong side of the blanket were boons in status to whomever they were married to. If things had gone wrong for Salazar, having her be totally unknown would have protected her and their children. And they did have some. When she arrived, she had several with her, and in their years at the school, they had produced even more.

Draco had laughed like a loon when he had gotten the announcement that Godric’s oldest boy, Geoffrey had married Salazar’s only daughter. Verdiana was a viper and a vicious one at that. Geoffrey had been panting after the girl since he started noticing that girls existed. Draco and Tristan thought it was cute. Harry just thought they were twisted little bastards who liked to make everyone around them choke.

Helga had married far later than her friends and had one set of twins. Unlike the rest of them, her spouse hadn’t lasted long. But she hadn’t killed him. Neither, to the best of Draco’s knowledge, had anyone else. The man had gone home to his village and had caught a nasty case of dead when he had tripped over something and snapped his neck. Helga hadn’t been too broken up about it though. He firmly wasn’t thinking about that.

His knights had prospered and added to the population as well. After seventy years on the throne, they were all dead, but they had all lived full and wonderful lives.

Bors had managed to sweet talk Vanora into marriage after years of tap dancing around the issue. Draco and Harry had a private bet going that the family was the start for the Weasley’s. The red hair was hard to miss. They had never managed to confirm if their supposititious had been right, but it had still been fun to try to pick out the possible relationships to people they had known. Even if the Weasley matriarch had been an utter bitch at the end.

Gawain and Galahad had managed woo their lady, and Harry had found her sweet but surprisingly uncomplicated. Draco had taken her at face value and hadn’t tried to get anything more out of her. His knights had been happy enough with her and with each other. Their kids and grandkids were all mostly happy little things with wicked edges to their minds and tempers. And their forefathers’ skill in battle.

Tristan only had the two boys with Cecily and had never seemed to be interested in anything further. When Draco had asked Harry about him, he had been advised to let him be. He wasn’t going to try to remember everything Harry had hammered home about a person being asexual but still interested in having children.

“Contemplating our friends?” Harry asked as he leaned against the doorjamb.

“Contemplating how different things are from what I remember of English history when I was a kid,” Draco admitted. “I don’t remember hearing that Helga Hufflepuff had ever married or had children, for one. And I think the knights never had children in the history Binns tried to teach us.”

“I never heard anything about Slytherin’s wife,” Harry confided. “Hermione looked into the Gaunts and Salazar when we were running around sixth year and found the relationship to be tenuous at best. In that time line, Salazar never brought his wife here from Rome. Only one of his children came here and Salazar died a bitter, nasty old bastard who thought putting a basilisk in a school was a good idea.”

Draco held up one finger and tried not to smile at the huff it got him. “In his favor, he’s really good with the dangerous beasties. Reminds me of a more normal-sized Hagrid.”

“Uh-huh. I know he is. Which is why there is a village of merpeople in the loch,” Harry bitched as he waved the latest letter from the school at him.

“Is that James’ most recent letter?” Draco asked as he reached for their grandson’s missive.

“It is. Kerrick already read it and spent most of the morning laughing as I bitched about it,” Harry huffed out on a laugh. “He has far too much of your sense of humor, love.”

The glow of pride at the thought of their firstborn was warm and soft now. Kerrick was almost seventy and had taken over most of the day-to-day work of the kingdom. They had a plan in the works, but Draco was waiting on a reply from Godric before putting it into play. Time was starting to weigh on them both, and they wanted some time outside the pressure-cooker that was being king and consort.

Their son was a grandfather several times over and a very capable knight in his own right. Unlike his uncles, he didn’t enjoy battle for its own sake. He enjoyed the forms and the traditions, but not the blood. Tristan, in his last years, had complimented them on raising a child who didn’t have that broken bit inside. Galahad and Gawain had agreed before they had died.

Bors had been the first to go when he had died about ten years after his marriage to Vanora, but he had always had soft spots for the children of his friends. Dagonet’s son, Tristan’s kids, and the tribe that Galahad and Gawain had produced had always been indulged by the big man.

Draco had been absurdly happy when their children had been included in the rough affection Bors had doled out. Kerrick was his first child and he always seemed to have an extra bit of something for him. He had done his best not to treat him any different than he did their other kids, but he wasn’t sure how well he had done. “He’s a good blend of the both of us, Harry. It could be worse. He could have come out and been like my father.”

“We’ve had this discussion,” Harry reminded him as he carefully walked over to his chair. “If we had managed to produce your father, or even mine, we would have done our best to warp the kid back to something closer to normal. Snotty arrogance and insane mischief weren’t needed in their childhoods!”

The shudder that racked Draco’s frame wasn’t feigned. After the four had left to establish Hogwarts, the war that had been brewing with the Saxons had exploded again. The school had hidden itself behind a series of shields and baffles, trusting in them to keep the place safe. No one had gotten near them, and Draco had taken advantage of that several times to send the children there for refuge.

Because their castle hadn’t faired quite as well. The fortifications had been put to the test on several harrowing occasions. Plus the fields surrounding it had gotten watered with the blood of their enemies more far more often than he wanted to think about. Every time that happened, the next year’s crops had come up especially well though.

But no matter how hard the Saxons tried, they had never been able to break through. Draco and Harry had both earned the name Pendragon on that campaign. They had taken to the skies in their animagus forms and used them to harry, harass and frighten the army before their gates. It had worked, and the Saxons had run back to their boats, screaming of the dragons that Draco had under control in his kingdom.

When the kingdoms to the south had gotten restless, Harry had taken to flying over the skies of the castle to reinforce the rumors. Draco would often join him and they would play tag in the sky. On those afternoons, they would land and disappear to their rooms for a well-deserved romp. Peace had stayed the way of the land for a number of years due to that.

“Well, the kids are a bit arrogant,” Draco allowed. “And they have a fair amount of mischief going. I mean, who else would spike the knights’ cider with that applejack that you made? Just to see them act like arses.”

The snicker that broke out between Harry’s lips was still one of the cutest things that he had ever heard. Draco smiled at the memory, even if, at the time, he had wanted to tan the hide off the children responsible. The knights had all had hangovers that had lasted days. Because the kids had taken it one step further and hidden the cure. Evil little shites.

“I don’t think the knights ever forgave them for that. And I know that when I went to help Indus with Tristan at the end, he still had some of the hangover cure stashed away. Just in case.” Harry smiled in memory. “Did you manage to start the process to get Tristan’s family on their way to being Ancient and Noble?”

“Tristan had a great deal more wealth than anyone gave him credit for, and he banked it with Gringotts. Indus has managed that well and has started branching out into other things to make more money.” Draco shrugged. “He’s got a title, and I figure that if the family is even a tenth as clever as Tristan and Indus, they’ll make it soon.”

“The first incarnations of the Wizengamot seem to be forming in Londinium, and Renfry has been asking me to come down to sit one of the sessions. He wants to see if getting the greatest Merlin to grace them with his presence will give it a bit more legitimacy.” Harry leaned forward to take a cup off the tray that appeared in front of them. Nanny had graduated to their personal chef and was constantly trying to get them to eat.

They indulged her fussy nature a lot.

“Do you want to go?” Draco asked.

“No. They need to do this without me propping them up.” Harry sighed.

“Will you be okay with us retiring to Hogwarts?” Draco asked as he looked out the windows they had put in only twenty years before. They had both agreed that the danger was low enough to take the risk by then. The glass was mage-glass and was weather tight, but would let a mail owl through. Like the one making its way over the parapets to them.

Just like he had for the last seventy years, Harry followed his lead and stared out the glass as well. “Looks like we may have an answer to that. But yes, I would like to take a step or two back from Camelot.”

The owl glided through the window without a pause and took up a spot on the roost they had set up just for them. Tans was still with them, and he popped in to take the letter clutched in the bird’s claws. A snap of his fingers filled the treat and water bowls, and the bird started eating greedily.

“Master Draco, yous and Master Harry going to Hogwarts?” Tans asked as he handed the letter off.

“If Gryffindor agreed, yes,” Draco told their number one elf. Tans hadn’t changed in the years that he had been tied to his magic. It spoke well of the bond between them that his elf had stayed healthy and spry, no matter what life threw at them. “We’ll want you there of course.”

Tans wriggled in pleasure and started straightening the already spotless room. Draco wasn’t going to call the little guy on it though. If he was in his position, he would want to know, too. Breaking the seal, he saw that Rowena had written the reply and her first word took up most of the first third of the page.

“I would say that Rowena wants us there,” he told Harry, voice dry and amused as he turned it around so his lover could see. The giant “YES!” was a good indicator that they were welcome.

Harry snorted in laughter and nodded. “Gee, looks like. Tans, I think you can start packing.”

The high-pitched squeal of agreement brought a smile to Draco’s face, too. Opening the bottom third of the letter, he saw that Godric had added a postscript. It seemed that he was in agreement with his wife. They had a place in Hogwarts and the founders wanted them, both for their friendship, and to press them into teaching some classes.

Laughing lightly at the irony, he folded it back up. They were off to their next adventure.

 

 

They had been at the castle for six months. The adventure had been… exhausting. Kerrick had taken the crown of Camelot and the turnover had been as smooth as they could wish. From all the reports they were getting from friends and family still there, the kingdom was thriving. Putting the letter with the news away, he got ready for bed.

Draco climbed into bed behind Harry and snuggled in. He had spent the day with some of the seventh years, getting them ready for life outside the walls of their school. It wasn’t going to be the same as it was inside, after all, and the kids needed to know that. Some of them were going to go back to their families, take up their trades and make lives. Others would be going on to apprenticeships or even the forming universities that were starting to take magical students. While still others would be taking up their positions as heirs to the various levels of peerage across Britain. It was interesting to see how things were working out.

He was tired. The tired that came from having worked, done things and lived fully. Smiling softly, he kissed the nape of the love of his life’s neck and fell asleep.

 

 

Waking up, he wasn’t in Hogwarts. He wasn’t in Camelot. And he wasn’t in the body of a man who was just over one-hundred-years old. Draco looked down at his body and cursed. He was in the same body and same clothes that they had come back through time in.

Looking around, he tried to figure out where he was. And where Harry was. From the lintel stones, he was back at Stonehenge. Draco didn’t take the time to try to get away, he just started searching the site for his lover. Following the warmth of the bond that he had been living with for most of his life, he zeroed in on Harry’s position.

Standing over Harry when he came around the bluestone was an androgynous figure in white. The flick of his wrist was instinctive, and his hand was filled with the sword that he had carried for more than seventy years. “Who are you? What have you done to him?”

“Peace, Pendragon. Your mate is safe,” the figure told him. Frowning he tried to remember where he had heard that voice but it kept slipping away. Warm and calm, it flowed out and was neither male nor female, but both at once. “You have a choice.”

“We’ve always had choices, whoever you are,” Draco snarled and made his way over to Harry. Dropping to one knee, he tried to see what was causing his lover to sleep.

Like himself, Harry had been dressed in the clothes they had arrived to the past in. He appeared to be as young as Draco was and yet was sleeping soundly. The flick to return the sword to his bracelet was quick, and he pulled Harry up and over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. The movement took only moments, and he got his wand out next. If the sword wasn’t going to do it, maybe that would.

“Good, Pendragon. Much better. You have a choice,” the figure told him again.

“What choice?” he asked, voice heavy with dread.

“Your mate was right. When you went through my fairy ring here at Stonehenge, you slipped between worlds and moved to one where you two were needed to set into motion a change to history. Magic grows and flourishes there. Your line has lived for more than a thousand years and your names are honored.”

Draco took a deep breath and tried not to scream. “We’re no longer there, are we?”

The figure shook its head. “No. You are, for the moment, nowhere.”

He wasn’t going to be facing this on his own any more. Firing a controlled burst of magic down their bond, he forced Harry to wake up. Ignoring the swearing, he let Harry slide off his shoulder and turned him around to face the figure before them.

“Harry, meet the personification of Magic. They’re offering us a choice,” Draco started to explain to him. “We’re back to right before we went to the alternate universe and lived for seventy-odd years, had kids and lives.”

“We’re back there?” Harry asked, voice breaking slightly.

Draco nodded. He knew exactly why his lover’s voice had broken. Kerrick, Amaryllis, and all their children were in that other universe. Depending on their choices, they might never get to see them again. “Looks like you were right on where we landed, by the way.”

“Goodie,” his lover told him dryly. Turning to look at Magic, he moved forward, wand at the ready. “And what are our choices?”

Magic nodded at them and spread their hands to the spaces between the lintel stones. The first space lit with a white light. “You can go back to where you were. You will live out your natural life there and die within minutes of each other. You will pass into myth and legend. In the fullness of time, you may be reborn to find each other again.”

Turning to the second lintel, the light wasn’t quite as bright and threating shapes moved within. Draco shivered at the sight. “You can go back to the world that you were born in. You will have to deal with the darkness that infests it, and there are no guarantees that your lives will not be cut short. But you will be the rallying point for all of the light to gather around and fight.”

“Will we win there?” Draco asked.

“There are no guarantees,” Magic said, voice level.

Draco looked at the two choices before them and sighed. He knew what he wanted. But was it what Harry wanted? Turning to look at his lover, he saw that the green eyes that he loved so much were bright with agreement. Nodding, he reached down and took the smooth hand that he had held in his for a lifetime, and took a deep breath.

Turning to the lintel of their choice, they stepped through.

 

Restoration Part Two

Part One

Chapter Four

KING ARTHUR, Clive Owen, 2004, (c) Touchstone

Draco sipped at his wine and tried not to grimace at the taste. Vinegar tasted better. Handing the goblet back to Tans, he waited as the little elf quickly mulled it with sweet herbs and spices and a generous dollop of sugar. It was a much more palatable drink when he got it back. “Thank you, Tans.”

From the way the little elf’s ears moved, he was pleased with the praise. Draco was certainly pleased to have him there. Within hours of accepting the bond, Tans had organized their rooms, gotten their laundry done and was working on their armor. He hadn’t felt so spoiled in months.

He set the goblet aside and picked up his sword again. The lumos he had cast earlier was still glowing over his head and Draco used the steady light to check the edge on the blade. Straight and pure, the razor finish he was putting on the sword went all the way to the tip with no hesitations or curls. Both edges showed sharp and clean when he inspected them. No chips.

Next to the sword, he had the blade’s sheath. Cleaning the leather and metal contraption was not easy. A clean rag threaded through a metal rod and dusted with oil and he was ready to condition the inside. Draco kept stuffing the rod down the length of the sheath with new rags until one finally come back clean. Only then did the outside of the leather get treated and the blade slid inside. He had no intention of letting the leather rot or the blade rust.

Tans had apparently finished with the mail and moved onto Draco’s plate armor. He wore a combination of the two in battle since they covered different areas in different ways. But no matter what he wore, it was bloody heavy. And feather-light charms didn’t last due to the energy for them coming from his core. Exhaustion played hell on charms.

The bond he shared with Harry was slowly feeling thicker, as if he was getting nearer. Harry was exhausted from what Draco could tell, but he also seemed to be rather ecstatic. So whatever he and Merlin had done, it had gone well. When the feeling of his lover’s presence seemed to be within the fort, he cleared his throat.

“Tans, please get a hot bath together. My bonded mate is going to be arriving soon,” Draco directed.

“Master wants Tans to get good smelling soaps, too? Tans knows where to find some,” the house elf asked as he set the plate armor aside.

“Not now, Tans, we have some. Just get a hot bath with plenty of water together. And maybe a bath sheet or two,” he said as he waved at the trunk at the foot of their bed. Rather than carrying all their toiletries around, they had commissioned the trunk just for that purpose.

“Okay. Tans gets,” the little elf agreed before snapping his fingers and one of the deep tubs that the laundry used appeared. The elf peeked in the wooden vessel and huffed. “Humans is so messy!”

Draco smothered a chuckle at the disgust in Tans’ voice. From the impatient snap of his fingers, the house elf was less than pleased. A second snap brought water in and filled the tub. He could feel the clammy cold of it before Tans stuck his finger in and it started to warm. “Can master tell Tans if water is warm enough?”

Getting up, Draco appreciated how much warmer the mass of water made their room. Dipping his hand in, he sighed in pleasure. “That’s perfect, Tans. Excellent job.”

The elf wriggled his ears and went to the chest for soaps. As he was poking through the various bottles, the door to their room opened and Harry walked in looking tired, but elated. As soon as he got a look at the room, his lover stopped.

“What have you been up to?” Harry asked as he dropped his backpack on the bench by the door. “And how did you get the tub in here?”

“Tans do! Master Draco’s mate is stinky and needs a bath!” the elf called from the chest. “Does Master Draco’s mate like sandalwood or unscented?”

Harry looked at the ears wriggling over the chest and goggled. Draco was incredibly amused by how surprised his mate was. When Harry pointed at the elf, Draco just shrugged. “He said he felt us, and that I needed him first.”

“Master Draco was lonely and needed Tans. Master Draco’s mate had a house elf before?” Tans asked as he took the sandalwood soap out and set it beside the tub. “Water cools, Master Draco’s mate.”

“My name is Harry, Tans. And I had an elf many years ago,” his lover told their new servant.

Draco sighed softly. They had discussed Dobby and how he had died not long after they had started dating. None of those discussions had led him to believe that Harry wouldn’t be able to handle the reality of Tans. And where Tans was, more elves were sure to follow. It was just a fact of life when a house elf tied itself to your family magic.

“He’s been very helpful,” Draco offered as he walked up to his tower and kissed him hello. Harry tasted of something roasted, as if he had grabbed a bite of meat on the way past the kitchens.

“They always are,” Harry sighed into his mouth, before dropping one last kiss on his lips and moving away. He made his way over to the tub and dipped a hand in. At the feel of how warm the water was, a tension Draco could barely see seemed to melt away from the smaller man’s shoulders.

Watching Harry strip was a pleasure that Draco indulged in every chance he got. His lover had finally hit his full adult stature before they had been pushed back in time and had been sleekly muscled before. He was even more muscular now with all the swordwork he had been doing. He was also browner than ever, and Draco could feel his eyes be drawn to the line of skin at his waist where his tan faded into the milky white skin of a true Englishman.

“Stop staring at my ass,” Harry muttered as he bent over to work his boots off.

“Never going to happen,” Draco immediately vowed as he walked over to pick up Harry’s pack to deal with it.

Harry snorted in amusement and then groaned in bliss as he sank into the hot water. Draco let him soak as he poked through his pack, putting things away. He was fairly sure that his lover would share what he could of the week he had been away. Bag empty, he dropped it on the bench again and moved back to his chair.

“So animagus forms. I know you have one and it’s a dragon. I just never found out what type,” Harry called from the bath before ducking under the water to wet his head.

Draco picked up his book and marked his page carefully. He wasn’t interested in it any more. A quick flick of his wrist returned the book to his bracelet and he settled back in his chair to enjoy the show his mate was giving him. The part of him that was a dragon, specifically a Hebridean Black, looked on possessively. His mate was gorgeous.

“Pervert,” Harry told him fondly. Tans dropped a flannel over the side of the tub before hanging two bath sheets near the fire to warm. Draco watched as his lover scrubbed up, white suds running over skin he wanted to taste. Harry was apparently enjoying the bath enough to hum softly as he cleaned up from his travels.

“So why did you want to remind me of my form?” Draco asked finally.

“Merlin is a bastard,” Harry started, and Draco snorted. Yeah, the old wise man was that and much more. But he was also generous with his knowledge and willingness to teach Harry all that he knew. He just liked to play head games with everyone on occasion. “I’d teased the edges of my form years ago. I knew it had wings, but I didn’t hear feathers and that made me hesitate. When I lost Hedwig, I stopped looking. It took you daring me to catch a snitch against you to get me back on a broom.”

If his father hadn’t been dead, and thus far out of his reach by more than space and time, Draco would have hexed him to death, just for that. Hell, if he had known about that when they had been in the future, he likely would have gutted a few of the surviving Death Eaters over it. Harry had loved flying since the first time he had gotten on a broom. For him to be scared off flying for almost five years was a wretched thing.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. His temper did not belong in the discussion they were having. “So, you have wings and don’t have feathers. A dragon?”

“Yup,” Harry agreed with a pop of sound on the ‘p’.

Draco could be patient while his mate dipped below the surface of his bath to wet his hair again before starting to later soap into the semi-sentient mess. He even refrained from tapping his fingers in impatience as he waited for Harry to finish washing his hair.

“So, I’m apparently a pale cream color with pearly scales and my eyes are multicolored with no pupils.” Harry told him after rinsing the last of the suds out of his black locks.

Draco froze and racked his brain for a moment, trying to remember why that description was familiar. “An Antipodean Opaleye?”

“I guess. I wasn’t all that interested in dragons when we were in Creatures; that was more Ron and Hagrid. And I learned enough about the dragon I had to deal with in Tri-Wizard Tournament so I wouldn’t die, but that’s about it. No curiosity,” Harry told him as he dropped his head against the side of the tub and settled in to soak.

“Master Harry is wanting to stew?” Tans asked as he popped back into their room with a tray of food.

The laugh bubbled up unexpectedly and Draco let it roll out. Biting off his chuckles, he shook his head at the elf. “Tans, he’s just relaxing and enjoying the heat of the water. Can you make sure that it stays as warm as it was to start?”

Tans looked back and forth between Harry and Draco and shrugged. “Not stewing?”

“I’m not stewing, Tans. The bath you put together for me is lovely and it feels great. Thank you,” Harry told the little creature before dropping farther down in the tub.

“Water will stay warm, Master Draco,” Tans told him carefully. “Should I have a tub built so I can return this one?”

The one that he had borrowed had to be from the laundry given it was big, big enough for the two of them if they were willing to share space, and Draco eyed it carefully. With judicious usage of a shrinking charm, a tub could be stored in their room without problems. And save them from having the go to what passed as public baths in the fort and dare the state of their water. Sold.

“Yes, please do. And Tans? How are you hiding yourself?” Draco asked carefully. Some magic might be known and accepted, but house elves were another species. And even in this time, someone would notice a little floppy-eared person running around in a linen toga. Because that was all he had managed to get on the elf before he got upset about the possibility of being handed clothes. He was going to have Harry deal with that issue.

“Tans use illusion to look like short human,” the elf told them proudly and with a snap of his fingers, there was a… well, as he had learned, painfully, a little person. Tans appeared to be fully human and dressed in clothes that could pass for anyone else’s in the fort. Excellent.

“You look great, Tans! Well done,” Harry complimented their servant.

Draco watched, fascinated, as the house elf blushed at the praise. So weird.

“Now, with you going around and about, is the weather giving you any problems with that toga of yours?” Harry asked as he scooted to the side and waved a lazy hand at Draco, inviting him in. Draco suppressed a sigh of relief at his lover taking the clothes issue in hand. He was certain Harry could get their elf into better clothes without a problem.

Head cocked to one side, the elf let the illusion fall. “Is cold, Master Harry, but Tans is used to it.”

“Right. Well, to make sure that you can keep serving us correctly and without fail, I want to put forth two rules,” Harry told him, eyes on the elf. “You are to wear the correct clothes for the weather. That means a shirt, trousers, shoes and socks, along with a cloak as needed. That does include the toga if it’s the correct item for the weather. These are not clothes to dismiss you, these are your uniform. They belong to Master Draco and I; you use them to make sure that you are, and stay, healthy enough to serve us.”

The scared look on Tans’ face cleared up at that. He had been getting more and more upset as Harry had laid out his clothing demand. S.P.E.W. had been a horror, and Granger had been a nutter for trying, but she had had some good points on how an elf dressed. If his servant was wearing dirty rags, it looked bad on him. And Draco wasn’t willing to have that.

“And second thing?” Tans asked.

Harry’s eyes were level and very serious as he laid out the second condition. “Since you are set on serving Master Draco and me, we require that you vow on your magic that you will not betray us or our secrets by thought, word, or deed. And if anyone or anything puts you in a situation where you think you will violate that oath, you come to one of us and let us know. Understood?”

Tans stood still for several seconds before pulling in a deep breath and making the vow that Harry had demanded. “I’s going to get clothes made for me,” he said before popping away.

Draco finished undressing and slid into the bath beside his lover. The hot water slid over him like a caress and he sighed into the heat before pulling his lover into his arms. “Well, that went well.”

Harry just laughed at him.

 

 

“How are you doing today, Arthur?” Draco asked as he slid into his chair in the king’s study.

The large, burly and healthy man that he had started this process with was gone. Arthur had lost weight, he looked haggard and no matter how much food or sleep they pushed on him, he seemed frail. Actually, Draco was certain that the man was holding on by sheer willpower alone.

“I’m dying, how do you think I feel?” Arthur retorted dryly. “Let’s not talk about the upcoming depressing event of my death. Let’s talk about how you are going to deal with the meeting of the other kingdoms.”

Draco glared slightly and then sighed. Arthur had officially named him his heir, and his knights had all stood up and approved of and for him. The general populace had also rallied behind him with a great deal of goodwill. Harry found it hilarious.

“Well, smacking them all with the flat of my sword isn’t going to go over well if they start being arseholes,” Draco settled into his chair and pulled the pitcher that had been softly steaming on the table closer to him. Sniffing the steam, he smiled. Mulled cider. Pouring himself a goblet, he waved the pitcher at Arthur and filled his when he pointed at his own cup. “In all honesty, I’ll be sitting there, watching and trying to keep up our end.”

“I’ll give you a list of goals that we want to have come out of this,” Arthur told him as he sipped at the warm beverage. Draco took a sip of his own drink and enjoyed the rich and mellow liquid. “I know you aren’t thrilled with this, but I’m very glad that you and Harry showed up.”

“I’ve come to terms with what brought us here, Arthur. I have no problems with being your heir,” Draco allowed. “Actually I’m honored beyond all measure that you are want me to take care of your kingdom.”

“I would say that you are welcome, but I know what’s coming for you.” Arthur smiled and then started to cough.

Draco quickly grabbed the cup out of Arthur’s hands before handing him a cloth to cough into. He wasn’t going to mention the blood on the cloth if the king wasn’t. He sat back down only when the other man was breathing easier.

The deep breath that Arthur took sounded far too wet, but Draco ignored it. “Now, since you will be there as my heir, we need to discuss that.”

Eyebrow raised, Draco waved a hand at him to continue. “Hesitating over this isn’t going to help any, Arthur.”

“You need to marry Guinevere,” Arthur told him with a straight face.

“You realize that I’m actually bonded to Harry in the way that you weren’t to Lancelot? And that even if I take Guin to be my wife, I’ll never touch her? Never have children by her?” Draco demanded as he sat up in his chair. “And have you even talked to her about this? Or Harry?”

“Merlin and I have spent the last few months working out what’s going to happen when I die, Draco. You know that he’s going to be dying not long after me due to the stress of keeping me alive this long,” the king explained as he picked up his own cup. Draco ignored the shaking of the other man’s hand. “And yes, we are both aware of your relationship with Harry. Guin isn’t interested in you that way either, but there needs to be an heir.”

“Harry and I are wizards, you know this, right? This means that we have other ways of actually producing a child. There will be heirs,” Draco told him, voice short and clipped. He really didn’t want to marry anyone but Harry.

Arthur nodded. “Talk it over with both of them. Harry will be your Merlin anyway. Plus, it isn’t like we’re somewhere far north of the wall and uncivilized. The two of you being together isn’t anything unusual.”

“Well that’s good to know,” he muttered. “Write your lists for the meeting, old man. And make sure that you explain exactly why you want things that way.”

“I can get that done. Are you going to hold court today?” Arthur asked.

“Judgment court? Where I get to actually show that I’ve learned something from you? Oh, yeah.” Draco nodded before standing up and shaking his tunic out.

“You look good. Very kingly,” his mentor told him before coughing into his cloth again.

He had gotten dressed in the clothes that Tans had laid out for him. The little elf was making sure that he was actually dressing in something other than black. Greys, greens, reds and blues were the major colors in his wardrobe, besides the black. His elf had started looking into what he needed to do to make his clothes stand out even more. Draco, for all that he had grown up rich, hadn’t picked up the affectation of decorating everything he owned with gemstones. As nice as they were, they weren’t practical for the life he was living. That left jewelry, and at this stage in his life, he had very little to choose from.

“Tans makes sure of it. And Harry is aiding and abetting him in his efforts to make me look like a glittering peacock.”

Snickering softly, Arthur waved his hand in dismissal. Draco gave him an abbreviated bow before walking out. On the other side of the door, Tristan was waiting for him. The semi-feral knight was as well dressed as he ever was and Draco didn’t even blink as he slid into place beside him.

“It won’t be long now.”

The feeling of regret washed over him and Draco sighed. “No, it won’t. I have no idea how he’s hanging on, but he is. He wants to make sure he’s here for the meeting between the kingdoms.”

“Galahad says that he’s staying for this meeting to make sure that everyone knows that you are his heir. And to impress upon them that messing with you would be a bad idea. Merlin and his Woads have done a lot to give us the forces we need to beat back the Saxons, but the kingdoms to the south are another matter.”

“They are,” Draco agreed. “It’s edging towards spring and the planting. Once we have that done, we need to see if we can get some training in for the men. It shouldn’t be five knights protecting this place. And maybe talking to those people you know in Londinium about contracting for some troops.”

Tristan just hummed for several moments before nodding. “They have humans they use, so I’m sure they can offer a recommendation.”

“I bet they can,” he agreed. “How did you meet them anyway?”

The side-eyed look he got was assessing and Draco stared back. Tristan was, well, feral was the best descriptor for him. But he was also very observant and liked to surprise people. He was also the most private of the surviving knights. Whatever he was looking for in Draco, he apparently found it. “When we came out here with the legion, we passed through Londinium. One of the legionaries was like us and took several of us to the bank. We met the little people who control it, and I have an account with them; it’s where all my pay went. With the spring, one of their people will be coming up to talk to me about keeping my funds with them.”

“Good to know when they will be here. Do they help with anyone else’s funds?”

The knight shook his head. “Everyone else like me died. Dagonet was the last. He adopted Lucan the night before he was killed. Kid might as well light up like a bonfire.”

Oh, sweet merciful magic. A child with strong magic here? And no school to send him to? “Who’s teaching him?”

“So far, I am and Guinevere. We’re planning to ask your mate to lend a hand soon. Seeing as he’s been trained by Merlin to hold the magic of the land and teach,” Tristan told him.

“I think he would be happy to help. And I know I can teach, too,” Draco offered, voice dropping slightly as they came to the room where Arthur had held open court for petitions, disputes and judgments. He had been standing with the King at most of the events since he had been named heir, but this would be the first one where Arthur wasn’t present to back him up. It would be interesting to see how that changed things.

Walking up the length of the room, he tried to take a measure of the people in it. Mostly farmers with some of the craftsmen and a few soldiers, which seemed a very normal content for judgement. No one was setting off any danger signs to him, which was nice. Sitting in Arthur’s chair was still surreal, but getting less so all the time.

Draco nodded at Jols and pulled the first paper towards him to review as he listened to the first case. Time to earn his keep.

 

 

 

“Harry?”

With the confirmation that Draco was Arthur’s heir, he had been given new quarters. They now had a sitting room, a bedroom and a garderobe. Tans had been ecstatic about the increase in room and had set up a small area for himself off the sitting room. As for the… facilities, he was still looking at some spell work to keep the place from becoming a horror in the summer months. Since it was winter, the area was just damn cold.

“Bedroom!”

Draco headed back into their room and found his lover was up to his neck in hot water. Again. Unlike a number of the men and women of the kingdom, Harry liked being clean. And Draco enjoyed him being clean. Frankly, keeping his face straight and not showing his disgust took all his concentration some days when he was around some of the more fragrant of his kingdom’s people.

“If I actually gave a shite about what the priests go on about, I might have to worry about your obsession with being clean,” Draco told him as he started stripping off his own clothes.

Harry paused for a moment and Draco could almost see him parsing out what he had said. Snickering slightly, he slid into the bath and then hissed at the heat. Bloody fantastic. “I love Tans and his ability to keep us in hot water.”

“Nutter,” Harry told him fondly.

“Like you aren’t, love? Now why the bath at this time of day?” Draco asked as he grabbed some of their dwindling soap supply. Mentally adding it to the list of necessities to try to trade or buy, he started lathering up.

“Merlin had me delivering a baby,” Harry told him before ducking under the water. When he came back up, he leaned against the side of the tub and started at the ceiling. “I got some pretty disgusting stuff on me, so bath time. Since baby birthing apparently comes with the job, I’m instituting standards of cleanliness I can live with.”

“It was that gross?” Draco wasn’t really healer material, even if he had some of the aptitudes. He just. Well, to be frank, he didn’t like people enough to want to try. He would far rather brew everything that Harry needed and let him deal with the squishy bits.

“It was that gross and more. Mom wasn’t too happy to have me there, Dad was even less happy and Merlin was being an arse and letting me handle everything. Then again, the old bastard is fading just as hard as Arthur, he’s just better at hiding it,” Harry told him with a sigh. “We have weeks, Draco. Merlin’s about burnt himself to a cinder to get us this far.”

Draco pulled in a deep breath before wrapping his arms around his knees. Now or never. “I know. And I need to talk to you about something that Arthur’s been planning.”

Laying out the plan wasn’t easy. Marrying anyone other than Harry felt like the worst sort of betrayal and there was nothing that he could think of that would take that feeling away. Political marriage or not, it was going to have to look real. Keeping his kingdom out from under the collective thumbs of Kent, Gwynedd, and Sussex was a big draw though.

“So let me get this straight; Merlin has been training me to be his successor, all so you can take over the kingdom from Arthur, marry Guin, have fat healthy babies and make sure the place doesn’t burn to the ground?” Harry asked, eyes shifting slightly to take on the gleam of his dragon.

“No shifting in the bath, please. It makes a mess,” Draco tried to interject some humor into things. From the glare his lover was sending him, it mostly failed. “I already told Arthur that if this farce takes place, I wouldn’t be touching Guin. No way, no how. And that you are the only one I’m having kids with.”

“If we aren’t married, Draco, the kids are magically bastards and that’s bad. Even back here,” Harry bit off. His skin was starting to shimmer with a pearly sheen and the sight was breathtaking.

“We’re bonded in love, life and magic, Harry. In all the ways that matter, you are my spouse and I’m yours. Any kids we have will be completely legitimate, and my heirs. Guin has never expressed any desire for me or you, or anyone else that I know of,” he tried to explain, hands up and empty in supplication to his mate.

Harry was growling softly and he just let him. There was no way to make that better, and Draco knew it. Damn Arthur and Merlin for this plan. And damn Guin for agreeing with it.

“Five years,” Harry offered. “We’ll give it five years and then Guin can retire from public life as your wife. That should be enough to let the kingdom recover from Arthur and Merlin’s death and get used to your rule. And at the end of five years, we will have a child and that child will be your heir. And I’ll need to look for my own.”

The sigh that burst out of him was deep and long. Draco had no idea what had been the tipping point, but whatever it was, he would take it. “Five years. I think Guin will agree. And by that time, it should be somewhere close to when Hogwarts gets founded.”

“Good,” Harry muttered and then flicked his wrist to pull out a flask. Draco saw some smoke subtly escaping Harry’s ears after he took a small sip of the liquid within. “Lucan will need it by then. And any kids we have.”

 

Chapter Five

lh-harryasmerlin

When Draco had been a child, his mother had hosted glittering galas, filled with every sort of person imaginable. For weeks before each event, the house would hum with the sound of cleaning, polishing, cooking and the like. Now, as he watched the preparations for the initial meet and greet with their nearest neighbors, he sighed in satisfaction. It wasn’t the ornate insanity of his mother’s parties, but it was pretty damn good none the less.

Kent, Gwynedd, and Sussex had all sent confirmations that they were sending ambassadors to the meeting. The four surviving knights and Arthur had sat him down and passed on everything they remembered about the last time Arthur had dealt with the three kingdoms. It had been a sobering discussion.

The kings had been less than gracious to Arthur when he had been a mere general in Rome’s legions. Now that he was a dying king with an unknown heir, no one expected even the appearance of civility. Draco wondered which of them would try to get him to agree to become a client state? Not that he would, but he had to wonder who would try. And who would try to threaten war if he didn’t do that they wanted?

Tristan was gusting around the edges of the various parties as they come within range. He was sometimes obvious, sometimes not, but always effective. No one ever looked at him and saw more than he wanted them to, and his reputation for being feral was well known. What was less known was his ability to see through bullshite.

Merlin and Harry had managed to cobble together something and it had given Arthur a boost. The king didn’t have much time, but right then, no one could tell. He looked just as healthy and in charge as he had when Draco had first met him. While nothing could hide the weight loss, his personality was totally unfettered.

While Arthur was being assisted, Draco work his way into a headache getting every one of their fussy guests settled. But they had managed, and now that all parties had arrived, he was sure the drama was going to show up, too. Everyone had their assigned places and roles for the evening, and it took everything he had to not hover over every detail.

Galahad, as the least physically imposing of the knights, was pressed into the herald role, announcing everyone’s names and titles. Harry had made him a list, spelled to show who had passed through the runic arch at the door, and the knight was getting every name right. From the faint expressions of irritation crossing some faces, Draco was sure that some of their guests weren’t too pleased to be so easily identified.

Bors, as the most physically imposing member, was standing two steps to the left of the throne, visibly armed. The knight was glowering at everyone, and had his hands crossed over the blade of Dagonet’s axe. Subtle Bors was not, but he was as effective as Tristan.

Gawain, lion-headed menace that he was, was stationed to the right of the throne, hands tucked into the broad leather belt around his waist. Just like Bors, he was heavily armed and had made no effort at concealing that fact. Unlike the scowl Bors normally wore, Gawain’s face was blank, no expression at all crossing his features.

As heir, Draco was standing one step down from the throne, dressed in his best, with a silver circlet crossing his brow. Unlike the knights, he had no obvious weapons other than a small belt dagger. His clothes were lush and of a heavy fabric that was keeping him warm without charms. Harry had appreciated the deep green color and what it had done for his looks.

Draco kept an eye on everyone in the room before turning his attention to the king. Arthur was seated on his throne and looked very regal in his black fur-lined cape and dark blue doublet. His crown was also silver and was much, much more elaborate than the one that graced Draco’s brow. He and Harry had spent time with the king’s regalia and managed to embed several different charms into each item to make them as comfortable as possible for the dying man.

When the last of the diplomats were announced and had taken their bows in front of Arthur, Draco stepped forward. “Welcome to our kingdom. King Arthur greets you and will be meeting with each of you to discuss our relationship with your kingdoms. For now, please mix and mingle and get to know us and each other.”

Stepping back, Draco moved to stand by the king. The throne was high enough to get a good view of the room, but still center enough to be involved. Arthur was alert, eyes bright and entertained as he watched the whirls and eddies of the reception. The blocks of people from each kingdom started breaking up and mingling, raising the noise levels in the room.

Guinevere was doing her part now. Where the knights were the overt threat, the open weapon, she was the subtle knife against a forearm, the garrote curled around a wrist. The fact that Draco knew she actually had weapons on her like that was just a lovely bonus. But she was also mixing and mingling with their guests, putting them at ease. Women in this world were not often seen as threats by men in power. More fools they, then.

Many of the other women from the fort were also dressed in their best and mingling. He would have to make sure that their visitors knew not to expect comfort from them. Or from the servant wenches the fort employed. Their guests were going to be making use of their own hands if he had his way. Unless they went to the one whorehouse in the fort, and then that group of women had his total permission to bankrupt them.

“Tans,” Draco called with intent.

The house elf poked his head out of an alcove, wearing his human disguise. Over the months he had been with Harry and Draco, he had learned how to blend in with the populace. His disguise, his clothes and his word choices had all improved in an effort to keep him safe.

“Master Draco calls?” the elf asked as he trotted over to stand by his master.

“I sure did. Let Agnes know if any of our guests come to her for her people’s services to charge them double. And make sure that Cecily isn’t to service or be seen by any of them,” Draco directed.

Tristan might not have much of a thing for the mother of his son, but it would do no one any good if she got hurt at her job. Everyone in the fort knew if they went to Cecily for some entertainment they were to treat her well. The new guys? Better to not take the chance.

“Tans tell,” the elf promised before walking back to his alcove and popping out.

“He’s not subtle,” Arthur muttered out the side of his mouth. “And good idea on Cecily.”

“He’s a lot better than he used to be,” Draco retorted. “And we don’t need a bloodbath.”

“No, that would not be in the best interests of making peace for the future, now would it?” Arthur murmured before leaning slightly to the side and nodding towards a far corner of the room. “It looks like one of the boys from Kent has Harry cornered. Should I be worried that the poor bastard is going to lose something vital? Not that I’ll mind too much.”

“Harry won’t kill him, sir. I won’t either,” Draco told him softly. He wasn’t going to look over to see the confrontation, but he could feel his lover’s irritation at the moron in front of him. “Now, Tristan might. You never know.”

“Tristan just likes to kill deserving people,” Arthur muttered with a savage smile.

“True,” he agreed. The king had gotten a lot more pragmatic in the months since he had been told he was to die. His faith in his god was still going strong and no one had the heart to try to argue with the man over it. But he had also learned how to take his optimism and use it to make plans for the future. Draco didn’t have the heart to tell him that some of his ideals wouldn’t be a reality until 1500 years in the future, and, even then, only in some parts of the world.

“Try to not let him keep leaping off that particular cliff?” Arthur asked as he took a goblet of mulled cider from one of the servants. Draco took a deep breath and smiled slightly. The drink was one of Harry’s concoctions and the cider just a carrier for the potion they had in it. Full of calories, with enough taste to mask the potion, the cider was something that Arthur would drink no matter what.

“I’ll do my best, but it’s Tristan and he listens to me about as well as Harry does. That is to say that he either laughs in my face or straight up ignores me.” Draco shrugged slightly as he kept his eye on the conversations happening around them. “I believe Ywain, the ambassador from Gwynedd, will be the first to brave the gauntlet to come talk to you. Should I stay?”

Arthur eyed the man in question over the rim of his drink and nodded slightly. Bors and Gawain let the ambassador through when he came up to the throne and Draco stepped back further until he was behind the throne and on the king’s right. Unmeant pleasantries are exchanged before Ywain turned to look at Draco with a curious expression on his face. “We did not know that you had an heir.”

“I’ve had an heir for a year now, Ywain. And your king was informed as soon as I chose him. Please stop trying to play the fool. It serves you ill and irritates me,” Arthur bit out. He was as relaxed as possible in his chair, but Draco could read the tension in him by how tightly he was gripping his drink. Casting his memory back over back over the hours of meetings they’d had in preparation for this event, he was well aware of why Arthur was acting the way he was. Gwynedd was powerful, had a very nice army, and the king was eyeing his neighbors like they were prime slabs of beef.

Very disconcerting, that.

“Not everyone is as straightforward as you are, General,” Ywain told him bluntly, eyes flicking back and forth between them. “Not every situation demands a decision via a sword. Sometimes using your words is the better option.”

“Do not try to teach me diplomacy, Ywain. Settling things by the sword is a nice idea, but I’m tired of war. I don’t expect much from your kingdom. But, then again, straightforward dealing is beyond you,” Arthur told him bluntly. “You’ve seen my heir. You’ll get to talk to him in the negotiations tomorrow. I would suggest you leave.”

The ambassador gave him a peeved look before sketching a brief bow to them both and leaving. There was a subtle relaxing of the shoulders as the man passed out of reach from both Bors and Gawain and Arthur’s fingers relaxed on the goblet. What in the hell had they not passed onto him about the arsehole?

“Let me guess, Lancelot was the one who was actually the more diplomatic of you two?” Draco asked as he covered his words by pouring more cider. “Because that was ruder than I have ever seen you be to anyone. And that includes the priest who came through here over the winter.”

There was a loud cough from Bors, and Arthur’s lips twitched briefly as he stared up at Draco. “He was worse. He just wanted to kill them all and let their gods sort them out.”

“Fucking fantastic. Menaces, the lot of you.”

The choked off giggles from his mentor were totally worth the shite that Draco knew he was going to be facing in the morning. Turning his attention back to the party, he heard the small pop of noise that signaled Tans was back.

“Master Draco, Agnes says that she’ll skin them for all she can. And she’s already sent Cecily to knight’s quarters. Master Tristan asked Jols to look after her and boy,” the elf reported before moving away.

“Good job, Tans,” Draco called softly as he watched the next ambassador walk up. Kent if he wasn’t mistaken. “So which one of you pissed this kingdom off?”

“Gareth. One of their lordlings thought that Galahad was someone they could trifle with. He disabused them of that notion. With his fists,” Gawain muttered out the side of his mouth. “He died about six months later.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Draco muttered, keeping his expression neutral and relaxed. “And if you see that lordling in the group, let me know. He won’t be doing that shite again.”

“Good. Some people need killing,” Bors muttered, eyes fixed on the ambassador.

Draco snorted softly. “Who says I would kill him? That’s over too quickly.”

The rough chuckle that shook all four men caused a hitch in the ambassador’s gait, and Draco suppressed a smile at the sight. Good. If he was off balance, they had an advantage.

 

 

 

The room where they were holding the meeting wasn’t the one with the round table. That was only for Arthur and his knights. Draco, Harry and Merlin were allowed in, but he didn’t expect to get full access until Arthur died. And even then, there was a part of himself that felt he should close it up and preserve it for posterity.

But history and the march to the idolatry that came with being on the side to write it, was far from his mind this day. Jols had worked hard with Tans and the rest of the servants to put together a room where they could hold the meeting and not give any one person or group an advantage. Well, anyone other than their own people.

Harry settled into his spot to the right of him and dropped a sheaf of documents on the table before him. His lover had completed his training with Merlin a fortnight before the ambassadors had arrived and the tattoos of his new rank were a brilliant blue against his skin. Draco found them fascinating and traced the whorls and patterns of them as often as Harry would let him. He could feel, faintly, the power of them thrumming under his skin. The sight of them certainly caused a distraction wherever Harry went, and today, that was an advantage.

His lover and counselor had a second batch of fresh hemp paper bound together to take notes on. Draco eyed the pad and tried to remember when actual paper had come onto the scene, instead of vellum. “This had better be a new universe,” he muttered, leaning close to Harry’s ear. “Because I don’t think paper showed up in England for at least another 600 years.”

“You worry too much,” Harry muttered before patting the pad. “Besides, I spelled this to only show up for you or I. Everyone else sees a bunch of vellum.”

“Good to know,” Draco murmured before sitting back in his chair. He kept an eye on the room as everyone settled in. From where he was seated, he couldn’t tell if anyone was armed, and he was hesitant about checking magically. On the other hand, he had a number of people scattered throughout the room who were perfectly willing to kill their guests if anyone got stroppy, so it all balanced out.

Only when the last person sat down, did he bother to stand. “Welcome, my lords, to our hall. King Arthur isn’t able to meet with you today, but, as his heir, it is my duty and honor to stand in his place.”

One of the men from Kent stood and stared down the table at Draco. From what he remembered of his briefing, he was Thomas, a second cousin to the King of Kent and rather smarter than anyone gave him credit for. “When we last met Arthur, he was a general for Rome and her armies. Now, he is a king. Who has declared him king? My liege needs to know who has granted him this grace.”

Eyebrow raised slightly, Draco watched as the other two delegations nodded in agreement. It seemed that they all wanted to know who or what had pushed to put Arthur on a throne. Fantastic. When Harry touched his leg, he sat down. His mate had this in hand.

“That would be Merlin,” Harry told the room at large. His facial tattoos shone blue and vivid against the skin of his forehead when he pushed his hair back. “And I am his heir. All you need to know now is that Arthur is king until his death and Draco is his heir. So, shall we get down to the reason for this meeting? Working on the treaties between our nation and yours?”

“Merlin declared him King?” Ywain asked as he half-stood, half-leaned against the table. “And you are his heir?”

“I am now Merlin, yes,” Harry confirmed and let his eyes glow with the power he had spent a year learning to harness. Draco settled into his chair and tried not to smirk. The plan that Arthur and Merlin had put together was audacious in the extreme, but it seemed to be working. The doubt that had been floating through the room wasn’t gone, but it was, mostly, pushed to the side.

“You expect us to believe that Merlin has taken this boy as his heir? That he is worthy to be Merlin? I doubt it,” sneered Merick, the Ambassador from Sussex. “This boy is making fools of us all. Arthur has some plan…”

The explosion of movement from his right was totally expected, and Draco didn’t even blink. He, better than anyone else, knew that Harry had a temper. So having that temper unleashed beside him was not a surprise. It was for the moron at the other end of the table who got pushed up the wall in a display of power that made everyone else in the place freeze like scared little bunnies.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing,” Harry ground out between clenched teeth. “This is not your kingdom. It’s Arthur’s and will be until his death. You are here by invitation only. It would be wise if you remember that.”

With that, he let the Ambassador drop to the ground and sat back down. Draco took a deep breath and tried not to bust out in laughter. He was going to be teasing the hell out of his lover when they made it back to their room. Quoting Darth Vader at someone had to be the best thing he had seen yet.

“Thank you, Merlin. Shall we get started?” he asked as he looked around the room. Merick didn’t say anything as he took his seat. “Good,”

 

 

“That was an interesting reaction,” Galahad observed as they sat in the anteroom set aside for them.

“Wasn’t it?” Harry asked as he moved over to the sideboard that was filled with food.

“Why do I have the feeling that making someone piss themselves was a goal for today?” Galahad asked as he moved around the table in the middle of the room to take a seat. Of all the knights, he was actually and truly the nicest one. As if the fighting they had done for the years of their enlistment had only impacted him on the surface.

Draco chuckled softly as he sat down in his chair and leaned his head against the back. The negotiations had been an unholy mess of shouting, vicious verbal backstabbing, and a few more instances of Harry making his displeasure known by pinning people to a wall. He had the start of a vicious headache, and if he hadn’t been around the knights, he would have pulled a nice pain potion out without hesitation.

“Here,” he heard as he felt a vial tap his shoulder. Harry was staring down at him, eyes warm and concerned. “Take this.”

Thank goodness for dimensional stores, he thought as he pulled the cork out of the vial and drank the mouthful of liquid. Unlike his godfather’s potions, this one was cherry flavored and worked quickly. Severus hadn’t been a nice man and had gotten his digs at the student population every chance he got. The necessary potions he had supplied to Pomfrey had all been perfect in every way that counted. However, the ones for discretionary uses like headaches hadn’t worked quite as fast as anyone had ever wanted them to, and they had all tasted like shite. When he had started to brew his own potions, he had made sure that his worked quickly, completely, and tasted decent.

Harry hadn’t been all that surprised to find out that Severus had been skimping on the non-emergency supplies. Neither, frankly, had Draco. He had been well aware that the man was an arsehole.

Grabbing his lover’s hand, he kissed it in thanks. Tipping his head back further, he let it rest against the chair again and closed his eyes. Harry had let him hold on for several beats before tugging lightly. “You need to let my hand go, love. I need to eat.”

Draco squeezed the hand trapped in his briefly and then let it go without opening his eyes. He wanted a nap. He wanted a drink. He wanted not to have to deal with this massive shite storm that was building around them. When a plate was dropped in front of him, he opened his eyes and sat forward. What he wanted wasn’t going to happen right then.

Looking over at Galahad, he shrugged. “Making someone piss themselves wasn’t a goal, more a bonus. The real goal was to actually hammer out some peace treaties. I say we have a good start on that.”

The mutters of agreement echoed through the room and he settled in to eat the meal he had been served. From the choices, he was certain that Harry had loaded the plate and Tans had done the cooking. The first bite was a chore to get to his mouth, but as soon as he tasted it, he dived in. The hunger he had been ignoring all morning came roaring back, and he cleaned his plate before going back for seconds.

He made it through his second plate before business came back up.

“So, who do you think is going to give us the most trouble?” Harry asked as he sipped at his drink.

“Oh, I would say that Sussex is going to want to try to get his pride back,” Galahad muttered as he took a deep drink of his own.

“Should we make sure he has a fresh chair when we go back in?” Draco asked as he contemplated a baked apple for a sweet finish to the meal.

“Please. Smelling him was bad enough this morning. Hopefully he’s changing his pants,” Tristan muttered as he speared cubes of meat. Pointing the knife at Harry he raised an eyebrow in question.

Snickering softly, his lover nodded. “Yes, I can change his pants out, but do you really want to see his tiny dick while everything switches?”

Everyone in the room shuddered slightly and shook their heads. “Let’s not,” Draco announced. “Maybe wrap a kilt around him before dealing with the pants?”

“I can do that,” Harry assured him. “Or I can just dump his dumb arse in the nearest horse trough. Since he stinks, even without the scent of piss.”

“Oh, gods, yes. He does. I think Kent will cause us the least problems. Their main argument seems to be with Arthur, and with him dying, I think they’ll hold off to see if I follow in his footsteps.” Draco dropped his opinion on the matter out and then got up. That apple sounded too good to pass up. “I vote for Sussex to give us shite while they’re here. Just from this morning’s display.”

The discussion that sparked lasted through the rest of the food and all of the drink in the room. Draco was happy they had a strategy at the end though. Once the joint meetings were done with, he would be meeting with each of the ambassadors on his own, and wouldn’t that be problematic?

Filing back into the meeting room, he made sure to check out Sussex’s pants. New. A discrete sniff told him that the man at least had attempted to clean up after himself. He sat back down in his chair and nodded at Galahad to recount the last issue discussed. Once their memory was prompted, he picked up the threads of the meeting and started pushing his agenda again.

Their time was running out. Everything, this meeting, the meetings with each of the ambassadors, the bullshite with the delegations, all of it, needed to be done and done soon. Even his marriage to Guinevere. Before Merlin lost his hold on the magic that was keeping Arthur alive and burnt out. Before Arthur died and went through the Veil to meet with his soulmate.

They were under a countdown. And no one could tell him how much more time there was on the clock.

 

 

Chapter Six

lh-gwen

Draco and the knights had placed bets on when one of the ambassadors would try to meet with him alone and try to get him to bow to their plans. Merick, the ambassador to Sussex broke the bet by arranging a meeting right before the three parties were to leave. He was actually upset since it meant that he now owed Tristan money.

Once he let the older man into his office, he sat and stared at Draco for several minutes before firing his first salvo. “You are young yet to be taking over a kingdom.”

“Not really,” Draco disagreed. “I’m older than your king was at his coronation.”

Merick snorted and waved a hand. “Still, you are young. And wholly untried. How will you hold the realm together when Arthur dies? You will not have his advantages, his knights, his training, the reputation he built while laboring for Rome.”

“True. But I am his heir. Chosen and trained by him for the position. So, Ambassador Merick, what does that mean?” Draco asked as he watched the other man settle into his chair.

“You should let us help you,” Merrick offered; eyes shrewd as he stared at Draco. “We can help you solidify your rule, make sure you have the resources you need and advisors to teach you how to lead.”

“What makes you think I need any of that?” Draco pushed slightly. He wanted to see how far Merick would go.

“Arthur will be dying soon. His knights have stood by him and stayed when they had the leave of Rome to go. There is no guarantee they will stay with you. As a new king it will take you time to gather the reins of power to yourself. We can help with that,” Merick explained.

Draco sat back in his chair and tried to figure out how to tell the man to go fuck himself without being too obvious. He wanted to keep some kind of relationship with his neighbors after all. But not at the expense of them thinking he was weak.

“With Merlin taking an apprentice, will he still be by your side? After all, Merlin worked against Arthur for more than a decade before joining forces with him,” Merrick observed. “What is to say the new Merlin won’t start working against you?”

“The new Merlin is loyal to me, thank you, Ambassador Merrick. And the knights who served Arthur serve me as well. Your offer of advisors, military assistance, or economic help, while generous, isn’t needed,” Draco told him. Because fuck it. He would deal with the fallout, but he wasn’t going to appear to be weak. Nor would he let Harry be seen as disloyal. Rumors like that had a tendency to cause major problems later.

“We shall see,” Merick sniffed in disbelief. “I will be telling my king that you aren’t willing to work with us.”

Draco laughed with no humor. “You mean, since I’m not willing to let my kingdom become a client state to yours, you are going to tell him I’m too independent to control.”

The frustrated look that crossed the ambassador’s face was sweet, but he knew things were going to be rough for at least a few years thanks to this conversation. Then again, Sussex didn’t have anything he desperately needed. Londinium and the Alley were the only things that held any interest for him in the kingdom, and the goblins were their own nation. He had a completely separate meeting planned for them.

Merrick just glared at him for a moment before smiling. “You may be independent now, Prince Draco, but that won’t always be the case.”

“Don’t push your luck, Merrick,” Draco advised.

”Don’t think we can’t handle your little upstart of a kingdom,” the ambassador shot back before exiting the room in a huff.

Draco waited until the ambassador had left the room before laughing. Merick had damn near flounced out of the room, and the last time he had seen that mannerism, his father had been the one to pull it off. Merick had given it a good try though.

Kent and Gwynedd didn’t try to corner him, and for that, he was grateful. Holding his temper through two more meetings would have been impossible. Besides, he thought as he watched the caravans carrying the ambassadors disappear over the horizon, he had a wedding to plan.

Trotting down the steps on the wall to the main courtyard of the fort, Draco headed over to Arthur’s rooms. There was a countdown going in his head, and they were very close to the year deadline Merlin had given them. After that, it was anyone’s guess if Arthur would make it day to day. The longer he held on, the better. But the cost to the king would be high.

Knocking softly, he poked his head around the door. “Arthur? Are you awake?”

“Yes. Come on in.”

Draco walked in to see Guin curled up in a chair next to the king’s bed. From the scattered parchments, he had a feeling that Arthur was still pushing himself to work. He couldn’t find it in himself to be upset. He had taken over the day to day running of the kingdom, but the planning for the future? His lessons with the king had been through, but still, having someone outline a plan he could use? He was all for that.

“Planning something?” he asked as he took the seat beside his future bride.

“Crop rotations, percentages tilled, taxes demanded of the barons, levees of fighting men, royal forests, where to build the royal castle. More farms because people have babies, storage for grain… The lists are endless,” Guin muttered as she pointed to piles of paper.

“Things to look forward to,” Draco muttered as he looked everything over.

Arthur chuckled, voice dry and brittle as he laughed at the disgusted look on Draco’s face. “Ah, lad, I said the same damn thing when I got this place turned over to me. And it was a lot smaller an area. Merlin has us claiming lands above the Wall, up past where Marius Honorius claimed as his home. I figure the least I can do for you is help plan for what might be coming, since I’m leaving you with all of this.”

“Thank you,” Draco told him dryly. “But can you two put that aside for a moment and maybe concentrate on a wedding? Since Guin and I need to be wed soon.”

The look the Woad woman flashed him was just as dry as his voice. “You sound so thrilled to marry me.”

“Guinevere, you are as fair as any maid ever born. And are as fierce as any warrior to carry a blade, and as brave as a dragon. You love with everything in you, and that is so very rare in the world,” he told her with brutal honesty. “But, you are lacking in one thing for me.”

“A penis?” she asked, eyes suddenly twinkling.

“You aren’t Harry, love. The penis is just an added bonus. Unless we’re required by some obscure law to actually have sex?” he asked the king.

Arthur was giggling slightly as he listened to them. “No, you actually don’t have to consummate the union. There’s nothing magical or binding about the ceremony that Merlin is planning. It’s just a wedding.”

There was a large part of Draco that was deeply relieved to hear that. He hadn’t been lying when he had praised Guinevere on her various virtues. But that was the extent of his regard for her. She was indeed lacking the things that he needed in a mate, and he had found in the form of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, all around Gryffindor, and general prat. Plus his dick was quite nice too.

“I know this isn’t for the rest of our lives, and I’m good with that,” he asked.

Guin shook her head and he took a deep breath. The look she passed him was full of understanding and resolution. “Five years. We only have to be married for a handful of years. And there will be no requirement of fidelity from me or you.”

“And that won’t look bad on you?” Draco pressed. Even if she was blameless and everyone knew what was going to happen, she was still going to be seen by some as the guilty party if they split.

“No. I think I’ll be disappearing from history. I have a new name and identity worked out and I even know where I’ll be going. And what I’ll be doing when I get there.” Guin smiled, a bit crookedly, but it was a smile.

Draco cocked his head to the side and nodded. If she wasn’t going by Queen Guinevere, daughter of Merlin, she could probably hide who she was. If nothing else, it would put a layer between her and anyone looking for her. “What will you be doing, love?”

“Did Harry tell you that I helped Merlin train him?” Guin asked instead.

“Yes. He said it was some of the most intense training he’s ever had in his life and you taught him more about combat magic that he had learned before,” Draco confirmed. “I was very jealous and still am.”

His future wife laughed softly and shook her head. “I taught him more than that. And we’ll have five years where you can learn just about everything I can teach you. Him, too. I still have more to pass onto him.”

“Thank you!” Draco cut in quickly. Combat magic was something that, as a king, he would need to know, if only to counteract it. If she could teach him how to wield it, that would be even better.

“Once the five years are past, I’m planning on heading north.” Guin pulled a map over and tapped a point much farther into what would be the future Scotland. “Years ago, Merlin set four of us to a task. It’s to found a school and teach a codified and repeatable course on magic. We’ll be using my years here to iron out everything.”

Draco felt a terrible suspicion move through him. He knew, he knew, the date that Hogwarts had been founded. He even knew the names of the founders. Who didn’t? After all, the very houses that students lived in were named after them. But was Guin going to be who he thought she was? She had a decidedly black thumb, so that left Hufflepuff out. The accepted portrait of Rowen Ravenclaw looked nothing like the woman in front of him and well… Slytherin and Gryffindor were both provably male.

“So what will your new name be? Once you and I are no longer married?” Draco asked, anticipation and curiosity pooling in his gut.

“Rowena Ravenclaw.”

Shite.

 

 

 

Entering their quarters later that night, Draco was still trying to wrap his mind around what Guin had told him. There was no way that he would ever have connected a woman reputed to be one of the biggest intellectuals of her age with the same woman who kicked his arse on the practice fields. And she knew that he had been flabbergasted by something that she had said. Arthur, the bastard, had just sat on his bed and cackled like an arse.

That alone made her reveal worth it. But her revelation really had knocked him off his pins and he needed to know if his lover knew. Because if Harry had known and hadn’t told him, he was going to shave the dear man bald. He had always been curious how long it would take before the semi-sentient hair came back.

“Harry?”

“Bedroom,” his lover called.

“Just out of curiosity, why are you never in the sitting room?” Draco asked as he walked into their inner room. Harry was curled up in front of their fireplace, reading one of the books that had been in his bracelet when they had come back. Tilting his head, he saw that it was Lord of the Rings. “You know, now that I think about it, I’m really glad that we didn’t get sent back before I saw the last one of those in the theaters. I think I would have broken magic trying to figure out how to see it.”

“And weren’t you the one who told me that Muggle entertainment was lackluster compared to the stuff the Magical world puts out?” Harry asked as he flipped a page. Draco noticed that he hadn’t answered his question either.

“Being smug is bitchy, darling,” Draco huffed as he threw himself into his own chair. Sitting on the table beside it was a leather-bound copy of The Hobbit. “Then again, you carry smug well.”

“Kiss arse,” Harry told him cheerfully. “So what’s got you in a swivet?”

“I just got some news from Guin. We’re going to be getting married in about two weeks, if that’s okay with Merlin. Once we have me established, she wants me to set her aside because she plans to head north with three friends of hers. And she’s going to be changing her name,” Draco reported as he leafed through the book. It was illustrated and he was charmed by all the hints the images were giving him to the story. “Is this one going to break my heart?”

“Yes. And frustrate you. You’ll still enjoy it,” Harry told him bluntly. “I sit back here most of the time because I don’t want to deal with the various leeches that try for my time now that I’m taking over for Merlin. It’s getting to the point where I want to get someone like Jols to be my public face.”

“You threw one of the ambassadors into a wall, Harry. And you did it without touching them. Merlin hasn’t had a display like that in decades,” Draco told him. “I agree, you need someone there to act as a buffer, but Jols is a little rough around the edges. And I don’t think Tristan would be good.”

Snickering quietly, Harry nodded. “Yeah, he’s not quite the image I want to project.”

“What about Bors’ oldest boy? He’d got at least a touch of magic, and, if I’ve got his age right, he’s about twelve? Maybe thirteen? Old enough to apprentice at least,” Draco suggested.

“I’ll check him out tomorrow. If he passes the check, I’ll talk to Bors and the kids’ mom.” Harry looked up at him. “Now what did Guin do?”

“She’s… Harry, she’s planning at the end of the five years to go north and help found a school for magic. And she’s going to be one of the teachers.” Draco closed his book at put it back on the table so he could get up and pace. Waving his hands, he struggled to get the whole conversation out in a way that made sense. “She’s going to be using a new name, and it just floored me, because the woman doesn’t match the image at all!”

“Uh-huh. I’ve got a pretty good idea,” Harry prompted, and waved him on when he would have stopped. “Who is she going to be?”

“Rowena Ravenclaw.”

“Bugger,” his lover breathed and then sighed. “And did you manage to get a glimpse of the other three?”

“No, they aren’t here yet. She expects them to arrive this summer. Apparently, Merlin set this up years ago. Everyone has basically completed their magical training, so now they need to actually serve somewhere. This will let them get some experience under their belts, maybe some acquire a nest egg, and then strike north,” Draco explained.

It actually made a fair amount of sense. Merlin, Harry’s mentor, hadn’t had a great deal of wealth. He was rich in influence, in magical power and in favors owed, but money was thin on the ground. So having a royal house sponsor the school, maybe support it in the first years, help staff it and even protect it? Was a gift of immense worth. Five years as court sorcerers wasn’t a bad tradeoff for either party. And if he could get Helga Hufflepuff to help him set up his crops?

Yeah, he was a Slytherin, not a moron. Hufflepuff, in the histories he had read, had been reputed to be the best horticulturist of her age. He was going to take every advantage of that he could. Gryffindor had had a talent for building and working with stone, and, hey, he needed a castle now, didn’t he? Slytherin had been described as a whiz at the subtle traps that allowed a defender time to overwhelm any invaders, and he had also a dab hand at medicine. Something that even their Muggle healers could pick up on.

So, yeah, he was going to be picking a LOT of brains over the next five years.

“She’s also offered to continue training us while we while away the next five years,” he offered as a consolation.

The look his lover shot him was full of wonder and irritation. Draco was reasonably certain that his plotting had made it across their bond and Harry was at turns amused and appalled at what he was thinking. Not that he was worried. His lover had been conspiring just as hard.

“Rowena Ravenclaw is the person who trained me in hand to hand, dagger fighting, advance combat magics and how to pinpoint aim spells?” Harry asked as he marked his place in his book and set it aside. “And then takes me out to have a beer and tell bawdy stories?”

“And I’m marrying her,” Draco confirmed.

“You poor bastard,” Harry told him, sarcasm thick in his voice. “You have to marry a beautiful woman. One who is a legend throughout history under her own name and the use name she’s taking.”

“Very funny, Merlin. You have your own legends,” Draco shot back.

“Are we arguing?” Harry asked as he raised an eyebrow at him. Draco stared and then shrugged. Hell if he knew. “Because if we are, I want to skip the whole screaming mess and go straight to where you and I see who can fuck who into the mattress.”

Draco opened his mouth and then snapped it shut. He really couldn’t see a problem with that, and skipping the argument that they were gearing up towards didn’t bother him at all. “You’re a genius; I am all for getting fucked through the mattress, getting pissy with you just… Why would we be arguing?”

“Over who has the biggest legacy?” Harry asked as he climbed out of his chair and headed towards the bed. A wave of his hand and the covers were pulled back and the pillows piled out of the way. “Are we going to wrestle for who’s on top?”

“Love, you know you adore getting fucked. Do you want to give that up just to plow my arse?” Draco asked as he pulled his shirt over his head. To press the point, he turned around then bent over to pull his socks off. He knew that the move did good things for his arse, and, from the sound of his lover choking on air, so did Harry.

“Plowing your arse is looking mighty fine from here,” Harry admitted. “But I have a better idea. Something that will get us what we both want. Now get over here so I can play with your arse.”

Draco laughed softly as he kicked his trousers and pants off before crawling onto the bed. Lying down, he made sure that his dick was tucked up against his belly. The sheet covering the mattress was just a bit chilled and he could feel his nipples crinkling up from the change in temperature even as his cock enjoyed the cool cloth.

“Should I put a warming charm on the bed?” Harry asked as he ran his hands up Draco’s legs. Thanks to an ancestry that was slightly broader than the average purebloods, he had very little body hair. Harry had been fascinated by that when they had first gone to bed, and Draco had reveled in the attention. His lover, on the other hand, was furrier than people would expect, and he had been just as fascinated. The hair felt fantastic moving against his skin.

“No charm, I’m good,” Draco admitted as he spread his legs.

“You are not all that subtle, love.” Harry laughed against the back of his knee. He bit the tendon that ran there, and Draco could feel the shiver move over his skin.

“Why try for subtlety when directness gets me what I want?” Draco asked, voice breathless as his lover bit his way up the back of one leg and down the other. Harry was well aware of exactly how turned on Draco got when he was bit that way.

He had to shift slightly as his cock throbbed and he slid one hand down to palm it. Smoothing his hand up and down the shaft, he turned his head and moaned as his lover parted the globes of his ass. He clenched down, suddenly feeling empty and his runes hadn’t even been touched.

The feel of Harry’s tongue gliding up and down the skin of his perineum got another moan and he whined when he felt the wet tip circle his arsehole. He didn’t bother to hide how much he was enjoying himself as his lover slowly, lovingly, and with great concentration took him apart with his mouth. He let his hand rest against his cock only, and pushed back against Harry, trying to get more.

“Pushy,” Harry muttered right before he turned his head slightly and bit the skin of Draco’s arse.

He panted, voice overwhelmed by the need he was feeling from himself and his lover. The hand he had resting against his cock was almost a tease and Draco shifted to grasp the shaft, not trying to stroke, just holding it. Just as he had his hand clamped down tightly on his cock, Harry activated his prep runes, and the rush of pleasure tipped him over and he screamed his orgasm into the mattress.

When his brain came back up, he could feel the hot length of Harry’s cock in his arse. His lover wasn’t moving, just resting in the clench of the muscles as they rippled with his orgasm. “Fuck me. Please, Harry.”

The growl as Harry pulled out was deeply satisfying and he relaxed into the pleasure burning through him. The orgasm he just had felt like it had only primed his need, and he wanted, oh he wanted, the next rush of pleasure that the cock in his arse was promising.

Hissing slightly at the burn and stretch, he pulled a bit of his magic out and cast a spell that they had talked about, but never used. From the shout and hard thrust of his cock into Draco’s arse, Harry was discovering the benefits of it.

“You beautiful freak,” Harry panted as he slammed harder and harder into Draco. “I can feel a cock made of magic in my arse and it’s amazing. I am so doing this to you as soon as I can.”

The thought of maybe feeling a cock in his arse as he fucked his lover, or even two cocks in his arse as he was fucked, was just too much. The white hot pleasure that had been teasing him with each stroke of Harry’s cock exploded from its spot at the base of his spine and into his brain. For the second time that night, his brain went white with his pleasure and all he could do was ride it out.

 

 

Two weeks later, he was standing before the old Merlin and promising that he would respect, honor and provide for his new Queen, Guinevere, to the extent she wished for as long as she wished. In turn, she promised to do the same. The promise that was inherent to his magic, his kingdom, took hold, and he could feel it settle into his core. The room that they had left for themselves within the vow would let them have their own lives until they ended their five-year marriage.

The wedding feast was as lavish and as sumptuous as they could manage, and everyone got to eat their fill. After that, the celebrations, both public and private, went on deep into the night, and Draco got to experience the magic cock as he fucked and was fucked by Harry. It was a fantastic night, and he slept far later than he had expected.

When he woke up, the knights were standing in his sitting room, all decked out in their most formal armor. Dressing quickly, he stepped out and carefully closed the door.

“Okay. Let me have it,” Draco told them.

Galahad took a deep breath and nodded. “The King is dead. Long live the King.”

With that announcement, the four remaining Knights of the Round Table dropped to one knee and swore their loyalty to him in a united voice. Draco ignored the tears running down their faces as they ignored the tears streaming down his when he accepted. They were on their own then.

Part Three

 

Restoration

Title: Restoration

Author: Ladyholder

Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter, King Arthur, Time Travel

Relationships: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy

Summary: When you have to meet your destiny, sometimes that means traveling further than you expect.

Warnings: Some canon typical violence for the movie King Arthur, and mention of the aftereffects of love potions

Word Count: 49,437

 

restoration_final

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Draco Malfoy moved through the set forms for his sword work in silence. He had been at the whole thing long enough that his muscles were burning pleasantly, moving smoothly with the beat of the metronome. As he reached the end of the movement, he set the sword down carefully, point first, with his wrists crossed over the pommel.

“Very good! You are progressing nicely, Lord Malfoy.”

Draco didn’t respond with more than an abbreviated bow as he breathed deeply. His sword was damn heavy and he was still, a year after Voldemort’s death, recovering from that final year of the war. Thinking about that time, he suppressed a wince. His health after the final battle hadn’t been all that great due to the crazy bastard and the shite he had put everyone through. Despite everything that his parents had done, he had still come into his share of torture from Riddle, and he had paid a hefty price for the privileged position he had held in the ranks.

As a budding potions master, Draco hadn’t been expected to take part in some of the more horrific entertainments that had been the norm among the Death Eaters infesting his home. His Mark, that identifying stain that said someone had been a Death Eater, had been impressed on him by Voldemort and his father against his will. He hadn’t wanted to get the damn thing, and had put all his will to fighting the thing’s hold on him. Meanwhile, he had been set to brewing the potions that were needed for Voldemort’s forces.

The internal fighting he had done to try to get free of it, and the external fighting he had done to stay alive, had cost him. He had been exhausted physically and magically from the whole mess by the time the war was over. When the time for his trial had come around, the prosecution had pulled his left sleeve up and tried to show his Mark. The skin of his forearm had been smooth and unblemished. The revelation had caused all sorts of consternation from the court and the spectators. He had been dosed with enough Veritaserum that he had been in danger of overdose and questioned until he had been fighting unconsciousness as he tried to answer.

Potter had come to his rescue and raised an unholy amount of hell at the way the law was being violated to satisfy the prosecution’s very personal curiosity as to why his Mark had faded. Draco couldn’t say that he had minded the assistance at the time. A year later, he still didn’t mind what Potter had done. The other man had slowly but surely teased out the circumstances behind his service to Voldemort. The fact that he hadn’t wanted to serve, had, in fact, done all he could to sabotage things and then had fought on the side of the Light, carried a great deal of weight with everyone on the court. He had been cleared of all charges.

His father hadn’t been so lucky. Unlike Draco, Lucius had taken his Mark willingly. And had supported Voldemort for the length of the first war, through the years of peace, and then into the second war. His trial had been just as long as his son’s, and the elder Malfoy was in even worse physical shape. Years of abusing alcohol, drugs and other illicit substances had weakened him to the point where the damage done by Voldemort had won out. Lucius Malfoy, Lord of the Ancient and Noble House of Malfoy, had died on the stand. More importantly for Draco, his father had died before spilling too much in the way of secrets from the second war, and before he had been convicted of the crimes he had committed.

Draco had taken the family signet ring from Potter’s hand, ignoring the tingle that had come when he touched the other man. With his father dead, and dead before being convicted, the whole trial had fallen apart. The Wizarding world didn’t have the option of convicting a man after his death and, for that, Draco was grateful. It had saved his family’s fortunes. It hadn’t saved their reputation, but that could be repaired.

Breath caught, Draco turned to his sword master and raised one eyebrow in question.

“You are ready to start working with the rest of my students. I have one in particular that I believe will challenge you sufficiently,” the older man told him with a smirk.

“You are aware that not everyone is thrilled to associate with me, right? And putting me against a bunch of other lords and their scions is just asking for bloodshed. Either mine or theirs,” Draco informed him dryly.

“Not this student. And if you can successfully spar with him, I figure you will be safe enough with the rest of them.”

Draco hefted his sword up and onto his shoulder in a casual carry gesture. “I hope so. Lead on.”

The room he had been practicing in was warded against unauthorized entrances. After all, the students were practicing with very real and very sharp swords, and anyone walking in was at risk. It also protected the students from people who might have… objections to those who were learning there. The feel of the wards passing over him as he left his room were a familiar caress and completely ignorable. The trip through the hallway was quiet and Draco eyed the closed doors as they walked past them. He had no idea who was on the other side and wasn’t all that curious to find out.

His teacher paused in front of another plain door and placed his hand on the brass plaque attached to the wood. The glow of magic was subtle and Draco cocked his head to the side. The spells on the room were just as robust as the ones that had been on his own. Whoever was on the other side of the door was someone very special indeed. When the door opened and he saw the occupant, he completely understood why there had been the high level of security.

Harry Potter was going through his forms, and, from what Draco could see, they were about at the same level. He hoped that the truce they had started the year before was still standing. Otherwise, the room was going to get very bloody.

“Potter,” Draco offered as the other man reached the end of his set.

“Malfoy.” Potter eyed him, gaze keen as he looked him over. If it had been in his nature to blush, Draco was sure that he would be doing so. The clothes he wore to practice in were nothing like the robes the modern Wizarding world normally wore, and they showed everything. Useful when fighting, but very revealing on a personal level.

“It looks like Master Baudin has decided that we are to spar against each other. See if I’m fit to join the rest of the students.”

Draco watched as Potter looked at the Master of the school and raised one eyebrow in question. When the older man nodded, the Gryff grinned and waved a hand at the practice circle taking center stage in the room. “I think I can work with that. And I promise not to skewer you.”

Reluctantly amused, Draco took his sword off his shoulder and stepped into the circle. Rolling his head slightly, he felt the muscles of his neck relax before shrugging his shoulders to settle everything out again. As he took his spot for the match, he kept one eye on Potter as he settled into the first form. Unlike the last time he had seen the Gryff, he was actually looking healthy. Potter was almost four inches taller than he had been at his trial, about a stone heavier, and, from the magic swirling around the room, just as powerful as before. Good. When his opponent took his spot, he waited until he heard Master Baudin clap his hands and then nodded.

“I’ll do my best not to get skewered. What brought you here?” Draco asked as he started moving around the circle, breath coming in easy gusts as he held his sword in a light but sure grip. From the sure and easy stance Potter was displaying, Malfoy was sure the other man was trained in the basics at least. Their forms were mirroring each other and they stayed on opposite sides of the ring, moving until the time felt right.

“I needed something that wasn’t riding a broom for exercise, and lifting weights was boring as hell. So I got my physician to recommend something that might actually be fun. He was right,” Potter told him right before he exploded into movement.

Draco grunted in reply as he moved to counter each move, the forms slipping from one to another without conscious thought, so ingrained into his muscle memory were they that he didn’t have to concentrate on them. His eyes were glued to Potter, watching as he moved, trying to gauge where a weakness was going to appear. The back and forth nature of the match was soothing and even the clanging as their swords met blended well. As his breath started to come in pants, he stepped back slightly, and started circling in the opposite direction. Potter pulled back as well, eyes intent on his stance.

“Well, you seem to be doing great,” Draco said when he had gotten enough air back that he wouldn’t sound like he was knackered. Because he wasn’t.

The smile that crossed Potter’s face was disconcerting. “Thank you for that. Why are you here?”

“I took lessons as a child, but when I went Hogwarts, they stopped. My father didn’t think I would need them anymore and, well, it was difficult enough finding the time for the independent studies I was doing in Potions, let alone in this,” Draco explained before he drew in a deep breath and launched his own attack. Parry, riposte, lunge and a small twist! Potter’s sword was wrenched out of his hands and across the floor. Draco stepped back and pulled his sword up in front of his face, saluting his opponent. “That was a good match. Thank you.”

“It was,” Potter agreed before shaking his hands out like the action had stung. Well, Draco was aware that the move wasn’t all that pleasant to have happen against one, and the Gryff’s hands had been twisted slightly as he had connected. “Shall we do it again?”

Draco looked at Master Baudin and the older man was smiling. “Sure.”

 

 

“You know, Master Baudin wants to get you on the lists for international competition,” Harry muttered as he threw a towel at Draco.

Draco grunted slightly as he caught the cloth and ran it over his face. After several years work with Master Baudin and his merry band of sadists, he was a very skilled swordsman and had branched out to axes and knives. Add in some of the Muggle kickboxing that Harry had talked him into and he was a force to be reckoned with.

Their competitiveness at Hogwarts had resurfaced in the salle, but it no longer had the bitter edge it had once carried. This was more about the fun of learning something new and using the skill. Plus getting a free drink out of it. Draco had stepped up his game when Potter had beaten him to the punch by getting the first wandless spell out. A completely unexpected Impedimenta had stuck his feet to the floor as he had twirled through one pirouette and all had been lost.

He had paid his wager like a gentleman and had taken Potter, now Harry, out to dinner. That had been happening a lot recently, and Draco was starting to get some inkling that Harry really didn’t mind. Were they dating? If so, he was really, really bad at it. Because most of their dates seemed to revolve around using their swords. Wincing slightly at the mental double entendre, he tried to keep his expression neutral.

“I don’t think I want to get that high profile just yet, Harry. You saw the shitestorm that came up when the press found out you and I go here. Can you imagine what they would say if I went to compete? Let alone on the same team as you?” Draco grabbed the sheath for his blade and slid the gleaming length of steel into it. The sound it made was a quiet whisper and he smiled. The first time he had seen a Muggle movie with swords and heard how they got theirs out of the sheath, he had freaked out. Harry had thought the whole thing was hilarious.

As if he was going to let any blade of his sound like it was being scrapped on a dull corner every time it was drawn. That could fuck up the edge! And don’t get him started on the shite they passed off as fighting in most of the movies Potter had shown him. It was depressing.

“You can’t keep living your life by the swaying of the public’s opinion, Draco. It won’t work, they’ll still hate you, and worse, you might come to hate yourself,” Harry told him, eyes serious.

Bloody buggering fuck, the bastard would have to remind him of that, Draco thought savagely. After years of keeping a low profile, he had slowly, carefully been getting more and more open about being in England and starting to take a hand in the world around them. For the first four months, he had actually read everything the Prophet and Witch Weekly had written about him and reacted accordingly. It hadn’t worked.

Harry had finally had enough during one practice and had beaten him black and blue with words, the flat of his blade and some well-timed jinxes. It had been a miserable afternoon. But he had stopped paying attention to the two premiere gossip rags in England and had been happier for it. Even if he did return the favor, in spades, when some of the Weasley’s had gotten on Harry’s case about the time he was spending with someone other than Ginny.

“You’re right, but I think I left part two of that revelation to too late,” Draco shook his head and stared up at the ceiling. “Living by the opinion of the public sucks.”

“It does indeed. Good thing for you that Master Baudin was willing to let me sign you up and all that shite. No need to thank me,” Harry grinned at him and spread his arms wide.

Draco wasn’t sorry at all when he threw his towel into Potter’s face, followed closely by a nicely cold, conjured snowball. The shriek the other man let out as the cold, wet slush went down his shirt was fantastic.

 

 

“Lord Malfoy, I didn’t realize you were competing,” Minister Shacklebolt observed as he shook hands with everyone on the team representing England.

“I have the skill and am sufficiently high enough in the ranks to try, Minister. If nothing else, I can say that I did just that. Try. Merlin knows, there are some very talented people out here today,” Draco informed him with a wry smile as he waved at the masses of competitors.

“Indeed. It will be interesting to see how you represent us then. Good luck, Lord Malfoy,” Shacklebolt murmured as he moved onto the next person in the line.

Draco didn’t sigh, but he wanted to. Especially with who was closely following the Minister. Granger had made it far up in the ranks of the Ministry in just a few short years and while the old him might have wondered if the chit had gotten there on Harry’s coattails or some other means, the newly grown up and aware Draco knew she had done it all on her own. That and Harry had been muttering about what he had been up to for most of the time they had been sparring together. Granger was scary smart and after sloughing off the Weasel, had shot high and far. He didn’t even try to do anything but nod at her when she passed him.

The narrow-eyed glare he got in return just made him shrug, and he moved to the back of the room, looking for the bar. He didn’t want alcohol, but he did want something to drink. And maybe use as a prop. One soda water with lime later and it looked like he was having something else. Picking a slice of wall to hold up was even easier and Draco settled in to watch the room and all the various circling sharks.

“It’s amazing who they allow to compete in international competitions now-a-days, isn’t it?”

Draco didn’t turn his head, but sighed internally. Where you had the Minister for Magic, you always had his entourage. And that in this case, meant Blaise Zabini. “Do us all a favor, Blaise, and go the fuck away.”

“Why should I, Malfoy? I’m here to watch the competition,” Zabini told him with a toothy grin.

For the life of him, Draco couldn’t see what had made him even try to be friendly with the other man at Hogwarts. He was vain, cold, cruel and, above all else, shallow. Even as shallow as he had been, Zabini had been worse. But he and his mother were survivors. He had to give them that.

“So what number spouse is your mother up to now? Ten? And are any of them alive?” Draco asked cheerfully, eyes full of malice as he sipped his water.

There was a slightly darker stain to the other man’s cheeks and Malfoy counted that as a win. Ms. Zabini and her black-widow tendencies had been gossip beyond compare in the social circles of his youth. He was betting that they still were years later.

Zabini pushed off the wall and walked away. The feelings that stirred in his gut were bitter. That had been the single most civil conversation he had had with any of his housemates since the war. It was depressing as fuck.

Surveying the room, he sighed. He wasn’t up for this shite. Draining his glass, he set it onto the closest table and headed towards one of the side doors. He was going to go to his room and try to get some sleep. The drama wasn’t worth it.

***

The competition was rough. Everyone in the place knew who he was and what he had at one point been made to stand for. It made the various matches interesting to say the least. Draco kept a casual eye on Harry and enjoyed the spectacle as he managed to kick a great deal of ass over the days of the competition. That wasn’t to say that he was being shy or retiring either. He managed to do a lot to advance England’s standing in the trials.

His last bout had been close, and he had had to pull out some fancy maneuvers that he had actually seen in one of Potter’s movies to achieve victory. It had been too weird. Master Baudin had been less than pleased with him for his audacity. Draco had been made to run drills until he puked, but it had totally been worth it when he had sent the Bulgarian fighter’s sword spinning off into the wards.

Harry, the little bastard, had laughed until he cried when he found him sipping at his glass of soda water and ignoring the results of his exercises.

Two weeks later they were back in England and Draco was sitting in his study, admiring the decorative sword that was now hanging on his wall. It was bejeweled, shiny with gold, and absolutely useless for actual fighting, but it was precious none the less. He had won that. In an honest competition, without a wand and without using his innate magic. Sipping at his brandy, he smiled in pleasure.

The sound of the bell to his apartment was just odd enough that he had to test the wards to see who might be at his door. Whoever was on the other side didn’t seem to have any ill intentions at least. Draco unlocked the door and took a deep breath before opening it. “Harry?”

“Gonna let me in, Draco?”

He didn’t bother to reply, just stood aside and let Harry make the choice if he wanted to come in. When Potter walked in, Draco felt his breath catch. Whatever this was, it was something important. Leading the way to his study, he waved at the chair opposite his own. “Brandy?”

“Please,” Harry confirmed before looking around the room.

Draco tried to see his study with the eyes of someone who had never been in it before. The apartment was a minor Malfoy property that had originally intended to house a mistress of the Lord of the House, so it was very nice, but not up to the extravagant standards of Malfoy Manor. It was richly appointed in wood with brushed nickel accents, plush fabrics and enough leather to be comfortable. Since the apartment was for a mistress, it was set up for someone to live in without servants.

Unlike his childhood home, there were no house elves keeping an eye on him, popping in and out all day long. The Malfoy elves had all gone with his mother when she had retreated back to France, and he was content to let them. Draco had found, over the years since Hogwarts, that he was capable of a lot more than he had ever expected when he had been living under his father’s thumb. Not to say that he didn’t enjoy a spot of spoiling from the elves, when they had the time, but their devotion to his mother came first.

“It’s a muggle brand that I found recently,” Draco told him as he offered up the beverage. His fingers brushed Harry’s when he handed over the glass and they tingled again. The feeling had been happening a lot and he looked forward to it each and every time.

As he sat back in his chair, Draco watched as Harry took a sip of his brandy. The pleased hum Harry gave as he tasted the drink, gave him a warm feeling and he didn’t try to analyze it. He just accepted it. The question on if they were dating was still rather up in the air, especially since they hadn’t even discussed the finger thing going on. He watched as Harry set the snifter aside, and put his aside as well. Maybe the reprieve was over?

“Are we going to talk about what’s happening between us?” Harry asked as he stared over at him.

Draco looked down at his hands before raising his eyes to meet the green ones gazing back at him. It figured that Potter would be the ever-brave Gryff and push things on first. “You mean the thing that happens when we touch?”

“Yes.” Harry leaned forward and extended one hand.

He stared at the limb and reached out his own hand, carefully grasping what was being offered. The tingle that had been hinted at every time they brushed erupted in a blaze of warmth. There was no way he wanted to let go. “That wasn’t what I expected.”

“It was what I was expecting,” Harry admitted as he tightened his grip. “I had this best friend when I was a child… She loved to research everything, including how her new world dealt with marriage. She discovered that some magicals are gifted with the ability to have something like soulmates. And one of the things that showed that compatibility was a flash of warmth when they touched. Like what we’re feeling.”

“Huh. I should have known that,” Draco mused as he debated between pulling Harry over to him or just giving into the warmth and dragging him upstairs to his bed. “So, is this a fated thing and Magic has determined that you are the one for me and that’s it?”

“Compatibility, Draco. Not fated. This doesn’t determine that. We would have to go visit the Book of Souls to determine if the compatibility is actually a soulbond,” Harry explained as he smiled softly.

Draco mentally shrugged and slid out of his chair and moved to kneel in front of Potter. He reluctantly let loose of the hand he was holding to run his hands up the length of Harry’s thighs to grasp his arse and pull him forward. The surprised huff of air brushed over his face and he breathed in the scent of vanilla brandy and something that was uniquely Potter.

“Okay. I can live with that,” Draco told him, as he stared into the deep green eyes of his friend. “But we need to discuss a few things. Ginevra Weasley?”

“I haven’t been anywhere with her, socially, in about three years. I told her parents that there was no way that I could see me marrying her,” Harry told him, voice even. “I know that when the war was over, everyone expected us to get together, but it didn’t work. We tried. It was like… what I imagine kissing a sister would be. Towards the end, it was just duty that kept us trying. Mutual decision ended that, and the elder Weasley’s told me that they are fine with the lack of a relationship between us. So’s she. Ron’s the only one still bent on it.”

“Right. That’s good to know. I probably won’t get hexed from her, then.” Draco muttered as he knee-walked a bit closer. When Harry spread his own legs, he moved even closer, enjoying the warmth that came from being so close. “What about Ronald and Hermione?”

“Ron would love nothing else but for me to marry his sister,” Harry informed him, eyes solemn. Draco could feel one of the hands that had been resting on his shoulders move and he tilted his head into the stroking of his hair. “I can see you like that. Good to know. Hermione isn’t interested in controlling who I date at this stage. She’s much more wrapped up in the last stages of her mastery. That and she hasn’t talked to Ron in about a year.”

“You have until forever to stop doing that.” Draco was hard put not to let his eyes close and purr into the feeling of Harry’s fingers. “So the Golden Trio has fallen apart?”

“You didn’t notice?” Harry asked as he moved his fingers through Draco’s hair.

He shook his head slowly, being careful not to dislodge those wonderful fingers. “You know I don’t get the Prophet or Witch Weekly. And while I do get the Quibbler, Luna hasn’t really been concentrating on gossip over the last few years.”

“Huh. Yeah, we haven’t really had time for each other. Hermione went for her mastery in Charms, Ron went for the Aurors and you know I took over my lordship. There was a lot of catching up to go with that and I just haven’t had time.” Harry shrugged carefully. “What about your mother?”

Draco hummed softly at that. Catching up was a mild term for the intensive studying that Harry, as Lord Potter-Black, had done. He had inherited one of the most Ancient and Noble houses directly by blood from his father, and another by magical inheritance from Sirius. Hogwarts had in no way prepared him for it, and Dumbledore sure hadn’t bothered to before he had died. Draco had long ago come to terms with that and no longer harbored the guilt about his part in the old bastard’s death. Helping Harry learn everything he had needed had been a welcome refresher for what he had needed to rule his own house.

“My mother honestly won’t notice. She’s in France for a number of reasons, Harry. Keeping her away from the arseholes here in Britain is only one of them,” he revealed. It was a closely held secret, what was actually going on with Narcissa Malfoy.

“She’s okay?”

“No. She isn’t. And there’s nothing that’s going to change things either.”

Harry leaned forward until his forehead was resting against Draco’s. “I am so sorry.”

“Thank you,” was all he said for several moments. Pulling his courage together, he asked the question that had been weighing on his mind. “So, how long have we been dating, do you think?”

The giggle that erupted from Harry was sweet and carefree. “Months. Months, Malfoy. And you owe me a kiss.”

“Well, I’ll just get right to that,” Draco returned before leaning forward and brushing his lips over the ones before him. He kept the kiss soft, simple and just enjoyed the rush of heat that moved between them.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

lh-stonehenge

The thing about dating the Boy Who Lived was that a large portion of the British Wizarding World seemed determined to hate anyone he stepped out with who wasn’t Ginny Weasley. Given that Draco was the son of a Death Eater and had stood in the Death Eater ranks, most of the population really, really hated him. They had started going on dates into Muggle London and avoiding Diagon Alley due to the bullshite that kept coming their way.

He was ordering all his normal shopping from either catalogs or muggle sources because dealing with people in the Alley was mostly out. Gringotts was about the most neutral place to be had in the Alley and even then, the customers in the bank never shut up. Draco had started requesting that the goblins who handled his estate meet him at his apartment. It was calmer for him and for them.

Some things, though, required a physical presence. He and Harry had apparently been dating for almost four months before he had acknowledged it with a gentle kiss in his study. The mind-blowing sex later that night had been a wonderful way to celebrate. Six months later, they had decided to look at the Book of Souls. The warmth that infused them when they touched had never gone away and his curiosity had been burning since Harry had told him about the possibility.

The floo exit into the atrium of the Ministry was about as public and open as was possible to get and still be relatively safe. Draco stepped out of the fire and made sure to banish the soot from his travels. Harry was arriving on his own so he made sure to approach the main desk openly and with his body language showing he was relaxed. It didn’t work all that well, but then, it never did.

“Wand please.”

Draco set the wand he had for this purpose on the counter. It was one of several hundred that had lived in his family vaults for at least a century and the original wielder was lost to history. He had never used it, and, since it was ancient, the last spell listed on it was a stasis charm. The Ministry employee picked the wand up and sniffed over the condition of it before he handed him a claim ticket for it with an affronted air.

It took a great act of will not to snap back at the little twit, but he managed it. Getting delayed or detained wouldn’t serve his purpose at all. That and Harry would be less than pleased with him.

The way down to the Department of Mysteries was clearly marked and the parts of him that had been trained for and in war winced at how exposed everything was. To have one of the most important and crucial departments in the government so clearly labeled for anyone to find was just stupid. To compound it, every other department in the building was similarly denoted. If anyone invaded now, they would be able to find everything. Including the Minister for Magic.

Shaking his head, Draco followed the signs until he reached the right corridor and tucked his hands into his sleeves, trying to keep his face smooth. He had every right to be there, and he just kept moving like he did. The door leading to the Book of Souls was a high arch, the wood of the door covered in all the symbols denoting soul mates from cultures around the world and accented with gold and jewels. If it hadn’t been in the Ministry itself, he would have thought it vastly overdone. As it was, it was still a bit much.

Pushing the door open, he saw the room beyond was a very plain and uninhabited anteroom. Sitting in the center was a desk that should have had someone manning it. From the sound of voices echoing out of the room behind the desk, he could only presume they were with someone else who was looking at the book.

A quick, wandless tempus confirmed that he was on time and all he had to do was wait for Harry. He had just settled into one of the benches when the doorkeeper came walking back out with the person they were escorting. Draco didn’t know the witch, but from her slightly depressed mien, he could only conclude that she didn’t have an entry in the Book. He did grace her with a nod of acknowledgment before leaning back once again.

“Lord Malfoy? Are you waiting on something?”

“Or someone, Madame,” Draco murmured before closing his eyes.

The tingling warmth that tied him to Harry was getting closer, and he let a small smile cross his lips. He had no real doubts as to what they would find in that other room, but Harry wanted the confirmation and, to be fair, so did he. If their relationship was going to go public, they needed all the help they could get. The visit to the Book was thus a very calculated endeavor. Harry had mentioned the hope that the reinforcement of a soulmate bond on their status would help, hopefully, keep the baying for his blood down.

Draco wasn’t actually betting on that, but he was hopeful. Hopeful enough that he had agreed to come to the heart of the Ministry on a weekday, meet up with Harry and look at the bloody Book. He wasn’t stupid, however. The wand he had given over was one thing, but he also had his sword strapped to his back, his actual wand tucked into a holster in his forearm, and a whole slew of useful potions and other stuff tucked into a dimensional bracelet. Smart, not stupid had become a mantra over the years of training.

“Draco,” Harry called and his eyes snapped open.

“Harry.” Draco would have loved to kiss his lover hello, but they had a witness and they still needed to see the Book. Dressed in dark green and black, Harry was in the formal robes he used when he was playing Lord Potter-Black. “You look great.”

“So do you. Shall we?” Harry asked as he held out a hand.

The warmth that was living in his core seemed to be concentrated in the grip he shared with Harry, and Draco couldn’t help the sappy smile that crossed his face. He might have actually been a bit slow when it came to figuring out he was dating Potter, but he was pretty sure that he loved the bastard. And that he was willing to do just about anything to keep him safe.

“Oh!”

Draco looked at the third person in the room and raised an eyebrow at her. “As I recall, your oaths mean that you can’t speak of what happens in these rooms?”

“You would be correct, Lord Malfoy. Lord Potter-Black? Are you both going in?” the lady asked. She had answered his question only grudgingly, but seemed happier dealing with Harry. That damn Death Eater connection, Draco thought.

Harry glanced at her and nodded. “We are. Thank you.”

Walking into the room where the Book of Souls was displayed stirred a weird feeling in his gut. There were ancient wards designed to protect anyone within them, emanating from the center of the space. When Harry had first mentioned the mystical item, Draco had known of it only from the fairytales he had been told as a child. Afterwards, he had done his research. His father hadn’t been a believer in sentiment, so he had paid scant attention to the legends of Britain, so he had been surprised at how much there was to learn.

Enchanted by someone, the Book of Souls sat on a solid marble plinth in total darkness. When people entered the room, it lit from an unknown source. No one could figure out how the magic for it continued to work, century after century, but it did. The Book itself was plain, the leather of the cover unmarked and unadorned by writing, tools or jewels. The only time it opened was when someone had an entry in it. If anyone else tried to open it, it stayed stubbornly shut, resisting all efforts at discovery.

“So, shall we?” he asked as he walked over to the plinth, never letting go of his lover’s hand.

Harry didn’t reply, just pulled him closer and stepped up. When they were both in front of the Book, the edges lit up and Draco could hear the long sigh of relief, and he shared a smile with the other man. “On three?”

Harry nodded. “On, three. One. Two…”

“Three,” they said together and put their hands on the Book.

The white light of confirmation exploded from the pages and they leaned over to read the words written on the pages. The script was the formal form that was seen in ancient documents, but still clearly legible. The names Draco Lucius Malfoy and Harry James Potter were spelled out for them to see.

“So that’s that,” Harry muttered. “This will get announced automatically.”

“That there’s a new soul-bound couple, or our names?” Draco asked as he stared down at the script. His mind was starting to spin out, trying to make decisions on what they needed to do next. Number one decision on his list was to keep Harry safe and damn the consequences.

“Yes. To both items. I suggest we get out of here before something of a bullshite nature happens,” Harry confirmed before stepping down from the plinth.

As soon as his feet hit the floor of the room, the light from the book faded. Draco could still see Harry’s name, but the light from the book was softer, less outrageous and startling. He stepped back as well and sighed as the book went dark. Fate was such a bitch.

Turning to his lover, his soulmate, he smiled. “Let’s go.”

The anteroom had been empty when they had entered, but was full when they walked out. The attendant was standing in front of the door waiting on them to come out. Gathered on either side of her were a number of aurors, Unspeakables and the Minister himself. Harry shot him a grim look and turned to the woman. Draco had vaguely recognized her, but didn’t have a name to put to the face. Harry apparently did.

“What’s all this, Candace?” his lover asked as he stepped forward. “I thought you couldn’t speak of what went on in here.”

The look that the woman flashed him was filled with malicious satisfaction, and something in Draco stirred. “I can’t speak of what happens in here, but I can make sure that the right people are here if something interesting happens.”

“So you obey the letter of the law and totally ignore the spirit of it. How Umbridge-like of you,” Harry sneered back, green eyes bright with temper. “So, Minister, to what do we owe your presence?”

Shacklebolt stared at the two of them and shook his head. “When it reached my desk that the two of you were seen in public together, I wasn’t too concerned. I mean, you couldn’t stand each other in Hogwarts. Your rivalry was immense, deep-seated and bitter. That you had overcome it enough to be civil was good. It meant that you were putting the war behind you. You even competed on the same team for Britain and brought home the first championship in years. Your closeness after that was a bit much, but still, wasn’t a problem. This is a problem.”

Draco stepped up beside his lover and kept a wary eye on the men in the room as Candace faded through their ranks. “How is our private life a problem for you, Minister?”

The Minister didn’t even look at him, which raised his hackles and he felt his magic start to rush until it was contained just under his skin. “Your private life isn’t really a concern, Lord Malfoy. We would prefer that you stop associating with Lord Potter-Black, but that will get taken care of soon enough. His private life though, that is a concern.”

“Really, Kingsley? You think you have the right to tell me who I can be with?” Harry snarled softly, a faint questioning tilt to his voice as the only thing keeping Draco on the side of civility. “The last I knew, you were the Minister for Magic and that position doesn’t mean you can control people’s love lives.”

“Ah, lad… For anyone else on this island, that would be true. But you are the Boy Who Lived and there is no way that we’re going to let you be soul bound to a Death Eater. Even one who got cleared in court,” Shacklebolt told him with a mournful shake of his head. “The announcement’s been blocked. Just let it happen and it’ll be as painless as possible.”

They watched as the Minister walked out of the room and turned their eyes to the crowd. There were enough Unspeakables in the place that Draco was certain that they would be trying something horrific to block what hummed between the two of them. He swiftly reached out and grabbed Harry’s hand, pressing hard on the bones to lock their grip together.

“You lads don’t want to do this,” Draco murmured as he tried to figure out how they were getting out of this mess.

“Oh, we really, really do,” Blaise told him as he moved forward from his spot in the back. His former classmate was sneering at them both as he looked at how their hands gripped the others. “Potter’s too important to Britain to waste on you. He’ll be happy enough with the bride we’ve picked out for him.”

“So what I want means nothing to you? Free will doesn’t seem to be something that you’re interested in letting me keep, eh, Blaise?” Harry fired back. Since he had his hand on his lover’s skin, Draco could feel the gathering of magic surging to the fore. Whatever Potter was planning, it was going to be big. Harry was heavily trained in Defense and he would back him against just about anyone. Including Riddle.

“Like I said, you’ll be happy enough Potter. And Malfoy will be well taken care of. Don’t you worry about that,” Blaise told him. “Separate them!”

Harry drew in a deep breath and Draco got ready as well. As soon as his lover let loose whatever it was he was planning, he was going to apparate them out of the Ministry and to the safest place he knew. With the first step from the mob before them, Harry let loose a blast of magic that exploded out of him, into the room and out into the Ministry itself before collapsing unconscious. Draco wasn’t going to stick around to see what the result of the blast would be. Using the connection of his hand on his lover’s wrist, he pulled him into his arms and apparated them both to Stonehenge.

Right into the middle of a fairy ring.

Bugger.

 

 

 

When they had acknowledged that they were dating, one of the conversations they had had, had focused on what could be done if the public turned against them. Escape with a minimum of casualties had been their first option. But doing so took massive amounts of power and neither of them were under the illusion that they wouldn’t be tracked. To that end, they had both looked for areas that could be a safe stop to allow them to regroup.

Stonehenge had not been his first choice of emergency apparition points, but Draco hadn’t been able to find another spot that had power as clean and as pure as the old henge. If either he or Harry blew their reserves for something, the pool of magic under the ancient monument would do wonders to recharge them. They had both found that being conscious didn’t make a bit of difference when it came to recharging; the lack of it actually made it easier since their magic automatically reached out to tap into the pool.

But whatever their experimentation had proven, it hadn’t been under circumstances like this. Draco tapped into the pool of magic and used it to top off his reserves. Side-apparating with an unconscious passenger from London to Stonehenge wasn’t a big deal. Even blowing through the shields at the Ministry hadn’t been that big of a deal. What was a big fucking deal were the pops of noise all over the place as he was followed.

Draco shifted Harry into a more comfortable spot across his shoulders and tucked them closer to the bluestone monolith they had appeared by. The magic of the fairy ring they were in seemed to be floating above that of the henge and he wasn’t able to confirm if the living circle was complete. Visually tracing the ring, it didn’t seem to meet up, but he couldn’t tell magically, and he was quite certain he wasn’t going to have time to meditate down to find out.

That left hoping and luck that the living connection to the wild magic of creation wasn’t going to harm them, or even worse, help them. He wasn’t all that sure he wanted to do that, but it wasn’t like he had much choice. Pushing down the line of warmth that connected him to Harry, Draco tried to assess how his core and reserves were doing. Potter’s core seemed to be back at fully charge, and his reserves were filling rapidly. Which was good, because he could hear their hunters coming up on their position. Launching a shield would likely be the smart thing to do, but it would also be draining. And apparating out was chancy due to the fairy ring.

Running away was basically just as chancy. Their clothes were rich and sumptuous, more suited to marble manors or glittering palaces than running around in high grass. Reaching into his own core, Draco pulled out a whisper of magic and slowly, carefully transfigured his outer robe to its second form as a long leather duster of a jacket. It was still black, but it no longer hindered his movements the way the robe had.

Emboldened by that success, he carefully did the same with Harry’s robes, all the while keeping an eye out for enemies. Flipping the hood of his trench coat up over his hair took only seconds and he rested against the stone for several moments. He let another small thread of magic out to follow the path of the fairy ring as it circled their position. The searchers were getting closer and he needed to make a decision soon. Chance it? Or stay and fight?

Shrugging his shoulder slightly, Draco tried to nudge Harry awake, but whatever he had let loose in the Ministry had completely knocked him down, and all he got was a weak moan. The shadows were all they had to hide them, and there was no telling how long that would last. Peeking around the edges of the stones, he tried to trace the ring and finally gave up. He was going to have to trust the Lady Magic to get them through.

He shifted Harry one last time and silently thanked Master Baudin for being an utter bastard in making sure that he was as strong physically as he was magically. Straightening up, he got ready to move when there was a shouted word that echoed across the site.

“Lumos!

The sun bright ball of magic burst over the henge and took all the shadows with it. Draco bit off several virulent curses and gathered his energies. Whatever was going to happen, he had to be ready to move.

“Draco? Harry?”

“Son of a bitch!” Draco muttered as he looked over to see Molly Weasley picking her way across the field to him.

“There you are!” Molly said as she walked around the stone across from them. She stopped just outside the fairy ring and looked at them before shaking her head. “You should have just given in. It would have been a lot less painful. Harry and Ginny will do well together.”

“For Merlin’s sake, Molly! You know neither Ginny nor Harry are interested in each other. Why are you going along with this?” Draco asked as he watched their enemies gather. “You told Harry that you understood when they told you that they were breaking up!”

The Weasley matriarch bit her lip and then firmed up her gaze. “I know I did. But things change and now I believe this is the best thing for the both of them!”

“Really? Because from where I’m standing, it looks like you are trying to split a soul-bonded couple apart and then magically rape three people every day for the rest of their lives to make this work. One of those people is your own daughter,” Draco fired back at her, trying to get her to see sense.

Molly looked devastated for a brief moment before she shook her head. “She’ll understand soon enough.”

“Even if the potions made her go along with it, you know somewhere deep down, that she’ll hate you for the rest of her life. So will Harry, under whatever enchantments you layer on him. And that doesn’t even count what I’ll do to you lot,” he snarled.

The witch shook her head. “You won’t even know, lad.”

“Oh, yes I will, you old bitch. We’re bonded. That means your plan won’t work,” Draco spat. He had the ring mapped out now, and he had to take the chance. It went around the lintel set and he had to take the chance it wasn’t physically complete, even if it felt magically complete. If he could get to the other side of the stone and out of direct sight, even if it was for a moment, he could get them away.

“It has to work,” Molly yelled at him, eyes flashing with the light of fanaticism.

“Fuck you,” Draco yelled back. Flinging up a shield, he stepped back to the center of the lintel and passed through the opening. Magic, both his and the innate magic of the fairy circle caught them and he could feel something happening. Whatever it was, it had them in a firm grip and wasn’t letting them go. Draco tightened his grip on Harry and held on.

Colors he has no words for, sensations that made his skin crawl and sounds that he heard more with his bones than his ears all assaulted them.  Eventually he had to close his eyes as his brain tried to make sense of what he was seeing. Even that barely helped, and his stomach lurched as the force that had moved them released them and the magical insanity ended. His paranoia made him launch a shield and Draco took a deep breath as the world came back into focus. The feeling of magical danger had faded as soon as he had stepped through the lintel, despite not being able to see anything.

He had no idea how long they had been held in the embrace of the magic that had moved them, and he wasn’t too sure he wanted to know. But what he did know was he hadn’t been expecting to get dumped out into the middle of a full scale battle when they had been released. Draco would love to say that he had taken the surprise well, but that would have been a lie to end all lies and he wasn’t in the mood to lie to himself.

Looking around, he tried to figure out what in the hells he was seeing. Several different cultures of men were racing around the battlefield and from what he could see; the whole thing wasn’t a reenactment at all. The whole place stank of blood, shit, soot and the peculiar smell that well-used armor carried. Draco sidestepped one man who was running by them dressed in ragged armor and then reached up to zap his lover awake, Harry would have to work through the magical hangover he likely had.

“Draco!” Harry’s gasp was flattering, but they didn’t have time. “What in the hell is going on with my head?”

“You have what amounts to a magical hangover. Please tell me you brought your sword?” Draco asked as he tried to figure out what in the hell was going on. The second side of the battle seemed to be mostly naked, wearing blue and screaming in a language that he was sure had been absorbed into English more than a thousand years before his birth.

“The whole kit,” Harry agreed as he looked around the sooty landscape, with his eyes squinted against the pain in his head. “Where the hell are we, Draco?”

“I have no idea, but I know we aren’t anywhere close to home,” Draco told him as he pulled his own sword out of the sheath strapped to his back. “You need to get up, Harry. And figure out where the hell we are.”

“I’ll get right on that,” Harry muttered before pulling his own sword out and flicking his wand out of its forearm holder. Draco was too busy keeping them safe to pay any attention to what his lover was up to until their bond started reverberating with shock.

“So, what’s the news” Draco asked as he traced the movements of a man in black armor through the battlefield. He was wielding twin swords with enough skill to rack up an impressive body count. Whatever he was hunting, though, he wasn’t finding because he kept moving. “Is it bad?”

“Oh, it’s bad. We’re 1500 years in the past, Drake. And up next to Hadrian’s Wall,” Harry reported. “From the date and location, my best guess is this is the Battle of Badon Hill where Arthur won against the Saxons.”

“For fucks’ sake,” Draco muttered softly. “Right. Well, I think I may have my eye on one of the good guys, but we need to survive this first.”

“How can we tell who the good guys are?” Harry asked as he moved to stand beside Draco. They had practiced fighting together, but that was in the salle and in the ring, not on a battlefield where people really were trying to kill them. But better that practice than none at all.

Draco waved at the man he was watching. “History tells me that the native population of this area used a lot of blue woad in their personal decorations, so I think the ones in blue are good guys. And the one I’m watching hasn’t attacked a single one of them either. He does seem to be having a great deal of success at taking care of the other rabble.”

“So, and I’m reaching here, but I think that means the guys in crappy armor are Saxons, the ones in the really impressive black stuff are Arthur and his knights, and that leaves the blue-painted group as Arthur’s allies?” Harry asked as he cut down one of the semi-armored men chasing after a blue painted woman.

Holding his hands out, he tried to show his peaceful intentions toward her when he saw a Saxon running towards her with a sword at the ready. Draco saw the movement and put his wand away before his hand flicked out again, only this time it was filled with a dagger. As soon as she saw that, the woman raised her own axe, and he could see Harry shake his head. Draco threw the blade at the man coming up behind her and grunted in satisfaction as it entered his throat.

Harry grabbed her attention as he started approaching the woman, weapons carefully held so the points were to the ground. Draco’s own attention was pulled away before he could watch the end of the discussion between the two by more men in armor arriving. They were shouting something unintelligible and he was suddenly sick of not understanding what in the hell was being shouted around them.

The Latin phrase for the translation charm used at by the ICW was fairly complicated, but he had done it damn near daily while away on competition and every time he traveled abroad, so he knew it well. Hopefully it worked in the here and now. When he started understanding the shouts and threats coming from the troops around him, he almost sagged in relief. The charm to make sure that he was understood could wait.

“Die, Roman scum!” one of the men attacking him shouted, and Draco tried not to roll his eyes at the words.

“Bastard, I’m English, not Roman!” he groused as he twisted to avoid one awkward slash before he returned the favor with more skill and cut the man’s throat. His back slash took out the second man and he swallowed heavily. Killing with his wand was one thing, but this was totally another. Neither option sat well with him.

But if he wanted them to stay alive, he would kill everyone on the battlefield with them to do it. “Harry, try the translation charm so you can at least understand what’s going on,” he directed as he stepped around the bodies and put himself on guard.

Harry grunted and Draco ignored the squishy sound that followed it. “When you finished yours it got me too. Guess the bond’s growing. I’ll do the second charm, you guard us. Also, the lady I saved? She says her name is Guinevere.”

“Oh, balls,” Draco breathed out as he risked a glance over his shoulder. The very blue young lady just grinned at him; eyes alight with a mad and hungry light as she kept her part of the battle under her eye.

He could feel the instant the spell took hold and he shot Guinevere a glance. It seemed that she could feel the magic as well and was giving them both a considering look before taking out the next man who came their way.

“So, we’re not fighting your folk, right?” Draco called back, ignoring how his words twisted from the English he said them in to something that sounded like the bastard child of Welsh and Latin.

“No, you aren’t, Mage,” she shouted back right before she screamed a war cry and took out a man with a crossbow.

“Great. And the other guys are Saxons?” Harry grunted as he blocked an overhead blow with his sword and then kicked his opponent in the stomach.

“Yes! Where have you been that you don’t know this?” their ally asked as she stabbed Harry’s challenger.

“We have been long and far away from here. And the men in black armor?” Draco asked, already panting from the exertion.

“Arthur and his knights. The one with two swords is Lancelot, Bors has an axe, Tristan has a slightly curved sword and a bow, Galahad and Gawain both carry swords as well. Arthur has a great sword,” she told them in between sharing blows with a bigger opponent.

Draco finished off his latest Saxon and looked around the battlefield. Guinevere had projected the faces of Arthur and his men as she named them and he had enough legilimency to pick them up. He had been right; the man he had seen with two swords was indeed one of Arthur’s, and his face matched that of Lancelot. Looking around, he noticed another of the knights was in trouble.

“Guinevere! Is that one of yours?” Draco asked as he pointed at the battle taking place roughly fifty meters away from them. It might as well have been fifty miles away as he tried to figure out how to get over to the two men.

“Yes, that’s Tristan!” she screamed as she glanced over at the battle before hamstringing a Saxon as he ran by. She quickly wrapped a garrote around the man’s neck, and Draco didn’t bother to worry that the man was going to be standing up ever again.

Draco had a bad feeling about the fight and started pushing the other two in that direction. “Harry!”

“Shielding?” Harry asked.

“You two talk too much. Save your air!” Guinevere snapped as she got off the battle’s latest corpse and looked at Tristan.

“Healing,” Draco disagreed grimly. Battlefield medicine wasn’t his specialty and he was aware of it. Harry had more, but that was through hard-won experience. Neither of them were Pomfrey but they should be able to keep someone alive long enough for an actual healer to get to them.

It took far too much time to get over to where the two men were battling it out. Draco knew that he could have run the distance in seconds if conditions were clear, but with all the men fighting there was no speed available. He had already acquired numerous nicks and cuts all over his arms and legs and he was ignoring the line of fire that crossed his ribs. Battle was messy as fuck, and he hated it.

Tristan wasn’t doing too well in his own fight, and his opponent even seemed to be bored as he slowly worked to kill the knight. Draco kept pushing to get over to him, something in him saying that he needed to make sure that someone else lived through this day. When the Saxon stabbed the knight under the arm, Draco broke and ran, shoving his way through the mass of weapons and men, shaping his will enough to clear the way.

Skidding to a halt, Draco shoved his own sword into the asshole’s shoulder and twisted. For once, the scream as he hurt someone sounded good. He jerked the blade free as he moved to protect Tristan and trusted Harry to keep him safe as he got to work. Flicking out his wand hand, he grabbed the smooth wood of his wand and started running diagnostics. The man under his hands was utterly fucked up and if Draco didn’t help him soon, he would be dead in minutes.

Charms and spells, both verbal and wandless fell from his will and wand in a continuous rain, and Draco could feel the damage being staunched and then repaired. He was ignoring the battle going on over his head and around him. He only stopped when he recognized the knees that dropped down into his vision.

“Enough, Draco. He’s good enough to make it to Guinevere’s healers. She says that have a number who will be able to get him through,” Harry demanded.

Draco looked up and blinked as the world followed moments later. “I think I overdid it, Harry.”

“No shit. We both have,” his lover told him grimly. “You can’t pass out yet.”

He squinched his eyes tightly closed and shook his head slightly, trying to resettle his brain back into his skull. His hands gripped his weapons and he took the time to run one last diagnostic over his patient. The results showed someone who was gravely ill, but not dying at that moment, and if he got some care, likely wouldn’t die. Letting the spell go, he tucked his wand away and staggered to his feet, his grip sure on his sword. “I’m up.”

“Good. You can tell me what you were doing to him,” came the growled command from his right.

Looking up, Draco tried not to be impressed. He was actually considered to be rather tall, but the man before him made him feel dwarfed. Tall, broad and built, he was solid as the mountains and seemed very unamused to find someone he didn’t know hovering over his knight.

“Arthur Castus, at your service.”

“Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter at yours, sir,” Draco managed. He knew that the person in front of him was someone he had studied in history, and he only hoped he didn’t fuck everything up.

 

 

Chapter Three

 

lh-arthur

The aftermath of a battle was never mentioned in all the various tales he had read. Draco was reasonably certain he knew why, too. Reading about your hero’s delivering peace to the dying, stripping bodies of armor and filling mass graves wasn’t part of the derring-do of those heroic sagas. There was no valor or honor in the tasks, just heartbreak and misery.

Unfortunately for him, he had to think about it. In the three days since the battle, he had divided his time between making sure Tristan kept breathing, gathering bodies, and sleeping. It wasn’t glorious, it wasn’t exciting, but it was what was needed. Harry was doing much the same thing, only instead of one patient; he was looking after everyone in his reach.

His wand stayed in its sheath. Magic, while known, wasn’t acknowledged. Events that could be excused in battle, couldn’t be passed off in the cold light of day. There was no way for them to clean the battlefield in an instant that wouldn’t be noticed by everyone.

Now, three days after everything, he and Harry were in a small set of quarters waiting on Merlin (Merlin!) to show up and talk to them. It was enough to make him insane.

“So before we meet Merlin, do you think we’re in the past, our past? Or in an alternate universe?” Harry asked as he used his wand to repair and refresh their clothes.

Draco grunted softly as he shifted on the bed. He was sitting cross-legged as he took a complete inventory of what he had in his dimension bracelet. There were a lot of potions, some interesting books, grooming supplies, spell-ready parchment, his main wand plus the three spares that actually fit him. He even had his personal grimoire, a round dozen pens, his broom, and a Quidditch set. What he didn’t have was more clothes, boots, armor, or any of a hundred things they needed and couldn’t get. What he had was useful for the world they had left, but very little applied to their new circumstances.

He had his Gringotts’ key and some gold, but even with the difference in worth, living would be damn expensive. And the key brought up all sorts of issues directly tied to their unexpected time travel.

“If we are very lucky, it’s a new universe,” Draco muttered.

Harry walked over to stare at him from the foot of the bed. “And if it’s not?”

“Then I just fucked time the time line six ways from Sunday,” he told his lover blandly.

“Going to explain that?” Harry pushed.

“Tristan felt familiar. It’s why I’ve been so driven to protect him,” Draco explained as he began reloading his bracelet, starting with the gold. “He feels like family. So while I was doing a check on him, I cast a familius spell. He’s related to us on the Black side.”

“Really?” Harry stared into the distance for several moments, and Draco was content to let him. He wanted to be packed and dressed before Merlin got there. “Well, he does actually look like Sirius.”

“Given that I think he’s the start of the Black line here in England, I would expect so,” Draco agreed. “But all the history I’ve been taught says that while the progenitor of the Black line was a knight of the Round Table, they said nothing about the mother.”

His lover cocked his head to one side and huffed, amused despite himself. “Would that be the young lady who works at the tavern and keeps visiting him with a little boy in tow?”

“That would be her,” Draco agreed. “Lady is a bit of a misnomer though. From what I’ve overheard, she’s at best a tavern wench, and at worst a whore. Tristan doesn’t seem too attached to her, but he’s very attached to the boy.”

“Does this boy have a name?” Harry asked as he settled onto the bed and started to empty his own bracelet. Draco leaned into the cushions at the head of the bed and watched. Harry’s bracelet was several years older than his, and his lover was orders of magnitude more paranoid than he was.

Draco’s bracelet was spelled to be as plain as possible and covered in matte black enamel that hid all the spell work that went into its creation. Harry’s was still the original Goblin Silver and the spellwork almost glowed off the surface. Draco was certain that it was full of enough survival gear to keep them alive for months. Maybe it included some clothes. If not, he would have to part with some of their gold and he wasn’t looking forward to that at all.

“His name’s Corvus,” Draco told him absently as he sorted through the pile of clothes that appeared around them. “So that’s where my favorite shirt went! Anyway. His full name is Indus Corvus Black. I find myself really wishing I was able to let Walburga and Bellatrix know where their illustrious family history started from.”

Harry looked over at him from his side of the bed with a faint look of horror on his face, and Draco pushed on their bond to try to figure out why. His lover was physically fine, so it had to be something else. “What’s wrong?”

“The astronomical name tradition started all the way back here?” he asked, curiosity and horror warring in his voice.

“Yes indeed,” Draco agreed before crawling off the bed to change clothes. Harry just took advantage of the space to pile up more stuff. “Just how much stuff do you have in there?”

“It’s a transfigured dimensional trunk, Draco. I have tons in here thanks to Hermione being pushy and me never removing stuff. Plus I tended to store anything I held for more than five minutes out of habit,” Harry informed him. “If Tristan was supposed to die in the first timeline, I think we’re in the new universe explanation. Because otherwise we have problems. Problems like we could cancel out our own births.”

The feel of clean clothes was heavenly and he ran a quick scourgify over the clothes he had been wearing. The worst of the remaining muck from the day flaked off and Draco banished the mess to the nearest midden. “We have problems anyway, love. How are your reserves?”

“Good,” came the distracted answer. Harry was paying more attention to what he was moving in and out of his bracelet than anything else. “Do you think Tristan could handle a healing potion or two, now that he’s recovered enough from your spellwork?”

“He’s magical,” Draco agreed before looking at the vials Harry was holding out. Both were decent broad-spectrum potions that would do the knight a great deal of good.

Before Harry could respond, there was a knock on their door, and Draco moved to answer, sword in hand. From the whispers of sound behind him, Horry was storing everything away. Opening the door, he kept the naked blade out of sight and peeked around the edge.

Merlin was standing there in all his blue-painted glory, and Draco fought a bone-deep twitch at that. He had been studiously ignoring certain parts of their current predicament but this was shoving them to the fore. Merlin. Arthur. Knights of the bloody Round Table. Nightmares.

“Are you going to invite me in, traveler?” Merlin asked.

Draco managed to pull the door open wider and waved him in, without using the hand that held the sword. Harry had the only chair in the place set beside the table, and Merlin made for it without a blink. Eyebrow raised in question, he looked at his lover. A feeling of caution and duplicitousness pulsed through the Bond and he figured his lover wanted to present a mostly harmless image to their guest, which was why he was sitting tailor fashion on their bed.

“Thank you for seeing us,” Harry said.

“We have never gotten visitors from as far away before.” Merlin looked at them both shrewdly.

“No you haven’t,” Draco agreed before sitting on the bed and placing his sword beside him.

“Magic flows from you two like water from a river. We have no one trained like you so close to the wall,” Merlin told them, blunt and, to Draco’s ear, honest.

He tried to remember where magic had been taught before Hogwarts had been built and couldn’t. Londinium had the bare beginnings of the Alley, but the sprawling collection of streets were still for the future. Formal schools were rare things, and if he remembered his history right, such schools were in Rome, Athens, Cairo or Constantinople at this time. England wouldn’t have a recognized school until Hogwarts, and that august body wasn’t due to be formed for another six to ten years.

“No, I’m sure you don’t,” Harry offered cautiously.

“Time flows around you in waves as well. As if the sea spat you out and now is making sure you stay,” Merlin announced, and Draco could feel Harry flinch.

“Lady Magic has had a hand in this yes,” his lover said.

“Indeed. Since Lady Magic has dropped you here, we should take advantage of that.” Merlin smiled at them. It was all teeth and danger, and Draco wanted to protest. Take advantage? How? The teachings of his father rose up in him, and Draco throttled the urge to protest back. He was no longer his father’s son.

The clamping of Harry’s hand on his leg reminded him that they didn’t really have any other options. Damn it. The grin on the old man’s face got even bigger, and Draco could feel a growl tickle the edges of his control. Harry’s hand gripped harder, and he settled back into the bed. He hated having people move him around like a chess piece. It reminded him far too much of Dumbledore and his ‘greater good.’

“It is good you have him to help your control, Dragon,” Merlin told him with cold certainty. “Just because I am not what you are used to, does not mean you can best me. Your lover has skills that I can train. You however, will train with Arthur.”

“Why?” Draco bit out.

“Because this is a new world for you. And Lady Magic has plans,” Merlin told them before standing and heading towards the door. “Dawn, young apprentice.”

Draco sat silently for several seconds before pushing off the bed and grabbing the sheath for his sword. The action of sheathing the blade was familiar and practiced to the point of muscle memory. He would inspect the steel in the morning to see if it needed any attention, but at least it was clean.

He managed to wedge the chair at the door before whispering a locking charm that would hold up to just about anyone. Except maybe Merlin. Better to be safe than sorry. Hence the chair.

Plus, he had no idea how well trained the rest of the magical population of the area was.

“Still leaning toward the alternate universe?” Draco asked.

“More than ever,” Harry told him.

“Lovely.” He sighed. “Lumos pila!

The ball of light was easy enough to set onto the metal plate where a tallow candle had been sitting before he removed it. Draco was deeply grateful that his wand and his magic had come back with him, because smelling tallow as he slept was obnoxious. And he had no idea if it was even safe to have a candle going all night. What if it lit something on fire?

“Come to bed, Draco,” Harry demanded as he settled down onto the ancient mattress.

”I know it’s a bit late to ask, but you spelled this thing against bugs, right? And the linens are clean?” he asked as he pulled his clothes off before hanging them on a handy hook.

”Totally bug free, down to the smallest bed bug. And the linens were clean when I got them from Jols and I did a scourgify to make sure of it,” Harry told him from under a much more modern quilt. “You need sleep, Draco.”

What he needed, Draco thought privately, was a good shag. He gave it even odds on if he wanted to be giving or receiving. As tired as he was, he didn’t even want anything outrageous. Sliding into the bed, he reached out to gather his lover into his arms and tried to tamp down on his neediness. Harry had been just as busy and was likely just as tired.

He even tried to sleep. He closed his eyes and everything. Just, behind his eyes, there were the bodies of the men he had killed instead of sheep. There was no way he was going to be able to sleep with that running through his head. Instead, he just lay still, holding his lover close, and tried not to think.

”This isn’t going to work,” Harry muttered before flipping over and staring in his eyes.

“I’m resting! See? Lying down and everything,” Draco protested softly.

“Bullshite. You’re tying yourself up in knots and it’s affecting me, too,” Harry told him bluntly. “So if lying here isn’t going to be doing it for you, then we will have to find something else.”

“Something else, huh?” Draco whispered before using a wandless warmth charm to make the bed more tolerable. Pushing the cloth away, he took in the form of his lover.

Harry was never going to be the tallest man around, but he was perfectly proportioned and had just enough color to his skin to be interesting. Draco was milk white and stayed that way, no matter how much sun he got. His lover though, tanned to a beautiful shade of brown when exposed to the sun. He was looking forward to summer and exploring the tan lines he was going to be able to explore.

Flicking his eyes up, he took a quick look at Harry’s face. The smile and nod he got were all the permission he needed. He leaned over and started kissing his way over the other man’s collarbones then to his lips. The feel of Harry’s lips under his own were the best homecoming ever, and he sank into the feeling. It had been days since he had been able to do more than look at his lover, and he was savoring the taste.

Reaching up, he rubbed one finger over the dark beard that covered Harry’s cheeks. It was long enough now that it was soft, and Draco was fascinated by it. What would it feel like if Harry gave him a blow job with it? Or rimmed him? Shivering in anticipation, he saved the idea away. Something for later when they had more time and energy.

But first he needed to activate the runes he had placed on the small of Harry’s back, right above the cleft of his ass. They had chosen to get them when they had gotten disenchanted with using their wands to prep each other for sex. A quick brush over them with his fingers, a push of his magic, and Harry would be physically ready for sex.

Draco smiled in satisfaction as the runes took the small pulse of power he sent them and his own throbbed in answer. They had gotten and tested them right before their trip to the Ministry, but never had a chance to use them. The gentle push of power into them sparked a feeling of warmth that he could feel under his fingers before Harry moaned, wanton and unashamed, and spread his legs wide.

“Oh, Draco. You will love this when I do it to you. So much better than the charms,” he moaned, voice drugged on the pleasure Draco was giving him.

They had chosen a rune set that would react to the wearer’s pleasure and increase it, would stretch the recipient for anal sex, protect the health of both parties, and finally make everything slick. It seemed to have worked well.

“Good to know, love,” Draco panted lightly. He was so turned on his cock hurt slightly. A wordless charm got him a bit of lube to slick his dick up and then he was gently nudging the head against the furl of his lover’s ass. Sinking into the warmth of Harry’s body, he moaned at the feel of his mate wrapping around him. The urge to stay there, to rest and revel in the feeling was present, but he knew that if he moved, it would be even better.

“Move.”

Draco laughed on a breath of air before pulling out and then plowing back into his lover. From the way Harry’s legs wrapped around his hips, the action was well received. “Greedy bastard.”

Placing his hands on either side of his lover, Draco moved his knees to get a bit more leverage before settling in to blow his mate’s mind. From the way Harry was babbling in English, Parseltongue and Latin, he was succeeding. He could feel the tension of an approaching orgasm running through their bond and Draco pushed his pleasure down it as well. That seemed to be the final thing that Harry needed to push him over the edge. As Draco sank into his lover one final time, Harry’s muscles locked up and his orgasm rushed out of him in pulses that pulled Draco’s out of him.

Instead of collapsing like he wanted to, Draco carefully pulled out of Harry, ignoring the moan of protest. A scourgify took care of the wet bits and he settled into the curve of his mate’s body. The bond that had been humming between them for so long blazed, and he didn’t know if it was because they had been to see the Book of Souls and acknowledged what was between them, or if it was something else. He really, really didn’t care. He was just glad that the tie that bound them together felt unbreakable.

 

Six months later

Draco was exhausted. If he had ever thought Master Baudin was a harsh taskmaster, he wasn’t ashamed to admit he had been wrong. Tristan was a thousand times worse. Add in the lessons from Arthur and his men, and he was just done.

Harry was doing no better. He had his lessons with Merlin that were full of things he was not able to share. He tried, with various levels of success to pass on the information, but Draco could only grasp at the edges of some of the concepts. Harry was also taking a variety of lessons from Tristan, Galahad and Gawain, and he seemed to be doing well.

The Saxon army had been pretty well decimated by the battle at Badon Hill, but small raiding parties were still wandering the countryside. The hell they were causing was enough to be distracting, and Draco had gone out with the knights several times over the last six months to deal with them. Mainly this meant killing them, and that was never pleasant. He had, mostly, conquered his need to vomit after skirmishes, and took care of the urge on his own time.

None of the surviving knights gave him shit about it either, not even Bors, and he was by far the roughest of the lot. Arthur just looked on and offered sage advice on how to compartmentalize what he saw and did. As time went on, the others offered their own coping mechanisms.

They were riding back from dealing with another raiding party when Arthur waved him forward. Draco maneuvered his way up next to the king and tried not to wince as his horse threw his head back to protest the action. Damn animal, he thought as he shifted his seat and firmed up his grip on the reigns. Unlike a good broom, his horse had a mind of its own and liked to move in unexpected directions.

The sound of amused chuckles coming from his right reached his ears, and he looked over at the king. Arthur looked tired, stretched as if his anchor to life was pulling free. Draco pushed the thought away. The older man was still holding on and that was as it needed to be.

“You don’t seem to be too comfortable on your mount,” Arthur mused as his amusement died down.

“I’m more comfortable than I was, I suppose,” Draco allowed.

“And settling into your lessons with me. I think it will be another six months before I’ve passed everything along,” the king told him with a tired look in his eye. “Merlin can keep me going for about that much longer.”

Fuck. So the older man really did have a problem. “So you and Lancelot?” Draco asked. Lancelot was the one person that every single surviving member of the Round Table admitted that Arthur had been close to. Guinevere had even confessed that while Arthur had wanted to bed her, he had always looked to Lancelot for emotional support.

The look the king gave him was in part frustrated and the other part seemed to be an overwhelming grief. “Bonded, though neither of us knew it. It wasn’t until he died that any of us figured out there was a problem.”

“I’m sorry. I have no idea new you are holding on,” Draco offered, eyes serious as he looked back at his mentor. The thought of losing Harry was enough to take his breath.

“I’m tied to the land. When we found out, Merlin told me I had a year before it wouldn’t be able to sustain me anymore,” Arthur said with a grunt of pain as he shifted. “I’m quite sure that, while I may be alive in six months, I won’t be riding horses for much longer.”

“Understood. Do your knights know?” Draco asked with a nod to the men surrounding them.

“Yes.” The king shrugged and leaned slightly forward in his saddle to pet the neck of his horse. “They’re aware of the whole thing with Lancelot. Galahad and Gawain are upset for me. Bors just wants me to let Lancelot know that his latest son looks nothing like him, and Tristan wished him happy hunting.”

“And when you go?” Draco asked. He had a very bad feeling about things. “What will happen after? To the country and to Guinevere?”

“When I go,” Arthur allowed. “You get the country. Guin will be your spouse and my knights will be your knights. Merlin’s already told me that the land is accepting you as its own. Like it did me.”

Draco dropped the reins to his horse, and the damn beast stopped in place as he sat on its back, completely flabbergasted. From the laughter of the men around him, they found his reaction hilarious.

“I was not expecting that,” Draco growled as he picked the reins up and kicked his horse back into line. “And Merlin?”

“Isn’t going to last much longer than Arthur will,” Gawain told him from his position behind Arthur. “He’s teaching your Harry everything he knows in an effort to make sure nothing’s left hanging when they both go.”

Damn it,” Draco muttered briefly to himself in Gobbledegook.

“They’re in Londinium,” Tristan told him cheerfully.

Malfoy twisted slightly to look at his family member before sitting back into his saddle. Gringotts was a very old bank, and, if his memory served, the physical building itself had been on the same spot since the branch had been opened. And that had been about ten years after Rome invaded and set down roots in the country, if the history Binns had taught them was to be believed.

Londinium and the burgeoning Diagon Alley were well within his range for apparition, so they were also within Harry’s. They needed to go to the bank and deposit their gold, figure out how much it was all worth, and maybe get their wands checked out. Ollivander’s was an English institution and was certainly in the Alley, given that they predated Londinium and the Alley.

“Thank you for letting me know,” Draco called, nodding at the raised eyebrow his words brought. “Despite what Merlin has to say about the land accepting me, I don’t get why you are going along with it. Why me? Why Harry?”

“You think any of us want the throne?” Galahad asked as he circled his horse around. “Or the mess with Guin? This country? Most of us aren’t real fond of it, but it’s home now after so many years. Even if we were willing, none of us have it in us to lead this mess to a safe and prosperous future.”

“And you think I do?” Draco asked, turning to look at the men around him. He would be the first to admit that he was a lot deadlier than he had been when they had arrived. However, the five men riding with him were all death incarnate to their foes. But would that be enough to hold the peace? “You didn’t even know me six months ago!”

“Yes. I’ve watched you as Arthur passed on everything he has to teach to you,” Bors suddenly spoke up and everyone turned to look at him. “You already know most of what he’s been telling you, but you still don’t fuss or ignore it. And yes, you were a stranger six months ago, but you aren’t one now. Besides, if not you, then who will?”

“Gawain and I don’t want it,” Galahad told him, voice just loud enough to be heard over the sound of the horses. “Tristan has never wanted command and, if you notice, his son lives with his mother. Poor kid would be hard put to live with us at the moment. And Bors? He’s got his woman, his bastards and his tavern. If Dagonet were still alive, he would want for nothing.”

“And Guin?” Draco pressed. He rather liked the little Woad princess and she got along well with Harry.

“Guin could have been my wife, if I was going to live longer than I am,” Arthur told him with a wistful smile. “Lancelot and I weren’t like you and Harry. For all we shared a bond, there was no romantic love.”

“Neither were Harry and I when we first met. Far from it,” he admitted. The rest of that story was going to stay behind his teeth. “So I’m getting the kingdom and the girl by default since you all declined before I knew I was in the running?”

“Basically,” Tristan allowed as he whistled down his falcon. Draco was going to ignore how the bird carried a familiar bond to his relative. “Besides, do you really want to see what would happen if I started running this place?”

Draco shuddered slightly at the thought. Tristan was one hell of a fine knight, but he was never placed in command of anyone, by Arthur’s own admission. The one time they had tried, he had brought all his troops home, but they had been deeply traumatized. Arthur had had to keep the men at the fort for months before they were ready to go out again.

The rest of the knights laughed and teased each other in the short hand of very old friends. Draco relaxed and settled back into his saddle, content to let the conversation move on to something else. Harry was going to shit bricks at his news.

 

 

 

“Guin?” Draco called, checking the areas the Woad woman normally worked.

“Over here!” he heard a light female voice call from the stables.

Wandering in that direction, Draco tried to figure out when he had gotten comfortable with where they were living. He missed curry, Chinese food, coffee, tea, and chocolate! Having the option to pop over to Paris and dine in the little restaurants his mother had shown him, or to just go to Flourish and Blotts to get a new book? Oh, he missed those things. He missed having the ability to call his house elves and request his share of the care the little creatures lavished on wizards, too.

But what he didn’t miss was the overwhelming amount of suspicion that had come his way in the old time line. Suspicion of what he wanted, why he was around, what he was doing… His coin was accepted without quarrel at the fort, and, for that, he was grateful. When he and Harry were together in public, no one gave them side-eye looks of disapproval. It was just… better.

Stepping into the barn, he blinked rapidly to try to adjust his eyesight to the gloom. Movement about halfway down the room proved to be the woman he sought, and Draco rocked back on his heels as she finished doing something to the horse she was messing with. As soon as she had finished with her chore, he cleared his throat and tried to put his thoughts in order.

”I talked to Arthur today.”

Guinevere grinned at him, sharp and foxy. “You talk to him every day.”

“Funny girl,” Draco teased with a smile. “Anyway. He told me about why I’ve been taking lessons from him.”

Eyes sad, Guin nodded. “I know. I discussed this with Merlin months ago.”

“I’ll need to talk to Harry, Guin. He’s my first priority before I even think about agreeing with their plans,” Draco told her.

“Good. As it should be,” she agreed.

“Any idea where he is?” Draco asked as he followed her out of the building.

“He and Merlin went on a vision quest last night. I would expect him in about three days. Merlin was saying something about him needing to meet his inner beast,” she told him with a small shrug.

“His animagus form? As far as I know, he doesn’t have one,” Draco said.

Guinevere stopped before they fully left the building and turned to face him. Tapping one finger against his armor’s breastplate she smiled. “He isn’t quite like you, milord dragon, but he does have a form.”

Sweeping her hand up in his, Draco pressed a small kiss to the back of it in a fit of overblown gallantry. “Not quite like mine, huh? Well, I’ll just have to wait until he gets back to find out.”

“Walk me to Arthur’s quarters?” she asked.

“Sure.” Draco held out one arm in an unconscious courtesy, and she gave him a deeply amused look before tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow. On the short walk to the king’s quarters, they chatted idly, going over the gossip of the fort. Nothing earth shattering, just comforting chatter between two people learning how to be friends.

As soon as he delivered her to Arthur’s suite, Draco headed back to the rooms he shared with Harry. Closing the door, he leaned against the seasoned oak and tried not to freak out. Arthur and his knights wanted him to take over for Arthur. To become the king of Camelot. And Merlin! Wanted Harry in his place? For fuck’s sake! What next?

“What is master wanting Tans to do for him?” came a voice from down by his hips. “Tans can clean, mend and make armor?”

Looking down, Draco saw a very naked house elf standing by, big green eyes filled with yearning. Thumping his head against the door, he sighed. Well, he had asked.

 

Part Two 

 

EAD_LH_Final

Evil Author Day: Filius’s Greatest Trick

Title: Filius’s Greatest Trick

Pairing: None

Warning: Mentions of child abuse, mental torture

Word Total: 3164

Filius Flitwick

Filius Flitwick watched the fiftieth argument between Minerva and Albus about the status of Harry Potter and hummed softly to himself. The strains of an old Goblin work shanty moved through his mind and he rocked back and forth on his heels in time to the beat. Something about the way Albus was dismissing Minerva’s concerns was raising all the hairs on the back of his neck.

Pulling his personal grimoire out of his pocket, he recorded the conversation as he remembered it. Looking through the little book, he found several other instances where his friends had the same argument, again and again. And it looked as if Albus had declined to answer any questions about Harry Potter, every single time. That was suspicious in the extreme.

The tune he was humming changed and Filius nodded. He needed to run an errand.

 

“Sharprock. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice,” Filius offered the Senior Account Manager for the House of Potter a deep bow. “May your enemies die a screaming death and their gold fall into your vaults.”

“May your enemies die poor and in pain, Filius. What can we do for you, cousin?” Sharprock asked as he waved him over.

A younger goblin came in with a tea set and they were silent as they were served. Only when the youngster left did Filius offer up the reason for his visit.

“You know that Harry Potter has been hidden by Albus Dumbledore, correct? In an effort to keep him protected from the worst of the magical world,” Filius started.

Sharprock put his tea cup down and leaned back in his chair. “The Horde is aware. And we’ve filed a dozen petitions to have the Potter will executed. And have the heir looked in on. Dumbledore has squashed all our efforts.”

Filius sat back and cradled his cup in his hands. “Albus has been stopping every effort to carry out the will of the Potters?”

“He has. And the will of the Horde. If James Potter had lived, he would have been approached to be the Patron of the Goblin Horde. Since he was murdered by Voldemort, that leaves his son, Harry,” Sharprock took a deep drink of his tea and then waved a hand at the world beyond the bank. “The masses out there seem to be content to let the child languish, but I’m not.”

“I’m not either, cousin. But getting around Dumbledore is not the easiest of endeavors,” Filius growled lightly as he talked. “Sirius Black is paying a massive price for going against the old bastard.”

“And that’s another thing,” Sharprock hissed. “Walburga Black would have paid a handsome price to get her son free of Azkaban if he had been a Death Eater. That she’s willing to let him rot there, tells me all that I need to know about his guilt.”

“Agreed. And there is nothing that we can do at this time to get him free.”

“Nothing legal, at least.” And Filius raised an eyebrow at his cousin and Sharprock grinned at him, teeth showing. “Arcturus Black is making moves behind the scenes. He seems to be of the same mind as us. Sirius is and has been his heir since Regulus Black died and the Black Family Magic still recognizes him as such. If he had been convicted, not even that Family’s magic would accept him.”

“I wish you luck in whatever the Horde is doing to help that out,” Filius saluted him with a wave of his cup. “Getting back to young Harry Potter. Is there anything the Horde can do to help in that situation?”

Sharprock didn’t say anything for several moments and Filius was happy to let him. While his cousin thought things through, he refreshed his tea and when his cousin waved his cup, he added more to his. He managed to get halfway down his cup before his cousin stirred. “The Horde has a duty to the Potter Heir. He managed to save more than just Magical Britain when he defeated Voldemort. Thus we will use all the means at our disposal to find him. And if needs be, aid him.”

Filius sagged around his bones. “Thank you, cousin.”

The grin Sharprock gifted him was just as sharp and hard as his name was. “It will be our pleasure.”

 

 

It took over a fortnight for Sharprock to get back to him. Filius was quietly worried about the amount of time it took. For it take the Goblins so long to get information, it had to be well buried.

Making his way into the bank, Flitwick nodded at one of the guards and ducked into one of the hallways that was only open to Goblins. His trip to his cousin’s office was quiet and he nodded at the few others he saw along the way. Tapping at the door plate, he brushed it with his magic and felt his cousin’s welcoming touch.

“Welcome cousin,” Sharprock told him as he entered. “Death and destruction to your enemies.”

Oh, dear. That was never a good greeting. “Destruction and poverty to your enemies as well, cousin.”

“Come, we’ll have tea. With some house elf brandy that Lord Charlus Potter gave me before his death.”

“That good, eh?” Filius asked.

The growl that broke out of his cousin sounded murderous. “Drink your tea.”

“Right,” Filius sipped at his tea and watched as his cousin refilled his own cup, mostly brandy, with just enough tea to warm it up. Only when he hit the bottom of his cup did Flitwick set his own down. “Can you talk now?”

“Albus Dumbledore has a lot to answer for. In regards to Harry Potter, we did find him. We didn’t find him by any magical means. Dumbledore has him too well protected for that. We started looking at any other options and it took us going into the Muggle world for us to find him. Dumbledore placed him with Lady Potter’s sister,” Sharprock told him, voice even.

“Petunia Dursley? He placed a magical toddler with Petunia Dursley?” Filius asked, voice shocked. He reached for the brandy and poured himself a stiff drink and didn’t bother to warm it with any tea.

His cousin snorted softly, waving his hand for the bottle. “Oh, it gets worse.”

“Worse? What’s worse than a magic hating Muggle raising the Boy-Who-Lived?”

“She’s married with one child. Her husband hates magic and is making his hatred of it very clear every time young Lord Potter has an expression of accidental magic. He’s making it known with his fists,” Sharprock had started talking with his voice calm and ended with it in a growling hiss.

Oh, Merlin. Filius had a temper. How could he not? He was half Goblin after all and his human family wasn’t known for being mild mannered either. In all the years he had known the Headmaster, he had never wanted to smite the man more than he did at that moment. The only thing that kept him from doing so was the self-control that he held onto by the skin of his teeth.

“Lily would never have wanted a child of hers to go to her sister if she knew that,” Filius gritted out between his teeth. “Lily and James redid their will months before they went into hiding, so I’m sure that she check up on her sister. There is no way they could have missed that.”

“Oh, I’m sure they did. And since Dumbledore won’t unseal the will, we can’t confirm who should have young Harry,” his cousin told him. “It took a curse breaker to get confirmation that young Potter was even there.  He’ll be able to take you there, but due to the wards, you won’t be able to get onto the property.”

“Wards?” Filius asked.

Sharprock nodded and waved his hands, trying to describe something. “Tied to the blood that Lord Potter shares with his Aunt and cousin, they are designed to keep the boy safe from the magical world. From what I understand from my curse breaker, there is nothing in the wards to protect the boy from his family.”

Filius pushed his anger aside. It wasn’t the time to indulge in it. “Do you think we could slip something in? Maybe tied strictly to Harry himself?”

His cousin was silent as he refreshed his drink, he didn’t bother with the tea either. “Karma.”

“Karma?”

“Karma comes to everyone, no matter how well protected they might be. If we give it a method to work, it might provide the boy with some additional protection,” Sharprock offered.

“Could it backfire onto Harry?” Filius asked. The brandy was relaxing him enough that his human control was giving way to the Goblin pragmatism that he normally filtered through that sides morality.

“More than the dragonshite that Dumbledore set up? No, I don’t think so. And we can make it so that there is no evidence of it.” Sharprock confirmed.

Raising his cup in salute, Filius called out a brief toast. “To karma.”

“To karma.”

He was silent for several moments before he stirred. There was still one victim of this who needed to be helped.

“What are the plans to help Sirius?”

“That’s been a bit harder to get our heads around than the situation with Lord Potter. Heir Black has been in Azkaban for a little over two years now. We sent a team through with a curse breaker to check on his mental health and he’s been shown to be remarkably resilient. The Ministry had no idea who was in the group, so we were able to get far more out of the trip then they could ever guess.” Sharprock told him.

“What did you find?” Filius asked.

“We found that Heir Black had a curse on him to discourage and dispirit him, even more than what the Dementors do. Our curse breaker thinks he can remove it. We also want to slip something into his place to either suffer or die for him. While we’re working on that, we want to see about getting him a trial. Because that is one that we did find when we went looking in the Archives, that Heir Black had no trial,” Ragnok announced as he entered Sharprock’s office.

Filius tried to stand up and bow, but the brandy they had been consuming was getting to him and he wasn’t as graceful as he wanted to be. “Sire.”

“You haven’t bowed to me in years, Filius, don’t do it now. Have you got any more of that brandy?” Ragnok asked as he threw himself into the chair across from Flitwick.

“When I come asking the Horde for a favor, I try to be respectful, cousin,” Filius snapped back.

“That didn’t last long,” Sharprock observed as he pulled a second bottle of brandy out of a drawer. Pulling the cork, he filled a glass before handing it to Ragnok.

“It never does with either of you,” Ragnok mourned before taking a sip of his drink. “At any rate, I’m all for kidnapping Heir Black from Azkaban if we can’t get him a trial in the next fortnight. Dumbledore is expected to be out of the country for the next ten days. That’s our time to strike.”

“I can drink to that,” Filius cheered and took a gulp of his brandy.

 

Filius was sipping his tea when Minerva threw herself into a chair next to him. They were gearing up for another school year and everyone was vibrating with energy. The Deputy Headmistress was certainly no exception.

“You have been visiting the bank a lot,” she observed.

“My cousins are calling for me due to family responsibilities,” Filius shaded his answer. What they were doing was a form of familial responsibility. Just not specifically to their family.

“Is it going to interfere with your work here at the school?” she asked. He could hear the concern of his supervisor warring with the concern of his friend in her voice.

“We hope to get things settled within the next few weeks,” Filius was guessing, but the time period Ragnok had outlined only gave them another week. If they succeeded, he would be going to the bank quite often to talk to Sirius.

“Your family isn’t going to pull you back to the Goblin Nation, are they?” Minerva asked worriedly.

“No, this is something else. Internal, but they aren’t recalling me to the Nation,” Filius tried to reassure her. He was certain that Ragnok would let him stay at the school.

“Oh, good. With Albus gone, I wouldn’t want to have to tell him that you got recalled when he came back. And this close to the school year it would be hard to get someone to stand in for you.” She sounded very relieved.

Filius couldn’t say that he blamed her. Teaching wasn’t the best paying profession, even in the Magical world, but it was enough for him. That wasn’t to say that it would be enough for anyone else though.

“Albus is going to be gone for a bit longer? School starts in two weeks,” he observed.

“He’ll be back in seven days,” Minerva shared. “He seems to be running a series of errands of his own.”

Filius made a mental note to have Sharprock look into what Albus was up to. Maybe have someone look into what was going on with the Potter accounts. He also thought that it would be good to see if Arcturus Black had any hooks into his finances.

“I’m not too sure how often I will be called out, but I don’t expect it will last much past the start of the school year,” Filius confided. Or at least, he was sure she thought he was. “I have another appointment with my cousin tomorrow and I’ll be finding out the timeline of their needs then.”

Minerva hummed a brief note as she nodded. “That will work. Tea?”

Filius nodded and waved a hand at his mug as the strains of a goblin war chant moved through his head.

 

 

When an owl entered the Great Hall, the teachers all looked up at it. It wasn’t one of their personal birds and it didn’t belong to the school. When it handed in front of Filius everyone looked at it in curiosity.

Nestled into the feathers of the owls breast was a shiny gold medallion with the crest of the bank embossed on it. It was both protection and identification for every bird in the owlry. When the bird thrust out its leg with a tetchy click of its beak, Filius offered it a bit of sausage before taking the tube off.

Only when he popped the seal did the little scroll grow to normal size. Filius scanned it quickly and nodded. His cousins had everything ready for him and he needed to swing by the bank that afternoon for his supplies.

The coin stuck to the page warmed when he ran a careful finger over it. Protection for him then. Filius pushed his magic into the coin and it popped free into his hands. As the coin settled into his magic, the wards his cousin had imbued the silver with integrated themselves into his magic.

The slightly fuzzy feeling that he had lived with every day for his entire teaching career cleared abruptly. His keen ears picked up the sound of an indrawn breath and Filius mentally winced. Closing his hard over the coin he gripped it tightly as he controlled his breathing.

He couldn’t lose his temper before his missions were complete. He had a small child that needed the protection he had to offer and a former student who needed saved. Filius didn’t have time to feel the betrayal.

Clearing his throat, he tried to sound normal. “My cousin is calling me to the bank for the last of my business. I’ll be heading out after lunch.”

Minerva nodded her lips tight and white. “Albus requested we have our faculty meeting after supper. So six pm?”

“I should be done by then,” Flies agreed. Thinking about it, he decided that he was going to head out to the bank earlier. Better safe than sorry.

“Good to know, “Minerva gave him a small smile as She reached for the teapot.

“Thank you,” Filius pushed his cup over and turned his attention to the owl. He held out a second bile of sausage to the owl. “I won’t be sending a message balk, love. Best head on out.”

The owl dainty took the sausage from his fingers and at it. Once the meat was gone, the bird spread its wings and took off.

Filius carefully doctored his tea and pretended to take a sip as he reread his cousins missive. It took all his willpower to not heave immediately. The coin stayed clutched in his hand. His mind was clear and racing to see if he had done anything that would endanger his nation, Harry, Sirius or himself.

He deeply hoped their enemies were still in the dark. He ‘finished’ his tea and folded his letter up. “I need to get some work done before I head out. Minerva I’ll do my best to get back in time for the meeting.”

Minerva raised an eyebrow at hum over the rim of her cup and then nodded. Severus, the other Head of House at breakfast, paid them no mind as he read his potions journal and Filius wasn’t interested in interrupting him. The other teachers present were all engrossed in their breakfasts and ignored the exchange.

Heading out Filius could feel the skin between his shoulder blades itch. He didn’t run, he didn’t hurry and he didn’t cast anything to protect his back.

He didn’t relax until he was in his quarters. As Head of Ravenclaw, he had access ways into the kitchen and beyond to the edge of the wards so he could apparate. That didn’t count the various secret passages he had found over the years. He had hours before he could leave, though, and that meant he needed to fill them.

As soon as he was behind his wards, he opened his hand to look at the coin. It was a silver sickle and covered in goblin runes. So much magic was imbued into the small object it almost glowed. Holding it made him feel almost as safe as when he was at the bank.

Filius settled into meditate. What he was going to do that afternoon would require a clear mind and he didn’t have that. Clutching the cone coin he calmed his mind and started some internal house beeping.

Three hours later he surfaced. His mind was ordered, protected and blazingly angry. Filius was almost ready to vow on his magic to deal with the parties that had clouded, confused and distracted him. But first, he needed to get to the bank.

Humming a goblin death song, Filius got ready to leave.

 

A Step To The Left

banhp

Title: A Step to the Left

Author: Ladyholder

Fandom: Harry Potter

Relationship: Harry/Draco, background Ron/Hermione

Content Rating: Mature

Warnings: Passing discussion on torture and dubious consent on body autonomy, pregnancy

Chapter One

…the marriage of two of the most eligible bachelors to each other caused a collective heartbreak throughout the Wizarding World.

The friendship between The Boy Who Lived, Harry Potter and the Malfoy Scion was a surprise to many, as none can deny. From the hints and tidbits of gossip that this reporter has managed to put together, there was no relationship between the two men while at school. The first public sighting of the two of them was almost two years to the day after the Battle of Hogwarts and it was a Ministry function.

From all accounts, the meeting was cool and cordial, but there were no hints as to what was to come.

Anabelle Mayweather

Witch Weekly

 

 

“It’s been five years, Harry. When are you going to start a family?”

Harry looked at his friend and mentally grimaced. Five years of marriage and the agitating had well and truly started. “Hermione, we’ve only been married a short time. Is it too hard to understand that we wanted the time together before we add children to it?”

“But between you there are three Ancient and Noble titles. You need to have heirs!” Hermione pressed.

Harry looked down at his friend’s gravid belly and raised an eyebrow. “We’re twenty-seven.”

“And Ron and I are on baby number two,” his old friend told him. “I was hoping our kids would go to Hogwarts together.”

“I expected that too, but life didn’t work that way,” Harry told her before taking a sip of his drink. “We’ve just started to talk about the possibility of a surrogate.”

“Ginny is still available,” Ron told him as he came up behind his wife and kissed her cheek.

Eyebrow raised, Harry looked at his first friend. “Really, that isn’t going to happen, mate.”

“You could use her for your heirs, and leave him to find his own. I know the family wouldn’t mind,” Ron offered with a smile.

Strong arms circled his waist and something in Harry relaxed.

“Ronald, your sister, while a lovely girl, is also as mad as a hatter. I know she got pushed that way by Voldemort and Umbridge, but this would be the mother of our child. I’m not comfortable forcing this on her when she can’t consent,” Draco told the couple before them reasonably.

Both Weasleys winced. Ginny’s status was a closely held family secret. She had seemed fine while at Hogwarts, but once she had graduated, it had all fallen apart. Harry had been in Auror training with Ron and had offered what help he could. In the end, she had been placed in the same private ward in St. Mungo’s as the Longbottom’s.

“Also we would like our children to be true siblings, not just by our marriage,” Draco added smoothly.

Harry hummed his agreement. They had been discussing the concept of children for the last year and had indeed started a discreet search for the needed surrogate. None of the women at any of the agencies they had looked at fit their requirements. Harry had never cared for the concept of blood purity and Draco had mostly moved beyond his stance on it, but they did want their children to be powerful. Too many of the surrogates on offer at the firms they had reviewed had been one step away from being Squibs.

“But you don’t need them to be related,” Ron pressed.

The flinch his spouse suppressed pissed Harry of on a level he tried hard not to indulge in often. “What in the hell does that mean, Ron?”

“Uhm.” The redhead stared at him for a moment before flinching himself.

Frowning slightly at how deep her spouse had just dug himself, Hermione nodded once at Draco and pulled Ron away without saying anything more.

“I’m done with tonight,” Draco murmured in Harry’s ear before letting go to fetch their cloaks. Harry didn’t even bother to sigh before he went to make their excuses. Damn Ron and his big mouth, and damn Hermione for still only thinking of how Harry’s life reflected on hers.

Back teeth clenched in an effort not to say anything, Harry stepped outside the Weasley family home. He wasn’t planning on heading back there either. Not until they stopped trying to destroy his marriage, which given the people in question was probably never.

Taking up the hand of his husband before the apparated home, he admitted to himself that it wasn’t a great loss.

~~

“You know I’m not comfortable with the thought of using a surrogate,” Harry reminded his spouse. The argument was old and well hashed. Magic gave them the option of spelling their sperm into the body of their chosen maternal candidate and not breaking their vows, but that felt incredibly cold.

“I’ve been looking at all the alternatives listed in any form of literature, even folklore and legend. There are hints of something about ‘Children by Ritual’, where couples had a child, but there was no pregnancy. But if anyone wrote down how, it wasn’t recorded on anything I can find,” Draco told him, waving a hand at the room they had dedicated to their quest.

“Time to look farther afield?” Harry asked as he drew his husband into his arms.

Draco settled into his arms with a sigh before placing a kiss against his neck. “Time to look farther afield,” he agreed.

Chapter Two

Lord Harry Potter and Lord Draco Malfoy have been a jet setting couple these last few months.

This publication has been lucky enough to bring you pictures of the two of them experiencing the breadth of the Wizarding world. I hope that our readers are enjoying the sights as much as the two lucky men are. And they do seem to be enjoying themselves. Rumor has it that they are planning on heading back out again to another distant place, and Witch Weekly will be there with them.

So while we are getting ready to head out, enjoy the results of our last trip!

 

… Creevy

Witch Weekly

 

“Where did you and Draco go on vacation?” Ron asked as he leaned in the open door to Harry’s office.

Harry looked up at his childhood friend and wondered when they had grown so far apart. Had it been in the Academy where he had gotten an honest chance to shine? Or after, when their bosses had tried to assign them as partners, but found that without Hermione, they didn’t work well together? Maybe when Harry had been promoted ahead of Ron?

The former Gryffindor had definitely noticed their friendship cooling when he had started dating Draco. And hadn’t that been a surprise? Meeting the young Lord Malfoy at a Wizengamot function had been something that Harry had expected once he had taken up his titles. Having his magic resonate like he was inside a ringing bell hadn’t been. Harry had left the event as soon as he could to find out what in the hell had happened to him.

Careful questioning of Pomfrey and McGonagall had led him back to the hideously bad time when he had gone through his magical maturation. Plus an unintended but sorely needed bout of spell cleansing facilitated by the Goblins. If he had thought that fifteen was a rough year, he had quickly changed his mind. Nineteen hadn’t been a good year for him and he had spent most of it in and out of St. Mungo’s recovering from that and the War itself.

One of the spells taken off him had been designed to muffle his sense of who his soul mate was. From all indications, it had been put on him the same night his parents had died. Since he had been in the hands of only three Wizards and one Witch at the time, the process of elimination had been very easy. If Dumbledore hadn’t already been dead, Harry would have killed him all by himself for that.

At any rate, his friends hadn’t been thrilled with his life choices after that and he wasn’t too sure what was going on now.

“We went to Athens, Istanbul and made a short tour of Rome. All very romantic,” Harry said with a mild shrug. It had been nice, but the search they were on had been a constant thought in their minds and they had spent a lot of time in some very old libraries.

“Sounds like fun,” Ron said. To Harry’s critical ear, there was a faint sour tone to his voice.

“It was,” he agreed, idly running his quill through his fingers. “What can I do for you, Ron?”

Ron tossed an embossed card onto his desk and Harry suppressed his flinch. There was no way that he was ever going to be fully comfortable with that motion. Picking up the card, he saw it was to announce the birth of the latest Weasley child.

“Congratulations,” Harry told him carefully.

“Thanks,” Ron told him, voice painfully neutral again. “So why are you two doing so much travelling?”

“Well, traveling is supposed to be very broadening,” Harry told him with a straight face. “Also, Draco wanted to check out various facilities in the cities magical communities.”

The look on Ron’s face was the same one that he wore when some idea had just been made clear and Harry almost felt bad for leading him to an erroneous conclusion. “Still looking for a surrogate is he? None of the ones here pure enough for him?”

Taking a deep breath, Potter held onto his temper. “Not what we were looking for, Ron. You seem to forget that Draco is one of the best Potion Masters in the world. He’s always on the look for new things.”

Ron shook his head and walked the rest of the way into his office before shutting the door. Harry reached out with one toe and tapped the spot on his desk that would activate the magical recorders he had set up in his first month as head of the DMLE. “Why won’t you consider using Ginny as your surrogate? You know she’s magical, her family line is well known and it would mean a lot to my folks if your kids were related to us. After all, they already claim you as family.”

Merlin, did the man never learn? “Ron, your sister is mad. Totally barking mad and I’m sorry, I don’t want the mother of my children to have that hanging over their heads. Plus, she can’t give her consent to the pregnancy and that is kinda important.”

The look Ron gave him back was unhappy in the extreme and Harry sighed. He wasn’t going to change his mind anytime soon. When he didn’t budge through another half an hour’s worth of arguments, Weasley stormed out and Harry carefully tapped the spot on his desk before pulling the vial containing the record of the scene out of its slot and labeling it. What a clusterfuck.

~~

“I’ve found a half-dozen mentions of ‘Children by Ritual’ in each of the libraries we’ve explored. I have copies of every single source I found and they only hint around the edges of things without explaining the source material,” Draco said as he looked up from one of the texts they had picked up in Istanbul. “There are descriptions of what the set-up looks like, but there isn’t a hint of what it takes to actually get this to work.”

“Have we hit all the places to look?” Harry asked as he ran a careful finger along the spines of the books in the room dedicated to their goal. It had been startling to know that Draco was yearning as much as he was for a family. When he had come across the mention of a way for them to have children that were theirs, they had jumped at the opportunity.

That had been about three years into their marriage and Draco had quickly exhausted the resources in Britain. He had looked at France and then Europe as a whole, but the information seemed to have disappeared. He had even gotten an audience with Nicholas Flammel and the old man had been willing to tell him what he knew. It hadn’t been much, but it had been more than they had had.

Draco leaned back and ran one hand through his hair and over his face before staring at him with frustration showing in his grey eyes. “We’ve avoided the one spot that might have it, yes. But if we go, we can’t go as a married couple, Harry. The library wasn’t moved far from its original home and that whole region is opposed to same sex couples.”

“Where?” Harry asked as he settled next to his spouse at the table.

“The Library of Alexandria,” Draco told him as he opened the text in his hands to show him an ornate seal. “The hints all point to the same thing. That the spell for Fillii Autem Cor et Anima or ‘Children of the Heart and Soul’ can be found there.”

“Sounds like our next trip is going to be to Egypt,” Harry agreed as he pulled his mate into his arms. “Think we can make a stop at the pyramids and stuff?”

“I think so,” Draco agreed. “We can even see if we can get a tour or two of some of the magical tombs down there. Plus the magical version of the Egyptian Museum. They are vastly more interesting than the Muggle side. After all, their hieroglyphs don’t move.”

“The Wizarding ones move?” Harry asked. Ron hadn’t mentioned that when he had gotten back from his vacation all those years before.

“Oh, yeah. It is very interesting to watch,” Draco told him.

“Well, no matter what happens, I think I am going to enjoy this trip more than the last one.”

~~

The building that their guide said was the Library looked like any of the other buildings on the street. Historic, boring and frankly, old. Stepping out of their cab, Harry paid their fare before joining his spouse at the entrance. The person standing as doorkeeper was perfectly Muggle from what he could see and he really hoped that no one was pulling their legs.

Draco had already paid the fee to get into the museum and Harry took his ticket from without a word. He was going to hold his peace until they were inside.

The building was much cooler inside and then it was outside and he sighed in relief. He had no idea how his very blond and pale spouse was handling the sun. He had already tanned up a few shades darker than he normally was in England. It looked good on him, Harry could admit that, but Draco was still as pale as ever.

“I found this wonderful stuff,” Draco told him when he hissed the question as they moved through the exhibits. “Muggle sunscreen mixed with the wizarding version and I don’t get burned. Lovely stuff.”

“I bet. And I think I want to make sure you are well protected from the sun when we get back to our rooms,” Harry informed him with a smile.

The look Draco flashed him was amused and heated. “I love a man with a plan.”

“So where is the entrance to the Library?” Harry asked a half hour later. They were in an area that reminded him strongly of the site of Petra. He had managed to see the Indiana Jones movies a few years before and the buildings had struck a chord with him somehow. He doubted he would be surprised to find out that there was a magical version of them.

“Just like at 9,” Draco said, pointing at the entrance of one of the bas-reliefs.

A quick check showed that one was around and an instant after Draco had cast an Obscourous charm, they stepped through.

Chapter Three

…and the caster of the spell must remember, the energy used to support the unborn comes from themselves.

Lest the unwary Wizard enter into this spell thinking it is easy, think on this… The birth of a Magical child it enough to exhaust the magic of a Witch for years if she is not careful and prudent in her usage of it. If a Wizard desires to use this spell to bring a child into being, they must be aware that Magic will extract a price. And unless they go into this knowingly, the price could be their Magic.

Now, in light of this information, Muggle-born Wizards and Witches are the mystery that has confused the Magical world for generations. The best that anyone has been able to trace is that Magic herself causes the children to come into being. Exhaustive testing of family lines has shown that some of the strongest Muggle-born’s have Squibs in their ancestry, but for the most part, their existence is cause for speculation.

Magical Births: Facts and Speculations

“After looking at this and reading the whole book a half dozen times, I think we can do it,” Draco waved at the stack of paper that was on his desk. For the amount of Arithmancy he had checked, he had wanted paper. Because, as he said, damn if he was going to waste parchment on that endeavor.

“So it’s feasible?” Harry asked as he stared at the spell that might hold the key to the largest, and frankly scariest dream he had ever had.

“Yes. The math bears out. However, I want to try it with something non-human first. Just to make sure that we get this right. The last time anyone used this spell was more than a thousand years ago Harry,” Draco cautioned.

“I can live with being cautious. I really can,” Harry told him without a qualm. “But what are we using to test it?”

“Cats. Mother had two male familiars that she loved dearly and they were decent little furballs. Father was less than pleased that she had them, but didn’t bother them,” Draco told him, while searching his desk for something.

“I really can’t see your mother with cats. It just doesn’t match the whole, visual perfection thing she has going,” Harry told his husband after a few minutes of trying to see his mother in law with cats. They shed after all, and Narcissa Malfoy was nothing if not perfectly turned out at all times.

“She has, or rather had, a permanent repelling charm on all her clothes to get rid of any cat hair. It works beautifully. Ah ha! Found the vials,” Draco announced as he pulled a tray of stasis vials out of his old Potions bag and grabbing two.

Harry stared at the vials and blinked. “Why do you have those, anyway? Are they still alive?”

Draco shook his head. “Mother lost them both about six months ago and I took the samples then. I was hoping that we would get to the point where we could experiment, and I thought that presenting her with a kitten from them might be a nice thing to do if we can get it to work.”

“Awww, mushy,” Harry teased his husband lightly before leaning over to brush a kiss over his lips. Sitting back up, he stared at the vials. “How many attempts do you think that will be?”

“I have enough here for about thirty attempts,” Draco told him, waving at the tray the vials had come out of.

“Here is to hoping that it doesn’t take that many,” Harry told him before taking the vials out of his hand and placing them back in the tray. Snaking one arm around his beloved’s waist, he pulled him towards him. “You are amazing, have I told you that?”

Smiling in pleasure, the blond stared down at him. “This morning, but you can tell me again.”

“My pleasure,” Harry agreed before leading the love of his life out of the room towards their bedroom. There was a bed in there and he could do a lot to Draco with that as his base. Plus, the lube was there, too.

~~

 “Why will you not work?” Draco bitched as he checked the fifth carefully blown globe of Goblin glass before setting it aside to be cleansed. Each globe was nestled on a pedestal of Goblin silver and the whole thing was specially spelled to allow a developing fetus to survive to full term, no matter what the species was. The Goblins were deeply interested in the idea of Fillii Autem Cor et Anima and were cooperating with them fully.

If it helped them conceive, it could help others. There were large numbers in Magical Britain that were suffering spell damage from the War and that damage had impacted people’s fertility. If there was a reliable way to have a child without putting the parents at risk, then the Goblins wanted to know.

Draco didn’t care. He was just happy that they had managed to get an even dozen of the globes made and that they had passed muster. Running a set of checking charms over the next globe, he stared at the results for a moment before they made sense. The globe was viable. Carefully running one finger over the surface, he stared at the small space’s contents. Viable.

~~

“We have two globes that are viable,” Draco reported, as he straddled Harry’s lap with a large smile on his face.

“Two? Any idea of how many kittens we can expect,” Harry asked as he slid his hands up his mate’s thighs to rub his thumbs against the ridges of his hipbones.

“Oh, you bastard,” Draco murmured as his hips shifted against the fingers trying to drive him wild. “There are five kittens. Two in one globe, three in the other.”

Harry hummed softly before leaning forward and kissing his mate, trying to taste what triumph tasted like. The flavor exploding across his tongue was wild and free, and he couldn’t get enough of it. Pulling away, he panted against his husband’s throat, whispering his adoration into the pale skin. “You are amazing.”

 ~~

 Harry yawned behind his hand. Once they had cleaned out the non-viable globes, both men had tied the two viable globes more fully into their magic. From their reading, the gestating embryos would be taking the energy needed to develop straight from their magic. It wasn’t a large burden, but it was making him sleepy.

Checking his watch, Harry saw that he had three more hours at work. Suppressing another yawn, he reached for his teacup. The ripple of something moving through his magic caused him to drop the cup in surprise.

“Shite!” Harry muttered before casting a wordless repair spell and then directing the spilled tea into the dwarf palm by his desk. Hopefully Neville wouldn’t notice the addition to his gift.

“Harry, it’s time,” Draco called as he swept into his office. He already had his cloak on and was ready to head out.

“That explains the ripple through my magic,” Harry commented as he shook his head before dropping his work into his filing drawer. A careful look showed that his desk was fully clean of anything work related and the locking charm was easily performed. Standing, he saw his spouse had his cloak ready for him to shrug into.

“Yes, and I am willing to bet that when it is our child’s turn, it will be a lot worse,” Draco admitted wryly before handing it over.

“Marvelous,” Harry muttered as he expertly swirled the length of wool over his shoulders. Heading out the door he paused on his way out. “Marjorie, I’ll be taking the next week off. Kingsley knows and has someone to cover for me. If there is an emergency, call my private floo.”

“Yes, sir,” his secretary called as he escorted Draco out.

“Did you tell Kingsley what we were doing?” Draco asked, sotto voce.

“Nope. But I did tell him that I was going to be taking an unexpected week off about now. And that either he let me off, or I would retire from the stress of the bullshite they keep dishing me and fully take up my titles. He was thrilled that all I wanted was a week to try to get over the stress,” Harry told him dryly.

Snickering softly, the blond lead the way into the cavernous main hall of the Ministry and towards one of the floo ports. “I’ll see you at home.”

 ~~

 As soon as Draco got home, he stripped out of his potions stained robes and made his way to their bedroom. After a quick shower, he slipped into a clean set of clothes as Harry washed his hair. Draco took a moment to admire the strong form of his husband before the ripple that was moving through his magic got stronger. “Best hurry, love. I don’t think we have much time.”

Harry came out of their room, his hair the wild nest that drying charms left it and in a set of clean clothes. “Let’s go see what we have grown.”

Hurrying to the room where they were conducting their experiment, both men saw that the tops of both globes were shivering in time with the ripples they were still feeling. Unlike when their child would be born, there was nothing special they had to do to access the kittens. Draco drew a deep breath in and then grabbed a set of Muggle rubber gloves. Reaching his hands through the special glass, he pulled the first kitten out and handed it to his husband. Harry had a large towel open and was carefully rubbing the kitten dry, making sure that it was ready for the outside world.

Both men smiled at the faint cry that left the wee one’s mouth and Harry settled the kitten in the box that had been specially prepared for just this event. Draco reached into the globe and pulled the next kitten out before moving to the second one to start the birthing process there. Repeating what had worked with the first kitten, they quickly had a total of five little wriggly bodies in their special box.

“Winky!” Draco called as he pulled the gloves off and set them aside. Looking at the globes, he ran a diagnostic spell over them. They were empty. Turning, he cast another, more in-depth spell over the kittens. “They are totally healthy and all of them are familiars.”

“Winky is here, Master Draco!” the small elf stood before them and peered in the box. “Is kittens!”

“They are, Winky. We need you to get the bottles we had prepared for this. And make sure they are warm. We’re going to need your help to make sure they are fed,” Harry told her as he reached in to pet one of the little bundles of fur.

Staring at them, Draco hoped they knew what they were doing.

  

Chapter Four

One thing that every Witch notices once she becomes pregnant is the draw on her Magical core. No matter what her strength is, during a pregnancy, every Witch will experience times when it is safer and wiser not to use her Magic.

The reason for this is simple. Your baby, no matter if the child is born Magical or Squib, is drawing from your core in order to develop their own innate magic. This is one reason why it is strongly suggested that Witches allow two or more years in between pregnancies. This will allow their magic to recover and make for an easier birth.

If a Witch doesn’t allow herself to rest and space her children, there can be long term consequences to both her Magic and the Magic of her children. The child is often at a lower power level than their siblings or might even be a Squib. It takes a very strong Witch to have children close together…

 

The Guide to New Motherhood

St. Mungo’s

“You know,” Harry started to say before a yawn over took him, “I thought the exhaustion was bad with the kittens. This is a whole lot worse.”

Draco nodded and slowly sipped at the extremely rich soup Winky had provided them. Three days after they had started the globe with their firstborn, the two of them had been hit with epic levels of exhaustion. The last time Harry had been as tired as he was, he had been running all over Britain trying to deal with Death Eaters, bitchy best friends and a treasure hunt for dubious treasure. At least this time, the end result wouldn’t be him dying to validate a prophesy.

To combat the drain on their resources, they had taken to eating frequent, calorie rich meals that were easy to handle. And sleeping. It was slowing the exhaustion down, but they were still struggling. It also didn’t help that the kittens they had created were ten weeks old and got into everything. Winky thought the little bastards were funny and the first one that Draco had pulled out had attached itself to him. Harry was going to be very happy to give his mother in law a chance to pick the ones she wanted. And if she wanted all four? Happy days.

“The records say that the tiredness will fade after a few weeks. When we get used to the draw on our magic,” the blond told him once he got to the bottom of his cup.

“Oh, goodie,” Harry told the tabletop as he leaned forward to rest against the cool surface. How in the hell had Molly Weasley managed to do this six times? One of which had been a set of twins? Harry was completely certain that she was a lot stronger than she had let anyone expect. Because he was exhausted!

The feel of a hard finger poking at his side caused him to jump. Turning his head, Harry saw that Winky was staring at him, one small foot tapping as she waited for him to respond. He was going to ignore the way his mate was snickering at how the little elf was treating him.

“Master Harry needs to eat. If’s he not eat, baby not grow,” She told him bluntly and then snapped her fingers, putting a fresh cup of soup in front of him and giving him a significant look before going back to playing with the kittens.

“Okay, Winky. You’ve made your point,” Harry muttered as he sat up and pulled the cup to him. Hot and fragrant, the soup was delicious and he could feel himself perking up as he drank it. Reaching the bottom, he realized he was still hungry. “Can I have another?”

The look their house elf flashed him was full of happiness. “Of course, Master Harry!”

Harry drank his second cup a bit faster than he had the first and sat back, content to let that digest before he tried anything else. While the tomes they had gotten from the Library of Alexandria had told them that the magic that was making their baby possible would come from them, it hadn’t fully mentioned any other side effects. He wasn’t willing to see if nausea was one of them.

“I’m taking the next month off,” Draco muttered as he slowly sipped another cup of soup.

“How are you going to swing that?” Harry asked. Draco worked part time for the Ministry as a Potions Master and had his own business on the side. The potions he produced for his business were some of the most complex Light ones available and places like St. Mungo’s bought them by the tray. It was a very profitable sideline and was increasing the Malfoy family fortunes on a daily basis.

“I was working ahead, these last few months. And really, I have most everything on hand if someone comes in with an emergency,” Draco told him smugly.

“Sounds good. I’m just restricting myself to the office for a while. So far, it seems to be working,” Harry admitted. “When is your mother coming over?”

Draco shifted and looked at the magical clock on the wall. The hand that showed visitors was firmly pointed at his mother’s name. “I would say anytime now.”

Harry looked up at the clock and then at the floo when it flushed green. “Smartarse,” he told his mate with a fond smile.

“Indeed. Winky, please bring tea for my mother along with some of those vanilla biscuits you baked this morning.”

As soon as Narcissa exited the floo, the spell Harry had laid on it to clean up all invited guests activated and removed all traces of soot. If she hadn’t been invited, she would have gotten a load of the soot straight in her face. Blinding people did wonders as an opening gambit. And if that didn’t work? Well, he had a number of other nasty surprises up his sleeves.

“Darlings, you both look so wan. What on earth is wearing you down?” the Lady Malfoy asked as she gracefully walked over and kissed Draco on his cheek and then brushed Harry’s own cheek with her own before sitting down. “No fevers. And I can see you are eating. What is going on?”

The look Harry flashed his husband was full of admiration for how sneaky his mother-in-law was at checking on them. “We actually called you over to give you something,” Harry admitted.

“Oh?” Narcissa raised one eyebrow in question before turning back to the table as Winky slid a tea service onto it. “This looks lovely, Winky. And vanilla biscuits. Lovely. Thank you.”

The house elf bobbed a quick curtsy and turned away. Harry could tell that she was very pleased with how her actions had been received. Narcissa was no Lucius and was always polite to the elves she encountered. That trait was one of many that he had learned about her only after marrying her son. “Winky, before you go, please bring the basket with the gifts for Lady Malfoy.”

“I brings. Are very wriggly,” she said and then snapped her fingers, pulling the basket of kittens from their spot by Draco’s reading chair.

The one kitten who had claimed Draco woke up and immediately moved to get out of the basket, falling out of it on his way to his person. Harry snickered softly at how utterly ungraceful the little beast was. Draco still hadn’t named it, but he was certain that was coming.

“What are these?” Narcissa asked as she set the teapot back on the tray. Her hands twitched towards the basket and then settled into her lap.

“You’ve mourned Zeus and Hades for the last year, Mother. And I thought, since you hadn’t found a new familiar, I would see about finding you one,” Draco took the basket from Winky and knelt down by his mother’s side before presenting the kittens to her. “These are the sons and one daughter of your two familiars. The one currently drinking my soup seems to have attached himself to me.”

“Oh, my.” Narcissa gasped as she looked at the babies. They were all black with splashes of the red fur of one of their fathers feathering the tips of each hair. Basically, Harry thought they looked like they were on fire all the time. They weren’t but the red running up their sides was a very arresting sight. “Their fathers are Zeus and Hades?”

“Mmmhmm,” Harry murmured his agreement as he swallowed the last sip of his new cup of soup. The little glutton wasn’t getting his food, thank you very much.

“You got it to work?” she asked, carefully reaching out to stroke a lightly shaking finger over one small head.

“We did,” Draco told her and set the basket on her lap before going back to save his meal. The kitten got the rest of that batch of soup though. “And in eight months, we expect your first grandchild to arrive.”

Smiling broadly, Narcissa petted her presents.

Chapter Five

Inheritance law for the Ancient and Noble Houses is very particular. When Houses are combined, Magic will choose the heirs to the Houses. Traits that are particular to a House have been known to only show in the heirs to the specific Houses in a multi-House family. This means that when a child is born, it is very obvious which Family they will be heir to.

This does tend to cut down on the confusion when there are several children in such Families. If there are more children born into the Family, this can mean that the traits are passed onto the subsequent children.

When a surrogate is used to provide children, a Blood Adoption is used to tie the child into all members of its new Family…

The Genealogy of the Ancient and Noble Houses

“So have you stopped looking for a surrogate, Harry?” Hermione asked him as he kicked back in a chair at Bill and Fleur’s house.

“I’m fine, Hermione. My department has caught several importers of illegal potions and just yesterday, we foiled a plan to mark the strongest of the upcoming Muggle-born children for either blood adoption by some of the more liberal Death Eater families or they were just going to kill them. Evidence is still a bit grey on that. How have you been?” Harry had officially reached the end of his rope with his two friends.

“I’ve been fine,” Hermione told him, her voice bewildered. “Why all the other information?”

“Because it is none of your damn business who I choose to have children with or even when they will arrive. And I am sick of you thinking that if you keep harping on the subject, that I will change my mind,” Harry told her bluntly. The look on Hermione’s face was offended, but Harry really didn’t care. This had been a long time coming.

“But to have them with Malfoy as your spouse?” She asked, shuddering lightly. “His parents were Death Eaters, Harry. He was one of the people who held us hostage! He was tasked with killing Dumbledore, remember!”

“As you should have been told years ago, Hermione, there are at least two sides to every story. Draco isn’t a Death Eater. He doesn’t have the brand on his left arm, or frankly, on any part of his body. He was cleared by the courts, something I thought you would respect. And if I recall correctly, he was the person who got us out of the hands of the Death Eaters, and at no small cost to himself. As to killing Dumbledore? The old bastard had such an advanced case of spell damage at his death that the healer who consulted on the case afterwards thought he would have been dead within two hours if he hadn’t been killed.” Harry told her, laying down some truths.

“But Malfoy?” She didn’t seem to be listening.

“But Hermione, Ron? He was a lazy git in school who wanted nothing more than to play Keeper for the Chudley Cannons. He barely passed his OWLS and let’s not get into the mess that his NEWTS were. He’s an Auror, yes, but he barely made it through training,” Harry shot back.

Hermione sat still for a moment, her face white. Taking a series of deep breaths, she visibly worked to control her temper. “I know you are gay, but why Malfoy? What is it about him that makes you forget everything that happened while we were at school?”

“For one, I was at his trial. All ten days of it, heard all the evidence and gave my own testimony. If you didn’t bother, go look up the transcripts, they are enlightening. The second thing, is that when I met him at a fundraiser a few years later, my magic recognized him as my soulmate. And I’m sorry if you feel that isn’t enough for you, but after a bit of thought, it was enough for me.” Harry wasn’t going to get into all the little fine details on how and why he and Draco had fallen in love. That subject wasn’t her business.

“Soulmates?” Harry could see that she was skeptical, and he nodded. “Right. I just don’t want to see you miserable if he does something.”

“And you think shoving some mystery woman at me, to bear me heirs will guard against that? Hermione, that’s just daft. And don’t even bother suggesting Ginny.” Harry raised a finger to silence her. “I know you haven’t been to see her in the last six months, but she’s under constant spells and charms to be compliant, docile and non-violent. And she keeps breaking the charms. Her Mind Healer has been working with her for the last two years in an effort to get her to the point where the staff won’t have to stun her so they can spell her food and medications into her stomach. You can’t tell me that she, in that condition, is an ideal candidate to carry a child to term?”

Sitting back in her own chair, Hermione seemed to have finally gotten the point he and Draco had been trying to hammer home for three years. Ginny was not right. Full stop. He really hoped she listened this time.

Checking his watch, he saw that the dial that was dedicated to the all important globe was firmly on good health, the countdown dial beside it still counting down the days until the baby’s birth. Sipping his hot chocolate, he settled further into his chair and left his friend to her thinking. Hopefully, she would pass the message along to Ron as well.

Chapter Six

The practice of a male carrying a child to term has been proven by Hippokratides Speusippos Xenakis. The International Conference of Wizards and the Alliance of Medical Practitioners has found that his premise is supportable, the potions are correct and the Magic needed is within reach for most of the Wizarding world.

 However, as has also been discussed, there are few Wizards who have the fortitude to take on this endeavor. Many if not most Wizards, no matter their choice of partner, are not built to carry a child to term. The level of commitment to such an endeavor would be extreme and to date, only a handful have successfully completed the process…

 

Head Mugwhump

1693

 

 

When Harry had contemplated having a child, he had never thought he would get the chance. The war, being gay, lack of experience with kids, all things that had stewed together until he had been frozen on the subject. Eventually he had shoved the whole mess to the side and stopped thinking about it. It had hurt less.

Having kids start to appear in his extended family after the war had helped. Harry got to be around kids who were young and he found that he liked them. Taking care of Teddy had also been a confidence booster. Now, with years of being a godfather and uncle under his belt, he felt better about what was coming. He was genuinely impatient for his chance at being a father.

Draco was just as anxious and was pacing him on an opposite course as they waited for Madame Pomfrey to pass judgment on their globe. Once she was, they were going to ask her for a recommendation to someone to be there for the birth and a pediatrician. Harry was tempted to ask for a list of the latter from Narcissa too.

“Well, you boys are a wonder,” Pomfrey finally said after almost an hour of concentrated spell work. “When I went to medical school, this type of thing was covered under myths and legends, hinting that Arthur had been born this way.”

Draco sighed in relief before waving at the elaborate shrine to the upcoming baby. “Given how much magic we’ve been pouring into that ball, our son is going to be extraordinary.”

Pomfrey needed. “He will be. I would not suggest that you let everyone know how he was conceived.”

Harry nodded slowly. “The magic we are fueling this with is wild. The way we conceived him is grey at best since it did take blood from the both of us to bring him into being and lay the proper conditions for his growth.”

Pomfrey cocked her head to the side as she looked at the Goblin glass globe. “I didn’t realize that either of you were wild mages. Nothing in the scans I did at Hogwarts revealed that.”

“Technically, we aren’t,” Draco said as he reached up and pulled one of the copies they had made of the source texts they were using. He had several others prepared for anyone who needed the information. Pomfrey was one of them. “But to keep him growing and viable, we needed to tap directly into our magical cores instead of funneling the power through our wands. The magic is inheritably wild. And at our power level, it is very wild.”

Harry picked up the tale as Draco passed the text to the mediwitch. “Getting to the point where we could tap into that level of our magic wasn’t easy. What a witch does without thinking about, because it is wholly natural for her to do so, took us time to get right. A witch’s body supports a magical baby from conception to birth, and the baby uses that magic to grow into their own magic. Because we are going this outside of the natural conditions, it is taking both of us to supply the correct amounts of magic.”

Draco took up the explanation here since this had been the sticking point for him. “Two strong witches or wizards can have a very strong child. That is proven fact. The books and scrolls we read as we looked for Fillii Autem Cor et Anima showed that the Ancient and Noble houses of the day started marrying strong wizards to strong witches, with the aim to increase the strength of their progeny. Over the decades, then centuries and finally millennia that some of these families and traditions have been in existence, the practice warped itself into puritatem sanguis or ‘Blood Purity’. And that is what led to a lot of really stupid shite over the years.”

Pomfrey rubbed a hand over her face and then pinched the bridge of her nose. “It is amazing what you can find when you go looking in really old books for answers.” She sighed as she looked at the tome she had been passed. “Is the information on that little bombshell in here too?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Harry told her without inflection. When he and Draco had found that out, neither of them had been happy. It had explained a great deal about Wizarding history, but it had also painted a number of historical figures with a very dirty brush.

“So, by breeding the way they did, the Ancient and Noble Houses got to be very strong,” Draco told her, voice neutral. “But then the same thing happened to them that happens when someone breeds within a small population. Inbreeding, birth defects and decreasing fertility.

“The ‘non-pure’ population weren’t having the same problems as the nobility and eventually some of the families stared to marry the daughters of the ‘best families,” Draco paused and then shrugged. “It was about the only thing that saved that layer of Wizarding Europe. Because without the Muggle-borns and the half-bloods, we would have died out years ago.”

“Merlin, what a mess,” Pomfrey said as she stared at the globe. “Well, your child doesn’t suffer from any of the ailments that are common at your level of society, gentlemen. And if the Goblins can make this work for everyone in a way that can minimize the blood aspect of it, there will be several people who would take advantage of it. I take it there needs to be two distinct donors?”

Harry nodded his head quickly. “Yes, there is no way that this can make a clone of a person. It just won’t work.”

“Well that is a relief,” Pomfrey told him, a smile moving across her face. “Now, your wee one is perfectly healthy, and should be at full term sometime in the next month. Do you have anyone to standby at the birth to do all the official things?”

“No, we were hoping that you could give us a list of anyone who you think could be discreet  and also willing to take the same Oath you did before coming to attend the birth,” Harry admitted.

Humming, the mediwitch nodded. “I know several. I’ll write you the list. Well done, boys.”

 ~~

“Harry? Why are you looking up pediatricians? Is there something wrong with Teddy?” Hermione asked as she sat down next to him at one of the café’s that had established itself in Diagon Alley after the war.

“There’s nothing wrong with Teddy. I’m looking up the doctor for my son.” And fuck all if he was going to hide the baby. Looking up, he scanned the crowd in the café and smiled as he saw Draco returning with a teapot in one hand and a tray of goodies trailing behind.

“Hello, love. Gotten anywhere?” Draco asked as he dropped an absent kiss on the top of Harry’s head and guided the tray in for a gentle landing. “I didn’t know you would be joining us, Hermione. Would you like me to get you a cup?”

“No, thank you,” his old friend said automatically. Harry could see that she was turning things over in her mind, trying to figure out what he meant. “But you said that you didn’t have a surrogate?”

Shrugging lightly, Harry took the cup that Draco prepared for him. Sipping the beverage gratefully, he savored the flavor. Unlike most of the magical people he knew, he had found that he liked a slightly more interesting flavor to his tea. There was one Muggle company that was producing marvelous teas and he had worked his way through their line, finding all the ones that he liked. The café was willing to serve it and Harry visited them frequently as a consequence.

“We don’t have a surrogate,” Draco told her as he busied himself with his own cup of tea. The spicy scent rising from the pot was delicious and Harry was looking forward to arguing about who got the last cup.

Glancing back and forth between the two men, Hermione huffed at the non-answers she was getting. “Are you two adopting?”

“Nope,” Harry told her calmly. “You should really try some of their teas.”

“I have in the past. I enjoy them a great deal,” she told him. “Please tell me you haven’t figured out a way for a man to get pregnant?”

It was only the iron control that the war had taught him that saved Harry from snorting his tea out his nose. Draco hadn’t been that lucky and had spluttered his sip. Setting down his cup, Harry carefully swallowed and shook his head. “Uhm, no. No way in hell, Hermione. Where?”

“That was discovered almost six hundred years ago by a Greek scholar.” Hermione told him promptly. “I have the text at home and was working on getting it translated. I was going to give it to you two for Christmas.”

“Uhm, wow. Thank you, Hermione,” Harry told her. “What brought on the change of heart?”

Hermione was quiet for several moments and Harry took the time to grab one of the little short bread cookies that Draco had brought over. It went very well with the tea.

“I went to visit Ginny. I didn’t tell the staff I was coming over, I just went to visit. Everything you said about her is true and I am terribly sorry that I kept pushing things with her. You’re right. It wouldn’t be fair to her or the baby if she was pregnant. Then I started researching ways for you two to have children. Since I didn’t think you would be going the blood adoption route, which left a natural way.”

“And you found that?” Draco asked carefully.

“There was another, but all the leads to it died out. The last reported text on it was at the Library of Alexandria when it burned and it hasn’t been seen since.” Hermione told him, face and voice excited.

Both men exchanged looks and shrugged. Someone had found a clue.

Chapter Seven

When a child of Magical descent is born, it needs to quickly bond with its parents. Muggle-born, Squib or fully Magical, all children born with the spark of magic within them need to know their parents. This knowing is one of the things that allows a child’s innate abilities to develop as far as Magic Herself intends.

It can be said, and has, that Squibs have no magic at all. That they cannot touch the one thing that fully separates us from the masses of ignorant Muggles that surround our enclaves. This is not the case at all. Squibs do not have the abundance of magic that allows them to channel it out through a wand or in the cases of the truly powerful, wandless spells. The magic that a Squib has is enough to allow them to connect to their Family, to experience the unforgettable feeling that there is something out there that is larger than themselves.

Muggle-born children on the other hand, do not have a ready source of Family magic to attach too. Most of the children who are born to pure Muggles are close to their parents out of the necessity of maintaining some sort of Familial bond. When they enter the Wizarding World at around eleven years old, they are able to expand that bond to encompass their classmates, their school Houses and their teachers. This is one reason why most Muggle-born students complete their education.

Why Are Children Magical

A New Parents Handbook

“Healer Andrews, thank you for agreeing to meet us here,” Harry heard Draco say as he led the pediatrician they had chosen down the stairs.

“Lord Malfoy, it is my honor to be here,” the doctor replied. Harry recognized it from the interview process both sides had gone through.

Andrews was a highly trained healer who had graduated at the top of his class and then gone straight into private practice. Both Narcissa’s and Pomfrey’s lists had contained the man, for different reasons, but both had agreed that he was highly trained, discreet and had a decent bedside manner.

Harry really hoped that he was all that and more. Because he knew that he would feel better if there was a Healer on hand when their son arrived. Pomfrey was incredibly capable, but even she admitted that it had been a very long time since she had delivered a baby solo. From the way his magic was moving, Harry knew that they didn’t have much more time before Anthony Leo Julian Potter-Malfoy showed up.

Humming, Harry contemplated the name they had decided for their son and shrugged. Their son was being named following the traditions of both families, but not after any one person. While there were a few people who had any right to bitch about what they named him, there were going to be plenty who would do it anyway thinking that they held some sway.

“… So mote it be.”

Harry tuned back in to hear the last four ritual words being said before the Healer entered the room. Turning to face him, the expectant father watched as the man took in the first sight of what they had done.

“Holy Mother of Magic,” Andrews breathed out as he got his first look at the results of three years concentrated research and a year’s practical experience.

“Surprise?” Harry asked him with a cheeky grin.

“Lord Potter, this is a wee bit more than a surprise,” the Healer told him as he moved forward, carefully inspecting every inch of their setup. “What is this?”

Draco walked over to the globe at the center of the whole thing and ran a careful finger over the Goblin Silver column it was resting on. “This, Healer, is our son. We were hoping that you would be available to be there at his birth.”

The Healer’s eyes were moving from one item to another, lingering on the texts that he could see gracing several shelves. “I would love to. How soon?”

“From the way our magic is reacting? Within the next two weeks,” Draco shared.

“So the baby is pulling magic from the both of you to allow the gestation to continue? Fascinating. Was the globe always this large?” Andrews asked, leaning forward to look closer, his hands locked behind his back.

“No, it wasn’t,” Draco told him, before pointing to a shelf filled with small glass balls. “It started out the same size as those.” The balls of glass were about the size of Harry’s clenched fist and the Goblin Silver bases were swirled up and over them, making them look like Christmas decorations.

Andrews stepped carefully over to the shelf and leaned forward, nose inches away from the edge. “So as the fetus develops, the Glass and Silver expand and allow enough room for the baby to move?”

“Yes,” Harry told him. He had spent a great deal of time with the Goblins planning the crafting of the balls that they had used for this ritual. “There is a very mild version of the tent spell in there too. Because there is an upper limit to how big the globes will grow. When they reach that, if more room is needed, the tent spell comes into effect.”

“Oh, this is utterly fascinating. Can this be done by anyone?” Andrews asked.

“No, not everyone,” Draco told him bluntly. “You have to be powerful to even start the spell. It takes the energy from your core. Harry and I were just under Archmagus levels when we started this and fully expected to reach that level by the time we hit fifty. Thanks to this, and the constant strain on our cores, we passed into Archmagus status six weeks ago.”

“Congratulations to you both,” Andrews told them. “So, I am quite certain that I can’t get to the level of detail I want with my testing spells, but I would like to do some standard maternity spells, if that is okay?”

“That is fine, Healer Andrews. I know better than to keep an expert from doing what we’ve hired him for,” Harry told him as he leaned back against the wall nearest the door. Keeping an eye on the Healer, he extended his mage senses. Everything Andrews was doing matched up with what Pomfrey had done. Something in him relaxed at that and he closed his eyes.

Not that he needed them to keep track of what was happening around him. The advanced mage sight they’d developed due to their maturation was both handy as hell and very frustrating. There were places in the Ministry that were just blinding. The Atrium was a place he had to remember to not have his sight on in. The flares of magic as people flooed in, the apparition points, the floos themselves and just the standard magic of the place made it glow. The other places, he didn’t want to think of.

The brush of fur against his ankles made him smile. Copernicus had come looking for his person. The no longer little kitten was now close in size to his Kneazle fathers and he was fiercely intelligent and devoted to an insane degree to Draco. Three of the other kittens had bonded to Narcissa and the fifth had made himself at home until Teddy had come over. Then he had bounded up on the little boy and purred himself all over the little Metamorphmagus.

Andromeda hadn’t been all that thrilled at the kitten and Harry wasn’t telling her how little Algeiba had come about. Not anytime soon at least. Teddy had fallen in love with the kitten and over the last ten months, had gone nowhere without him. The Kneazle had proved his worth when someone had tried to snatch Teddy while he had been shopping with his grandmother. The man had needed to be taken to St. Mungos before he could be processed for arrest.

Andromeda had been a lot happier with the little beast after that.

Draco reached down and ran a careful hand over the spine of his familiar and the purr from Copernicus filled the room. The graceful movements of the Healer’s wand slowed and then stopped as he turned around to look at the animal sitting watching him. “He is a gorgeous animal.”

“And the first living creature born of those balls in more than a thousand years,” Draco said smugly.

“He is? May I look at him as well? Have you noticed that he is more advanced than other Kneazles since you had to feed the globe magic while he was gestating?” Andrews asked as he flicked and swished.

“He was particularly attuned to my magic and attached himself to me immediately. I felt the first hook of our bond as I lifted him out of the globe. It was really quite extraordinary,” Draco told him.

“He is indeed highly magical, far more than most familiars are,” Andrews told them moments later. “As for your son, he is about a week from his birth and I will be making changes to my schedule to so I can be here for it.”

“Can you clear your schedule now?” Harry asked as he looked at the globe across the room. The twisting in his magic was getting stronger and he was willing to bet that their son wouldn’t make it to the due date the healer had set.

“I can. I don’t have anyone who needs me at this time,” the healer told him without a problem. “Is there someplace where I can floo my office and let them know?”

“Winky takes,” their house elf told the healer as she popped in with the tea set, pepper up potions and sandwiches. “Yous need to eat. Baby is coming soon, and yous can’t faint,” she told them firmly.

“Your elf is a menace,” Draco told Harry as he poured them each a cup of tea after drinking his potion.

Harry shrugged and grabbed his own potion. “Dobby liked her. And we needed an elf.”

Snickering softly, Draco took a sip of his tea and settled down to wait.

 ~~

 “Masters need to wakes up!”

Hard fingers that poked made contact with his ribs and Draco jerked awake as his magic rippled the same way that it had when the kittens had announced their birth. It wasn’t unlike getting a knot in the muscles of his calf. Only, it wasn’t a muscle, it was in his magic.

“Harry! Wake up. Anthony has decided to be born,” Draco shouted as he rolled out of their bed and grabbed the clothes they had set out for just this occasion.

The sight of his husband sitting straight up in bed was slightly comical due to his hair standing straight up as well. A quick flick of wandless magic and Draco smoothed the mess down. Pushing his feet into his shoes, he passed each article of clothes to him as he got dressed.

“Winky, tea? And have you let Healer Andrews know?” Harry asked around a yawn.

“I’s did. I be getting Missus Pommy from Hogwarts,” Winky nodded, her ears flapping at the speed she was moving. “Baby’s room is ready too.”

“Best get moving then,” Harry waved at her and the house elf flashed them both an excited smile as she popped off.

“Anthony is almost here, love.” Draco was struck with a case of nerves as they headed down the stairs. Because damn, what in the hell had they been thinking? They were married, sure, but neither of them really knew what to do with a baby. They didn’t even have a nanny for the love of Merlin. What if they dropped him?

“Relax, Draco,” Harry murmured as they reached the level above the manor’s ward stone. The Globe Room, as they had taken to calling it, was open and they could see the healer arranging his gear to fit his requirements. “If Ron can do this twice and not have Hermione kill him for being a prat, we can do this too.”

“Point,” Draco allowed. “Healer Andrews, how goes it?”

“Well, the globe is pulsing and the magic that has been wrapped around it has moved into the visual spectrum. I am guessing that there is something that you two need to do?”

Pulling his athamé from the spot it had been stored in, Draco nicked the meat of his thumb before passing the blade over to Harry. Hand cupped to allow the blood to collect it, he waited for his spouse to stand up beside him before he tilted his hand to allow the blood to fall on the glass.

As soon as the blood hit the glass, the material rippled back and the fluid that had protected and nourished their son spilled out. Andrews was there to catch the baby and quickly clamped off the umbilical cord before passing them the knife they had commissioned just for this event. Supernaturally sharp, the blade passed through the cord, freeing the baby from the device that had given him life.

Andrew whisked the baby off and Harry followed, making sure that everything was okay with their son. The scream of an unhappy newborn cut the air moments later. Smiling at the proof of their son’s health, Draco summoned fire and carefully scoured the globe clean, erasing any signs that a human baby had come from it.

Turning away from the magical device, Draco went over stand with his husband and watch as their son was fussed over. He kept an eye on everything that Andrews was doing and smiled. Anthony was healthy, 53 centimeters long, weighed in at four kilos and had a head of hair that matched his husband’s.

“Looks like the Potter title has an heir,” Draco said fondly. That hair bred true, all the way down the line. To be fair, the Malfoy looks also bred true. It would take Magic herself to decide if the Black heritage they both carried would show through in a child.

“Looks like,” Harry agreed. His mate reached out and pulled him in close before pressing a kiss to his head as he watched their son show his displeasure at the cold world he had slipped into.

When Andrews slipped the swaddled baby into their arms moments later, Draco could feel his Family magic recognize the child in his arms. The miracle they had worked so hard for, searched so far for, had arrived. Looking at his mate, he could see the same recognition in his eyes. Everything they had done was worth this.

 ~~

 Special Announcement! The Potter-Malfoy’s have an Heir!

 

 Epilogue

 

It has been over twenty years since the Battle of Hogwarts and the defeat of Voldemort. Life has gotten better throughout Wizarding Britain for most of the population. Innovations have appeared year in and year out, that are improving the lives of everyone from every walk of life. And that includes how we are able to have children.

Leading the way has been the Potter-Malfoys. Less than ten years ago, they unveiled a means where Witches and Wizards of sufficient magical power could gestate a child without a surrogate, blood adoptions or any other shady means of tying a child to a Family’s magic.

At the time the rediscovered spell was announced through St. Mungo’s and Gringotts, the Potter-Malfoys had only one child, Anthony (Viscount Haxley, see page 4 for details of his title, his future responsibilities and his possible peers). His birth just two years before had been, it was thought, a quiet home birth that would allow his fathers to bond with him fully and allow the surrogate’s Family magics to fade out. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For his birth had been the first birth in more than a thousand years using Fillii Autem Cor et Anima. A child born of ritual magic. Healthy and happy, the first born child of the Potter-Malfoy family is now a second year student at Hogwarts and will soon be followed by his younger brothers. Each of the children has been shown to be very powerful magically and young Lord Haxley has been shown to be a talented flyer.

I know that you, my readers are wondering if there will be any more …

“What an amazing mix of fact and sentimental tripe,” Draco muttered as he folded the paper onto the breakfast tray and settling back into the pillows on their bed. His body was throbbing pleasantly from their morning activities and he idly wondered if there was any way to get an encore performance.

“Tripe it may be, but it does paint the whole thing in a good light and avoids all the drama and angst of that first year,” Harry mussed as he finished off his morning coffee. “Plus, she didn’t interview Hermione or Ron to get some nice counter color to her gushing.”

Draco tried not to growl at the thought of those two. The events surrounding Anthony’s birth had led to some rocky times within the ‘Golden Trio’, and he knew that the strain to get past it had pushed the friendship almost to the breaking point. Hermione had been at turns pragmatic and appalled at what they had gone through to have their child. The dip into the Grey magics they had practiced had caused her to give them both long looks, but neither he nor Harry had been shining bastions of the Light since the War. Doing what they had done to survive had led to an acceptance of where they really were on the scale.

Ron however had ranted and raved for weeks. From what Draco had finally managed to piece together, the youngest Weasley male had hoped that he could convince Harry to tie their families together in a permanent, Blood-borne way. The cynical side to the Malfoy Lord was certain that the redhead was also hoping to get some Galleons out of the deal. It had taken a great deal of shouting and heated words with threats of Harry almost losing his temper before Ron had seen reason.

“Point,” Draco finally said before wandlessly moving the breakfast tray to the floor. Turning, he straddled his husband’s lap before leaning down to kiss him. “So whatever shall we do with the next hour?”

“The boys come back from Andromeda’s at noon, right?” Harry asked as he ran careful hands up and under the shirt that Draco was wearing.

“Yes,” he agreed, breath already short. The only reason he had slipped the shirt on was for just this. The feel of soft cotton sliding against his skin and Harry’s hot hands mapping every inch of it. “She’s always punctual.”

“Hmmm,” Harry hummed before pushing the shirt open and fastening his teeth on the ridge of muscle at the top of Draco’s shoulder. Releasing his prize, the green eyed wizard looked up at his mate. “Then I had better see how fast I can blow your mind, shouldn’t I?”

Draco shivered as he was manhandled into place by his mate. What he would accept from Harry was ridiculous, he thought with hazy pleasure, enjoying the feel of lips against his skin. Reaching over his head, he hooked his fingers into the slot on the headboard that he had designed, just for this.

The spread of his legs led to Harry running his hands up the back of his thighs as he pushed them up. Draco shifted slightly, accepting the new position that his husband had pushed him into. From the appreciative hum Harry was giving him, he was enjoying the view.

“You are so damn lucky I like yoga,” Draco sighed as Harry nipped at the tendons behind one knee.

“Mmmm, I am. And I am very lucky you like doing it nude,” Harry agreed as he reached the midpoint of Draco’s thigh and shifted to run his teeth down the other leg.

Draco huffed out a strained laugh at the sensation. “Merlin, you are too good at that,” he said as he shifted slightly. His cock was hard and aching already, and he could feel the precum gathering on his belly.

The feel of his husband’s breath ghosting over his skin as he laughed was wonderful. The hot tongue moving along the tender skin of his inner thighs was just as good. His mate was being a bastard though and not sucking his dick. “Potter!”

“You are such a pushy bastard,” Harry told him from his new spot, working his way up his body. His strong hands slid under Draco’s ass and pulled him closer.

The moan that maneuver pulled from him was, even to his own ears, full of need. He kept his hands wrapped around the headboard though, trusting that his partner had him well in hand.

“I love it when you let me do this,” Harry muttered into his skin and Draco shivered. The feel of teeth biting into his skin caused a whimper as the blond relaxed into the bed. The sharp teeth let his skin go and his breath caught as he bit back a protest. “The marks I leave are so pretty. I want to make sure you will be feeling this for days. Every time you sit, I want you to remember what we did.”

Draco moaned at that. He was very willing to get behind that thought. He would be even more behind it if his husband got behind him and made good on it!

The husky laughter from the middle of his chest was his only warning that his brain to mouth filter had failed before he was flipped over and Harry was covering his back. The move caused him to lose his grip on the headboard, but as soon as his knees had hit the bed, he had reached out to grab it again, trusting Harry to steady him.

The whisper of magic against his own caused a shiver to ripple across his skin. Draco moaned at the feel of the lubrication spell getting him ready. He was still stretched from their previous romps and he didn’t want to wait.

Draco spread his knees further and bowed his head, breathing slowly, trying to keep his excitement under some sort of control. Harry settled back on his haunches and ran his hands down his back and the blond pushed back into them. “One would think that you want something, love.”

“You are an arse, Potter,” Draco told him, voice starting to break at what his lover’s hands were doing.

“You love it,” Harry told him as he stopped playing and slid his cock into Draco’s ass.

“I love your cock,” Draco informed him.

“I love how your arse feels on my cock,” Harry said as he shifted to cover his back. Draco clenched down on the cock within him and smiled slightly at the high-pitched whine that leaked out of his partner. Harry snapped his hips forward and drove his cock deep within the blond’s body. Thanks to the many times they had done this before, Harry was able to run the length of his dick over Draco’s prostate and settled into a steady rhythm.

“Merlin, Potter. I fucking adore you,” Draco panted.

The sound Harry let out was smug and male and Draco promised himself that he would do something to his lover. After he got off. The burn and stretch of his muscles as he was filled with his husband’s cock was a delicious counterpoint to the stars going off behind his eyes as his prostate was constantly nudged.

The tingling at the base of his spine was pulsing in time to his heartbeat with waves of pleasure moving in counterpoint at each thrust of Harry’s cock. Draco started pushing back, chasing the tingles that were setting his blood on fire. The sharper burn that appeared on each ass-cheek as Harry slapped them just added another layer of sensation and he moved, pushing back onto the cock splitting him in two.

When Harry reached for his cock, Draco hissed. The feel of his husband’s hand on his cock was wonderful and he arched into the grip. Moving back and forth on the cock within him and the grip around his own was driving him insane and Draco started to keen.

His orgasm hit with the weight of a thousand Bludgers, locking his muscles up tight. The feel of being full, of his cock being held in a warm grip was too much and he fell over the side of sanity without a pause. From the roar of completion deafening him, Draco was certain that Harry had come too.

As soon as the aftershocks running through him had settled down enough for him to think, Draco let go of the headboard and slid down onto the bed, taking Harry with him. The cock in his ass didn’t move and he settled in to enjoy the afterglow.

Life was fantastic.