Xander looked the group gathered around. "Why are we all here again?"
"Because you're getting ready to leave again and this way we get to bother you before you go," Greg said, playing with his sons on the rug. "Also, cheap babysitting."
"Sure, I guess we can do that," Alex agreed. "Anything else planned?"
"No, just visiting and taking a day free of things." Tipsy looked at her boys, then at her husbands. "There's something to be said for taking a day off and letting the shop's helpers do the work today." She waved a hand around. "That and the kids will quit whining for a few hours."
"That's why I never wanted to have kids," Xander said dryly.
"Son?" his father called.
"Watching the kids chew on each other," he called. His father walked in and he gave him a bored look. "Is there a problem?"
"Yes, son. I believe we need to finish our talk from the other day," he said dryly.
"Sorry, dad. Guys, the father thinks I may have messed up my birth control for the *second* time in history." They all clapped and smirked at him. "Fortunately she's older than Sev is and has grandkids already, all of which are named Dumass."
"Yes!" Draco said happily. "Now we don't have to have any!"
"Fat chance," Xander's father said slowly and clearly. "Cordy is looking forward to having babies in the house again. That's why she let you all come up and told you to bring the babies." He flicked his son on the ear. "Now, son."
"Coming, dad." He got free of Draco's head on his shoulder and stood up, stretching briefly before following his father out for the discussion of doom. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, son. Your grandson looks exactly like you," he said patiently. He walked him into his study, closing the door behind him. "Son, sit."
"Yes, dad." He sat down, letting his hands rest on his stomach and his ankles cross as he slumped down. "So, what's she like?"
"She's very nice, son. You'll like her a lot when you meet her later tonight." Xander raised an eyebrow. "Yes, son. She is part of the family. She is your daughter. You shall meet with her and get along with her."
"I have no problem getting along with people most of the time. Any other complications I should know in advance?"
"Well, she does have a daughter about Ron and Harry's age. She's very nice."
"And if she's my granddaughter then that makes her Harry's first cousin, father," he said patiently.
"I wasn't going to suggest it, son," he sighed. He sat down behind the desk. "Actually, she thinks that she might want to follow you into the field."
"Into curse breaking?" he asked flatly. His father nodded. "Is she a trouble magnet?"
"She is and she's very powerful. Quite the witch."
"Okay, and they're coming over when?"
"Later this afternoon. That way you can introduce her to the others if she wants." He smiled gently. "I'm sure you'll like each other quite a lot."
"The Banes are invitation only, dad. If they like her, they'll let her in. Otherwise they'll be polite enough to her I guess. I know the ladies will. Thankfully Emilia's back to normal and not being a flighty, seductive thing anymore."
"Oh, I'm sure she'd understand," his father said wisely. His son raised an eyebrow. "Her former husband knew your friend Rupert quite well I understand."
"She was married to Ethan?"
"No, not that I'm aware of. Just a regular Watcher I'm afraid."
"Are they after her kids?" His father nodded. "Then I'll kick their asses and make them cry," he said simply. "Anything else I should know?"
"Her second child is not a squib."
"She's a normal?"
"She's adopted. She was left on their doorstep. She is a potential Slayer."
"Fuck if they're getting her," Xander snorted.
"She's a bit too old for that, son," he said patiently. "She's nearly twenty-five. The oldest daughter is over thirty and expecting her first child any day now. That's why we had to delay the meeting. Her doctor didn't want her to travel for a few days."
"Understood. I'm about to become a great-grandfather. Well, it's good that someone carried on the family name," he said with a big grin. "Saves me from doing it again." He stood up. "Anything else?"
"Son, you're being an idiot. Draco would make a wonderful father."
"Dad, he's nineteen. I'm twenty. I don't want to be a father and I'd be a shitty father. I know myself," he said when his father opened his mouth. "I would have ruined them by raising them on the road while I was working. I didn't make it home for years at a time. I have no patience. I yell, I used to drink, and I was the original slut in my former life. That's not how you raise a kid. I made a conscious decision not to have children very early on. I hate kids, even when I was a kid. I'm not bringing a child knowingly into this world. Accidents happen. Sev proves that each and every day he's drawn breath."
His father nodded. "I understand that, son, but you're not as bad as you think."
"Dad, I know myself better than most people do. Being alone for years does that for one. Especially when you can only depend on yourself and you've got sixteen years to brood about what you used to be. Feel lucky I'm not the asshole I was back there. I could easily have rivaled Lucius' attitude some years about my own importance." He pushed back his hair. "Now, I have nothing against meeting her and getting to know her. I have nothing at all against that. She wasn't planned and I don't hold that against her, her kids, or the upcoming great-grandchild. There will never be planned ones coming from my body with my permission however. Aunt Cordy needs to accept that. I don't care how much Grandma Des wanted it. Get Harry to have a passel of kids."
His father nodded. "That's fine, son. If you change your mind you can do that and I won't say a word."
"Thanks. By the way, we're going to be gone for most of the holidays. We might be taking a week off around the holidays but nothing else." His father frowned at him. "We're excavating a city, dad. We're going to be in Northern Iran for the next four months. We're leaving in a few days actually."
"Fine, son. We'll plan to hold everything all together."
"Oh, please, no ball," he moaned.
"Fine. I'll talk Draco into taking a date then." He rolled his eyes as he walked out, shaking his head when he saw Philip. "Draco, you're going to have to find a date for the family ball around the holidays. I refuse. I don't want to be pouted at by half the world's women." He walked outside, slamming the door so he could go find something to do.
Draco looked out toward the door, then at Greg, who had been eavesdropping. "Something bad happen?"
"His new daughter is showing up. She's old enough to be a grandmother shortly. His father nagged him about children and they'll be compressing the holiday rituals to the single week you'll have off. He said you'd have to find a date."
"I'll take him on the floor," Draco said dryly, lounging again. "Grandchildren?"
"Great-grandchild," Fred corrected with a smirk.
"Shit," Draco sighed. "I'm sure he's having a bloody wonderful day then."
"Draco, swear in front of the children again and I'm paddling you," Emilia assured him, glaring at him. "They don't need that sort of language."
He snickered. "You're a wonderful mum, cousin, but I'm not your child. I am an adult."
"And children are parrots," Tipsy agreed. "They'll all be talking just like you for years."
"The only thing I know about children is that they're trained like the beasts they are and that they don't need leashes," he said honestly.
"Well, they don't *need* them," Greg said with a smirk, "but they're very handy when they're out in public and prone to running like 'San is."
"You put a collar on her?" Draco asked, wrinkling his nose up.
"No, baby leashes come with chest harnesses. Like the sort they use in kinky sex," George told him.
"That's an image I did not need," Severus noted dryly. "Please quit now, before I feel the need to take points from your sister Monday morning."
"Then Luna would do something mean," Greg reminded him with a grin.
"Fortunately they'll be leaving soon," Severus reminded him. "I'll be retired by the time these Weasleys need to be educated. Do have fun with them."
"That's one way to make sure 'San goes to Hogwarts," Tipsy said with a smirk. "That good with you, Greg?"
"Fine with me," he agreed happily. "Of course, our kids will be masters by the time they get in there."
Emilia leaned over and patted him on the back. "No more dynastic plans, Greg."
"None needed," he assured her with a grin. "I've got everything I ever wanted and the rest within my grasp."
"Plus, if Snape isn't there, you'll be the head of Slytherin," Draco pointed out. Snape gave him an odd look. "Who'd take over if it wasn't you? I didn't think there were many of us teaching."
"There's not," he admitted. "Sinestra is the only one I know of."
"So he'll be the new head of Slytherin," Draco repeated with a grin.
"That would be a great job," Emilia agreed with a grin. "I can just see him dealing with the problematic darlings at four in the morning by giving them a Grissom-ism." She swatted at her husband again when he laughed. "Or teach them by using Sarah as a lesson."
"She is kinda one of those," he agreed happily. "It wouldn't bother me at all," he assured Severus. "I might be the most cheerful Head of House we've ever had but I'd be good at it. It'd be liking having a really big family."
"By that time, Parkinson's future child would be in there as well," Ron pointed out from his seat in the corner with Dawn in his lap. "I saw her yesterday on the way to check on Harry. She's about as big as couch now."
"I didn't know she was dating," Draco said, looking over at him. "Did she say anything about a father?"
"She stuffed her nose higher in the air and stomped off when I noticed her," he said dryly. "She'd never talk to me." He smirked at him. "She was walking around with a pickle covered with strudel icing. Strawberry icing."
Draco shuddered. "That's nasty."
"Oh, she's in for some fun still," Emilia said smugly, looking at Tipsy. "She's about halfway through, wouldn't you say?"
"Probably just about. My cravings went away at seven months though."
"Yes, but yours were reasonable," one of the twins noted.
"If you had eaten things like that we would have gotten sick," the other agreed, grinning at her. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine," she said coyly, smirking at them. "Why?"
"Because the laundry was done," one offered.
"We changed the bed."
"Hung up all the clothes."
"Folded the special outfits."
"Put the good pillows on the bed again."
"Put the baby monitor in Oliver's apartment."
"Enough, boys, I think she gets the picture," Snape said, rolling his eyes. "How do you put up with them?"
"Easy, they're very sweet. That saves me hours of work and all they want is some attention." She looked at her boys. "Boys, can I have your help finding something in the library?" They grinned and followed her, taking her from the library and carrying her up the stairs.
Emilia looked up as Tipsy let out a shriek. "Sounds like their hard work was rewarded. That reminds me, we've got to do laundry when we get home."
"I had Sandburg do it since he was hanging around," Greg said smugly, wiggling his eyebrows. "I've got tonight off. You've got tonight off. Wanna dirty up the bedroom again?"
"That was weak, Sanders," Draco said smugly. "Try better." He looked at his cousin. "Doesn't he usually do better?"
"Yes, but I've been on my cycle and he's been miserable," she said, staring down at her husband. "I'd run if I were you." He got up and took off running. She gave them a smug look. "Don't let them eat each other and don't let Joxer strip 'San again," she ordered as she got up to chase her husband. He was going to be tired by the time she got done with him.
Tipsy's older set of twins looked at the remaining adults, then cackled and started to strip off. "Enough," Snape ordered quietly. They looked at him and smirked, then worked on their siblings, then Cassandra.
"Guys, if you continue that you can't play with the unicorns and Ginny," Ron said firmly. They pouted. "Tough shit. Dress again or else." Cassandra and the twins got dressed, letting the adults get the other ones.
Cassandra crawled up in Draco's lap, grinning at him. "You read?"
"Yes, I do read," he assured her, patting her on the back. "Would you like me to read to you?" She nodded, still grinning. "Then ask politely."
"Please read me?" she asked sweetly.
"Yes, I will. Weasel, toss over a book."
Ron picked one up and tossed one like a frisbee. "Quit calling me that or I'm going to make a hair-eliminating potion and pour it all over you while you sleep." Draco snorted. "Dawn has one ready for her legs."
"If you did that, Xander would get you," Draco said smugly.
"He might like you hairless. It's supposed to make you more sensitive," Ron said smugly. "He'll thank me. You'll be scratching for weeks as it grows back."
"Enough, children. I get enough of this at the school."
"The rest of this year and you'll have no more Weasleys until Joxer and Iolaus grow up," Draco reminded him.
"I'll be celebrating that fact the day after the train leaves," Snape agreed, smirking at him. "Professors Flitwick, McGonagall, and I have all planned to have a party in fact."
"You'll still have years of Dawn left," Ron offered with a bright grin.
"Don't remind me," he answered, making Ron and Draco both snicker at that.
Xander came back in. "Did the parents take off and forget their kids?"
"They're having sex," Draco said, grinning up at him. "We're discussing plans for when the last Weasley leaves school for ten years of sanity."
"That's okay, I've been offered a chance to come fill in for Flitwick now and then. Dumbledore said that I could easily teach all the charms lessons that were needed. He suggested that it's probably either that or we'd have to start a cult." He flopped back down. "Dad still sulking in the office?" Snape nodded. "Decent enough. I just saw your half-sister arrive in the garden with her family. Lots and lots of family."
"She has children?" Snape asked.
"Six girls, one boy, one brand-new baby in one mom's arm and about four little kids running around happily squealing about the unicorns."
"So we really don't need to have children," Draco said happily.
"Are any of them coming to Hogwarts?" Snape asked, nearly dreading the answer.
"Ask her, not a clue," Xander said dryly. He looked back as his father came into the room. "Was that her?"
"It was Maria. Come, son." He looked up, looking alarmed at the shrieking going on upstairs. "What was that?"
"Either that was Tipsy and the twins or we've got a few banshees having an orgy with a few sirens." Xander stood up and trudged back to the office, nodding when he walked in. "Hey." He sat down, looking at the older woman. "Hi."
"Hi." She smiled. "Let's save some of the awkwardness. My mother was Morlina Carts, out of Sweden. You met in Holland. Spent a good week together while you were healing from something trying to chew your leg off. It was about forty years ago?"
He frowned and pulled down the book for that last name, finding her in the index. "Oh, her." He closed it and nodded. "Sorry. Did she not ever think to tell me?"
"She did. She said she sent the message to Gringott's a few times. You never answered."
"Huh. Sounds like I'm going to get a goblin upside the head later. Any idea which one?"
"The one you forward mail through?" she suggested.
"Huh. Yeah, I think I know which one. He's in Paris. We'll be talking later," he assured her with a grin. "I'm sorry."
"That's okay. Not your fault if that's the case," she promised. She relaxed.
"I'm sorry. This is only the second time I've met one of my kids and the other one announced it on a battlefield." That made her laugh. "So, we'll be awkward, then get over it and at least become cordial." Her daughter, the one with the infant, burst out in giggles. "It's true," he assured her. "I have nothing against kids that came to be by accident, but I never would have planned one. I'd have made a sucky father." He looked at his new daughter. "You would've hated being in the field with me."
"That's probably true," she agreed, smiling at him. "So. You look very young."
"I was deaged. It was a curse," he sighed. "It sucked. I regrew up in Sunnydale without any magic or contact with the magical community."
"How?" the youngest daughter asked.
"That's a matter of debate," he admitted bitterly. "Some people thought it was a dark curse but the magic around it was very pure and gathered during Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. So I have an idea but he's denying it." She looked at him in awe. "Oh, your half-brother is in the living room. Sev wanted to know if any of you are transferring into Hogwarts."
"Not that we've got planned," the youngest daughter offered with a shy grin. "So, you're Alex Dumass."
"So they tell me."
She giggled. "This is really awkward."
He nodded. "It is. I'm sorry. If I had known, I would have been there."
"That's okay. My mother was fairly happy with having me and not having to marry some stupid wizard who'd force her to be a weak homemaker. Unfortunately she died a few years back or she'd be here too."
"I'm sorry to hear that. She was good to me when I was healing."
"She was always like that." She shifted in her seat. "So, you sent your father out to find the rest of the family?"
"No, he decided to do that. He took Aunt Cordy, my mother's sister, and took off to find the missing family and my screw-ups of the fertility spell." The daughters laughed. "I tried so hard not to have kids," he sighed. "It's nothing against you."
"No, I understand. This is awkward. We don't want anything from you but we did want to meet you so the children could get to know part of their heritage." He grinned at her for that. "So, this is Emily, who is a potential slayer, Teiana, Trisha, and Mary." She pointed at the other group. "That's Misery, Colleen, Ed, and my son Charles."
Xander waved a hand. "Hi. You can call me Alex if you want." He smiled at Misery and Ed. "Use names?"
"I changed mine to go with my profession," Misery told him. "I deal with problems of the mind."
"I'm working on wizard and muggle interactions," Ed told him.
"Cool. You'd probably like Ron's dad then. He works in Muggle Affairs or something like that at the Ministry." He grinned at them. "Since you're family then I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot of the house. Want a tour?" They nodded so he stood up. "Okay, this is the official study, where we deal with the bills and things." He walked them out, opening the door across from them. "The library, or most of it. Some of it's in what used to be my study, but that's mostly the Dark Arts collections that I use for curse breaking." Teiana moaned in pleasure. He grinned at her. "Dad said you wanted to follow me into the field. We'll talk about that later." He winked and walked them on, waving at the people in the living room. "Okay. Sev, this is Maria. Maria, Sev is your half-brother. He's a great Potions master and works at Hogwarts. Ron, the redhead, is one of my apprentices. The blond on the couch is Draco, my consort and apprentice. Ron, get with Teiana and me later. She wants to go into the field and you can give good horror stories from our summer vacation."
"Vacation is putting it mildly," Draco said sarcastically. "Life-threatening excursions to pretty places with stupid people is a better description."
"Sounds like fun," Teiana offered with a grin. "Hi."
"Hi," Ron said with a grin. "We'll be in here babysitting." They nodded and Xander led them off, taking them through the house, ending up in the kitchen. When they came back to the living room, Alex had a big tray, which he put on the table. "The house elves are scared of the kids. If you want drinks, go ahead and get them," he ordered. He looked over as Emilia and Greg came back. "No nap?"
"I'm not tired," Emilia said smugly. She found the mother and held out a hand. "Emilia Sanders."
"Maria Dumass. My mother made sure I carried my father's name." She shook her hand. "Are the children yours?"
"The twin boys and the older girl with blonde hair," she said proudly.
"You mean the naked one who just tried to see if Ron was lactating?" Ron asked, holding up her daughter. "Here, have fun explaining why boys don't breastfeed, I couldn't."
"Only girls can do that," Greg told her, making her pout. "And only when they've had babies." He sat down with her in his lap. "She's fascinated with her mom feeding her baby brothers."
"Hey, it's better than her portkeying in with her baby brothers and being kidnaped by the unicorns," Draco reminded him.
Maria looked at Alex. "You really do lead an interesting life."
"They appeared while we were sleeping. The house elves woke us up and 'San had called her friends, the other sets of twins, to come play. The unicorns took over the infants and the others ran a few house elves ragged." He sat down beside Draco, kissing him on the cheek. "Did you finish your shopping for the upcoming job?"
"Nearly. I need to finish doing the potions we'll be bringing. How many bags are we bringing?" Xander gave him an odd look. "I meant besides our two packs each?"
"We'll be bringing a few crates of food, tents, fold-up stools, things like that. Why?"
"I was going to bring a fully stocked potion making bag," he offered. "Are we bringing water jugs as well?"
"Sure am. They're being sent by the goblins. Speaking of, I've got to head to Paris later. Remind me?"
"As long as you help me to make sure I don't forget anything in my kit," Draco agreed with a smirk.
"Fine with me." Xander snuggled into his side. "So, Teiana, do you have any area of speciality? Any part of the field that interests you most?"
"I like doing the artifact research," she admitted. "I like looking at what people find and finding out what it's for. I wouldn't mind doing the research part of the job on a dig. I think it'd be fascinating."
"On digs, we do a lot more categorizing," Ron told her. "Dangerous or not. The type of artifact it is. If we can figure out what it is simply then we do that, if not we send it back to be looked over. Draco does that along with our potions," he offered.
"That's just one way I can help be useful," Draco agreed happily, smirking at her. "Did he take you down to our workshop?"
"No. We've got the demonic urns out down there," Xander told him.
"Demonic urns?" Snape demanded.
"Someone sent them to us. They appeared on the doorstep," Xander explained. "So we're figuring out what they are and then we're going to hand them over. Ron hadn't seen a demonic hierarchy marking yet."
"Which is shocking considering how much trouble he used to get into," Snape said, frowning at the young man. Ron waved and grinned. "Speaking of trouble. Where is your cohort?"
"Due home any minute now from an away game," Ron noted.
Xander looked at the clock. "He said it'd probably be dinner and he'd be bringing Oliver and Bear," he reminded him. "So probably within an hour or so."
"Who won?" Draco asked. "I was busy doing the herbal shopping."
"Harry did, but they only won by ten points. It was a three-hour game and both teams were acting very tired. Oliver was amazing but Bear was about to fall over and Harry was yawning while he was playing. Even the announcer noted it."
"They've just spent a month on the road, I'm not surprised he's tired," Draco noted.
"He'll be crashing tonight then," Xander said happily. "I guess that means more dessert for us." Maria laughed, shaking her head. "Sorry, but we don't exactly lead the normal life. We're getting ready to head out on a four-month job in Iran."
"Are you bringing Potter?" Severus asked hopefully.
"Not until the holidays," Xander told him. "He'll have a month off then. I might steal him for a weekend now and then if his training schedule allows."
"Off season starts in November," Ron offered. "We can bring him down then after he's gotten some rest."
"Sure, Ron. If he can pull himself away from the parties and the Quidditch circuit."
"They have a party circuit?" Draco asked.
"Yup. There's a lot of them. It's the basis of coaches asking for trades and things. They make a lot of deals at them," Xander told him. "I got invited to a lot of them in my former life."
"Do you consider it a former life?" Maria asked.
Xander considered it, then nodded. "I do. I'm not the same arrogant, stupid, asshole that I was then. I learned patience dealing with a slayer for five years." Emily gave him a hurt look. "I worked with Buffy, Faith, and Kendra." She nodded wisely.
"Buffy, wasn't that the little blonde woman with Rupert?" Maria asked her daughter.
Emily nodded, sipping her drink. "Yes, it was. I'm so sorry," she told Xander with a grin.
He smirked and nodded. "Now you see why my life is different." She giggled and nodded, smiling at Draco. "She's a potential."
"Then you've really met Buffy," Draco agreed with a small smirk. "She's a vampire now. Her sister Dawn is Ron's girlfriend and we've seen her now and then."
"Fiance," Ron corrected.
"Fine, your betrothed," Draco said snidely.
"Enough," Greg ordered from his comfortable seat, his eyes closed. "I have to deal with Sarah at home. I don't need similar attitudes among my friends. Otherwise you can babysit at different times and all by yourself."
"Not if they're going to teach the babies bad words," Emilia snorted.
Ron grinned at her. "I'll gladly swear more so I don't have to babysit," he offered.
"Fat chance," she said with a smirk. "Cassandra *loves* you, Ron."
"Better you than me," Draco snickered. Cassandra pinched him from beside him so he grinned down at her. "Don't you love Ron more than me?"
"Nope!" she said happily, shaking her head fiercely.
"Blast," Draco muttered. Xander patted him on the back. "Are you sure? He does a very good job of reading. He had to learn how to teach his sister."
"No, you nicer," she cooed, then hugged his arm and gave him a big grin. "Love you."
"Aww. That's so cute," Ron said with a smirk.
"I will kill you," Draco promised him. "Someday. Remember, I can count very high and I'm piling up all your many and varied sins to add to my list." He smiled down at Cassandra. "Look, 'San, daddy's napping and the twins are *all* alone on the floor." She squealed and went to hug the babies. She loved her brothers! She laid down between them and hugged them.
"Be nice, boys," Tipsy said as she came back in with a drink.
"Miss a fashion step?" Ron joked.
She looked down, then hitched up her top again. "Sorry about that. My twins just jumped me."
"Really? How old are they?" Teiana asked.
"Twenty tomorrow," she said proudly. She sat down on Draco's other side. "'San, don't squeeze them, they'll puke on you. That'll be nasty in your hair."
"Yes, auntie." She eased up on them.
"Speaking of twins, where's mine?"
"Probably out back with the unicorns," Xander reminded her. "I haven't been in here for a while. Boys?"
"Joxer and Iolaus are hiding behind my chair to be scary monsters. The others are somewhere," Ron told her with a shrug.
"Aunt Cordy stole them about an hour ago to nuzzle and cuddle," Draco told her. "We didn't think you'd mind."
"Hell no! Let someone else change diapers for a while," Tipsy agreed happily, making Emilia laugh and nod in support.
"I felt the same way many times," Maria shared. "I'm Maria."
"The other time I messed up the birth control spell," Xander said. "Maria, this is Tipsy Ramvette-Weasley. Wife of the Weasley monsters, er, um, twins," he corrected with a grin. "Speaking of, remember that we need that stuff by next week, Tipsy, love."
"Of course, Alex. We'd be more than happy to send some stuff to Iran with you, especially if you brag where you got them," she said smugly. Her twins came in with a plate and drink for her. "Thank you, boys. Draco, shove over. Let them sit around me."
Draco closer to Xander's side, snuggling in. "Better?"
"Much." Tipsy smiled at her boys. "Guys, this is Xander's other family. Maria is the mom. Those are her kids, grandkids are running around."
"Hi," the twins said, waving.
"We've got a wonderful shop in Diagon."
"We give family discounts."
Maria held up a hand. "Don't encourage them, please. The grandchildren will be horrible."
"But we like horrible," Tipsy said with innocent sweetness.
"It's almost a family tradition," Xander told her. "Sev, didn't you used to prank?"
"No, I was the butt of them."
"I was that way in Sunnydale, but you didn't do mean things to others?"
"Only to Lucius," he said smugly. Draco cackled quietly at that. "He was a whiny ponce."
"He was," Draco agreed, grinning madly at his mentor. "Did you torture him horribly?"
"Quite often. I even prompted Potter's bastard father to do it for me."
"Language," Emilia said firmly.
Harry slammed the front door and walked in. "I'm back!" he yelled.
"We're in here, loud!" Alex called back, just as loud. "Harry, kids, sleeping."
"Hi, guys. I'm finally back," Harry said as he walked in. He paused and blinked a few times, then nodded and grinned at Alex. "Something you wanted to announce?"
"Maria is my daughter."
"Oh, hey. I'm Harry. Behind me cowering are Oliver and Bear. Oliver's a keeper and Bear's a beater. Do we still have room for dinner?"
"As far as I know," Alex said dryly. He looked back. "Hey, guys, come play with the little people before they try to get me again."
Bear came in and sat down on the floor, smiling at the children around him. "Hello," he said softly, his Russian accent still very thick even though he'd been in England for nearly eight months now. "Would anyone like read to?"
"You have a pretty voice," one of Maria's granddaughters told him, shifting closer. "What do you do?"
"I'm a Beater on Harry's team." He pointed at Harry. "He's a seeker and I protect him." She beamed and hugged him. "Thank you, little one. May I have a book?"
Ron kicked over the bag, prompting the twins behind him to crawl out and pounce Bear as well. "Better you than me. They like you more."
"Dear Merlin, you're a whiny uncle," Tipsy said in disgust.
Ron looked back at her and gave her a goofy grin. "I haven't seen Dawn in six weeks. I won't be seeing her again for another month and a half, then we'll be working in the desert. I'm allowed to be pitiful. She's even got a game the weekend we leave."
"Fine, I'll go ahead, you guys can come Sunday then," Xander said dryly. "That way you can watch her play in her first game and you can quit whining. Better?"
"Me too?" Draco asked.
"If I must," Xander sighed. "I'll scout the sight first then teach you as you come in. What are you going to do during the month and a half, Ron? And then the two months after the holidays?"
"Sulk," he said succinctly. "Hey, Harry. You wanna go to the game this weekend with us?"
"I'm going to be at practice," he admitted. "We've got a game Tuesday and it's against a hard team. We're lucky we're getting tonight off."
"Season ends soon," Oliver reminded him. "Next year's a world cup year. We didn't make it so you'll get time off."
"Yeah, to go to all those parties," Xander snorted.
"Some of us aren't the party boys you used to be," Harry said dryly. Maria giggled. "I'm not. Unless it's mandatory I doubt I'll go to any of them."
"Just don't get eaten on a dig," Oliver said, smirking at him. "The coaches would have someone bring you back so you could fulfill your contract." He was pounced and grinned at the little boy. "Hi, Iolaus. How are we today?" His favorite babysitee cackled up at him. "Good boy, that's the little Weasley monster we're used to." He picked him up to hug him. "Should Bear read to you too?"
Iolaus shook his head. "No read. Play!"
"It's getting dark, no playing outside," his mother reminded him.
"We have field lights that we need to test," Xander offered, mostly to get all the kids out of the house. Kids creeped him out. The parents and Oliver gave him a dirty look for trying to be helpful so he gave up. Especially when Joxer came over to sit in his lap. She grinned up at him. "Hi."
"Hi." She wiggled. "I love you."
"I love you too, Joxer, but you're still very little and someday you'll marry a man just like me."
Tipsy looked around her twins and Draco at him. "If she does," she said calmly, "I will kill you, Alex."
"Now, now, be nice," Ron teased.
"Ron, if my precious offspring ever even *think* about marrying someone like Alex 'the slut' Dumass, I will gladly find them a *nice* home where they can raise cats once we brick them in so they can only get a little bit of light and air in the afternoon. If my daughter even *thinks* about bringing home a boy like hi m, I'll gladly castrate him for her and teach her leash training for submissives. Or I could just kill him and then instruct my daughter in the right way of finding a real man by giving them to one in a forced marriage," she finished with a sweet smile. Her twins coughed. "No. They will not marry someone like Alex."
Xander giggled and blew a kiss. "Remember, I used to be *worse*. I could have wished her to have one like the old me."
"Yes, I had an interesting conversation with your painting in the attic," Draco noted gently, stroking his lover's thigh. "It was quite enlightening about how much you've really changed. You used to be someone who could out-stubborn and out pureblood my father on his best days." Everyone stared at him. "He is from one of the oldest families on the Isle. He deserved that attitude."
"Hey, I changed," he noted dryly. "Being alone and stuck in Sunnydale did make me take a very long look at myself. Quite a few people wanted me to become the next bad guy to ease their fears of me and what I knew and could do." He smirked at his new granddaughter, the one who wanted to follow in his footsteps. "You can learn a lot from the tombs and the things you bring up from them. Always remember that." She swallowed and nodded so he smirked at her. "Now you know why people thought that."
"Oh, I did before," she offered. "There's got to be a lot of forbidden knowledge in the still- hidden tombs of the world's former inhabitants." She shifted some. "I think it can be quite educational really."
"It can be," Draco agreed. "I've learned a lot from our trips. I've even learned not to take baths for advantage."
Ron smirked at him. "You aren't the only one."
"When Harry came back that last time, he nearly used all the hot water in the building," Bear agreed dryly. "He still stunk afterward."
"Gee, thanks," Harry said dryly, smirking at him. "I actually got a cloth bath during that trip."
"Yeah, the Yeti really did stink and then you fell over him and got smelly from him," Ron agreed with a wicked grin for him. "How was he, Harry? Nice under all that fur?"
"Ron," Draco snapped. "Do not make me sick."
"He didn't chase after *you*," Ron reminded him dryly.
"That's because I wisely cast a shield around myself and the pack animals. If you had thought of protecting yourself, you wouldn't have nearly been stenched to death either. Potter wouldn't have tripped over the thing if he had been paying attention but I suppose he was too busy chatting with you instead."
"Boys," Snape warned. They both gave him dirty looks. "The rest of us, namely the newcomers, do not need to be polluted by your childish squabble. Get over it, you're adults now."
"They're acting better than usual," one of the twins offered tiredly, eyes closed and head resting against his wife's shoulder. He heard his twin yawn.
"I think we're going to nap right here," his twin admitted.
"Night, guys," Tipsy said with a grin for her boys. She looked down at her older twins, who were both staring at them. "Want to cuddle?" she suggested, patting her lap. They climbed up and sat in their father's laps, resting against her chest to take their own nap. They loved their daddies and wanted to be just like them. Tipsy smirked at Emilia. "It's the beauty of twins," she said happily.
Maria grinned at her. "They all look so sweet. Too bad they're naughty children when they're awake and cackling."
Tipsy smirked at her. "I wouldn't have my husbands any other way." That cracked up Greg and Emilia and made Ron groan and shake his head. "They'd be more horrible otherwise."
Iolaus snuck back in, proudly holding up something he had found. "Pretty!" he demanded of Maria.
"Yes, dear, it's very pretty. Where did you find that?" she asked, glancing at her father.
"He found it in the library, in the locked case that was supposed to be keeping the changed figure in stasis," Xander said, getting up. "Give, now, kid."
"No, my pretty!"
"Hush, and hand it over," Tipsy ordered. "You can't steal stuff from him."
"No! Mine!" he shouted, getting onto the floor to throw a fit.
Xander snatched it and headed off to relock the case. He shook his head when he noticed his father staring at it. "Iolaus. And you wanted me to have more kids?" He locked it back up and pocketed the key, going back to the cosy meeting. It was much nicer now. He flopped back down and pulled Draco into his lap, cuddling him. "Kid, throwing a fit will not get it back," he said coolly when the boy continued. "That's a bad thing. You can't have it until you can summon the demon that did it, Iolaus."
"Demon?" he asked, stopping the fit.
"Oh, hell no," Tipsy said, glaring at him. "He's not turning into Lovegood."
"Then I wouldn't let him handle any more demonic items," Xander said dryly, glaring back. "Otherwise that thing would have grown.... a lot."
"Do you always keep such interesting things lying around the house?" Maria asked hesitantly.
"No, but shit happens and sometimes things don't sell to Gringotts and are pretty. So we keep them in special cases," he assured her with a grin. "In that one, it's a real dragon, but the demon turned it into a statue so it wouldn't stomp and eat her. So therefore, unless we all want to fight a dragon tonight, we'll leave the pretty dragon statue alone."
"We could send it to Charlie."
"No," Xander said patiently. "It'd probably infect the others with demonic longings. That one used to like to go after demons until it got changed. I was thinking about giving it to Flitwick for a birthday present."
"Xander, no more evil thoughts. That's my job," Draco said patiently. The other Banes chuckled at that. "It is. If we sent it this year, Lovegood would coo over it like she does that stupid hellhound she's nursing again."
"She's doing what?" Tipsy asked.
"She's nursing a hellhound," Xander told her with a grin. "The mommy puppy gave him into her care and she's a good puppy mommy too. It's a cute little hellhound puppy. You should see her petting it. She even dresses it up like a baby."
The other adults who knew Luna shuddered in horror as they considered that. It was a very bad thought.
The End. <G>