"Professor Black," Draco purred as he found the older professor. "Walk with me. I have some news about this curse of yours." Black glared at him but walked beside him down the hall. "Was what I heard correct? It was a curse by a vengeance demon for your...attitude toward your lovers?" Black grunted, still glaring. Draco stopped walking and looked at him. "Then there are some things that you should know. She doesn't usually do *full* curses, only limited to one area."
Black shook his head. "There's a chance I can get her to take it off?"
"There is a chance," Draco agreed. "I asked Xander on your behalf since she's his ex and he said it's a very slight chance but to treat her nicely if you do try. Don't be flattering or buy her gifts, but definitely be nice to the woman." He moved closer. "I was talking about not putting it on both sides of the coin. She blocked off one manner and not the other."
Black looked clueless. "Huh?"
Draco rolled his eyes but he smirked. "Do I have to put it into plainer English?" Black nodded, starting to look pissed. "She blocked you from giving, but not receiving."
"I tried that, she ...." Draco shook his head. "No?"
"Not that way. She wanted you to see what your lovers felt like. It may even be self-removing if the person who cursed you worded it the right way, to make you learn how to treat a lover correctly instead of just punishing you." He stepped closer. "This is the only method of you getting any sort of pleasure. If you need instruction, we do have a few handy books lying about the tower."
Black looked horrified, backing away from him. "You can't be serious!" he demanded. Draco shrugged, but was still smirking. "You're playing with me," he accused.
"I'm not. Ask the Headmaster if you don't believe me." He turned and strolled away. "It's not as horrible as all that. Trust me."
"We can all see," Black said bitterly.
Draco turned, his hand rubbing his stomach. "If you continue on this path of attitude problems, I'll be forced to curse you as well," he said with a crueler smirk. "You'll find that Anyanka likes me enough to humor me in situations that will make her laugh." He nodded his good night and left him alone.
Black turned and slammed his fist into the wall, only to be soothed by a familiar on his arm. "Did you hear what he said?" he ground out.
"Albus asked her for you and he's right. She made it so you have to feel what they felt like." Lupin smiled at him. "If you asked, Xander might even know a few nice people who would be willing to help you out." Black shook his hand off. "Sirius, this isn't healthy. You're snapping at everyone, even Albus and Harry. You upset him so much before school started that he told me he didn't want to see you until you had calmed down. You have to fix this."
"I'll kill her, that should fix it."
"That will make it permanent," Xander said from the shadows, walking out. "Trust me, I know about these things."
"It's your ex girlfriend," Black accused. "She wouldn't know about me if it wasn't for you."
"She's the vengeance demon over scorned women, Sirius, she knew about you *long* before we met. She had a file on you. She summoned it when I asked her to lighten up on you. She said you'd have to learn your lesson, that was the gist of the wish made to her. Even if we had never met, she would have still gotten you sometime." He shrugged. "I am open to you coming and asking questions if you need practical help." Lupin shook his head and Xander backed up a step. "I'm off to bed. I'll see you both at breakfast." He walked away but Black grabbed him and swung at him. Xander was hit, but he got Black back, knocking him down onto the floor. "Thankfully you didn't try that with my adopted son," he said, wiping the blood off his lip. "Don't try that again. I don't take well to being pounced unless it's by my mate or the children. Anyone else I tend to hurt greatly." Black stood up and glared at him. Xander saw the anger still in his eyes. "Is this what you need to make yourself feel better, Sirius? Do you need to beat up on someone? Try it. I can put you down again."
"No," Albus said, walking toward them. "This will not happen."
Xander held up a hand. "Let him, Albus." He glanced at him and that's when Black struck. Xander ended up on the floor, getting hit, but he gave back as good as he got. This was his training. Black was groaning on the floor by the time he was done hurting him. "Do you feel better now? More manly perhaps?" He spat out some blood and stood up with some help from the Headmaster and Lupin. Black lay on the ground wheezing. "My cane?" It was handed to him. "I think I'll retire now. Learn that lesson, Black. You haven't brawled in years and I do so every few months. Never take me or my family on again. You won't like it." He nodded at the Headmaster. "Sorry, but he did start it."
"I want you both in my office in the morning," Dumbledore told them. "That is highly inappropriate." Xander turned to look at him, giving him a shrug.
"Xander, your back's bleeding," Lupin said quietly. He reached over to touch the line of blood. "You need to have that looked at."
"It'll scab back over in a few minutes," Xander told him, then he looked at the headmaster. "I was willing to let him wear out his aggression on me, that way he didn't take it out on the students, but I wasn't going to stand there and let him beat me." Black stood up, bending down almost immediately to try and breathe. "He probably needs looked at. I think I may have cracked a rib. Either that or he's feeling the knee to his solar plexus or balls." He shrugged. "Do you want to suspend me, go ahead."
"No, I think we'll have to take a more forceful approach. Both of your wages will be garnished for ten galleons." Dumbledore looked at them, shaking his head. "You both usually have more sense."
"I doubt he's going to be so cranky with the students," Xander noted, turning and walking away.
"Both of you, infirmary now," Snape hissed as he joined them. He sneered at Black and Xander slapped him on the arm. "Do not do that again."
"Don't sneer at him. He wanted a brawl to wear out some aggression. It beats taking it out on the students." He smiled. "I'm fine."
"Xander, you will let Poppy look at your back," Dumbledore ordered. The boy opened his mouth to protest. "Otherwise I will take another ten galleons off your pay this month." Xander nodded his head, he would obey this time. "Thank you. You as well, Sirius. We will be discussing your problem tomorrow. Xander, you knew he was weaker."
"He took the first swing, Albus," Lupin defended. "Xander was standing there and Black swung at him the first time. You came in at the second one."
"I witnessed the first one as well," Dumbledore assured him. "They're both at fault. Xander didn't have to be so helpful."
"You'd rather have to treat him?" Xander suggested. "I gave him the information I had." Dumbledore held up a finger. "Yes, Albus. I'll be less helpful from now on where Professor Black is involved." Black glared at him. "Do not try it," he warned with a smile. "I can do worse to you. I let you up when I thought you had enough pain, I can give you more. Much more."
"Xander!" Snape said sharply. "Headmaster, the testosterone in here is getting a bit thick. I'll escort Xander to the infirmary."
Xander looked at Snape, then at Black. "You know, I see the similarities people keep mentioning between you two. You act like him before he's had his morning tea, and when he's had to deal with dolts all day," he told Black, letting Snape walk him away.
"Did you have to escalate it?" Snape asked.
Xander looked at him, stopping in the hall. "It needed to be pointed out. And I still didn't do anything really wrong. He wanted a fight and I'm the best suited for that."
"Still," Snape said with great disapproval. "Next time duel."
"That's an aggression problem, a duel wouldn't have solved it," Xander said. He winced as he moved and felt more blood trickling down his back. "I think I need a bandage change. I'm fine to have Draco or Iggy do that."
"Your son is in my room, as is the other one. You're going to let Poppy do it so neither son will retaliate because you were so injured."
"The scabs pulled away, nothing more," Xander pointed out, but he started walking again.
Back at the fight, Lupin was ripping into Black for taking a swing at Xander at all, and for getting into the more extreme fight. Xander was dangerous when he was fighting, he didn't stop. Did he really want to die? Sirius hung his head and allowed himself to be lead away to get cleaned up and some ice for his sore chest and stomach.
Dumbledore glared in both directions. That needed to be stopped. Before anyone else got pulled into it. He wouldn't have the staff divided. He saw Ron waiting at the end of the hall and glared at him as well. "You will not carry on this incident."
"Not a problem," Ron assured him. "Though if he does it again, he's ours." He smiled. "I'll let him go this time because I'm sure Xander got him well enough to teach him a lesson." He turned and walked away, going to warn everyone to stay out of it, especially Simone. He did forget to mention it to Melvin, but he was such a nice boy. He wouldn't do anything like that.
Draco stood up as the door opened and relaxed when he saw who it was. "What happened to your lip?" he asked, walking over to look at Xander. Xander slapped at his hand and glared at him. "Who hit you?"
"Black needed to wear out some aggression so I beat his ass," Xander told him. "He's worse."
"I smell blood," Iggy said, looking at him. "Did your back break open?" Xander nodded. "Come over here and lie down. I'll change them and spread the salve."
Draco glared at him. "I can do that."
"Don't fight, it'll clot," Xander ordered.
"Feeling dumb yet?" Tara asked with a smile.
"He swung first," Xander told her, giving her a hug. "Do you think it's safe for to head up for a shower?"
Tara zapped him, knocking him out. "Men," she sighed. She stood up and helped Iggy get him onto the couch. "Testosterone should be eliminated from the species." She stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door.
"Oooh," Draco said in sympathy, giving Snape a pat on the back. "I don't envy you tonight."
"It wasn't my idea to taunt him."
"Daddy taunted someone?" Iggy asked.
"He drew a parallel between my morning behavior and Black's usual one." He smiled, it had been rather funny. "Get him settled as soon as possible, I don't want the children seeing this." He went to their bedroom to calm Tara down before she had one of those anti-men days tomorrow. Or for the next week. She smiled at him and he knew she hadn't been talking about him. After all, he was reasonable, not like some men. She stood up and snuggled into his chest, giving him a kiss. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm simply tired of some people's need to get physical to prove anything."
"Black threw the first punch," Snape told her.
"I have no doubt of that. Xander only reacts. He might threaten, or offer, but he never takes the first swing." She looked at the door. "Should we call George?"
"It wouldn't do much good. I doubt he's out of his lab yet." He sat down with her, letting her settle into his lap with their son, who obviously wanted a story because he was giving the book on the nightstand a look, then looking back at them. "Yes, we'll read to you."
"We'll make sure he grows up like you, not like Draco," she assured her mate. "Reasonable and able to understand the inner workings of a woman with the intensity of almost being one." Snape glared at her and she giggled. "You could pull it off."
"I'd rather not. I happen to like how I am."
"Daddy," Zach said, crawling back up them. "Read?"
"If you wish," he consented. He opened the book then looked at his son. "Who gave you the book on boy problems?"
"I stoled it from Iggy. He not mind." Zach looked happy.
Tara giggled and patted Zach on the head. "It's all right, son, we know you'll be a good boy and not have problems with that sort of thing." Snape groaned. "It's not that bad, Sev."
"I was thinking about Ignatius and his problems refusing to see his manliness as anything other than useless."
"I bet he sees it differently now," she teased. He pinched her and she kissed him again. "Read to our son, dear." She settled in to help him read. This was an important book so boys could appreciate what they had.
Xander woke up in a familiar place and smelling something even more familiar. "What?" he asked woozily. He sat up and grabbed his head. "Why am I in here? And why am I naked?" he called.
"If you shout again, I'll have to do something worthy of my father," Draco said from the lounger next to him. "Dumbledore suggested we both take the weekend off and come here. It seems to affect you positively." He put down his book and turned to look at the other man. "How is your back?"
"Not sore," Xander said, trying to look over his shoulder. "Where are the swat marks?"
"Gone," he said patiently. "That's what healing potions are for." He held out his leg, showing his lack of scars. "We were gifted with enough drops of special healing elixir to cure both of our problems without more scars. Except for one on your back." He ran his nail down it. "How did you get that? Your son wanted to know."
Xander's face closed up. "I got hit during a fight. Sword."
"Someone you knew?" Xander looked at him. "Fine, whenever you're ready of course." He slid to the edge of the chair and his 'father' stood up to help him stand. "Thank you. You continue to rest in here. We're having visitors soon." He smiled. "I'll expect to clean up any mess you make." He walked away. "Albus said that your solution to the cranky teacher problem was too extreme and he didn't want to see it again. He's worried that we'll have to separate you two again, or worse the children from him." He turned and smiled, then walked out the door. "Have fun," he said before locking him in.
Xander sat down and felt something slide against his hip. He looked down and saw the tiny green swimsuit and grimaced. Not fair. He'd rather be naked. But for right now, he needed to go to the bathroom. He stood up and found his alternate cane, though his legs felt surprisingly good today. He walked toward the bathroom and had just opened the door when the main door opened, making him flinch and try to cover himself. Someone was shoved in before the door was slammed again. "Who're you?" he asked.
George pulled the hood off his head and looked around, then grimaced at his husband. "That boy needs spanked if he's staying in the family." He stood up and looked over his husband. "His idea?" he asked with a smile.
"Yup." Xander walked into the bathroom, going to use it. He frowned when he noticed he was peeing blue, but figured it was probably part of the healing potion. He turned to wash his hands and found George standing in the doorway. "Where did he steal you from?"
"The lab," George admitted. "He told me I'm not allowed in there again. Locked me out and everything." He moved closer, looking at his husband's back. "It's healed."
"Iggy." He wiped his hand off on a paper towel and tossed it out, turning to look at his husband. "Are you done ignoring me?"
"I wasn't aware that I was," George admitted. "Not until everyone shoved it in my face."
Xander leaned against a sink. "I tried to tell them that it wouldn't help."
George lunged forward and kissed him like he used to, moaning as the warm hands came around his waist. "I'm sorry."
George nuzzled his neck. "I really am sorry. Get him to teach you that lock spell." He moved lower, but his husband pushed him away. "No?"
"No." Xander shook his head. "Do you even know what day it is?" George nodded. "Are you sure?" George nodded again. "And do you remember ruining our son's big moment with a fight?" George sighed and turned to lean against the sink next to him. "Were you even aware of anything this last summer?"
"Only when I was forced to be," George admitted. "I'm sorry. I'll try and fix that."
"This makes the second time, George. I'm not putting up with it." His husband moved away and he grabbed him, squeezing his wrist until his mate looked at him. "Don't walk away from me. I have the right to bitch you out about this. You've said you'd fix it before and you haven't. You promised me the last time that it wasn't going to happen again, and it did. I'm tired of it. I'm not putting up with it anymore. This is your *last* chance, George." He let him go. "I've had a lot of people suggest themselves to take your place and I'm millimeters away from moving on. You have to convince me now or we'll walk out of here and formally apply for separated nest status with the colony. Your choice." He continued to stand in the same place, not moving. Any move he made would be taken as some sort of a sign and he didn't want to give him that sort of clue. It was up to his mate and only up to him. He meant it. Even if it would hurt.
George faced his husband, and saw them in the mirror behind Xander's head. His mate looked so tired. He looked so tired as well, but for different reasons. He could see pain reflected from the mirror behind him, and shook himself. He swore he could see a skeleton standing where Xander had been, but his mother was the person with those sort of skills in the family, not him. He looked in the tired brown eyes, noticing how Xander was looking at him, that mix of hope and anger. "I'm going to put a spell on the lab door," he said, starting to let everything flow out. Xander would tell him if he was being stupid. "I'll have it two days of the week, and be locked out all the other days. Fred's said the same thing. There will be an emergency release, but only to be used in emergencies. We're hiring on at the store as well," he added when he didn't see a reaction. "Two part time clerks to give us more time to do what we like. We've gone back to the planning on paper instead of spontaneously working on something in the lab, mostly because nothing that we do that way works right. Also because Fred got burned last night."
"Is he all right?" Xander asked, starting to look worried.
"It burned all his hair on his forehead. Some small first degree burns on his forehead, nose, and front scalp. He'll be fine and we're sure the hair will grow back," he said with a faint smile. "He's now very redfaced for a few reasons. Spike startled him and made us sit down and look at our security arrangements. I agreed to the spell on the lab door." Xander nodded for him to go on. "Out of my five free days, I'm going to spend three of them with you, that leaves me four at the shop to spend with Fred. Except during vacations, then you can either join us or I can join you for most of them." Xander nodded again, starting to look happier. George ran his hands through his hair. "I'm willing to put it in writing and redo our vows, Xander. You've made me see this time. You could have been killed!"
"I was nearly killed," Xander agreed quietly. "I got between the dragon and Draco because it was necessary. The stunning spell wasn't as strong as I had hoped. It slowed it but it didn't change the depth of the one on my chest." George reached out but he couldn't find a scar. "Iggy."
"Then I'm really glad he was there," George said, stepping closer. "Would you do that for me? Renew our vows? Make a promise to protect the family but let the family protect us as well? Do what Draco's been pushing on you all summer and I'll do what you've been trying to get me to see since we started the store?"
Xander shrugged. "I don't know, George."
George wrapped his hands around his mate's waist, pulling him closer. "We can look at it as a new start."
"And the next fight?"
"I'll let Draco pick a side and fix it?" George suggested. Xander rolled his eyes and smiled slightly. "He does seem to understand a few things that we miss when we fight."
"Maybe," Xander agreed. He looked at the door. "Can we go swim? I like swimming."
"Sure." George let him go, watching as he walked out. That healing potion had strengthened his leg. Damn, that stuff was amazing. He'd have to talk with his son later and offer him anything he wanted for being so amazing.
"I think he'd like his second father back," Xander said before he dove into the deep end.
George watched him, sighing at the beauty. Xander was graceful in water, like he used to be on land when he was fighting daily. He slid into the water and swam over. "I'll talk with him tomorrow. We're going to mum's if we've got this fixed. It's time to teach you how to play, dear." They shared a kiss. "Please?"
"I'll think about it. I always thought it was cheesy," Xander admitted, flipping onto his back so he could float. George rested a hand on his stomach. "Did you hear about the fight?"
"You letting Sirius hit you to get out his aggression and you pounding him for picking on Iggy?" George asked. Xander nodded, grimacing. "Albus might have mentioned it. How much did you lose from the pay?"
"I guess it's fair. Did Sirius lose that much as well?" Xander nodded. "Then I won't complain. You were protecting the family. I like it when you do that." Xander flipped over and looked at him. "Really. Protecting us is something that's more than acceptable. Even if you do go after it a bit zealously at times. I can even make Draco see that you working out isn't all bad."
"That would be nice," Xander agreed. "He said he'd teach me how to kick ass magically."
"That plan I like," George agreed with a smile. "Please?"
"We'll see," Xander said, diving under the water and swimming off. He felt himself get stuck to the side of the pool and shook his head. "I'm fine!" he yelled.
"That's his spell so he can float with the kids," George told him, swimming over to join him. He attached himself to the poolside as well. "See, it's nice this way." He grabbed his mate's hand. "I won't pressure you, Xander. I know you're uncomfortable with the idea of renewing our vows. I promise I won't jump you the night before and make you walk funny."
Xander chuckled. "That was the least of my worries. My mind went blank during it."
"I liked your sqeuaked vows," Draco said as he walked in. He slid into the water to join them. "Wood will be joining you this weekend after all. He just called over." He swam closer.
"You're huge," George told him.
Draco smiled and patted his stomach while he treaded water. "I know. She's strenuous and fairly larger than average. I'm officially listed as being twenty-six weeks yesterday." Xander nudged him and smiled. "It's better than I had expected. She's fine and very happy about most things."
George detached himself and pulled Draco close, letting him attach himself to the poolside so he could touch his stomach. He hadn't gotten to do this with Lucien, Fred had gotten all of the stomach rubbing duties. "You're not furry."
"He shaves," Xander said helpfully. He reached over and patted the outstretched navel. " Hey, you. Are you napping?"
"Not a bit," Draco told him. He smiled when he felt the hard kick to George's hands. "See?"
"I do," George agreed, smiling at him like he was the best thing in the world. "Are you doing anything special for this one?"
"Just the normal. Watching what I eat, swimming a lot so she doesn't hurt my back."
George frowned at him. "I was talking baby shower."
"We have everything we need."
"We had a welcoming party for Lucien," Xander reminded them. The baby nudged his hand and he smiled. "Hello, you."
"You've got to pick a name now," George told him. "Otherwise the baby will come out thinking it's named You."
"He calls her other things. Sweetheart, darling. Nasty bugger that gives me heartburn in the middle of the night." He belched. "Sorry."
"I've heard worse from Fred and Iggy," George assured him. He had missed this with everyone else. He liked this. He saw Xander smiling. "What? I didn't get to do a lot of this with Maeve or with Iggy."
"You've got this sappy grin on your face, the same one you got when you first saw Iggy." He gave Draco a hug. "Thank you for spoiling me."
Draco beamed. "You're welcome, Xander. You do deserve it. Now get off, the both of you. I don't want to be petted all the time." Xander frowned and he felt a small touch to his stomach. "Not that way either. Cuddling times only."
"Okay. Steal my fun," George told him. "It's not like I got to do this before."
"Your sister's been pregnant three times for me, once for you, and I've done this before. Not to mention Tara."
"Tara wouldn't let us spoil her," Xander said pitifully. "Neither did Ginny. You're our last chance to spoil a mother."
"She'll be having more in another two years," Draco pointed out, trying to find a way out of this predicament he had created.
"She'll have Severus to spoil her and he won't let us," George told him, touching his moving stomach again. "Calm down in there." His hand was moved and Xander's put on, and the baby settled down. "Wow."
"Very. She likes him, which is good I suppose since he'll have to help train her. Xander, anything new about what we learned from William?"
"The starchart does leads to another dimension. With some luck, we can lock all portals from going there. Anyanka said she'd talk to the Braxis over that area."
"Your ex is helping us protect William?" George asked. The other two men nodded. "Why?"
"Because William said that the people who did this to him, Tara and Willow from his world, will come for him," Draco told him.
"The me there died as a sacrifice to save the world but it wasn't strong enough to protect it, so Tara and Willow had to do something to add to the protection. They had the little me to sacrifice and Willow couldn't go through with it so she helped him escape."
"Tara always has been practical in a crisis," Draco said admiringly.
"In this case, she probably would have destroyed herself afterwards," Xander told him. "But she would do whatever was necessary to protect everyone. She's as much a white knight as I am."
"No wonder he didn't like being held by Tara and Willow," George said, watching Xander's hand stroke in small circles, just like it did on his stomach on the days they stayed in bed. "My turn." He jealously stole the stomach to stroke, doing it just like Xander liked it. Draco moaned. "Am I hurting you?"
"No, that's incredible feeling."
Xander looked at George. "Still jealous?"
"I..." George shook his head and backed up a few feet. "I've started to notice other people, Xander, and I'm not sure I like it."
"So you're picking on our son," Xander said flatly.
"Xander, I can't see him that way. In my mind, he's one of Ron's friends, and yours now."
Draco laid a hand on his 'father's arm. "It's entirely appropriate," he said gently. "I am hot and I'm close enough, yet safe enough, to be lusted after. You know we'd never do anything."
"Maybe, but it sucks," Xander told them both. "I don't look at anyone else."
"You react to me as well," Draco told him. Xander shook his head. "You do. Do you remember when I startled you a few weeks back by whispering in your ear to bring you out of your thoughts?" Xander moaned and nodded, putting his head on the side of the pool. "I'm flattered, though you're so very together that I couldn't come between you."
George pulled him close, having seen the loneliness in his eyes. "Even if I could convince him, it wouldn't be the same."
Xander looked at them. "Huh?" He knew he was slow on the uptake of emotional things, but really.
"He's lonely, Xander. He's been alone for a long time, ever since before he graduated. Ginny hasn't exactly been the ideal mate and he sees us cuddling all the time. It's got to have hurt him."
"We're sorry," Xander said, joining in on the hug. "We do love you, just not that way."
"If I had known this was going on, I might have tried harder to come out of the lab," George admitted. "He needed us."
"I did too."
"I know you did, Xander."
"I'm not having sex with you two, no matter how much we tease each other." George pulled back. "Xander promised to tie me down and let both of you have your evil ways with me because I was toy material," he said with as much innocence as he could muster. He noticed the feelings against his legs and shivered. "Guys, you're together."
"We are," Xander agreed. "I don't know what this is."
George smiled at him. "We like vulnerable people?" he suggested.
"Maybe." Xander shrugged and got free, diving off to do some laps.
"He's marvelous," George said, moving so he could watch his mate.
"Water should have been his natural environment," Draco agreed. Xander grunted and grabbed his leg, and he dove off, beating George over there to help him with the cramp. "Calm down. You forgot to stretch," he said gently, keeping the other man from drowning. He got them to the side of the pool and rested him against it. "Was it his bad one?"
"No, my right thigh," Xander moaned. "Cramp."
George worked on it for him, making his husband relax into Draco's arms. "Next time stretch, I would have appreciated seeing that."
"I will." Xander groaned as the cramp got worked out. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," George said, giving him a short kiss. "Can I tell him?"
"I'm not sure, George."
"I know, but he should be warned. Just in case he wants to help."
Xander looked at the man holding him, rolling to face him. "George wants to renew our vows."
"This time we'll have to follow all the rituals," Draco said with a smile. "The wedding shower rituals, the purification ones. All of that." He grunted and his eyes went wide. "Ow." The men crowded around him, tangling their legs in his as they tried to sooth his daughter's current fit. "You are a bit like Simone, dear one. Calm down, you can beat up Denver soon enough."
George chuckled and attached them all to the side of the pool. "As long as she gives him love afterward. He let the other girls beat him as long as they hugged him afterwards." He and Xander hugged Draco between them.
"Get off!" He got free. "I'm not your personal teddybear."
"He'd make a good one," George told Xander.
Xander nodded. "He does. I can see why Iggy crawls in with Simone for his comfort snuggles. He's got the same sort of mental shields so they can't get you." He fluffed the short blond hair. "Relax, I could never jump you, all the teasing aside. You're my buddy and my son. I'd feel like I was molesting you."
Draco patted him on the chest. "It would be odd, though I don't mind the teasing."
"We can tease?" George asked. Draco nodded. "Really?" he asked with a smirk.
"About sleeping with me, not me in general," Draco said, setting a firm limit.
"Does that mean we can't call you cuddly?" George teased.
"That's fine, I am rather cuddly, especially in this state." He looked at Xander. "May I still climb in when I need some comfort from the nightmares?"
"Sure. We'll put you between us and everything," George assured him, putting an arm around his shoulders. "Xander, you're not treading water, how are you doing that?"
"Floating spell," Xander said with a smirk. He lunged over and hugged Draco. "You can crawl in anytime. I know you wouldn't feel comfy doing so if we got too personal, so it's all okay with us." He grinned at his mate over Draco's shoulder. "I just got kicked by the baby."
"She doesn't like being squeezed either," Draco groaned. Xander let him go and swam off. "You're insane!"
"Yes, I am," Xander agreed. "And I'm happier this way!" He rolled, switching to the backstroke.
George looked at their host. "Well," he sighed. "Look at that, he leaves us alone."
"We need to talk anyway," Draco said, turning to put his arms on the side of the pool and lean on them. "You do want me?"
"I react to you," George corrected. "I have no idea why. Was he right?" Draco nodded. "Then I'll manage it or get it out with the teasing. I'd never approach you."
Draco nodded. "Thank you. It would make me uncomfortable to crawl in with either of you."
George smiled and shifted closer. "Draco, I understand. You don't have to explain yourself to me. You can crawl in with us anytime you want. Between us or on one side. You might watch where you lay down, Xander rolls from his right side to his back most often." Draco nodded, having noticed that. "Even when I'm not there. I trust Xander to come to me if he wanted to sleep with someone and talk to me about it. You're his friend, and he needs a lot more of those." He smiled as Xander swam past them, and turned around and headed back. "You look hot like that," he called after his husband. "I'll even let you do the purification rituals if I can convince him to renew our vows."
"That means he'll have to actually say them this time," Draco said with a teasing grin. "I don't think a squeak will do this time."
"No, I'd like the words this time," George agreed. Draco poked him. "Sorry. Will you do that for him? He's not got a lot of friends who aren't my family."
"Of course. Are we going through the old rituals? The bathing, the blessing, all of that?"
"If I can," George said with a sappy grin. He looked at Xander, who had just dived down. "I'd like all that with him this time. Last time, the ball got in the way, plus the fight. He didn't feel comfortable asking you guys to come back for frivolous stuff." He squeaked when someone grabbed him. "Xander!"
Xander surfaced and smiled at him. "What?" he asked innocently. "Did something happen?"
"You grabbed me," George said, reaching back to pinch him. "Naughty you! Not in the pool."
"Sex in the water can be fun, and he does have a cleaning spell on the pool," Xander offered. He smiled at Draco. "It's been months."
"I couldn't have stood it that long," Draco told them. "Want some privacy?"
George moaned as the finger teased him. "Honey, I'm not prepared."
"Yet," Xander said with a nip. "Water makes the difference." He slid off both their swim trunks. "Did you like the naughty things he bought me, even though I said no?"
"They're green," George groaned, pushing back. He felt the attachment take hold and let go of the side, letting Xander do whatever he wanted. He had totally forgotten that they weren't alone. "More, love."
"More?" Xander teased, shifting closer to rub against him. "What do you want? You make me tell you and this time I want to hear you beg."
"I want you in me, but we don't have any lube," George complained. A pot appeared beside his head. "Thank you, Merlin," he ground out. Xander had just reached up to get some and pushed against him. "More?"
"Of course." Xander slicked up his fingers and used them. "Is that what you need?"
"No! More!" George demanded. He felt what he wanted and let go, losing himself in the missed feeling. He could feel Xander in his head and blindly searched for his necklace, but it was at home. "Want," he panted.
"Reach out, you can do it," Xander assured him, and felt George's mind touch his. "Like that. You don't need a crystal, it was a training device," he said, starting to move faster. He could feel how lost George was and it was making him overheat. They connected and both screamed in unison, gone for now.
Draco quietly got out of the pool and left them there, going up to shower off the chlorine. He wanted that, that connection and that need to touch. He walked up the stairs and smiled at the bath already run for him. His house elves were very well trained. He slipped out of his bathing suit and slid into the steaming water, sighing in relief. This was wonderful after the pool. The only thing that would make it better would be to make the water swirly and massaging, like those muggle jaccuzi things. If he had electricity, he could do that, but it wasn't worth it all the time. He gently swished his feet through the water, enjoying this. He liked his life. Even if his daughter was hungry. "Bring me a snack!" he called. A house elf carried in a tray and put it just in his reach, but far enough that he wouldn't drip on the food. He looked at the battered logs. "What are those?"
"Cheesesticks," she said before running out.
"Hmm." He picked up one and took a nibble. "Needs something. Sauce?" A bowl was brought in and held up for his approval, and he smiled when he tasted the tangy tomato sauce with it. "I like these, mark them as a favorite." The elf nodded and left him alone to enjoy his self- pampering. Draco listened to the quiet noises of the house, floating on the feeling of contentment. From downstairs, he heard giggling and squeal-like noises. Xander ducked in and gave him a hug. "Do you feel better?"
"Much better," Xander told him, giving him a smile. "Sorry to have run you off."
"As you can see, I went from watching you two go at it to soaking and relaxing," Draco told him. "It's fine with me." He ate another cheesestick. "Shouldn't you be with him, not me?"
"If I give in, will you stand up for me again?"
"I already told him that I would. I wouldn't miss the purification rituals for anything," he said lightly. He smacked him. "Go play with your husband, not watch me bathe." Xander gave him another hug and left him alone. "This good guy stuff isn't so hard," he told himself. "That was my second good deed this year." He ate another cheesestick and let himself sink lower in the water. Yes, this was the life he wanted.
Xander walked out of the house and looked up, seeing a small dots flying. "I think they started without us," he said grumpily. It was still early and he was tired. George hadn't let him sleep!
"Come on, they've got your broom already," George told him, walking him back to the field they used to practice in. "Draco?"
"In a moment," he called, heading back into the house.
George looked up as Fred landed beside him. "We worked it out and he accepted my apology."
"It's about time," Bill said, looking at his younger brother. "I might have had to steal him if you didn't shift your arse, brother."
"Mine," Xander told him. He grinned. "Besides, I doubt you'd like to pamper me like I deserve, Bill."
"I'd take you on long flies, give you backrubs and cuddles, and never ignore you."
"Until the next project came along," Draco said as he joined them.
Bill grinned at him. "I'd take him with me."
"I doubt you could put up with the nightmares," George told him, wrapping an arm around his husband's waist. "There is good news however, even beyond this. I've worn him down about renewing our vows."
"Will he actually *say* a vow this time?" Percy teased. "I thought I had been tongue-tied until I remembered your vows."
"What was it?" Simone asked, floating down. "Were they cute?"
Charlie laughed. "Xander got so tongue-tied, he squeaked. That's all, just a bird noise. So George matched him. Cracked us all up."
"This time we're doing all the attendant rituals," George told them. "So divvy up. He's got Draco already."
"I'm for him," Ron told him. He grinned at the others. "Who's doing it?"
"I was going to suggest that Dumbledore do it again this time."
Iggy shook his head. "He's still a bit pissed at him and Sirius," he noted. "Sirius stomped around the next morning until someone," he looked at Simone, "suggest he bend over and take it because at least he'd get something out of it." Draco groaned. "Pain?"
"Embarrassment," Draco told him. "Simone!"
"Sorry, daddy, but my mouth spit it out before my brain could stop it." She grinned. "We had a study hall because he stomped out and refused to come back." She floated closer. "Are we involved?"
"You'd have to wear a dress, hose, and a bra," Denver told her.
"We'll see," Xander told her with a wink.
"Yes, we could go skyclad," George agreed. "That okay with everyone?"
"Huh?" Melvin asked.
"Naked, dear," Percy told him.
"Not a chance," Fred told them all. "I'm not standing around naked."
"You're not embarrassed are you?" Percy teased.
"You'd do it?" Fred demanded.
"I might blush a bit," Percy answered. "It would be a *closed* ceremony?"
"It had better be," Bill said dryly. "I'm not sure I want to prance around starkers even in front of you lot."
"It'd be fun," Xander told him. "Finger food buffet, a lot of sunscreen, maybe even a tent?"
"There'd better be, some of us would burn," Anastasia said primly. "Would all of us have to be that way?" George nodded. "Then I'd vote no."
Xander shrugged. "It was his suggestion. I'm not overly fond of walking around naked in front of you guys either."
"Yes, my daughters might figure all men are built like you and become disenchanted with their future lovers," Draco noted. "What are we doing?"
"You're going to sit down," Bill told him. Draco flipped him off. "Now, Malfoy."
"I'm allowed to fly until I start to feel unbalanced," Draco told him, taking off to float up beside him. "I am a better flyer than most people give me credit for." He looked down at Xander. "Are we training him?"
"Yup," Iggy called. "Come on up, dad."
Xander launched himself and floated up near his son. "Nice work with the healing potion. Thank you."
"We needed to test it anyway," Iggy told him. "I'm glad it worked." He looked at Draco. "Any side effects?"
"Only the intense desire to lounge in a hot bath last night," Draco told him. "Eating cheesesticks."
"Pampering the baby girl will only make her spoiled," Percy told him, but he was smiling to show he was teasing.
George joined them. "Okay, we're here. Goals?" Charlie pointed. "Quaffle?" It was tossed to Iggy. "Good job. Dear, go with Charlie and guard the goal. All you have to do is keep the odd- shaped ball from passing you. We'll work on the multiple goals later."
"If you're sure," Xander told him, heading to the area indicated. "Here?"
"There," Charlie agreed. He pointed at Iggy and Denver. "Go for it!" They flew at Xander, passing the ball back and forth, Simone acting as their backup chaser. Xander knocked it away, blocking it.
"Catch it, Uncle Xander," Denver called. "Toss it out. Or knock it with the broom." He tossed it again, not going back any. Xander barely caught it and then dropped it.
"Okay, he sucks," Iggy announced. "We'll fly and practice, you guys work on him catching." Xander flew down. "Simone, I need training as a keeper. We've lost ours to transfer and Precious injured her shoulder the last practice. She's out for the year."
"Oh, no," Charlie told him. "You're brilliant as a chaser, you stay that way. Keepers aren't hard to train."
"Bet me," Simone told him. "They'd have to live up to our reputations. Unless Mellie can suddenly switch, we're fucked."
"Language," Ron called.
"Yay. We're not at school." She looked around, feeling a familiar tingle. "Bludger!" she called, pointing. Fred tossed her a bat and she flew at it, sending it crashing into one of the nearby trees hard enough to embed it by a few inches. "Safe," she called.
Charlie and Bill flew over. "I'm damn glad I never faced you, Simone," Charlie told her. "You'd have killed me." He shook his head as he flew off.
Bill watched as the ball fell. "Damn sweet," he told her, smiling at her. "Good job."
"Thanks," she said, beaming with the praise. "It's one of my best skills." She flew back and tossed Fred back his bat. "Thanks, Uncle Fred."
"Sweetheart, if it couldn't be our kids, we're damn happy it's a member of the family that's carrying on the traditions of our glory," he assured her. Charlie laughed. "You're not?"
"Hell yeah! First Harry, then Ron and Ravena. The seekers are heavy and glorious around here. I'm proud to be with them." He dodged down some as a breeze started. "Any luck, George?"
"He can't catch," George said in exasperation.
"Sorry, I usually throw small, odd shaped things," Xander defended. "Stakes, knifes. Battle axes." He shrugged. "Balls and I don't get along that great. I'm trying."
"I know," Fred said with a reassuring smile. "Is it correctable?"
"No," Oliver said, shaking his head. "Not in the least. Sorry, Xander."
"Is there another spot?" Xander asked, looking pitiful.
"There's a chaser spot open," Oliver told him. "I can't play because of my professional status so that leaves keeper. Maybe on another team?"
"He plays with us," Fred told him firmly.
"I can be a cheerleader," Xander offered. "Or I can coach. I'm good at giving orders. It'd be like a battle plan."
"Which you excel at," Oliver agreed, smiling at George, who was smirking evilly. "Oh, I know that look," he said, backing away. "Don't involve me."
"Hey, Fred, think we can use a planner?"
"Usually, Oliver used to do that for us, preparing us specifically for the other team," Fred said thoughtfully. He started to touch his burned scalp but forced his hand back down. "What do you think, Ollie?"
Oliver glared at him. "I warned you about that, Weasley." Both of them smiled at him. "Xander, can you switch between styles?"
"Yeah, not a problem," Xander told him. "What about the open spot?"
"Katie," George said with a shrug. Oliver looked at him like he was insane. "Katie and Alicia said they were thinking about signing up."
"Go get 'em, Oliver."
"If anyone can convince our darling ladies, it's you, Oliver," George agreed.
Oliver shook his head and headed back to the house to call them. "Your boys are insane," he told their mother. "They're putting Xander on as a coach."
Arthur burst out laughing. "Battle planning for the games?" he asked. "The other teams will never get a chance."
Molly shook her head and handed Oliver one of the children's sodas. "Are you calling someone, Oliver?"
"The girls. They're in Diagon and I was just ordered by the twins to make them play." He got down beside the fireplace and called out to them. Katie's head appeared. "The twins want you both," he told them.
"You can't play?" she asked with a frown.
"I'm still listed as a pro. I can ref, but not play. They need a chaser and a keeper. George's husband is going to coach."
She laughed. "No shit!" He nodded. "Alicia!" she yelled, disappearing for a moment. They both came back. "Tell her, she doesn't believe me."
"Xander, George's husband, is coaching. Can't catch worth a damn," he said with a grin.
"What's his thing?" Alicia asked, looking at Katie.
"He's a fighter, battles and the like," Katie told her. Oliver nodded.
"Hell, for that, we'll call in the help. Give us an hour to get changed and all that." They disappeared.
Oliver smiled as he stood up and opened the soda. He took a sip and grimaced. "What is that? It's sickly." He looked at the label. "Grape my arse."
"The kids all drink it," Ron said, walking his son around. "He fell." He grinned. "Vinnie, want that soda with your sisters?" The boy nodded and reached for it. "Go outside so you don't spill it all over the house." He walked out, soda clutched firmly against his chest so they wouldn't waste a drop. "They in?"
Oliver nodded. "Yeah. They'll be here in an hour. Are you playing?"
"Chaser, the second one on the list." Ron grinned. "I'm not great, but I can play."
"Wonderful," Oliver agreed, letting Ron lead the way outside. "Who's the first?"
"Madam Rosemerta's blonde little bartender," Ron said with a grin. "Madam Rosemerta played beater. She's on another team."
"Oooh. She's got to play like Simone." He shook his head. Those female beaters were all scary.
Actually, thinking back, all females playing were scary. The three he had played with were scary in their determination to play. He wondered what had happened to Angelina and decided to ask the girls when they showed up. They would probably know. They had been friends. He walked back outside. "They'll be here in an hour," he called as he walked out to where everyone was flying. He looked at Xander. "You got a plan yet?"
"A few," Xander said with a small smirk. "Let me run them by you," he said, leaning closer to whisper to him.
Oliver's eyes widened. "Can you do that?"
"Sure. I've seen Iggy do it. Let him show the girls with Denver and see if they can match it. After all, they're experienced and should be able to pick it up, right?" Oliver nodded. "Does that sound good?"
"I'd hate to play against you," Oliver told him, walking away to grab his broom. "Want to fly and play with us?"
"Sure," Xander said as he grabbed his broom. "Fred, come listen!" Fred and George flew closer. "Remember that move that Simone was trying out with you this summer, Fred?" Fred nodded, starting to smirk. "Learn it. Learn that one and the one she's working out on paper right now." He smiled at his mate. "You too. I've got a plan for the chasers. Ron!" Ron flew down, flying close. He whispered to him. "Can you do that?"
"Is that what Iggy and Denver did?" Xander nodded. "Hell yeah!" he said with an evil chuckle. "I can do that. Boys, help me learn this," he called, bringing the boys flying to his side of the field.
"Simone!" Fred called. "Come help us." She nodded them to where she was. "What are you doing on paper?" Her eyes widened. "Xander wants us to learn that and that thing you did in the last game last year."
She cackled, making everyone look at her. "Oh, Uncle Xander, you are mean," she called. "Come closer, pretty young men, let me tell you how I figured out how to aim the suckers right at the seeker's head and make it go in a perfect curve to come up behind him." They moved closer, talking quietly.
Xander looked at Oliver. "Will that be a good general plan?"
"This is supposed to be a fun league," Draco reminded him.
Oliver looked at him, then smirked. "That's why they broke it up into those who played on their house teams and those who haven't." Draco laughed. "Are you going to sign up to ref?"
"Why not," Draco said with a nod. "Xander, may I help?"
"Who's their seeker?"
"They have three candidates," Oliver told him. "Seekers don't really have to train."
"No, but we have to learn to get out of the way," Draco told him. Oliver laughed. "You didn't have to train Potter that way?"
"Nah, he had sense enough to try and avoid it all. Said something about being knocked around enough already." He looked down as two people walked out to join them. "Ladies," he said, flying down to give them hugs. "Welcome to our training camp of insanity. I assume you know most everyone?"
Katie mounted and lifted off, coming up near Xander. "You look good on that thing."
"Thanks," he said with a smile. "You missed it, we almost got killed by a dragon."
"Glad I missed it," Alicia said as she and Oliver joined them. "What're we doing?"
"It depends. Katie, can you play keeper?" Xander asked. She nodded. "Would you rather not?"
"Actually, I'm slow enough that I'd prefer it until I get back into the swing of things," she told him.
"Good, because I sucked at it so I'm taking over as evil planning genius." He smiled at Alicia. "Go help Ron learn this new trick the boys figured out." She flew off. "Oliver, would you mind working with her?"
"Not a bit," Oliver said with a smile. He and Katie flew off to where the goals were.
"Bludger's back up," Fred yelled in warning, ducking the stupid thing.
George took the bat and hit it, sending it toward the house. "Oops!"
Xander pulled his wand and hit it with a patch of ice, making it fall. "It's down again. Is that one ours?"
"No, it's the nearest wizarding neighbor's," Charlie told him. "The Diggorys had a son who played before he died. Every once in a while they let the balls out."
"I'm sorry. What happened?"
"Voldemort and Harry. The tournament."
"Oh, he told me about that. Are they okay?"
"Yeah, it's missing him mostly. We'll hike over later and give the bludger back." He smiled. "Are you planning on smashing the other team's faces?"
"Oh, yeah," Xander told him. "If you're going to play sports, play to win." He winked at him and looked at Bill. "Either of you want to fill in for missing people?"
"I'll play seeker so Draco can stay safe," Charlie told him. Draco looked at him. "Go for a fly, you could probably use it."
"I'll stay and watch. I did head my house team, the same as you did," he told Charlie, floating closer to Xander. "Can I help plan strategy?"
"Sure," Xander agreed. "Can you do that officially?"
Draco looked at Wood. "Can I?"
He shrugged. "As far as I know. Potter's been asked by a team to coach them. You'd have to check the rules." He flew off to rejoin Katie.
Xander looked around. "I need a whistle," he mused.
Draco whistled, making everyone look at them. "Like that?"
"Yeah, just like that." He smiled at them. "Let's try it once with the kids running opposition." They nodded and the adults got together to talk for a moment before someone grabbing the quaffle and taking off. The kids ran interference, all but Simone because she didn't want to hurt anyone on this team. She cheered and bounced on her broom as her Uncles got both moves right, even though Fred rubbed his now-aching shoulder. "Yes!" Xander shouted as Alicia scored. "How did that feel?"
"Mean," Katie told him, but she was smiling. "Did you take lessons from Oliver?" He swatted at her and she smiled. "It's something you would plan against Malfoy and his idiots."
Draco smiled at her as he flew closer to them. "He says thank you and my merry band of idiots almost never fly anymore."
She moved closer. "How are you feeling? May I?" He shifted so she could look at his stomach. "You look big. How far?"
"Twenty-six weeks. The temporal spell snapped her a bit ahead."
"Oh, a girl?" Oliver asked, smiling at him. "You're sure?" Draco nodded. "Wonderful news." He shook his head. "I can't believe I'm congratulating you. I used to hate you." Draco burst out laughing. "Sorry, had a moment of disbelief. Congrats, mate." He nodded the girls away. "Come on, let's chat. I missed you two."
They flew off to join him.
"First game's in a week," Ron noted. "Will we be ready?"
"We'll need the rest of the team," Xander told him. "Otherwise, a few practices should be good enough for a first game." He shrugged at the look Fred gave him. "You guys need to practice on your own, I'm talking full team practices."
"I guess," Fred agreed. "Every night this week all right with you guys?"
"Where are we holding games?" Alicia asked.
"Any in Hogsmeade are at the school," Oliver told her. "I'm ref for the first game, which is you guys against the bookstore and the tailors."
"We need names," Xander told him. Oliver and Draco both nodded. "How are they distinguishing?"
"Colors. This team is blue, the one you're playing against is white."
"It's supposed to rain next Saturday," Alicia told them.
"I'm sure they'll be fine," Draco said with a smirk. "I've seen them practice. They're not a unified team, they're parts of a whole."
"Fortunately, most of us have played together before," Fred told him, winking at Katie. She winked back. "Are we missing any players?"
"If Katie can play keeper and you've got Alicia for chaser, then all you need is a seeker," Xander told him.
"We're picking him tomorrow." George looked around. "Can we play against the kids? Simone, not you. As much as I'd like to soon, we're not ready to face you yet." She shrugged and flew over to help Uncle Xander watch.
"We're not a full team," Iggy reminded him. "We've got two chasers." Melvin coughed. "Three chasers," he said with a grin for his cousin, "and a beater if Raena will come out and play."
"I can play beater," Bill suggested. "Charlie was the seeker, and Percy, keeper?" Percy shook his head and went down to land, going in to get Raena and let her fly since she hadn't brought her broom. "That means we need a keeper."
"Gee, that's like our house team," Iggy told him dryly.
"We've got a candidate," Simone assured him. "She's scared of you."
"Yay. Potions are dangerous and you can't fuck around in there," Iggy told her. "Do I know her?"
"A nice little who girl came in with Ron. Speaking of which, where are Ron and Ravena?" She looked around. "Ron, Ravena!"
A snitch whizzed past her, and everyone had to get out of the way as the two seekers raced after it.
"Come back, Goddess Snitch," Ravena called. "I promise, we'll just play with you for now!"
"Come on, my personal Goddess. We love you. The other one is in her shirt!" Ron called.
Xander looked after them, then started to laugh. "Gee, seekers," he laughed. The others started to laugh, all but Draco who shook his head. "It's funny," Xander told him.
"My daughter's carrying a snitch in her shirt," Draco told him. "That's not normal." He looked after them, watching them struggle to catch the snitch. "Children!" he snapped. They caught it in their cupped hands. "Thank you. We're playing, and need a keeper." Ron looked hurt. "I know, but it's just for now. Please?"
"Get one of the others," Ravena said coolly. "We're seekers, father, not keepers. We don't switch about." She took the snitch and released it. "Let's play away from these guys, Ronnie." He nodded and followed the snitch as it zipped off, her right behind him.
"How did they get that way?" Charlie asked.
Draco looked at him, giving him a disgusted look. "Potter taught his son that the snitch was a Goddess, his personal one, and that it was the most beautiful thing in the world. The only thing worth having. Then he bought his son one and he eventually taught my daughter the same values."
"So they're pretty muchly a couple?" Bill suggested. Draco nodded. "Thought so. How is he taking that?"
"I think he's still pounding his head on the walls," Ron told him. "Beaters and chasers only?"
"Sounds good to us," Katie told him. "I could use the practice, just in case."
"Katie, darling, been meaning to ask. Have you heard anything about Angelina?"
She sighed and nodded. "She's not happy, but is married with a daughter. Her husband's a bigger asshole than we thought Malfoy ever was. They're separated."
"If you want, you can invite her up and we'll rotate you three," Fred offered. "Especially if we can find a second keeper candidate so Katie can play chaser now and then."
"She hasn't flown in years," Alicia told him. "I'm not sure she'd be interested."
"It wouldn't hurt to pop around and ask," George said with a smile. The girls nodded. "Want to invite her around or should we pop over?"
"We should probably invite her up and nag her until she comes," Alicia told him. "She's been shy recently."
"You can have it at the tower," Xander offered.
"Dear, you nearly scared off Oliver. You can come down and meet her but we'll wait to invite her to the insanity that is our home," George told him. Xander shrugged and looked pleased. "How's Tuesday?" he asked the girls. They shrugged. "Then invite her around, and she can bring her daughter if she wants. It's not like we don't have stuff for kids around the store."
Fred nodded. "Iggy's still got toys around the shop as well. Even if she's an infant, we can deal with it."
"I think she's about two or three," Katie said, looking at Alicia. "Give us a few," she decided. She and Alicia landed and headed into the house to get their friend. She needed some laughter.
"Who's watching the store?" Oliver asked the twins.
"Our new help," Fred said proudly. "We spent the last two days training them. Plus, we sprung one of our most loyal customers to monitor them, with the promise of a great new treat. Xander, we'll need something for Gibbons."
"I've got a notebook full of stuff that could be tried out," he admitted. George looked at him. "It's not like I could work in the lab with you."
"Good point," George sighed. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right," Xander told him. "Just remember what I said. If it happens again, I'm walking away and taking up with someone younger."
"Yes, dear." George smiled at him. "No one specific?"
"I can't very well hog Draco," Xander sighed, rolling his eyes. "I'd have to pick one of those horny little creatures known as seventh years and let them prove that they had enough talent to be taken on as my love slave." Draco looked at him. "No?"
"Xander, if you ever leave him and take another lover, I'd have to help you pick them so they'd be able to keep you calm," Draco told him. "Otherwise you'd pick someone opposite you. It'd be like William and Zach."
"They'll never get together. William likes breasts," Iggy told him. "They're going to be close friends, like Maeve and Lucien."
"Maybe Zach and Lucien?" Xander suggested.
Draco shuddered. "We'd kill each other over their relationships. Maybe Maeve and Zach? They're not technically related."
"Snape would stop it," Denver reminded him. "He's very proper about that stuff. Zach and William, with Maeve butting in and Lucien getting jealous. That's my prediction."
"Lucien is gay," George told him. Draco glared at him. "He is! Watch him sometime. The only girl he likes is Maeve. Lucien and William, with him keeping Maeve and Zach being the trouble buddy."
"They're related," Oliver pointed out.
"Nope," Xander told him. "William is actually me from another dimension changed closer to become our son. He was officially changed to be my son, but Iggy never really changed him fully to a Weasley by more than nature."
"So, it'd be a mini-you, with the mini-Malfoy, and the little Harris-Weasley in as a best friend?" Oliver said, trying to understand. George nodded. "That's scary, guys."
"Scary is the mini-him and the mini-Snape," Denver told him. "Those two are horrible together. At least Lucien only goes to pick on the Slytherins."
"Threesome with our daughter having her own ladies?" Xander suggested. Iggy snickered. "They'll be with whomever they end up with. Let's wait until they're old enough to realize what sex is before we worry about that stuff. We still have to tell Lucien that he can't touch Maeve in certain ways." Draco groaned. "That's my feeling."
"No, pain," Draco told him. Xander lunged for him, holding him still. "Not a cramp."
"Shh, I've got you," Xander said gently, cradling him against his body. George and Ron got him from two other sides, slowly getting him to the ground. "It's all right," he said, stroking the firm stomach to try and calm her down. He could feel her moving about, she wasn't happy either.
"Let me through!" Iggy demanded, pushing through everybody. He knelt between his father and his Uncle Ron, reaching out to touch the baby. "She's fine," he announced. "Just a bit pissed at the world. Uncle Draco, you need a nap." Draco glared at him. "It's the only thing that will calm her down, you in that totally relaxed state." He stood up and helped his Uncle up, walking him into the house, but blocking the doorway so all the fussy people couldn't help. "Grandmother, he needs a nap. The baby decided to do gymnastics in his stomach and won't calm down."
"Put him in Percy's room, dear," she said, staring after them. "Is he all right? Should we call someone?"
"No, it's the excitement and the stress and all that," Iggy called back. "Stop everybody from coming up to help him nap. Only one person allowed." He walked Draco into Percy's former room and laid him on the large bed. "Here you are," he said with a smile. "Do you meditate?"
"I'm a bit out of practice," Draco admitted, feeling a little bit better. "Just the excitement?"
"And some stress with the job and dealing with the fighting couple," Iggy said with a smile. He heard his cousin's name yelled. "Do you want anyone in particular to come up and help you nap?"
"No, I think I can handle this one."
"I want you to really rest, Uncle Draco. No semi-naps where you think. I want you fully conked out so the baby has to calm down. The sooner you get calm, the sooner she will." Draco nodded. "Are you sure? I can get someone."
He smiled. "I'm sure they're drawing straws or some such for that honor," Draco said dryly. He kicked off his shoes. "I'm resting."
"Don't make me knock you out," Iggy warned. He walked out and closed the door, going to give strict instructions to his grandparents.
Simone looked around. "RAVENA!" she yelled. A snitch came flying, amusing Charlie to no end.
"Her snitch answers to her name?"
"It's probably been trained that she catches it when someone calls her name," Denver told him. Simone nodded and jumped to try and catch it. Charlie caught it and handed it over, after getting a good look at it. "Ravena?"
She came swooping in with Ron. "What?" she asked angrily, taking her snitch back. "You bellowed, sister?"
"Daddy started to feel bad again," Simone said, looking worried. "Iggy put him in bed. Said he has to rest. It's excitement and stress."
"I'll be his comfort snuggle," she agreed, hopping off her broom before it landed. "RON!" Ron jumped and looked at her. "Not you, Uncle Ron. RONNIE!" He zoomed in at high speed. "Watch my snitch, daddy needs me." She pushed past all the larger people, and broke the entry barrier. She walked up the steps, moving past the three people in the hallway. "I'm his comforter. Any instructions?" she asked as she continued down the hall.
"He's in Percy's room," Molly called after her. The girl switched direction. "Iggy?"
"Make him nap. I'll send the adorable ones up in a while to help you," Iggy told her. She nodded and walked in. "That was close."
"Lucien is at Harry's," she told him, wringing her hands. "You're sure?"
"Absolutely. I checked the power flows around the baby, she just got a little bit excited as well. She'll be fine with a nap and so will he." They nodded and walked away. Iggy shook his head. He came from a long line of fussers, it was clear now that he got it from both sides. He headed down to talk to everyone else. It wasn't a common occurrence yet, but they would have to be careful the closer he got to his due date, just like last time.
Ravena slid into the bed in front of her father, giving him a hug. "Do you need anything, father? Window opened, another blanket, anything?"
He put an arm around her waist and kissed her on the forehead. "I'm fine, dear. You don't have to stay."
"I do, she'll need a female to understand her." She got up and opened the window, it was a little stuffy in there. "How's that?"
"Good," he said with a smile. "You're learning how to fuss from Iggy?"
"Yeah." She kicked off her shoes and her outer shirt, climbing back in to cuddle him. She put a hand on his stomach. "I'm here, and I understand. There's been a number of days when I wanted to bounce around. Just wait for a few more months, all right?" Her father chuckled and pulled her closer. "You rest, father, I'll watch over you and even beat up Simone if she comes in to bother you."
"You know I don't mind you children," he told her. He yawned. "I think I will nap."
"Yes, you will," she agreed firmly.
Draco smiled. She sounded just like his grandmother at her most fierce. One hell of a woman embodied in his wonderful daughter's body and manner. He fell asleep, comforted by that thought.
Ravena put on her most fierce face, scaring even Uncle Xander when he came in to check on them. "Out. He can't rest with all that noise." They left, closing the door behind them.
Little Ron's snitch flew in the window and she smiled, reaching out to touch it. "I'll play later, he needs me," she whispered. The snitch zoomed off, going to find her usual playmate.
The team stood around on the entry platform, adjusting their new robes so they settled comfortably, all except George, who was getting rumpled by his husband. He moaned and then whimpered as something was whispered to him. "No fair."
"What's no fair?" Fred asked, leaning on his broom to watch them. They did look good together.
"He said that I can't have sex unless we win," George announced.
Xander smiled at him, running his fingertip over his mate's lips. "If you do win, you'll get blown," he enticed.
"That won't exactly work as inspiration for the rest of us," Katie noted.
"The rest of you can have massages," Xander offered. Fred and Oliver moaned and he grinned his most naughty grin at them. "Half hour for each of you."
"Is he that good?" Alicia asked Fred.
"He gave me one and I nearly slept with him," Oliver told her. "And I don't like guys enough to look."
The women looked impressed and the new seeker giggled. "If we win by more than a hundred points, can we have more than a half-hour?"
Xander considered it. "Win by two hundred or more and I'll make it an hour, but we'll have to spread them out over a few days so I don't lose the feeling in my hands."
Katie and Alicia looked at each other again, then burst out in laughter. "Come on, guys, we've got to win this game!" Alicia announced. "I need a good massage, I haven't had one in years."
"Get in your positions," Oliver chastised teasingly. "You know the drill, dear." She winked at him and found her spot. They waited, hearing the other team get announced first, then they were off.
Xander leaned against the wall, looking at his team. Oh, the others didn't stand a chance. "Are you sure they used to play?" he asked when two chasers nearly ran into each other.
"They probably haven't practiced since their school days and they filled in back then," Oliver suggested, smiling as Alicia caught the quaffle and took off with it like there was no tomorrow. He laughed as the keeper dove for the wrong goal, being faked out totally. He nodded at a small section of the pitch, people watching intently. "The other coaches."
"Yay. It's not like they can get past us," Xander told him with a grin. Fred ducked the bludger sent at his head and let his twin get that one, diving to get the other one, and incidentally out of that one's path. "Don't hit him!" he called. Oliver nudged him. "I'm the coach on the papers, I can yell at them."
"Let them play, those two have a psychic connection about where each other is. They always have."
"They have more than that," Xander told him, continuing to watch the game. Oliver looked at him in shock. "What?" he asked, glancing at him. He noticed the snitch and smiled, pointing it out. "There it is. Bright but tarnished. Ron and Ravena both offered to clean it up for them."
The seekers stayed where they were, not seeing it. Oliver pulled Xander back and let the curtains close. "Am I invited for the backrubs?"
"Sure. Stupid kids?"
"A few," Oliver agreed with a smile. "You can even warm up with me if you want."
"I was going to invite everyone back to the house or to the shop and do them there after or before their showers," Xander told him, "but go get the bench and we'll work on yours." Oliver dragged the bench over and laid down on it on his stomach, letting Xander fix himself however he wanted. The warm hands that touched him made him wince, but he soon lost all that tension. He didn't even move when the crowd went wild outside. "Sounds like we won," Xander said as the team came back in. "Hi, guys."
"They're dressed at least," Fred said, grinning at Xander. "With the noises he's making, I'd wonder about him and you."
"I don't. Oliver would already be asleep," George said, coming over to give his husband a kiss. "Student stress?"
"Yup." Xander gave Oliver one last firm knead and stood up. "I'll get the rest in a few, Oliver."
"Thanks, Xander. I already feel a lot better. I'll let you do the rest on my arms," he said with a lazy and sleepy smile.
"Damn, we only won by thirty points," Katie sighed.
"There's always next week," Xander told them, smirking. "Which house are we heading back to?"
"The shop," Fred told him. "Less kids that way. Mellie's loving the babysitting money."
"Okay, let's head there. Fred, can you pop down to get food?" George asked. "I saw Madam Rosemerta looking around at the crowd so she's probably expecting a rush."
"Pastry things?" George and Xander both nodded. "All right. Money?" Xander handed over a small bag. "Payday?"
"Yup," Xander told him. "Come on, my lovely little hellions, we have two showers for everyone to use and I'll start on whomever's out first." Everyone picked up their gear and practically ran back to the shop. Xander smiled at his husband. "Want one now, or later?"
"I'll take it once we get back," he said, stealing a kiss. "Oliver, are you coming back with us?" he asked when he noticed that the poor man was napping now.
"I'll get him," Fred told him. "No sex in my room this time." He tapped Oliver, waking him up so they could follow the twins. "Or in the shop itself," he said as an afterthought, watching them snuggle into each other as they walked showed that they might not wait until they made it back to their room.
George smiled back at him. "We haven't done that in five months."
"Five? I thought the last time was seven!" Fred said, faintly disgusted. Someone had sex in his bed and it hadn't been him.
"Don't worry, Fred, we snuck into your closet so we wouldn't wake you up," Xander told him. Oliver snorted. "He was mean and locked our door! It was that or the kids' rooms and they were sleeping too."
Fred groaned. "You two are scrubbing my room this weekend." They walked into the shop, nodding at the female watching the counter for them. "Do us a favor, Carina, don't let those two have sex in the store itself."
"That's a nasty thought," their worker told him. "Do they at least clean up after themselves?"
"No," George told her. "He usually leaves me lying there napping." He grinned at her. "How's our vampire in the basement?"
"Slimy, nasty, and horny, just like he was the last time I saw him," she said dryly, watching as they went into the back room. "They do what in here?" She looked around. "Where?" There wasn't a proper soft spot to be found in this part of the building. She sighed, they were probably teasing her.
Xander closed their bedroom door behind himself and grinned at his mate, who was getting out of his new uniform as quickly as he could. "Lay down," he said in a husky voice. George dove for the bed, taking off his socks at the last moment. Xander smiled as he stripped for his mate, making him salivate and get this goofy look on his face. When he was done, he slid onto his mate's body, stealing a kiss before moving lower. He took a long sniff, just slightly sweaty, just enough to flavor his mate's skin. He smelled good.
"What do I get if we win the league?" George groaned as he was teased. "Xander, no teasing. There are people who can hear us."
"So?" He licked up the underside. "What do you want if you win the league?"
George moaned and grabbed his husband's head, making him look at him. "No more teasing, Xander, or I'll pound you into the bed instead."
Xander grinned and licked the head. "Really?"
George collapsed bonelessly. "I would but you'd like it too much," he noted. He was swallowed and let out a low, visceral moan that reverberated off the stone walls. "Yes, I like that," he said, shifting some. Xander accommodated him easily and kept going. "I want dinner out and a raunchy night in a cheap motel," he ground out. "Toys and all. No clean-up needed. Yes!" he shouted, moving faster. His hips were grabbed and forced to still while his husband did what he wanted. "Xander!" he groaned, straining. He was so close, all he needed was a little pressure, but Xander knew that and was still teasing him. "Stop teasing!" he demanded, pulling Xander off him to look at him. He was panting and nearly insane. "Do it right, dear, or you get nothing later."
"We'll see." Xander opened the bedside drawer and pulled out a small dildo, waving it around. "Want to watch?"
"Xander," George said, reaching for him. "My turn. You can have some later." He pushed the head back into his lap, but watched as the toy disappeared inside his mate's body, making him groan louder. Xander was pleasing them both, it was one of his favorite positions. Yes, he would be doing his mate later, for quite a while.
Katie walked out of the first shower, drying her hair, a towel wrapped around her body. "Which room is he waiting in?" she asked as she walked past Fred to grab her bag.
"They're still in theirs," Fred said with a grin. He winced as his twin groaned and started to beg. "Shouldn't be long now." She looked up at him like he was insane. "Xander's teasing him and he adores it, but it drives him insane."
"Watched them have you?" Alicia asked as she joined them.
"He likes to do long, slow teases starting in the shop, it's hard to miss," Fred told her. He smiled at them. "Let me get some clothes and you guys can use my room." He led them to his room, reminding himself that everything was cleaned up and tidy. He had even changed his sheets that morning. He reached into his closet and had to bite his lip as George screamed in outrage. "Must have an extra something," he told them. Next came a moan and he felt himself react but shrugged it off. They had seen him at the peak of his horniness, they would understand.
"What the hell is he doing to him?" Alicia asked in awe. "I've never heard him make noise like that before. I've never heard *anybody* make noise like that before," she said in awe.
"Yeah, George used to be the quiet one," Katie agreed, looking at the adjoining wall. She pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, neglecting anything else. "Fred, do you think we could peek? I've never seen anyone do that stuff before."
Fred shook his head but he was smiling. "I don't think they'd notice if we moved a couch in there and ate popcorn," he told them. "They're next door." Alicia finished dressing and they hurried over to sneak a look. Fred shivered. How very kinky. He felt a nudge in the bond he had with his brother and heard giggling as the girls came back. "He kick you out?"
"He saw us and it made him get off," Katie said. "He likes being watched."
"Xander likes to perform so I guess they fit," Fred told him. "Give him ten minutes, Xander doesn't usually nap afterwards." He took his clothes with him to the bathroom, heading to take a slightly cooler shower than he actually wanted. George stumbled in and turned on the empty shower fully cold, moaning as he stepped under it. "Good?" he teased.
"Fucking tease," George told him. He looked over the half-wall. "Fred, he needs spanked."
"You have cuffs and the like," Fred told him. He turned to soap up his back. "We both know who wears the handcuffs in your family."
"Yeah, me," George told him. Fred spluttered. "Xander likes it when I'm weak and helpless to defend myself against him."
Fred groaned and turned down the hot water. "I didn't need to know that."
"He won't let me tie him down at all," George said sadly. "He says he thrashes too much." He turned on some hot water and grabbed his own bar of soap. "Did I see the door open and the naughty little women peeking in?"
"Yes," Fred said smugly. "You made them giggle."
George shrugged. "Xander wasn't bothered by it and they've seen us." He turned to soap up his chest. "Though we might have hit on a kink of his."
"Don't you mean yours?" Katie asked from the doorway. "Xander wanted to know if you were done wearing his wedding ring."
George stood up on his tiptoes. "It's on the dresser."
"You put it in the little gold box," Fred told him.
"It's in the gold box on the dresser," George amended.
"Thank you. By the way, good show. Very nice." She laughed and walked away.
George tuned off the hot water completely and just stood there. His twin laughed. "Just you wait, I'll find you someone who does this to you."
"I'm not the one who likes to be watched," Fred pointed out, turning off his shower. He dried off and got dressed as quickly as he could, going to sit in line and wait for his own backrub. By the time George joined him, the ladies were moaning. Only Katie was getting her back done, but the moans were inspiring the others to get a little warm as well.
George pouted at his mate. "I should probably be jealous. Usually you only gets me to make that noise." He sat down beside Fred, watching as his husband worked on the warm, fit, tanned flesh. It was inspiring. It was hot. He would have to make Xander take a break and finish off the little tease soon. As soon as Katie was done, George hopped up and grabbed Xander, taking him back into their room. "Be right back, loves." He slammed the door and locked it this time, pouncing his mate before he had the chance to protest.
"He's a tad bit jealous," Fred told them. "It won't take more than a minute. Xander will wear him out and we'll have him all to ourselves." George's door was thumped on and Xander walked back in, smugly licking his damp lips. "Did you leave him on the floor?"
"I put him on the bed," Xander said with mock-hurt. "I only leave him lying around when it's on the counter and I can't lift him or we're in your bed, Fred." He smiled at Alicia and motioned her closer. "Where would you like my magical fingers, dear?"
"My back and arms?" she asked cutely, smiling at him. She nudged Katie out of the way and laid in the puddle of drool. "Please, Xander?"
"Oh, I love it when they beg," he teased, sitting beside her to work on her back. "Beg more, it turns George on." She laughed and Katie looked at him. "It does. George likes it when I'm appreciated that way. As long as I'm wearing clothes."
"And underwear," Fred noted. The girls looked at him. "He has this problem of forgetting it sometimes and then George gets very jealous and has to do things like kiss him into a puddle in Diagon. It's quite scandalous."
"Just because I'm usually wearing sweats," Xander told him.
"Wear tight jeans and come visit us next time?" Katie asked impishly. "He won't be jealous of us."
Xander nodded. "Yes, he would. He got jealous of Fred."
"And Draco, and Percy, and Bill," Fred put in helpfully. The girls looked at him. "He is George's. He has permission to tease and make hot, but nothing further. My beloved twin slapped the last person who tried to pinch him."
"She was nasty," Xander reminded him. "Stupid reporter at that." The girls goggled at them. "What?" he asked innocently. "It wasn't like I was wearing a tiny swimsuit or something. I wasn't in anything like what Draco forced me into the other night."
"Why?" the seeker asked from his position on the floor.
"He was fixing mine and George's fight," Xander told him. "Tiny little green swimsuit."
"Speedo?" Alicia asked with a faint tinge of moan in her voice.
Xander worked a sore spot out, making her groan and go limp. "Smaller."
"Thong?" Katie asked.
"Smaller," Xander told her, grinning and blushing both. "Tinier, shiny, and very tight." She gave him a helpless look. "George confiscated it so no one else could see me in it." Both women got up and headed for their room to look for it. "I'll get your arms later," Xander called after them. Alicia waved as they disappeared. "Who's next?"
"I am," the seeker said, standing up. He looked around. "Where did Ron and the barmaid go?"
"She had to go to work and Ron went to get the food," Fred told him. "It'll probably be about ten more minutes." He smirked. "He gets his last."
"She told me she didn't need one," Xander told him. "She'd get me to work on her wrists some night instead." He started on the guy's back, making him go limp as well. "Feel good?" He nodded. "Tell me if I hit a sore spot. You're one big lump of tension." He continued to work out the tension, looking over at Fred. "Did you have any plans for tonight?"
"I was thinking a night at the tavern," Fred admitted. "Listening to the other guys complain."
"I could go for that," Xander agreed. "Ron might head back up, but I can stay."
"Good, we'll go together," Fred agreed, smiling at the sound of a snore. "Finish him off and you can get me in Iggy's room," he said quietly, standing up. He ran into the giggling twosome in the hallway, looking at the tiny swimsuit. "Dental floss?" he asked, taking it to look at. "How do men wear those?"
Katie pointed at the wide part. "That's to cover you." She smirked. "He must have nearly fallen out of it." Alicia nodded.
"Probably. Draco keeps getting upset because Xander's bigger." He pointed at Iggy's door. "He's doing mine in there since our wonderful seeker is taking a nap. Join me for a talk?" They followed him in, Katie tossing the bathing suit back onto the dresser. He flopped down into Iggy's reading chair. "Make yourselves at home. The boy genius and his wife are off somewhere in the dungeons."
They looked around. A few books here and there. A poster. A large desk with a lot of scrolls scattered on it. "Alchemy?" Katie asked, pointing at a book.
"He's working on an alchemy-based healing spell," Fred told her, fudging the truth a bit. He trusted them, but they had gossiped in their youth. Alicia smiled at him. "All right, he's got one done, but you can't tell. It'll put the kids in danger."
"Never dream of it," Katie assured him. "I thought he'd have more books."
Fred looked on the desk and found the book case Iggy had said he had left, and had been whining at him to bring up for him. He unshrunk it and opened it up. This was the new, larger version. They stared at the collection. Close to eight hundred shrunken books. "He carries it around with him," he told them. They looked at him, still looking shocked. "Some of those are copies from his new program and some are ones that he bought with his thrice-yearly book allowance. There's some things in here that I'm not even sure the boy knows what they are."
Alicia picked one book up and unbuttoned the band around it, smiling as it popped up to normal size in her hand. "That's handy. Must make moving easier."
"It must take all their money to keep him in books and paper," Katie noted, picking up one of her own. She blushed and put that one back. "I see he's a normal, healthy, fifteen year old."
"Oh, yeah," Fred agreed with a smile. "We have to help keep him off Raena every now and then. Though they do get to sleep together at home."
"Your mum let them?" Alicia asked with a grin. Molly had made her sleep on a couch when she had come over for a weekend at the Burrow.
"They're married," Fred said with a shrug. "She can't do much about it really. She told us repeatedly that we weren't to do anything in her house unless we were married, and they did so. She had to let them." He grinned. "Mum did put an anti-sex charm on their room of course, but other than that, they spent most of the summer curled up together brewing one thing or another. They're adorable when they do that."
"Has Snape caught them?" Katie asked, putting the book she had taken from Alicia back and closing the case. It immediately shrunk itself again. "That's a neat spell."
"It comes in handy for him," Fred agreed. "Snape is *the* catcher of those two. He caught them groping last night in the dungeon while they worked on something together and iced them." They laughed. "One hand on her thigh, nuzzling his face into her stomach begging to do more. Snape encased them both in ice for a good twenty minutes."
Katie smirked. "At least he knows the beauty of pleasuring his woman. That's a rare thing for boys of any age."
"My nephew is brilliant that way," Fred agreed. "Surprising since he used to hate his body enough to want to cut his willie off." The girls laughed. "He got so distressed because his was bigger than the other guys that he turned himself into a five-year-old so he wouldn't have to deal with it. Cute little bugger."
Alicia shook her head, but she was laughing so hard she was leaning on her best friend. "Pictures?" she gasped.
"That blue photo album on the desk is his fathers'. Raena stole it to have him tell her what they were." He smirked. "There's quite a few shots in there that embarrass the hell outta him." Xander walked in and cracked his knuckles. "Do you want to finish Alicia first or do me?"
Xander smiled down at him and gave him a pat on the head. "Fred, I'm sorry, but you moved too slow, dear. I know you tried to capture me but George was just more forceful." Fred swatted at his hand. "Sorry, I couldn't resist," he said with a wink. "Either's fine with me. My arms aren't tired, that'll be after I polish my sword tonight." The girls burst out laughing. "Really. My two- handed broad sword needs it. Very pretty and sharp, but it's a bit heavy for me to use anymore. I'm working back up to it with my lighter swords."
"You have weapons?" Katie asked. Xander nodded, grinning at her. "Like real ones? Not with dulled edges?"
"With what I do, a dulled edge would make it pointless to carry," Xander told her, leading her out to the weapons cabinets in the front room. He proudly showed off his collection, much to her delight.
"Why is that battle axe bent?" she asked, pointing at his favorite one.
"The person who gave it to me used it to beat at something bigger and stony. It bent on their body." He pulled it down and showed it to her. It wasn't an extreme bend. "I've gotten used to it this way because I can't find anyone to fix it. It's deceptive when it's coming toward you so it's all good in a fight as well. Most people duck sideways instead of backward and most of them go toward where the blade is bent because they think it'll swing in the other direction. So I get them anyway." He grinned and put it back. "These are my toys." He closed the door and opened the other case, showing off his new sword. "I just got this one the other day. Isn't it pretty?"
"Very," Katie agreed. "May I?" He nodded and she picked up the sword with a mental groan of pain for her wrists. It was definitely not meant for women to swing. She looked at the carvings on the hilt, then handed it back. He swung it easily. No wonder he had been able to make her get off with a backrub. "George lets you play with your weapons in the house?"
"No," he said with a sheepish grin, putting it back in its case. "I broke a lamp and that was all for playing in the house. I do it outside or up at the school. I have a room setup so I can practice this stuff and not cut up the students for fun." He winked and led her back to his son's room. "She thought my new sword was pretty."
"It is," Fred agreed, he pointed at Alicia, who was lying on the bed. "Go for it, I can wait."
Xander chuckled evilly. "Back for more, pretty one?" he asked as he started on her arms and shoulders. She moaned and went limp under him.
Katie looked down at Fred. "Do you think George would mind if we stole him?"
"George asked what he got if you guys won the league," Xander told her.
"I want a night with you at my beck and call," Alicia told him. He laughed. "George can come, I promise I won't do anything sexual."
"We'll think about it," Xander told her. "Fred, would you please send me my new sword tonight so I can get it past Draco?"
"Sure. He still doesn't know about your other room?"
"Nope. I swore Dumbledore, Tara, and Snape to secrecy."
"Why does Snape know?" Alicia murmured. "He doesn't seem like one who'd help you move."
"It's down near his office. Besides, I couldn't demand Tara keep it from him." She moaned deeply, like George had earlier, as he moved to her arms. "You're a bit tense there, dear."
"Oh, moan my name," she begged.
He moved closer. "Alicia, have you been a *good* girl?" he teased. She sighed and went totally limp, a smile on her face as she fell asleep.
"Damn, and I thought mine was good," Katie noted. Xander smiled at her. "Can we make this our reward for winning each game?"
"Sure," he said with a wink. "Fred?"
"I need my shoulders and arms, and my legs. I cramped again this morning."
"You want me to try and do you there or should we find another bed?"
"Whatever's good for you," Fred told him, standing up. "Alicia love, move over." She flopped onto her back and stretched out against his side when he laid down. "She's suggestive in her sleep," he said with a faint smile for Katie.
"And she sleepwalks," Katie told him. "I found her in my bathroom running a bath the other night." She took Fred's former seat, turning on the vibrating function with an accidental brush. She squeaked and jumped, but it was so nice so she stayed there. "I want this chair," she told them.
Fred nodded. "I steal it all the time. He doesn't know."
"He won't tell me where he got it or you could have one for Christmas," Xander told him. He started off with Fred's arms, noting the tension. "Has Spike been bothering you again?"
"Not at all. His whining about not getting sex has," he admitted at the look Xander gave him, "but nothing tragic really."
"I'll take him home tomorrow to bother Ethan for a few days then bring him back next weekend after he's shagged himself senseless." He moved to Fred's other arm, making him relax. "Alicia, can you snuggle him a little bit less?" Fred rolled onto his side and held out the arm Xander had been working on. "That won't work for your back."
"Do that last," Katie suggested, wiggling to get the vibrations in the right spot, but it wasn't quite the right fit for the knot in her back. "How tall is this kid?"
"Just under six feet," Xander told her. "He'll be my height when he finishes growing." He smiled at her. "The blue button tilts the pads if that helps." He moved down to work on the firm muscles in Fred's legs. "Going for runs?" Fred nodded.
"I have to do something to stay in shape. It's not like Xander has his exercise equipment down here."
"You can come up and use the Advanced classroom," Xander reminded him. He nodded his head as soon as the muscles relaxed. "Let me have your back." Fred flopped over and grabbed Alicia to hold under his arm, letting her snuggle in that way. "When do I get to meet this wondrous third chaser you guys used to play with?"
"She'll be up on Tuesday," Fred told him sleepily. He yawned. "Xander do to me what you did to the girls," he requested gently. Xander shrugged and dug in deeper, making Fred moan and shift. "Yeah, like that. I could use a nap." The door separating the house from the shop slammed. "Ron's back."
"We're in here," Xander called, noticing Katie was nearly asleep. He got Fred done and stood up, walking out to find Ron crashed on the couch. "Want a backrub?"
"Later this week, after my first test," Ron said sleepily. He smiled. "Have a date tonight."
"Cool. I'll wake you up in a few hours. You rest." Ron nodded and curled up on his side, letting Xander cover him. He smiled and grabbed his new sword, going out to practice behind the shop. "Don't disturb them, Carina. They're all napping." She nodded and he left her alone. It was a slow day, everyone was watching the games. They'd have to stay open an extra hour, just in case everyone came down after the games were done. He stretched against the wall and picked up his sword, starting off slowly. This one was balanced different and he needed to get used to it.
Iggy walked into the house and stopped, taking a deep smell. "Someone had sex," he noted, going to his room to get his books. He found his bed a mess and the smell even worse in here. "They had sex on my bed?" he said, outraged. He had warned his father about that. He grabbed his bookcase and noticed that there was a lighter, perfumed scent. "Oh, wonderful, het people had sex on my bed. Even better. Just the mental image I need." He sighed and walked out to the family message board in the kitchen. The note 'We're at the broomstick' made him snort. He wrote on there that someone had better change his sheets and left, going back to the school. He found his wife sitting curled up alone in a chair reading and smiled. He snuck up behind her, kissing her on the neck. "What are you reading?"
"The history homework," she said, tipping her head to the side so he could kiss her neck for her. She only swatted him when he bit her. "You should be studying as well, Iggy."
"I know." He picked her up and sat under her, letting her curl up again against his chest. "How bad is it?"
"I think I remember some of it. It seems to be a deeper look at the split between the Druids and the rest of the population." She looked at him and noticed how he was sitting. "What's wrong?"
"Someone had sex on our bed," he told her. "Totally messy and it still smelled of it."
"Your father is like that sometimes," she said dryly. She had already caught them more than once.
"It was het people. Or one of my fathers wears gardenia perfume."
"Hmm. Well, Fred did say that the girls playing with them used to be their girlfriends. Maybe they got back together." She slapped him when she felt a finger on her thigh. "No, we'll get in trouble."
"Please grope," Cassidy, the house's Head Boy, told them, not looking at them. "We don't care. Just keep it legal and all that."
"Make sure that no one could complain," the lead female Precept agreed with a smile for them. "I think it's unfair to you guys to force you to stay apart so often anyway." She winked at Raena and moved so she wouldn't have to hear them. They had this tendency to whisper cute things at each other when they were teasing each other.
Iggy smirked at his wife and she giggled, so he put his fingers back. She squealed as the ice came back, covering his hand. "Anyone know how to take off an ice punishment charm?" he called. A few of the older kids laughed but someone went for the book it was in. The seventh year charms book had that one and hopefully they could cure it. They were cute together.
Cassidy looked at Simone and grinned at her. She shook her head. "I told you, only if I get more than a quick come on," she told him. "If you're too chicken to date me, you're not getting any closer to my panties than Iggy can right now."
"Fine," he sighed. He went back to his homework. She wasn't worth it, even if she could possibly kill him in the sack. He could get something nearly as good from a lot of other girls and not have the strings. This was something that she wasn't like her father in.
Indian Summer came to Hogwarts a few days later. The beautiful fall weather turned hot and muggy, an odd thing to happen but it had happened before. The whole school was miserable. Children were actually looking forward to potions because it was cooler down there. A few students had passed out in the greenhouses and the nurse had a lot of ice water on hand for everyone. Iggy had made a lot of ice for her, and for the potion's dungeon. The fires had created a small heat flareup down there. He wiped his brow and looked around at the ice blocks, all sitting next to drains on the floor. It should be cool enough in here soon. He glanced around but he didn't have anything to do. Going up to the tower would make him sticky and sweatier, so he decided to spend some time back in the office reading. It was cool, it was a little dark, and his wife was napping in there because the tower's heat had gotten to her as well. When he saw her, he decided to forgo the reading and crawled in with her. It was too hot to snuggle, but he put his arm over her waist anyway. It was the only way they could sleep on the small cot and it was how they preferred to nap together.
Yeah, this was the life. He'd have to escape down here more often with her.
Snape wouldn't mind, they weren't groping this time.
Cassidy knocked on Ron's office door, walking in at the irritated grunt. "Professor Weasley, I have to report that your nephew and his wife haven't been in the tower for the last three days," he said grimly. He didn't want to see them in trouble, but it was the rules. "They haven't slept in their beds, or anyone else's for the last three nights and we only see them for showers and to change clothes."
Ron dropped his pen. "Have you seen them in the dungeons?" The boy nodded. "I'll check on them and talk to them. Thank you, Cassidy."
"You're welcome." He glanced at the door nervously. "Sir, I wanted to ask. Are you going to punish anyone who goes after your nieces? I'd like to get some from Simone, consensually," he added at the frown, "but I'm not sure I won't get hurt academically for it."
Ron snorted. "No offense, Cassidy, but you couldn't understand her. She needs someone like her and she's not finding it around here." He leaned back in his chair and considered it. "I wouldn't do anything unless someone treated them badly," he admitted. "That I would try not to let effect your grades, but I am human." He looked the boy over. "If you think you're up to the task of *dating* her, go for it. Her father won't complain too much."
"Thank you, sir." He smiled. "I have to date her?"
Ron nodded, smiling at him. "I will hurt you if you play with her and end up hurting her. If she's for a quick cuddle now and then, that's up to her. If you do it and she doesn't want it, then I'd say you were going to be fucked very quickly between myself and her father."
"Yes, sir," he said, understanding the reasoning. "Should I ask her father?"
"Do you want to keep everything attached where it is?" Ron asked him seriously. Draco probably didn't want to know that much about his children's sex lives.
"Got it. Thank you, sir." He left, leaving him to find Ignatius and Raena. Why did they get to sleep in the dungeon when the rest of them were so overheated in the tower. It wasn't fair.
Ron stood up and grabbed his 'be right back' sign to put in the window. He knew exactly where the kids were and headed down to talk to them. He found Snape staring at them in shock so he looked as well. "They're allowed to do that," he said quietly. Snape looked at him. "Even my mum said so and she's a bit fussy about such things. They're allowed to nap together outside of the house as long as they don't get caught."
"He's touching her."
"Appropriate touching," Ron corrected with a grin. "It's her waist, not her breast or lower half. Like I said, their fathers talked about it and allowed that much. They slept together all summer long." He coughed loudly, waking Raena up. "You guys can't live down here. The others in the house are getting jealous."
"But my room is a sweatbox," Raena complained. She removed the hand from her waist and stood up, stretching. "Do we have to?"
Ron nodded. "It looks bad and the other kids are getting jealous because you're getting special privileges again. Sorry, guys. Iggy!" Iggy mumbled and reached for his wife, pulling her back down to snuggle with him. "Ignatius!" he said patiently.
"Now!" Snape yelled. Iggy snapped awake and sat up. "Thank you." He looked at them. "While I don't mind you taking up the cot once in a while, your uncle is correct. You may not sleep down here all the time. Even my own house has complained that they don't get to do so." He smiled at them, making Raena looked pitiful. "You can sneak about like the rest of the students looking for cool, dark places."
"Or ask Melvin if he knows how the Headmaster put that arctic portal in his office," Ron suggested.
"That's not technically allowed," Snape told him. "If anyone knew about the Headmaster's portal, they might get upset with him."
"Yay," Ron told him. "I can blackmail for some cool air at the moment." Iggy snickered. "I'm serious. It's just as hot in our tower, you guys. We had to send all the kids back with Draco so he wouldn't keep getting so damn sick. Now head upstairs and protect Simone from your Head Boy. He's trying to get in her panties again."
Raena stood up and pulled her mate up with her. "Yes, sir. May we sneak about later and find somewhere else?"
"As long as you can prove that you weren't in here and don't get caught," Ron said with a shrug.
"It is not acceptable for you two to get caught out of bed after curfew," Snape admonished. "You may be special and get some perks, that is not one of them unless you are working in here."
Ron looked at him. "They have invisibility cloaks. Who's going to catch them?" Snape glared at him. "Sorry, being practical."
"It shows who trained you," Iggy noted as he slid past them with his wife in tow. "We'll find somewhere else to nap. I know almost every nook and cranny of the school so it shouldn't be too hard."
"Curfew is in an hour," Ron told them. "You have to be back in the tower tonight." They nodded and headed up to make plans and grab their invisibility cloaks. He looked at Snape again. "You'd punish them if you caught them out of bed?"
"They are not immune from the rules," Snape reminded him. "I got you many times, even though I knew you had good reason to be out of bed. The same applies to them." He walked away.
Ron shook his head, heading back to his office. He had thought they had gotten caught by accident. Snape had probably lurked in the halls listening for them.
Iggy led the cloaked woman beside him down to the basement of the school. It was nearly hypothermic down here. They threw off their cloaks and looked around, smiling at each other. With a few flicks of their wands, the old storeroom was turned into a temporary hiding spot and camping area.
Raena walked over to a particularly slimy wall, wanting to see if it could be cleaned up any. "What's on the other side, Iggy?"
Iggy looked at her, then shrugged. "Not a clue. If I had to guess, I'd say part of the tunnels to the Chamber of Secrets but I can't be sure." He moved some more couches and old beds around the center light and smiled at the good placement. "Just our family?"
"Just the family," she agreed, walking back. She moved the beds further apart and pulled a small box out of her pocket, handing it to him. He pulled a similar one and together they unshrunk the sheets, pillows, clocks, and small lanterns
"What are you doing?" an amused ghostly voice asked from the slimy wall. He moved closer, looking around. "Something wrong with the upstairs accommodations?"
"It's the hottest it's been in six hundred years," Raena told the ghost of Slytherin. "We're setting up a refuge from the heat and claiming this room as ours."
"It's a storeroom and students don't get their own rooms," he said patiently.
Iggy looked at him. "Spenser claimed four or five different rooms around the castle and made them into love nests. We can claim this one. It's not like we're going to have sex down here. Just escape from the upstairs world for a bit."
"Very well. I won't turn you in. Who else are you inviting?"
"Just the family," Raena told him. "Ravena and Ron, Agatha and Ryan," Iggy grimaced, but she ignored him, "Melvin and Andrea, Simone, Anastasia, and Mellie."
"Very well. You have too many beds," he noted.
"We figure at least one more person will follow them down," Iggy told him. "At least from our tower, we have a lot of nosy people." He grinned. "Is the Chamber of Secrets still open and safe again?"
"Safe enough," he agreed. "There are still dangerous areas. Some of it is falling in and the pool is a bit foul most of the time. If you wanted, I could show it to you this weekend. There is another entrance besides the girls' bathroom." The children nodded. "Then I'll allow you to gather your family." He smiled at them. "Should I get Ravena for you?"
"Please," Raena told him. "We don't know their tower password." She grabbed Iggy's cloak. "You stay here and I'll lead them down here." She hurried off, taking the extra cloak with her to cover everyone else.
Iggy sat down to look at the ghost. "So, how much am I like Spenser?"
Slytherin hovered in front of him. "A lot if his wand liked you," he noted dryly. "Not exactly though. He was a tad bit homely. He made up for it in other areas of course, that's why the ladies liked him so." Iggy nodded, shifting. "How do you find her now that you've had a summer alone?"
"We're keeping our promise but otherwise I still love her, if not more than when I married her. She snuggles," he sighed with a dopy expression. "I love to snuggle and cuddle."
"It's good that she fits you." Slytherin looked around again. "I remember building this room."
"You were the one in charge of the actual construction?" Iggy asked.
"Each of us had our own areas, but I oversaw the actual building since the gryphon-borns and gryphons helping us would only talk to me." He smirked. "It does pay to have allies powerful enough to ask favors of."
"I'm starting to see that," Iggy agreed. "Though my family is a pain in the side of parts of the Ministry, the rest of them don't bother us much." He shifted, getting more comfortable in the cool room. "Can I ask you a question about protocol?" The ghost nodded. "I'd ask my elders but I don't want to seem insulting."
"You may ask me anything and I might answer," Slytherin told him. "Knowledge is a vastly powerful tool, as you know." Iggy nodded. "What did you need to know about protocol?"
"Do we have to live with the colonies? Can we get a house near there and live alone instead of living in the caves? I like caves, and it's great in times like this, but I get this closed-in feeling, like I'm protected from the world, but I can't touch it anymore."
"Many of us got that," Slytherin assured him. "You are allowed to get a house. It might even be expected of you since you're to serve all colonies. You'd of course have to have a permanent portal back to your own colony, a closet or some such devoted to it, but you may have your own dwelling. No one will say anything."
"They'll pout and guilt us into it," Iggy told him. "I mentioned wanting a library of my own and my elder looked upset."
"That's because he realized you were growing up, no other reason," Slytherin assured him. "Have you seen one that you like?"
"I have," he said excitedly. "It's in town so we'd be close to here if Raena took over when Severus retired. It's big enough for us to each have our own half if we ever started to fight, plus it's already got a large library."
"How big is this house?" Slytherin asked him, sounding amused again.
"It's not bigger than the Burrow. Six bedrooms, a full basement, a kitchen and a dining room, plus another family room in the attic that the last owners converted. "I'm thinking about asking how much it is and then working my way up to suggesting it."
"You're a fifth year, it's understandable that you're thinking about your future, Ignatius."
"You can call me Iggy, everyone else does."
"Iggy then," he said tolerantly. "Where is this house?"
"On the edge of town, the far end. It's got woods behind it and a small shed of some sort that might have been a stable. I know Raena likes it because she gave a little delighted sigh when I showed it to her. I used to like to hike over there and play in the yard because it was so huge. It's strong so no one should be able to attack us, and it's got enough room for the family if an emergency happened."
"It's a bit large for your needs, but it sounds like you've thought about it," Slytherin agreed. "Have you asked anyone about it?"
"When I was younger. My father George told me it was condemned because the floors were falling in, but I never saw it."
The ghost nodded. "Easy enough to fix if you have the money. I would look at the cost of fixing it before I decided on it, young man. Fixing a house is always more expensive than you think."
"I know, but I was hoping maybe daddy could help some, save us some money."
"Only if it was gryphon created, young man. We cannot do more than the standard manipulations on other things." He heard footsteps and floated back. "You're going to be visited by the caretaker. Can you handle him?"
"Is he drunk again?" Iggy asked distastefully. He doused the light and made himself invisible in the dark, watching as the man walked in and looked around at the moved furniture, grunting in disgust, something about house elves and their mangy paws. He followed the man at the urging of the ghost and shuddered in revulsion when he saw where the man was going. Was that a skeleton? He lit the room and stood there when the man jumped, seeing what was there now. It was a doll. And a bound woman. "Get out," he told the older man. "I'm going to report you."
"You're not supposed to be out of bed," the caretaker told him, glaring over his body. "I'll have you expelled."
"Really?" Iggy said dryly, sending for the headmaster. Albus walked in while they were staring each other down a moment later. "I found him with her," he said, pointing at the woman.
"She's mine," the caretaker told him. "Likes it too."
"Yay. Did she agree to being bound up?" Iggy got out of the Headmaster's way, letting him see. He flared up a brighter light, making the room light up. "I found him, sir."
"I heard you the first time," Albus told him. He looked at the caretaker, then at the young woman, who looked like she was begging. "Ignatius, move her to the furniture you so kindly moved around for us."
"We were looking for a cool place," Iggy told him, helping the woman stand up and leading her away. "He grabbed Raena once as well," he told them. He removed the gag from her mouth, giving her a smile. "Are you all right?"
"He didn't hurt me," she told him.
"I know, but this is still school property and he can't do that here." He unbound her hands and let her go, taking off his school robe to give it to her. She wasn't wearing anything. "Here, you look cold."
She wrapped it around herself. "He paid me to do this you know. It's not so bad."
"It is, this is a school," Iggy told her again. He sat down and looked around, but the ghost had gone. "Did you go here?"
She laughed. "I'm not one of you."
Albus came over and smiled at her. "I know you're not. I felt you enter last time and wondered, but I couldn't track you. Come, I'll get someone to take you home for the night." He handed her something. "Ignatius, you still have to sleep in your tower."
"She's getting sick, Uncle Albus. If we stay up there, she'll start to get even more sick. She already can't eat. Just like Ravena can't. And it's not the dungeons so it doesn't look like we're playing favorites. Please? Just until the heatwave ends? We're letting all the family stay with us."
"Fine," he sighed. "That means that you cannot deny anyone access though and you will put a charm on the room so nothing inappropriate can happen."
"Can I still nap beside her, like we did this summer and in the dungeon?"
"If you must," he sighed, leading the young woman away. "Come along," he ordered coldly, prompting the caretaker to follow them. "I will see you in my office tomorrow, Ignatius."
"Yes, sir," Iggy said, smiling at them. He put a few charms on the door, increasing the shielding and making it so no one not invited could come in. They could always invite someone across if they needed to. As soon as he was done, he told Raena what had happened, making her blush. But she agreed with his decisions, telling him that they were going to have another girl from Slytherin coming down. The new power user wanted to get a bit cooler as well. He shrugged mentally and pulled some more of the old beds out of the grouping to place randomly, still mostly around the circle.
Slytherin reappeared. "Would you like to see the chamber tomorrow instead?" he asked.
"It's that good guy streak that my father made sure I had," Iggy told him. "Personally, I'd like a room of our very own where we couldn't be found. She doesn't like slime and I don't particularly like corpses of animals."
"Then I do know where you can go," Slytherin said with a bright smile. "Follow me. We'll be back soon enough." He watched as the boy grabbed his wand and followed him further back into the basement. He saw the signs saying that this area was off-limits because it had caved in but knew that there was a safe corridor down here. The boy's father could strengthen it for them. Besides, there was another way in, but he couldn't find it. It had belonged to a Gryffindor so it was probably in that tower somewhere. He took the right branch of the tunnel and led him to a former nest area. "This was part of the colony that lived here when they were building the school," he said quietly. "There's another entrance and this room is still safe."
"The corridor's not," Albus said from the doorway. "No, Ignatius."
"Harry and Ron got their own room," he pointed out. "We want somewhere to plan and practice in that won't annoy Severus to no end."
"Then come with me," Albus said, giving him a smile. "I know you need the space, but you are only going to be here for another three years."
"I want the Devinis place," Iggy told him. Albus looked at him. "I've loved that house since I was a child and I snuck away to play in the front yard."
"It needs a lot of work," Albus told him, leading him to a small nook. "This is forbidden for you to know, but it is a secret entrance."
"So that's why the lech brought his prostitute down here?" Iggy suggested. The Headmaster nodded and opened it, letting in a breeze. "It's windy outside?"
"No, this goes to another section that not even the people who usually use it know about." He led the boy inside and lit his wand, taking him to what looked like a blank wall, with a key slot. He pulled out a key and opened the door, letting him inside. He lit the torches around the room and let the boy see it. Iggy gasped. "Would this do?" he asked dryly.
"It's perfect. What is this?" Iggy asked, looking around the spacious room. It had a few very old beds, covered in cobwebs from disuse, a fireplace, a few couches and two tables. It was perfect for them, and they could pass it on to the family after they were gone.
"This was the original quarters of the first few gryphon-borns in the school. Their lives were threatened so we moved them down here," Slytherin told him, smiling with the Headmaster. "How appropriate. Do give him the key, I think he'll treat it well."
"Is that a water tap?" Iggy asked, heading for what looked like one. He turned the handle and the pipes squealed with disuse, but a trickle of muddy water came out, eventually becoming clearer. "Wow."
"The bathroom is that little door beside the fireplace," Slytherin told him, pointing. He liked this boy a lot. Too bad he wasn't one of his. That would have been perfect. But at least he wasn't in Ravenclaw. Iggy came out of the bathroom. "Can you keep it secret, Iggy?"
"Definitely. How does the lock operate?"
"With the key," Albus said, handing it over. "If you lose it, it can *never* be opened again. The lock spell is so old that not even the gryphons recorded it."
"It's probably in the library," Iggy and Slytherin said together.
Then Iggy cracked up laughing. "You're sure?"
"I've seen a few people using this entrance to sneak about and we could use a guardian down this way," Albus told him. "You're going to have to learn how to sneak out better though."
"Pfft, put a fictional you in your bed, Iggy." The ghost floated closer. "Create a golum and link it to your bond. I did that a number of times when I didn't want to be bothered."
"That would fool everybody but Melvin and any gryphon-born," Dumbledore agreed. "I will also be putting a telltale in the room to tell me if you misbehave, Ignatius."
"Yes, sir," he said eagerly. "We'll even agree to being grounded from here if we misbehave," he said excitedly. "This is everything we ever really needed!"
"Then it's yours. Remember about the key," Dumbledore told him. "It goes to another of these rooms as well." He opened the door and pointed at it. "Perhaps you should join your mate and go to sleep?"
"Yes, sir." Iggy gave him a strong hug, making him grunt as his air supply was cut off. "Thank you, Uncle Albus." He hurried away, putting the key on his protective amulet and heading to where he could hear his wife making bed assignments. He walked up behind her and whispered in her ear, making her squeal and hug him. "We have to do something really nice for him."
"Are we allowed to stay down here during the year?" Simone asked.
"No, but we won't be bothered. As soon as the heatwave snaps, we have to abandon the room. Got it?" Everyone nodded. "Then let's nap, it's already midnight." He led his wife to their bed and curled up behind her, covering them with a blanket she had brought down. "There is a no- sex charm on the room," he warned as he heard Ryan laugh. He looked at the delicate flame- haired young girl and smiled at her. "How are you, Shey?"
"Fine, Ignatius, thank you for your kindness," she replied. "May I have this one?" Raena waved a hand. "Thank you again. Even our house was horribly warm." She slid into the bed, smiling at Emily and Ravena, who had taken some velvet couches for themselves. "Is the alarm set?"
"For six," Iggy announced. "That way we can all sneak back to our houses. Remember, the more people you tell, the less chance we'll have of getting to sleep." Storm barked. "Andrea, can you have him guard the door in case someone else comes in?"
"Yes, Iggy. Thank you for inviting us as well," Andrea called. She said something to her guide dog and he went to lay beside the door, watching it for his beloved mistress. She relaxed back into Melvin's arms, happy to be sleeping with him at last. She could get used to this.
Iggy and Raena shared a kiss then snuggled in. The holding was the best part, at least until they could have sex.
Xander grabbed his son as he walked past him, dragging him with him to the back hallway. "Where were you last night?" he asked once they were alone.
"In the cool spot we found," Iggy told him. "Raena gets heat sick so we commandeered a basement storage room for ourselves and the family. All of us, plus Emily and Shey Ravettena were down there. Even Agatha. The Headmaster caught us because I'm the one who caught the caretaker with his for-hire friend." He grinned. "It's okay, daddy, really. We promised to give it up when the heat wave broke."
"I heard," Xander noted dryly. "Where is the other one?"
"In one of the emergency exits," Iggy said, moving closer. "I'm not allowed to tell, father."
"I know, Iggy, I know." He gave him a hug. "You'll have to get Snape to say that you weren't in the dungeons. A lot of the other kids are still jealous. I got a complaint this morning from one of your roommates."
"I'll bring them down if they ask. That was part of the deal, that we couldn't refuse anyone a spot if they found us." He walked in and had a quiet word with his mentor.
"No, Ignatius, I know you weren't in the dungeons last night," Snape said loudly enough to be heard. He knew exactly where the boy had been last night, those damnable airvents had kept him up again last night, and had made his wife desirous of his company. He looked at a few disbelieving faces. "You'll find the dungeon has been locked against even him. Though I did allow him to spend a few nights down there because of some missing potion ingredients." They quickly went back to the listless cold breakfast. "Thank you for not trying to break in either. It would have woken the whole school."
"Thank you," Iggy said, walking down to rejoin his wife. One of his roommates glared at him. "Really. We weren't in the dungeons. We were hiding in a storeroom." The other people around them grunted and dug into their cereal, trying to stay cool enough for the upcoming classes. Simone smiled at him and Anastasia cleared her throat. "Making an announcement?"
"No." She smiled at the people around them. "Really. We were *all* in a storeroom so none of us had to die. If they find us tonight, we could be expelled." A few people looked thoughtful but the rest grumbled even more and went back to their food. She smiled at Iggy as she heard Agatha say the same thing to the her house. "Tonight?"
"I don't know," he lied. "It's supposed to rain."
"Yeah, sure it will," Simone told him. "If you can make it do that, they'll give you a medal," she told him.
"Hey, Iggy, why don't you and Raena put your enormous brains together and try to figure out how to cool the castle," the top female Prefect suggested. "That way none of us too-warm Prefects start to take points off you two for being out of bed at night."
"Short of a fan or a breeze spell," Raena told her, "the only option would be to open a minute portal to Antarctica, or find a piece of ice from Russia or somewhere and bring it here to use as a sympathetic host using the laws of similarity and contagion." The Prefect looked stunned. "Any are doable if you know what you're doing."
"It'd have to be a very small piece," Anastasia said thoughtfully. "I bet our father knows how to do at least one of those." She ate a bite of cereal. "If not, it's probably in the library."
Simone laughed. "If we can do the second one and break it up, a small group could summon the firmer ice from the South Pole and do it that way."
"The problem is that we don't know what's in the ice," Iggy told her. "They've found all sorts of bacteria frozen in the ice, Simone. That's why we'd prefer if you took it from the Arctic Circle above us. That one's closer so it wouldn't melt as fast on the trip and there's less danger of bringing home something from a comet or things like that."
"All right," Denver agreed, looking at their yearmates. "Can we do that?"
"Sure," one boy said. "How would we keep it cold?"
"Freezing spell?" Raena suggested. "It's too strong to use on humans, as the poor girl in Ravenclaw found out, but it would work on a piece of ice. Put it in a container that would radiate the coolness."
"Either that or an ice demon," Denver suggested. "One of the frost imps maybe. If we can find one, trap it, and force it to put a cooling spell on the house, it'd be wonderful."
"That's dangerous," Xander called down. Denver looked at him. "There will be no summoning of frost or ice imps and asking them for help. If one got loose, we'd all be majorly screwed." The Headmaster and Snape both choked. "Sorry, had to put my foot down. Those things can shatter even the best-made blades and only pure iron can kill them." Denver nodded. "It was a good suggestion and proved that you did listen last week, Mr. Malfoy-Weasley. Five points." Denver grinned and dug into his food.
"It was a brilliant application," Dumbledore agreed. "Is it very dangerous?"
"Yup. There are stories of those things taking out whole villages by freezing them to death in the middle of summer when they got free. You'd have to keep it for the whole heatwave."
"We will be on the lookout for them," Tara agreed as she walked in. Snape looked at her and frowned. "I'm hot, Severus, get over it." She moved so her spaghetti-strap dress shifted across her body. "If I'm that underdressed, I'll take the reprimand." She sat down and nodded at everyone.
"I think you look lovely, Tara," Xander told her with a smile. "It's not like you're wearing cutoff shorts and a tanktop."
"No, that would get her reprimanded," Dumbledore agreed, smiling at her. "I don't see a problem with your outfit, dear. It's tasteful and looks very cool."
"It is." She touched the peach gauze over her lap gently. "It's also very comfortable and not sticking to me."
"Still, it's not welcome to see you so uncovered," her husband told her.
She smiled at her. "Get over it. I've worn less than this and the more you complain, the more it makes me want to be a nudist." He shuddered. "It's not like I'm going to cover myself from my neck down every other day."
"Tara, he comes from a stiffer background," Lupin reminded her.
She snorted in derision. "Some of the people I grew up around wore cutoff shorts so short you could see their buttcheeks and cracks if they bent over right and tube tops so small that you could see where their breasts met their chests. And these were women in their seventies in the middle of the summer. This is more covering than anyone down there would ever expect from me."
"Your Southern upbringing is usually very charming, but some of us are trying to eat," Sirius Black noted.
She glared at him. "I know how Anyanka did it and I can make it worse." He went pale and shifted away from her. "Are we done discussing my clothing? Which is none of your business." She looked at her husband. "I will never wear as many clothes as you do, Severus, move on with your day and forget my clothing."
He stared at her, telling her silently that they would be discussing this later. "Yes, this should be between us, not any interested parties."
"I'll repeat myself, she looks very nice in that," Dumbledore told him, staring the younger man down. Tara looked at him. "What you are wearing is more than acceptable to me. I make the dress code policy and I say that it is more than agreeable and within boundaries for this time of heat. At later dates, please wear a robe over it, in keeping with the dress code policies, Tara." Tara nodded. "Thank you. Severus, you knew she would never be the decorous lady your mother was when you started to see her, do not start that fight."
Xander nodded. "You'll lose and Tara will come running to spend time with us. She is like my little sister and I did warn you." Snape settled himself, glaring at him. "I mean it, Severus. This isn't about anything other than your funny thinking. Maybe if you wore less clothes, you might be more comfortable and reasonable as well."
"I'm not overheated," Snape said bitterly.
"I don't see how," Tara told him. "You're wearing four layers of clothing."
"Tara, honey, don't do that," Xander told her. "You'll only end up hurt and then I'd have to hurt him to protect your honor. I doubt you want me to hit him for you."
She looked at him. "You said you'd only hit him if he hit me."
"I said I'd give him double whatever he did to you," Xander reminded her. "That means that if he upsets you enough to make you cry, I'm going to make him beg for mercy." He stared down the potion's master. "Do not argue with her over her clothes unless it's *that* bad. She's covered, no one can see anything that's covered by decent people, and none of us will be approaching her." He smiled. "Though the both of you could use some midol." He scraped his bowl and stood up. "With that said, I'm going to find a cool spot and collapse on the floor so my knee quits hurting."
"The humidity bothers it?" Tara asked. Xander nodded. "I'm sorry. Do you need Iggy to make some pain medicine?"
"I've taken some." He walked over and hugged her, then left through the back halls.
Lupin looked around, then leaned closer to Tara. "What could he do that would make your husband beg?"
She patted him on the hand. "Xander's imagination is very vivid, but I don't even want to consider it." He chuckled and dug out some more of his cereal. "Sirius, don't get in the middle of our argument again," she told him. "I might put up with it from my de-facto brother, but not from anyone else."
"Yes, that would be pleasant," Snape agreed, glaring at the rest of the table.
Dumbledore smiled at him. "I'm simply trying to make sure neither of you do something that you'll regret for years. I will be stopping Xander."
She shook her head. "That was a warning, he won't do anything. He's as used to the heat as I am. Sunnydale isn't exactly a cold place during the summer." She looked at her husband. "How can you wear a *vest*?"
"I'm not overly hot," Snape told her. Sirius mumbled something about ice water in his veins and he glared at the man. "Do repeat that," he encouraged.
Tara took it into her own hands, zapping him with a compulsion to get up and start singing. "Never say shit like that again," she told him. Lupin hurried him out into the back hallway.
Dumbledore smiled at them. "I know tempers are running a little high because of the heat, but really, Tara. Do not humiliate the teachers. It will make it harder when you have to take over for me in a while."
She smiled sweetly. "He deserved it and I haven't lost my temper yet." Sirius screamed in horror in the hallway. "And neither has Xander."
Ron walked in with Draco, smiling at Tara. "I think someone wants to apologize," Draco told her with a smile. "Has Xander already left to find a cool spot on a floor?"
"Yes," Snape said, smiling at him. "Did you do something outrageous to him?"
"No, I just made him very sorry," Ron told him. "Something about ice on his balls. It was what he was talking about after all." He took his seat and pulled down the cool milk, pouring himself some before handing it on to Draco. "Any toast?"
"Not this morning, it was too hot for a fire," Dumbledore told him, looking down at him. "Has anyone found anything that might encourage some rain? We could deal with the heat if the humidity would break."
"Not a thing," Madam Sprout told him, sounding sad. "I've tried everything short of a native rite."
"We're trying that today in my class," Tara told her. "My advanced class will make the plea during fourth class today if you wanted to join us."
"I might do that," Madam Sprout told her, smiling at her. "Would you come with me tonight and look at the herbs I grow for your class, dear? There's an odd one I don't remember potting and I want to make sure it's not harmful."
"Of course. After dinner so it's not so hot?" The Herbology teacher nodded and went back to her breakfast.
Ron sighed as he poured himself some cereal. "Don't the natives of your country have another way to beg for rain?" he asked Tara.
"There are a few traditions among the various tribes, but that would be part of their religion," Tara told him with a smile. "As I don't partake of their faith, it probably wouldn't work for us. It'd be about as effective as me calling on the Norse Gods for snow or the Egyptian Gods for a flood."
"Oh." He nodded. "That's understandable."
"It is, but this weather will have to break sometime," Draco pointed out.
"You get miserable and turn optimistic?" Ron asked. Draco glared at him. "Sorry. How are you?"
"She's a bit lethargic, the same as I am. No pain, nothing of the sort."
"If there is, you come get one of us," Tara demanded. He nodded, giving her a slight smile. "Thank you, Draco."
"I do love how you say my name," he teased.
"She won't be doing so again," Snape told him.
She glared at him. "Stop it, now," she said coldly. A small breeze started in the room. "You do not decide who I talk to and who I have as friends. You may be my husband, but you are not my keeper, my God, or my master. This is why I didn't want to get married in the first place. Do you understand?"
"Tara, we love the breeze, but if you're going to freeze someone, send some of the ice this way," Ron told her. The breeze died slightly. "Seriously," Ron said when she looked at him. "You knew he was an annoying prat when you took up with him."
She smiled. "Good point. And yes, Ron, I'll gladly ice over your chair for you." It turned to ice, making him yelp. "Feel better?"
"Move, Ron," Draco demanded, forcing him to move so they could switch seats. "Thank you, Tara."
"You're welcome, dear." She looked at her husband. "I believe we need to have a discussion in private." He nodded so they got up to go somewhere private so they wouldn't get interrupted.
Dumbledore looked at the younger members of the staff. "Don't upset her. The breeze might be welcome, but really, boys."
"I was trying to prevent a tragedy," Ron defended. "You'd have to teach potions otherwise."
"Good point," Dumbledore conceded. "Stay out of it in the future. They both get rather upset when people butt in. It's safer for the rest of us if they're allowed to fight in private."
"But then Xander will get involved," Draco said, his teeth starting to chatter.
"Share, you greedy sod," Ron demanded. "If the daughter can get cold, so can I." Draco got up and let him sit in the iced over chair, making him sigh in relief. "Can I steal this?"
"It goes to class with me," Draco informed him.
"It's my chair!"
"My classroom gets unlimited sun all day. It's miserable in there, even with the curtains I had put up." The missing teachers walked back in and took their former spots without a word to anyone.
"You can share it," Lupin broke in. Both men glared at him. "Sorry."
"That's all right," Ron said with a grin. "You're right, I'll get it for the first class and he can have it after that."
"You could always turn a chair in your room to ice," Sirius pointed out. "Which isn't such a bad idea."
"There's not enough ambient moisture in the air at the moment, there won't be until the humidity spikes again," Draco told him. "It'd strip what little is left to do it all over the school."
"How has Iggy been creating ice then?" Madam Sprout asked.
"Easy, he's the reason the rest of us can't do it," Ron told her.
"He's been changing the state of water," Draco told her. "It's probably the only thing he's learned from you two."
"At least it's been helpful," Dumbledore told him, breaking that one up as well. He silently prayed for deliverance from the heat, and the insanity of those affected by it.
Snape's scream echoed down the halls. A few people looked up in surprise, but no one went running to help him. He was who he was and could sneer anything into submission.
Draco did walk down there, checking on the older man. "Are you all right?" he asked, smiling slightly.
"Don't you *dare*," Snape hissed. He was dripping wet. His clothes were starting to bleed color. This had been his favorite outfit.
Draco thought something at Xander and got an answer, so he walked in and quickly mixed something, spraying it on the older man. It stopped the color bleeding but couldn't stop the ice crystals forming in the water. "Xander said he would replace the colors."
Xander walked to the doorway and leaned against it, then flicked his wand, repairing the colors from the residue of the dyes. "Sorry, didn't realize you were wearing special clothes. Iggy said you were wearing bad clothes because of the potion you were doing." He grinned. "Don't blame him, I tricked the information out of him. Are you feeling better? Maybe more reasonable?"
"I was fine before," Snape ground out, moving toward him. "How dare you."
Xander stood up. "How dare I what? Make you less miserable? Make the rest of us less miserable? I did the same thing in the Defense classroom because it was a sauna, the same as it was in here." He let him walk out and kicked the door shut. "Draco, go teach his class."
"I have my own."
"Go watch them," Snape told him. Draco walked back in and closed the door again. "You had no right to interfere with my classroom. I do not know what you are up to, but you will not do such things to me again."
Xander made 'your mouth is opening and closing' motions with his left hand. "Your class had someone pass out. If you had noticed, it's at least five degrees cooler in there now. Madam Pomfrey told me I could and I put a *big* sign on it that said to not stand within five feet of the box before I sent it down." He stepped closer. "Tell me if I haven't fixed your clothes enough and I'll gladly finish fixing it. It's only Turkish dyes that bleed according to Fred and George so I can easily fix it. I really didn't mean to get you with it."
"I accept your apology, but you may not interfere in my class!" Snape reminded him. "I don't walk into yours and change things about on you. You had no idea what my students were making...." Xander opened his mouth to say something. "No, you will listen. I do not care if Ignatius did tell you. The explosive force that box came apart with could have tipped a cauldron onto someone, or it could have seriously hurt someone. You did not think."
"Actually, I did. I mapped out the dungeon within millimeters, I placed the box in the right spot to make sure it was far enough way from all the cauldrons. I also did put the sign on the box after talking with Raena to find out what you were doing to make sure it wouldn't be counter- indicated. Fred even gave over the sacred formula for the gel we used, which is weaker and molecularly stable and pure so it couldn't react against anything. I did use some sense, Severus." He heard a thump and opened the door, hurrying to the unconscious Draco's side. "Did the heat get him or did he complain about pain?" he demanded.
"The heat, sir," one girl sniffled. "It's cooler, but it's still so hot in here with the cauldrons going."
Xander lifted Draco up with a groan of strain. "Okay, we'll leave the door open."
"Put him in the back, it's cooler," Snape ordered.
"The infirmary has a special spot with a fan blowing across ice."
"I can create a single spot of cold down here, not enough for the class, but definitely enough for the office." He followed Xander inside. "I still say you were irresponsible."
"Severus, you started to weave before I did it," Xander told him. The older man shook his head and Xander nodded. "That's why the kids called me." He watched as a small portal of icy air was created and put next to the bed. Draco groaned and rolled toward it. "Why do you have the cauldrons on high?"
"We're making an icy bodywash," Snape told him. "Within the next four minutes, it should come off the heat." He glanced around. "I was fine."
"You weren't. Iggy and Raena were both worried that you were going to pass out, big guy. I did it because I care about you. As for the vest...." He flicked his wand at a light spot, making it darken up by bringing out more of the background pigment. "Turkish dyes are hell on anything. Don't they bleed?"
"Often," Snape agreed dryly, "but it is cooler than most things I own."
"You could go with just a shirt and pants," Xander suggested. "Like the rest of us."
"I was fine until this class." A timer went off and he opened the door. "Douse the flames. Ignatius, cool everything rapidly." Iggy nodded but he looked miserable. "What happened?"
"Ours is pink, sir," he admitted.
Simone looked at him. "You, *you*, botched a potion?"
"I gave him the recipe for a medicated one," Snape lied. "Cool them now."
"Yes, sir." The fires were doused and Iggy and Raena walked around, freezing everyone's potion as they stirred. Once it was done, he walked into the office, squeezing in between the men. "Close the door," he moaned. The door was slammed. "Thank you. Damn, it's nice back here." He laid a hand on Draco's stomach, testing the baby. "She's a bit weak and he's a little on the underfed side. This has got to stop."
"Do we have anyplace cooler?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, there is," Iggy told him. "Our private sleeping place is colder. It was nearly icy in there last night. Bring down some food later. You should be able to track me. Um, his class?"
"I sent a message to Ron and he went to talk to them," Xander admitted. He bent to pick Draco up but Iggy floated him. "Gee, that's a nice one I need to learn."
"It's a simple spell we learn in our second year," Iggy told him. "Move. And get the door." The door was opened and he floated Draco out, heading down to the storeroom. "We'll talk later."
Raena looked at them. "Is everything all right?"
"Fine. Iggy's taking him someplace colder. Pregnant people are often more susceptible to heat fluctuations," Professor Snape told her. He looked at the potions, freezing them until they were totally solid. "Take those back to your houses. By the time they unfreeze tonight, it should be ready. It is a cooling body wash. Use it before you go to sleep and after you get up." They grabbed their cauldrons and hurried off to their houses. "Raena?"
"I don't know what we did," she admitted. "The cauldrons were soaked after that acidic wash we did yesterday for wounds."
Xander looked at the pink potions. "It smells like mint."
"Shit," she sighed, hitting herself on the forehead. "Iggy choked and coughed over it. He had been chewing muggle spearmint gum."
Snape lifted some on his finger and sniffed. "It smells correct." He dropped it and looked at the pot. "What is this made out of?"
"Our cleanest was our aluminum ones," she told him. "Was that bad?"
"It was an unfortunate chemical reaction," he agreed. "You may make more."
"We don't need it. To be frank, we woke up blue this morning in the storeroom." She cleaned up their mess and walked away. "I'm going to check on those two before the next class."
Xander looked up at the mess and smiled. He fired up at it, sending energy through it. The room started to look wobbly as the syrup dissolved, creating cooling breezes. "That's what it was for."
"I'll let you know if anything else bleaches out."
"Please do. Like I said, I'll fix it, even though you should have stayed away because of the sign."
"There wasn't one." Snape looked at Xander. "In the future, warn me, boy."
Xander grinned. "That's such a nice compliment. I've been feeling old today." He winked and walked away, he had a class next period.
Snape shook his head. That man was irresponsible. Even if the breeze did feel incredible. He checked his clothes and took off the vest to look at it. He noticed he was cooler so let it hang in the office to dry for a while. At least the dye had quit running. The delicate black embroidery was still fine. It had been a present after all and he didn't want to ruin it.
Draco woke up cooler than he had been in recent memory. He groaned as he sat up, holding his head. "Where are we?" The darkness of the room was comfortable to him.
Iggy sat on the side of the bed. "Try this, Uncle Draco. It's fruit soup. I had the house elves make you some." He settled himself to watch him eat. "This is our hiding spot from the heat. It's one of the basement storerooms." He smiled. "You're presently on our bed and you're staying here until I feel like you're better." He shook his head at the grunted protest. "I checked. You probably haven't eaten in days, Uncle. You're both weak with it. Ravena had the same problem, and Raena was getting it, that's why we grabbed this room. You can be the reasonable adult tonight."
"I still have classes," Draco noted between bites. He was hungry.
"There's a whole pot of it cooling at the foot of the bed," Iggy assured him. "Eat it all. How long has it been since you ate?"
"The nausea started the second day of the heat. I've tried everything."
"I know. This isn't a body-caused one, this is because of the heat. That's why you're down here until I feel her protest life by kicking you so hard you curl up." Draco smiled. "Hey, you're my big brother. It's the least I can do. Now eat it all and I'll get you some more."
"What sort of fruit?"
"Mango, peaches, cherries for some tang. Some watermelon for added juice. A little bit of orange juice if I remember right." He shrugged. "I went with what soothed you with Lucien. I remembered how much you craved fruit and this one likes it as well. Want more?" Draco nodded so he grabbed the small pot and pulled it up, pouring him out some more. "Eat it all. I'll have them make you some more, and some bread if you're up to it later."
"Thank you, Ignatius. You're a champion fusser." He slurped the soup out of the bowl, conveniently forgetting the spoon. More was poured for him. He was really hungry! As soon as he had drank the last of it, he relaxed back onto the cedar scented pillows. He searched out the sachet and tossed it onto another bed. "It was a little strong," he said at the hurt look.
"Raena chose it," he said with a shrug. "Are your senses heightened now?" Draco nodded. "The books said it happens. Did it happen last time?" Draco nodded again. "Cool. I'll tell Madam Pomfrey to make a note to your doctor about it," he said with a smile. Draco shook his head and let himself be covered. "You rest. I'll be right back, after I get us some more supplies. No one can get in if they haven't been in here already. That means your kids, and the rest of the family, but it should be fine." He winked and stood up. "You be good and talk to the little girl. Do you want anything specific?"
"Some more of the juicy sort of fruits. Sweet isn't necessary, but juicy would be good."
"Cool. It's good for you. Want some chocolate as well?" Draco shook his head. "Then I'll be right back." He left the room, heading for the kitchens. He met the Headmaster in the hallway. "He's eaten, he's cooled down, and I'm keeping him down here until the heatwave breaks. Unless you want to move his class to the storeroom that Spike taught from," he offered. "I'm also going to steal food for him."
"I brought you some," the Headmaster said with a smile. "May we?"
"Sure. Is it fruit?" He got a nod so he let the older man inside. "Visitor, Uncle. I'll still be right back." He headed up to the kitchens anyway, they didn't have anything for the kids who couldn't eat any other time but at night.
Dumbledore sat on the edge of the bed, looking down at Draco's stomach. "Is she all right?"
"Mostly. Ignatius said we were both a bit underfed and overly warm."
"Is that all this is?"
"I can only hope so," Draco said honestly. He rubbed his stomach gently, feeling some movement. He hadn't felt movement in two days so it made him relax. "I'll have Ignatius check her over more fully later on." He looked at the basket. "Anything juicy?"
"Juice," Albus said, pulling out two flagons and handing them over. "The strawberries are a bit dry, but they should still be fine. The oranges are also a bit on the wilted side due to the heat in the kitchens." He handed over the rest of the basket, watching as Draco drank both flagons of juice without stopping. "Are you feeling better?"
"Much better," he sighed in relief, then he burped. "Sorry, excuse me."
"That's fine," Dumbledore said with a tolerant smile. "Who has the children?"
"Molly. They're probably all in the pool at the moment. It's darker in there and even the house elves have been sneaking in there to wait out some of the heat." He accepted one of the oranges and smiled gratefully. "I heard my beloved caretaker say something about the room that Spike taught in?"
"He suggested that I move your classes down there for the remainder of the heat wave."
"I wouldn't mind, but I have the feeling that I'm going to be here for the next few days."
"Yes you are," Iggy said as he walked in with a bigger basket. "Shey Ravettena just got taken to the infirmary for collapsing in History. I've got enough food to let us all eat where it's cooler. Headmaster, please cancel classes for the rest of the week. It'd not only help Draco, but the rest of us who are so overheated that we're about to die. You've had so many people pass out in Herbology, and even the dungeons are hot now. Please, save us."
Dumbledore nodded, looking at Draco. "If I had a fire, I'd call them," Draco agreed. "I can't see us standing this for much longer."
"I can help you up to one," Iggy told him. "Snape's rooms are just up the hallway." Dumbledore nodded and Draco swung himself around so he could be helped up. "I know he's been trying so hard to help, but this heat sucks badly. Any idea on when it will stop?"
"Hopefully soon," Dumbledore told him. "Every other time we've gotten it, it's been about two or three weeks."
"It's been almost two," Draco reminded him. "I'll suggest that we cancel classes for the rest of this week, and possibly for next week. We can always make up some classes in that extra week if need be." He let Ignatius help him back into the hallway, noticing a difference as they headed back up into the school. "It really is cooler down there," he said in appreciation.
"The basement is totally underground. That insulates us from the heat. It's probably about that temperature all year round." He tapped on Snape's door, smiling when it was opened by the man himself. "He needs to call the Regents to cancel school for a few days."
"I was going to make that suggestion myself. I just got done talking with the Ravettenas." He let them in. "Where are you staying now?"
"In the furniture storeroom in the basement," Iggy told him. "Storm hunts the mice for us and the furniture isn't *too* broken or old." He grinned. "We could probably make another room for severe heat cases. There's two more down there."
"They're cold," Draco told him as the fireplace was filled by a head. "Andrew, we need to cancel school."
"It's cold there?" he asked.
"No, the basements are. I just got put into one because I collapsed from the heat earlier. Unfortunately, I'm one of twelve so far today. We're canceling for the rest of the week."
"You know it's only Tuesday, correct?" Draco nodded. "That's fine. Let me call about. Will you be there?"
"Not for very long," Iggy told him, crossing his arms to look as imposing as he could. "I'm going to take my patient back to the cool of the storeroom within an hour. Make it fast."
"Who are you?' the secretary asked.
"Ignatius Harris-Weasley, training potion master and healer. His personal healer if anything goes wrong in the school."
"Oh, yes, I've heard of you. Quite a nice young man from what I've heard." He smiled. "You're not that scary, Ignatius."
"Oh yes he is," Draco told him, nodding, but he was smiling. "That boy rivals his father in things nasty and slimy." He smiled at Iggy. "My *personal* healer?"
"You're family, I take care of the family first. Deal with it, I was taught to be overprotective as well as an overachiever."
The secretary laughed. "I'm sure you were. How bad is he?"
"He's under so much stress that the baby didn't move for a few days," Iggy told him. "He's under strict instructions to stay cool, eat, and rest."
"That's fine. Just this week, Mr. Malfoy?"
"Unless the heat doesn't break. We might be able to do some half classes in the early evening otherwise." He closed his eyes and rubbed his stomach. "Calm down. I'll get comfortable soon."
"You'll do it now," Snape told him, forcing Draco to stand and walking him over to the couch to sit him down. "Andrew, it is that bad. We've got a problem so large some of us have thought about calling up a frost imp to cure them. Ignatius' father had to cool the dungeons down earlier." Andrew hissed and nodded. "Thank you. He'll be here for a bit longer, or I'll pass on the message." The head disappeared. "Do you need anything?"
"Do you have any water or juice?"
"Tara has some apple juice," Iggy told him, heading for it.
"She'll yell if you drink it," Snape warned.
"Yay. I'll get her some more today when I make a store run for Uncle Draco." He handed over the large bottle, watching as it was gulped down. "He hasn't eaten since the second day of the heat." He looked up and smiled. "Auntie Tara said he could have it as long as we replaced it, which Daddy said would be fine. Is there any particular fruit that the baby wants?"
"Not really. Just juice and light. Too sweet would be bad, but this is great."
"Wonderful. I know *just* the place to get you some. I'll have to go deeper into muggle London, but Daddy won't mind too much." He grabbed his head and winced. "I'll check in with Percy before I leave and when I come back," he whined. Snape looked at him. "There's an all natural juice, fruit, and veggie place near the center of the city that I've been to once or twice. I'll go there and get him what he needs."
"As long as you're careful. I know how you can be when you're worried," Draco reminded him.
"I will be. And I'm sure anyone who can will be listening as well." The fire flared to life and they turned to look at the man's head sitting in it. "Who're you?"
"What do you want, Mathers?"
"You want to cancel school because of some heat?" he sneered.
"The Ravettena heir passed out earlier," Snape told him. The man looked scared. "As did eighteen other children and one of the professors. Yes, we will be canceling school for the rest of the week and possibly next week. Even my classrooms aren't cool enough to hold classes in."
"Who's that?" he said, nodding at Iggy.
"You're worst nightmare come to life," Iggy said dryly. He looked down at Draco. "There's some more fruit back in the room if you wanted it."
"Please," Draco agreed. He smiled as the boy hurried off. "It's so bad that all of us here are ready to call frost imps and let them loose on the student body. I can override you."
"Then you'll have to do so. We can't just call of school for no reason!"
"We can for this one!" Draco told him harshly, standing up. "Do you know how hot it was in *my* classroom today? It was hot enough that even an ice spell wouldn't work! Get over yourself or you'll find yourself in one of the tower rooms to prove how hot it is!" He grunted and took a deep breath, sitting back down. Snape looked at him. "I'm fine. Just a bit upset." He took another deep breath. "We are canceling school for the rest of this week. Even the ghosts have noticed how hot it is." The man looked disturbed. "If you have a real objection, by all means come up and see for yourself." Snape turned off the floo. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Iggy walked back in with the remaining strawberries and a wilted orange. "Is that good enough for him?"
"It's all we have at the moment," Iggy admitted. The fire flared up with the secretary's head. "Problems?"
"No, only one," he admitted. "He'll be up to see you soon, Draco." Draco shrugged and nibbled on a strawberry. "Those look ancient."
"The farms that supply the school didn't get a lot of rain this summer," Draco reminded him. "It's like that all over the country." He ate another one. "These are stale and dry." He put the plate aside. "Can you go now?"
"Sure." Iggy gave him a hug. "We're in the second auxilliary storeroom and I'm sending Simone down to get him if Ravena can't," Iggy told him, hurrying out. "He's to go back to bed."
"Fine," Draco sighed. He looked at the head in the fireplace. "Do you see how they fuss?"
"Let them," Snape advised. "It makes the whole family happy to be of use to you." He looked at the secretary. "Well?"
"Consider it canceled until Monday, we'll decide on that Sunday night if necessary. Mathers is already on his way up."
"Wonderful news," Draco said, standing up. "Can I lock him in one of those tower rooms with no windows?" The other men laughed and he nodded at the secretary before closing off the connection. The fire was doused. "Thank Merlin," Draco sighed. "I'm going to follow orders. It's about fifteen degrees cooler down there." He considered the plate and took it just in case someone else was hungry. As soon as he climbed back into bed, his eldest daughter walked in and climbed in with him. "Do you sleep on this one as well?" he teased.
"No, this is Iggy and Raena's bed. I sleep over there." She pointed at the small twin sized bed. "It's enough for me." She kissed his cheek then moved down to rest her head on his stomach. "How are you, baby?"
"She's fine, dear. We both are. Ignatius said so." He stroked over her hair, hoping that everything would continue to be fine.
Iggy walked into the market, smiling at the person behind the counter. "Shopping for a pregnant one," he said. "Can you help me?" She smiled and followed him back to the fruit. "The pregnant one wants juicy things, but not too sweet. He said it's sickly at the moment."
Iggy mentally berated himself. "She's so tough that she's like my older brother or a beloved uncle," he told her. "She's about six and a half along and is *very* picky. She drank nearly a gallon of apple juice earlier."
"Ooh, that is horrible. The heat?" she said in sympathy. Iggy nodded. "How terrible that must be."
"We're living in the basement of the house because it's cooler down there."
"That's very wise," she told him. "Does this woman prefer anything in particular?"
"Well, she was drinking apple juice and spends some time eating those. She'll eat any fruit, but like I said nothing too sweet. Last time she was pregnant, she had cravings for tropical fruit, but I'm not sure she's settled out into a specific type this time."
"We can do that. The strawberries all over the country are dry this year, the spring drought was horrible, but the apples are nice." She pointed at them. "Some of the foreign berries are very nice. Anything from Sweden is wonderful this year because they had an excellent growing season. Oh, and the grapes. Seedless or seeds in?"
"Either's fine. She can spit them out." He realized he had left his wallet at the house and quickly called his wife. She said it'd take her about twenty minutes to make it through the bank, but agreed to bring him money. "Let's go slowly. My wife is joining me and ...." She looked at him. "I can dream, can't I? She's a wonderful girl, my woman is. I love her tons and she's very special. She's already agreed to marry me when we're eighteen so I see it as a formality."
"You are so cute," she told him, pinching his cheek. "We can go slowly. How much were you wanting to spend?"
"I've got money, it's just that she holds it. We've probably got at least two hundred pounds to spend on this one spot alone."
"Really?" she said, looking him over.
"Her money. Our beloved pregnant one is the rich uncle I always wanted. Treats me like her own son some days. Blonde, pretty, tall, stunning really. Tried modeling but that would be work."
"Where is this one from?"
"We're renting a small house in town for my schooling. I'm a chemistry prodigy and trying to get early admittance to university." He showed her his school ID from the Royal Academy. "Very select private academy for people like me. You have to get invited to even know it exists."
"Oh, my." She patted him on the shoulder. "I've heard of places like that. Got any royals?"
"A distant cousin. This is on academic merit. I met my future wife there." He beamed as he felt Raena teleport to near him. "She should be here any time now," he said, looking at her watch. "She's very punctual."
Raena walked in and handed Iggy a small wallet. "You forgot it this morning," she teased, giving him a kiss. "What are we getting our beloved pregnant one?"
"Fruit and juice," Iggy told her. "Grapes, apples, Swedish anything, what else?"
"Berries." She loaded up their cart for them, picking only the best. Her store, hosting one of them? How wonderful! "How did you hear of me? You look slightly familiar."
"One of my 'aunts," he did the finger quotes, "shops here. Tara?" She beamed. "She's my might-as-well-be aunt. She introduced us last summer." He picked up a fuzzy fruit. "How about these?"
"Peaches are good, but the ones I have in stock are a little hard. You'll have to ripen them for a few days in a paper sack." She loaded a few handfuls of them into the cart as well. "Juice?"
"Please. The rest of us might steal it from her, but she desperately needs it. The heat is so bad she hasn't eaten anything but juice in days."
"I can understand that. No air conditioning?"
"It's broken and the repairmen are backed up," Raena told her. "She's picky about her contractors because one of the ones fixing her country house stole from her last year."
"I've heard that can be a problem. No breezes that way?"
"We can't attend school from out there," Iggy told her. "Our father allows us to live with the beloved one because it's better for our futures."
"Are you two related?"
"No, my family's Dutch," Raena told her. "So I got adopted as soon as Ignatius and I made a solid commitment. It's a wonderfully close family."
"That is good news. Do you want cans, bottles, or jugs?"
"Any and all?" Iggy suggested. "We don't really have a large trash allotment at the moment."
"Then we'll do jugs and we can find cups," Raena assured him. She pointed at some of the largest of apple juice. "How is that brand?"
"Unsweetened, but decent enough. I don't stock anything I wouldn't eat." She put a few cases of juice onto the cart, then some of the sweetened ones, ending up with the mixed ones. "Cherry sound good to you guys?"
"Cherry sounds wonderful," Iggy agreed. "Just give us anything, we'll drink it. We drink grape soda often enough."
"Ah, that I have a lot of," she said, going for the boxes of grape juice. "This is concentrate. You mix water into it, all right?" They nodded. "Good." She gave them her stock of that, it hadn't been selling very well anyway. "Anything else?"
"Some light veggies so she can work up to it?" Raena suggested, looking at Iggy. "What did you get her to eat today?"
"Fruit soup. She ate the whole pot," he said proudly.
"Hmm. How about this," she said, pulling out another cart and filling it with the freshest vegetables. "Anything else?"
"No radishes, pregnant women and they don't usually get along," Raena told her, putting them back. "But those cucumbers look wonderful. Add some more for me please. I'll have them tonight for dinner." Some more were added. "Thank you." She looked around the shop. "Iggy?"
"I think that's it," he agreed, handing back the money to her. "Let me step outside and call a cab." He walked out to the corner phone and pretended to call one, using his hidden wand to call a wizard's cab. It sped up to his side and stopped so he leaned in the window. "We're on a buying trip," he explained. "Lots of fruit and veggies. Can you get us back to the Leaky?"
"It's closed due to heat," the cabbie told him. "Where are you headed?"
"Hogwarts," he said quietly. The cabbie laughed. "We're buying fruit and veggies for the Malfoy family."
"Oh, them." His eyes widened. "I could get you to a relative's house and let them help you carry it across," he suggested.
"How much to get us to the Burrow?"
"'Bout ten galleons."
"Deal. We're at the little fruit store a few stores back." He popped out and went to help carry as the cab parked in front of the store.
The cabbie whistled when he saw everything. "You weren't kidding. Give me an extra one and I'll even help carry into the house."
"Deal," Raena agreed. She smiled at him. "Draco will be very happy with us."
"And Shey. She's probably not feeling very well still."
"Ravettena?" the cabbie asked, looking stunned.
Raena nodded, but Iggy answered. "She passed out in class. We're going to be canceling classes for a few days if the teachers have anything to say about it."
"Wow." He helped get some more of the things out of the store for them. "How much did you spend?"
"Three hundred pounds, but I don't think we'll be in trouble for overspending," Raena told him, loading more bags into the back. They ended up with just enough room for them to snuggle in on each other's lap. She waved at the shopkeeper, taking the card with her to give to Draco in case he needed it. And they were off, zooming down the street so fast that the buildings blurred past. "Gee, you're fast," she told him.
The cabbie laughed. "I try to be. There's only two of us for all you guys and with most floos dead today because of the heat we're a tad bit busy."
"Hey, we tip," Iggy told him.
"I did remember to save out ten galleons for us," she agreed. "Plus another two hundred muggle in case we needed to make another stop."
"I don't think we need anything else," Iggy told her. "Though you're going to have to put one of my thumbtacks down there so I can hit it. I haven't marked the room for teleporting yet."
"Fine with me." They turned into the drive up to the Burrow and got out, Raena paying the nice man. Molly came out. "Draco's passed out because of the heat," she told her. "He hasn't eaten so we got him fruit, veggies, and juice."
"Oh, dear," Molly said, looking inside the house. "No one else is here."
"That's fine, grandmother, we only need a spot to take off from. The floos are down," Iggy assured her. He started to heft things inside, floating whole stacks with his new wand.
"Ignatius, what is that?" Molly asked, pointing at the silver thing.
"My new wand. This one replaced the one that I thought I had lost for good." He got out of Raena's way, watching as she carried in everything else with the cabbie's help.
"Here, let me get you a tip," Molly said, hurrying in to get him a little something extra.
"The couple did," he assured her. He handed her a card with a smile. "Call on us if you need us. We're run by the same folks who do the Knight Bus." He winked at her, making her giggle, and left to check his cab over. He already had another call waiting, he could feel it. He found two last bags and handed them over.
"Those aren't ours," Raena told him, looking inside. "Um, Iggy?" He jogged out to see too. "You might want to take them to the Ministry. Those are muggle weapons."
"Guns," Iggy agreed, pulling one out. "Loaded too, stupid creatures." He unloaded all of them, using spellotape to attach the clips with the proper gun since there were so many of them. "There you go. Tell them that we unloaded them."
"Thank you. Don't know who could have dropped that." The cabbie scratched his head and went to call his boss to let the other guy get the order. He needed to drop those off. He took off again, heading for the local Ministry office. As soon as he walked into the Magical Law Enforcement office, the bags were taken. "My last passengers unloaded them."
"Who were they?" the officer asked, frowning at the devices. "And what are these?"
"The kid named Iggy said they were called guns and that he unloaded them. The taped on things came from inside the handle." He shrugged when the officer looked at him. "They went to the Burrow if you wanted to ask, and I can get you a list of our other passengers." The officer straightened up as an office door opened. The boss walked out. "Found these in the cab and my last passenger told me what they were and to come to you lot."
"Guns," he said, frowning. "Who was your last passenger? Gryphon-born touched them last."
"Nice kids. Iggy and Raena?" The boss smiled. "They said to tell you that they unloaded them. I found 'em under the seat when I was unpacking their things and they said it wasn't theirs. I can get you a list of my passengers if you want."
"Better yet, let me get the person you need to talk to you, whose house you were just at anyway," the boss said with a smile. "He'll want to know, he's over muggle things." He went to summon Arthur, telling him what little he knew. He came quickly, making the cabbie very happy. "Here, tell him."
The cabbie repeated the tale, then shrugged. "I'll give ya whatever you need. Those two were really nice and even tipped me so I'm not losing money yet."
"What were they doing in town?" Arthur asked worriedly.
"Buying fruit and veggies for your son-in-law," the cabbie said with a smile. "Seems he passed out at the school."
"Oh, dear." He didn't look any less worried. "Please get me that list and I'll take them with me. Our current Minister might know of any of us who carry these. Besides my son."
"Which son?" the officer not in charge asked.
"Ron. It's for his job. Lead and silver bullets mostly." He grimaced. "I think it's much too dangerous but he says he locks it up." He went to summon the Minister while the cabbie got him the list.
Iggy looked up as he presorted the stuff that needed to go first. "I can't feel it," he muttered. "The room's too shielded." He grimaced as he listened. "No, I'm not good enough for that. Tell Snape to open up the dungeon." He shuddered. "Better them than me. Cleaning on a day like today." He shrugged as he looked at everything. "Then we'll appear in the tower and carry everything down but that means we'll get followed." He snorted. "I'm sure the Headmaster would love that, dear one. Ah, hell, ask him." He looked around as he waited. "Grandmother, are you dealing all right with the heat?"
"I'm fine, Ignatius," she said from the kitchen. "How is everyone at the school?" She came out, wiping her hands off and sat near the piles of things. "Did poor Draco really pass out?" Iggy nodded. "I heard the driver say that."
"He really did," Iggy agreed.
"Are you sure he wanted everyone one to know?"
"He told someone else, Grandmother. It was going to get around anyway. Besides, we've had so many pass out it won't look strange at all." He looked over as Raena returned. "Where are we heading?"
"The hallway outside the dungeons. The house elves will help us carry." She grabbed a few of the bags and took off with them.
Iggy smiled at her. "Feel free to come up. We're in a basement storage room right now because it's cold down there. Or send anyone who needs to talk about those guns over." He smiled at her. "We'll talk this weekend, even if it is too hot to breathe." He waved and left with the majority of the boxes, letting his wife go back for the rest. "Hey, guys," he said, smiling at the elves. "You do know where this is going?"
"Kitchen," Dobby told him.
"No," Iggy said. "The second auxiliary storeroom. This is Professor Malfoy's stuff." They nodded and carried them down to the basement, with one of the elves running to get the stuff that had mistakenly went to the kitchen. Iggy followed them once he felt Raena pick up the rest of everything, smiling as he walked in. "Simone, Denver, we need a cold storage area. Uncle Draco, that gets mixed with two liters of water." He smiled as he watched everything get grabbed and unpacked. "Fruit, juices, and veggies," he said, handing over the card. The Headmaster walked in with a few leftover bags and he smiled at them. "Expect someone to come looking for me. We found guns in the back of the cab and I unloaded them."
"I heard. Your grandfather called me and asked if you had returned yet. He's leading the officer up to ask for a statement." He handed the bags to Anastasia, who was unpacking everything. "Are you sure you got enough?"
"I'm not leaving this room until the heat is over with," Iggy told him honestly. "I got most of this for Uncle Draco, but I'm sure he'll share with the family." He looked at his uncle, giving him a slight grin. "Please?"
"Of course I will," Draco agreed. "How do you mix this stuff?"
"You pour it into a pitcher and add two liters of water," Iggy told him. "Then mix, chill, and drink."
"Good enough. Do we have one of those?"
"Right here," Simone said, handing over a glass pitcher she had already stolen. "Iggy, just the veggies to be chilled?"
"And not frozen," Melvin called out. "My father did that one, they tasted nasty."
"That doesn't surprise me about Uncle Percy," Simone said dryly. "He's not the most culinary of all people." She finished stacking the fresh fruit against the cold area, then got out of her brother's way as he stockpiled the juices for their father. "What's for dinner, Headmaster?"
"An announcement and fruit salads." He smiled at them. "You can come up if you want."
"I'd rather not," she told him. "Have practices and the town games been canceled?" He nodded. "Then someone needs to get books and we'll do homework tonight so we can sleep in tomorrow." Everyone nodded and Melvin was the one elected to get all the books since he knew where they kept theirs, and Ravena could get all the Slytherin ones. Those two hurried out. "Headmaster," Simone asked nicely. "Is school canceled?"
"Until Sunday. Then we'll look at the weather again and figure out if it's going to stay hot next week as well. We'll have to arrange for some night classes if it is."
"You could switch us to full night classes," Denver suggested. "Starting after dinner and moving through the night. We'd have enough time to get used to that schedule this week if you told us, and then change back in a few weeks when it cooled down again."
"That is an excellent idea, and very like one your father suggested," the Headmaster told him. "Are you settled in otherwise?"
"We could use some more pillows," Raena said as she walked in with the rest of the bags, their grandfather, and an officer. "Iggy, they're here."
"I'm here," he said, pushing Draco back into the bed so he could check him over.
"What are you doing?" the officer asked.
"The baby's been affected by the heat and I'm checking on her," he said quietly, concentrating. Something was put on his wrist and he looked at the officer. "You could have waited. That was dangerous for all three of us. If I had been in deeper communion with the energy flows, it could have made him miscarry or killed me." He stood up and zapped the cuff, taking it off and handing it back. "They weren't our guns, I simply unloaded them for safety's sake. I figured most of you wouldn't even know what they are." He looked over as more of the kids staying with them walked in. "Hey, Shey, we got some juice if you'd like some. It's chilling right now."
"Maybe in a few minutes," she said weakly, collapsing on her bed. "I don't feel good."
"That's why we're down here," Raena assured her, coming over to sit beside of her and give her a short shoulder rub. "It'll be fine soon enough. Drink some juice once you're ready to equalize your body's internal temperature and keep you from dehydrating." The girl smiled up at her. "What? I take the same healer lessons as Iggy does."
"He's a healer?" the officer asked.
"Technically, I'm a potion's prodigy with an interest in healing potions and an affinity for the unborn," Iggy told him. "So I'm taking healing lessons as part of my training." He crossed his arms. "If you had asked me, I might even be pleasant right about now."
"Ignatius," Arthur warned.
"I just got back from Muggle London," Iggy reminded him. "Feel lucky I'm being civil. I hate having to think up lies for them. I had to explain why Draco was a guy when I said he was pregnant." Raena giggled. "Thankfully my wife is damn fast on her feet. So the nice shopkeeper thinks that he's one of those tough women who remind you of men." Arthur smiled. "Between that and actually botching a potion this morning, I'm not having a good day." He looked at the officer. "If you talk to me like a human being and ask me questions, I will answer," he told him.
"Fine. Who found the guns?"
"The cabdriver did," Iggy told him, sitting down and getting comfortable by crossing his feet in front of him. "He thought they were more of our packages but when Raena looked, she called me over and I saw what they were. Then I took one out to check it over, make sure it wasn't a toy or something, and found them loaded. So I unloaded them, taping the clips to the butts of the guns so they wouldn't get mixed up."
"Muggles make toy guns?" Simone asked.
Iggy nodded. "Some of them are so real that thieves have used them in robberies. Those were all older models, you might ask my father if he recognizes the model."
"How did you know how to make them safe, kid?" the officer asked, taking down his responses.
"Have you met my father Xander?" Iggy asked him. The officer shook his head. "Oh, you haven't heard of him. Okay. My father, Xander Harris-Weasley, lived and fought on the Hellmouth for five years before coming here to teach demonology. That was his life. Between him and Uncle Ron, I am very well versed in many weapons. Both archaic and not. I know how to unload any normal automatic weapon, any revolver, any uzi, any ak-47, though they're banned supposedly, and most shotguns if I can find the catch to open the breach. The ones with the holder for more than two shells I never really learned how to do more than flick the safety on because daddy got sick that week and forgot to teach me." He grinned. "I can also sharpen a sword or a battle axe, use a light sword or a light battle axe, use a fighting hammer somewhat, and shoot a crossbow, though my aim sucks ass."
"Kid, who the hell are you?" the officer asked.
"Ignatius Harris-Weasley," he said again, this time smiling. "Son of George Harris-Weasley and Xander Harris-Weasley. One runs a joke shop and the other fights demons and bad guys." The officer's mouth fell open so he looked at Draco. "Can you explain it better?"
"Xander is the one who trains the aurors," Arthur told him.
"I do the physical training," Draco corrected. "He does the specialized training and the spells now." He popped a grape into his mouth. "I like these, even if they are seeded."
"You can always spit," Iggy said patiently. Draco smiled at him. "Be thankful, she said most of the local produce was bad this year. The spring drought was horrible for most of the local crops." Arthur nodded. "You have to ask Raena how much we spent, I was calling the cab."
"Raena, dear, how much did you spend?" Draco asked, popping another grape into his mouth.
"Three-hundred-forty-six pounds," she told him. "Including the tip we gave to the driver for helping us carry everything into the Burrow." She smiled at Arthur. "The Leaky Cauldron was closed."
"I wasn't too sure about sending stuff through the floo anyway," Iggy admitted. "Soot and fruit don't exactly go together."
"Neither do glass bottles," Anastasia noted. "Shey, apple juice?"
"Please," she called. "I think I'm ready." A glass was carried over to her and she moaned as she drank it. "This is wonderful."
"Apple juice is one of the best juices to drink when you're dehydrated, that's why we got so much of it," Iggy told her with a smile. "Feel free to nibble. We can always go back for more." He looked at the officer and his grandfather again. "I would have left them alone, but I figured someone was going to shoot someone else if I left them that way. You should be able to fade my aura out and find the person who had them."
"We think they may have been a muggle that works with us," Arthur told him. The officer stared at him. "He deserves the right to know. You're not under suspicion, Iggy."
"Goodie. Have you talked to the Minister of Magic himself since he's about the only one who uses muggle weapons and would know about any others? Unless we keep records of who has them." Draco nodded. "Who does that?"
"Mysteries. All unusual weapons go through them. They have all of Xander's weapons cataloged as well." Draco ate another grape and handed the remaining stem to Arthur. "Eat, I'm full."
"Then you have to take a nap now," Iggy said firmly. "You too, Shey. Drink your fill and then nap." She nodded, putting down her empty cup and curling under the blankets.
"This is a nice setup," Arthur admitted. "Does the Headmaster know?"
"We had to beg and promise to leave once the heatwave was over with," Simone told him, coming over to give him a hug now that he looked happier. "We're officially sneaking around but most everyone will be searching out cool places soon. We have to let them in if they ask, but that's fine with us."
"And we did put the anti-grope charm on the door," Denver added. His grandfather smiled at him. "Not for me, for Agatha and Ryan."
"I think it might be too late for them to not grope," Draco noted, snuggling down under his own blankets. "Ignatius, where are you two sleeping tonight?"
"Curled around you so we can monitor the baby," Raena told him, scowling at him. "Iggy, get him another blanket, honey. He looks cold."
"I'm fine," Draco said quickly. Arthur checked him over. "Really, I am," he said, a little more warmly this time.
"I know you hate being fussed over, but stop it," Iggy told him. "We enjoy it and you've got to suffer. Just like you did last time." He grinned suddenly. "Want the little creatures?"
"They're fine with us," Arthur assured them. "They would only get in the way here. They've swam every day in the pond and are fine."
"Has Molly unlocked the pool house?" Draco asked.
"Yes, son, she has. The elves are fine." Simone and Mellie both smiled at him. "Mellie, where is your brother?"
"Serving his last detention with Uncle Lupin," she said honestly. "He was cranky yesterday and Uncie Sirius gave him two of them. I offered to write father, but Ron said not to."
The officer cleared his throat. "You children are strange. How many of you know how to undo those guns?" Simone, Iggy, Draco, Denver, Melvin, and Andrea raised their hands.
"You do?" Draco asked that last one.
"Grandfather used to hunt so mother made sure I knew my way around his rifle, even though I couldn't see it," Andrea told him. Melvin beamed at her like she was the greatest thing ever. "Did you bring down my books, Melvin?"
"They're in the pile beside your right foot, dear," he said, nipping her on the ear. He winced and pulled away from her. "Iggy, can't you tone down the protective anti-grope charm?"
"Mine allowed nuzzles and kisses," Iggy said with a shrug. "Try and kiss her, see what happens."
"It won't work," Agatha told them from her bed. She looked up. "I got zapped earlier. You guys get past it because you're married." She tossed her book aside. "Has anyone seen Ryan?"
"He was heading into Moaning Mrytle's bathroom the last I saw of him," Shey said quietly.
"Sleep, young lady," Emily warned. "Your mother wrote me a very long and stern note about how I was to watch out for you. Do so now."
"Yes, pseudo-mother," Shey said, smiling at her. Then she smiled at Ravena. "Are you comfortable over there?"
"Yeah, Ronnie takes the other end of the couch and we barely touch feet all night," she agreed. She smiled at her grandfather. "What? Technically we're not related and he understands me."
"I'm sure he does," Arthur agreed with a smile. "Draco, do you need anything from your rooms or house?"
"Not at the moment. How is Lucien?"
"Rotten, as usual," Arthur said with a smile. "He hasn't let go of Maeve in at least a week now. We have to pry him off her so she can take her own bath, or a bath with the other two girls." Iggy grinned. "What?"
"How is Zach, since I know you have him and William as well."
"William is a little bit fussy. Zach has had an earache for the last few days, even though we've used the medicines. So William tries to soothe him and Zach snaps, and William ends up upset about it. He's a very sensitive little boy you know."
"Yeah, I do, more than most. They can come back for at least a few hours," Iggy pointed out. "It's nice down here. We can watch them, and it'll be a diversion from the homework." He looked at the officer, who was looking a bit confused. "What don't you understand?"
"Who is Zach?"
"Zachariah is Professors Snape and Maclay's son," Draco told him. "He adores Ignatius' little brother William as a friend so they're constantly together, as our my son and his little sister."
"That's a mild understatement," Arthur said with great humor. "They cling to each other like the other's going to be stolen some day."
The officer shook his head. "Are you staying here, kid?" Iggy nodded. "Then if we have any more questions, I'll send my boss. Minister Weasley?"
"Coming," he said, stopping to give all the children a hug, even Andrea and Shey. "Have a nice night, and behave, children," he admonished gently before leaving them alone.
"I think we confused him," Iggy said innocently.
"Yes, because you just rattled off those weapons qualifications like it was nothing and you didn't spend two summers learning those," Simone said dryly. She headed over to the cold area. "I'm getting cherries, anyone want some?" Her father and Melvin held up a hand so she pulled some off into a paper towel and handed them over before sitting down. "Homework and what tonight?"
"I've got exploding snap," Denver offered, pulling the deck out of his robe pocket. "Think anyone will find us down here?"
"Most of the students don't know that there is a basement," Iggy pointed out. "They don't go past the dungeons."
"Should we expect Adrian?" Andrea suggested.
"Probably," Iggy agreed. "If he hasn't found his own spot already. Have Snape or Tara been down yet?" Everyone shook their heads. "They know where we are in case something happens. So we might be seeing them. Possibly fathers or Uncle Ron as well." Everyone nodded. "Anyone want to invite someone down?"
"The cool gels melted already," Simone told him. "You really did botch it?"
"We used an aluminum cauldron instead of a pewter one," Raena told him. "It caused a reaction that spoiled it." She got up and walked over to sit beside her mate, giving him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "You got hyper, Iggy. That's what freaked him out."
"I hate being questioned," he whined, putting his head on her shoulder. "It's one of my many faults."
"You've only got a few and this one is the same one that makes you rude during crises. I can put up with those." She stroked down his back. "Do you want to lie down and nap with Draco?" He nodded. "Then you do that, I'll be up for a while longer, setting up a watch for anyone who needs inside."
"I'll do it," Simone told her. "I need to go back up to my room anyway and get some of my fun reading materials."
Andrea mock-gasped. "Not the porn," she teased.
"No! There are kids in the room," Simone told her, tossing a pillow at her best friend. "I'll leave that for a shower." She stood up. "Denver, watch for now." He waved a hand, still reading. So she left them there, heading up to the tower. She walked in on an argument and grimaced, but whistled, breaking up the heated argument. "Need help?"
"Where are you!" the Head Boy for the school demanded.
"The basement. School's being called off so you guys can all go find yourselves cooler spots if you want. We've got a small room, but we've also got adults and a no-grope charm." They groaned. "Sorry, but Iggy's with us." That got a few laughs. "If you want to heat-proof the tower, you're going to have to do a few things. You're going to have to cover the windows with drapes that will keep the heat out and the cool in. Thick, heavy drapes. It'll be stifling for a day or so, but it will help. You'll need to set pots of water about so the air doesn't go completely dry. You'll need to use that cooling gel the fifth years made today in potions. Someone can distribute mine and Denver's, we won't be needing it."
"What about Iggy's?" the top female Prefect asked. "He usually makes bigger batches."
"He used an aluminum cauldron instead of a pewter one because his student ones were all dirty. It soured his. Like I said, either make the tower a cool, dark spot, or go find a cool dark spot. We're housing the kids who have gotten so heat sick they couldn't eat, and I'm betting some of the rest of the rooms in the basement are going to be used in the same manner. Try to stay cool, guys. Really. The room we're in is shielded and we can't hear you if you scream." The others nodded.
"Put shiny stuff up in the windows, shiny side outward, and it should help a lot. Muggles do it for their cars," one second year boy suggested.
"Tinfoil and a heavy blanket," Simone agreed. "Do all the windows that get direct sunlight. You can leave the dark and shady ones open to create a breeze and all sleep down here if you camp out. That's the best thing for right now. That and pray for rain with whatever deity you find soothing." She crossed her arms. "Any other complaints?"
"How did you find the basement?" one of the other fifth year girls asked.
"Duh," Simone said with a grin, "Iggy grew up here. He played in every little room in this place for ten years."
"Oh! Adrian!" a sixth year girl said happily. "He should know." Simone nodded. "Do you guys have him?"
"No, but I'm assuming he's already found a quiet, dark spot. He might not have food supplies though so see if he's at dinner. Has anyone found the fan spells?" One seventh year boy held up his hand. "Okay, get the air moving once you've got the windows covered. Anyone who wants to sunbathe can go outside." They giggled and went to do as she said, and she went to get her books. This weather really did suck. She walked back downstairs and found Raena and Iggy wrapped around her father, which was so cute! She wished she had a camera, but settled for grinning with her siblings. She settled onto her own bed and kept an eye on the door, letting in her uncles when they showed up, including Fred, Oliver, and the girls of the team. Apparently they had tried to practice anyway. "The dark corner with the single light has food and drinks," she told them. "The stuff in the cartons needs to be mixed with two liters of water if you wanted more of that. There's fruits and veggies, all cold, and leave anything juicy for father." Fred gave her a hug. "Thanks. Daddy passed out."
"Wonderful news that he's all right," Fred assured her. He walked over to where the girls were drinking juice and smiled at them. "Want to move a few pieces of furniture out of the corners for ourselves?"
"If you do, let the dog check them for mice," Simone called gently. Everyone shuddered. Ravena had woken up with one standing on her chest, trying to see if she was still alive. Her scream had woken them all twenty minutes before the alarms went off. "Are we training?"
"On paper," Katie told her, sitting on the end of her bed. "Big mice?"
"Little nosy mice," she said, dropping her book to smile at her. "Pet mice sort of mice, probably used to feed someone's pet snake. Or Slytherin's pet whatever-it-was in the Chamber of Secrets." She pointed her wand at some movement in the shadows and fired, making it squeal and die. "See? Ravena, we need the cats. Glinda's out on a long hunt for Baby." She and Ana went to get their cats. They would be well fed tonight if they hunted. She looked over as Fred and George moved some more beds. "Uncle Fred, did you ever change Iggy's bed for him? He whined for nearly an hour after coming home." She noticed how everyone but Xander blushed. "You guys had an orgy?"
"No, I gave excellent backrubs," Xander told her. He walked over to give her a hug. "What can we provide?"
"Your own dishes and some entertainment?" Simone suggested. "It's going to be a long week otherwise. And if you're going to have sex, please don't wake the rest of us up."
"Sure, kiddo, we won't keep you guys up." He went to talk to his mate, who guffawed and made sure a few of the beds were more out of the light than others. They could be lit individually if necessary. "How big is this place?" Xander asked finally, not finding the wall across from the entry. He had walked that way about five minutes ago, and disappeared into the dark, but still hadn't found it. "Hey, double beds," he said in appreciation. "I guess this is where ours came from." He came out of the shadows. "If we can light it up back there, we can give room for more people."
"We need a bathroom down this way," Katie told him.
"It's the next floor up and is a blue door across from the dungeon," Simone told her. Katie looked at her. "We've been here since yesterday."
"Ah." She got up and went to go help, and Xander shrugged. It only took him a few minutes to find all the necessary things and a broken toilet using a location spell. Within half an hour they had a flushing, old-fashioned watercloset sort of toilet and a silencing spell on a shielding screen.
"Xander, you're amazing," Alicia told him, putting in two lights. If someone was back there, the second light lit up, the first was to keep out the mice. She fell onto a bed with a sigh and smiled at Fred. "Did you want to share with Katie and I?"
"I can do that," he agreed, sliding between them. "I used to dream about being a sandwich between you three women."
"You and me both," George admitted.
"And yet, you're married to a guy," Oliver teased. "Ladies, can I smoosh in there too?"
"We'll switch off," Alicia told him, getting up to join him on his bed. "Do you snuggle?"
"I don't remember, it's been a while," he admitted. He shrugged and she smiled. "Wanna find out?"
"There's a no-groping charm on the room," Simone called out. "Only Iggy and Raena can get past it."
Xander giggled. "I guess the son and us are the only ones who'll be making a lot of noise then, huh," he said happily. Draco groaned so he hurried to his side. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I've got to piss," Draco said, struggling to get out. Eventually Xander had to lift him up and set him down onto the floor. "We have more visitors?"
"And a bathroom," Xander told him, steering him toward it. He left him in there and looked around. "Draco, do you want your own bed?"
"No, I'm fine," Draco told them. "I'll push those two together and lay behind them." He came out drying off his hands. "Nice touch with the water. Thank you, whoever thought that up." He was stopped by Xander, who gave him a hug. "I'm fine. I've had a lot of juice. You should have some, it's good."
"I know. I've already had a bit of it. Are you sure? You can crawl in with George and I."
"Or me," Ron offered from his bed.
"Daddy, you know you can snuggle in with any of us," Denver told him, yawning as he put down his book.
"You're allowed to sleep wherever you fall," George agreed. He patted the stomach gently and smiled at his son and daughter-in-law. "Come nap with us, Draco. I want to talk to the baby anyway, try to get my spoiling influence in now." He led him over to the bed they had selected, putting him between him and Xander so they could both talk to him.
Everyone settled in for a nap, except Simone, who stayed up long enough to appoint a new watcher once her sisters got back with their cats. Who did hunt very well, and presented everything to their mothers.
Adrian Maclay looked up as people started to crowd around him. "What?" he asked cautiously. "I haven't done anything upsetting in the last two weeks."
"Yes, but you know where all the cool, dark spots are," the Head Girl for the school pointed out as she sat across from him.
"Iggy and Madam Pomfrey are using the basement," he said, taking another bite of his fruit salad. One of the Slytherin idiots took his fork and he sighed. "All right. But I expect not to get beaten up at least until the holidays." They all nodded. "Why don't you try the room that the vampire taught in? It's a former store room, has no windows, and held most of the school comfortably. With Iggy and his family out of there, it should be big enough. You could probably even section out houses if you wanted."
Professor Snape walked up to the group. "What is going on here?" he demanded.
Adrian smiled up at him. "They wanted me to tell them where all the cool, dark spots are, Professor." Snape nodded. "I suggested the room that the vampire taught in."
"It's a little weak so we had to cancel part of the stretching spell over the summer," he said thoughtfully. "Those rooms would be more than adequate though. There's five or six of them spread around."
"Iggy has the basement and Madam Pomfrey declared that any serious heat cases would be down there," Adrian told him.
"I heard that from both sources." He looked around. "Headmaster, my step-son has come up with an idea."
"Indeed?" Dumbledore said, looking down at them. "What idea is that?"
"If we can use the storerooms, we can section them out by houses. The one that the vampire taught in is big enough for most everybody. Plus there's a few others on this end of the school if we can use the East wing's ones."
"Excellent idea, Adrian. Twenty points to you," the Headmaster agreed. They had been designated by Xander as places to hide students in case of an attack so the rooms were habitable and able to hold most everyone comfortably. They had even made certain provisions available near there. He looked at his teachers, thinking how he'd have to put the emergency plans into writing someday soon so they would know as well. "That would mean that most of us would have to chaperone of course."
"I'm for it," Lupin agreed. "I'm so warm I thought I was going to float out of my clothes earlier."
Sirius nodded. "I could use with some heat relief myself. I'll even take the younger children so no one can say anything," he said, looking at Snape, then at Tara.
She smiled. "The children are all with Molly at the moment, so we can take duties as well. Severus?" He nodded. "We can do it either house wise or if we're going to use the former big storeroom, we can separate them out into house groups and patrol the edges."
"That would be wonderful and there is a full bathroom by there," Dumbledore agreed. He looked at the other teachers, getting quick nods of assent. "We'll implement that plan tonight. Everyone will pack a small bag with clothes and your school books, plus any unharmful games that you might want to bring down. For resonance and safety reasons, I can't allow exploding snap into that room, but most anything else could be allowed I think." He smiled at the students. "We'll still use this hall for meals and we'll separate out the fifth and seventh years to their own rooms so they can study in peace for their upcoming tests." The fifth years groaned and the seventh years all sighed in unison. "We'll gather everyone up an hour after dinner. Please stick to the necessities. I'll make room assignments as soon as I'm done eating." Everyone hurried to their tables, discussing what they needed. The more practical people suggested standard lists and how to get it down there, including pillowcases with your name written on them. Snape walked up onto the dias. "Thank you for bringing that to my attention," he said quietly.
"I thought it had merit since those are our emergency plans. Tara and I will deal with the seventh years as they're going to be the best behaved."
"Thank you. I was thinking the East Wing's main storage area for them. The secondary storage area for the fifth years since that class was so small, and the rest in that former main storage area." Snape nodded. "Then please pick one or two of you for the two smaller rooms and the rest of us will be with the others."
"What about Xander and his family?" Lupin asked.
"They're with Professor Malfoy and their family," Tara told him. "Draco passed out earlier so Iggy went into super-fuss mode. Xander, George, Fred, Ron, Draco, Oliver, and two ladies that the others play on teams with are meeting with the majority of the Gryffindor quidditch team for strategy and heat relief."
Dumbledore smiled. "They also went and got their own food stocks," he put in. "I think we can humor them at the moment."
"There is an anti-grope charm, as Iggy put it, on the doors," Snape agreed. Tara smiled. "I'll be using one as well."
"So shall we all," Dumbledore agreed with good humor. "We need a population explosion but not that much." A few of the teachers laughed. "It was most astounding. One of the other Regents came up with the order to cancel classes and nearly passed out as soon as he walked into the front entry. He thought we were exaggerating the difficulties and that the stones would make it cooler."
"Stones hold heat," Tara said with a snort of derision. "I know you guys don't have to take physics, but hasn't he ever sat on one in the summer?"
"Probably not. He never did like the outdoors," Snape told her, giving her a small sideways look. "Are there enough beds for everybody?"
"If not, we can always move some," Dumbledore assured him. "With both Weasley twins in the school, it shouldn't be a problem."
"They are good at the moving stuff," Lupin agreed with a smile. "Any word on Harry, Sirius?"
"The World Cup team has moved to an undisclosed location due to the attacks. They're in a muggle hotel, with air conditioning."
"That is one thing that I miss about the muggle world. Air conditioning." Everyone looked at her. "It's this device that blows cold air whenever you turn it on, and you can make it more or less cold. I consider it as much of a necessity as Xander does his tv."
"That must be wonderful," Madam Sprout told her. "I'll need to do some tending tonight, once the greenhouses have cooled down," she told the Headmaster.
"That's fine. I'm sure the teachers can do shifts or whatever," he agreed. They all nodded. "Tara, Severus, take at least one other teacher with you so you can have some sleep time yourselves." He nodded. "Remus, Sirius, can you handle the fifth years together?"
"If you want," Sirius assured him. "Madam Sprout, if you'd like you can join us. We'll take tonight's shift and you can rest and do tomorrow's." She nodded. "We'll meet you down there then."
"The rest of us will watch the bigger population, unless you want to volunteer for one of the other sections."
"I'll go with Severus and Tara," Madam Sinistra told them. "There's a small, high window so I can get some work tonight and they can sleep until tomorrow." They nodded.
Dumbledore had a sudden thought. He stood up and the hall got quiet. "Those of you with pets who stay with you please bring them with you. The cats would probably be most helpful as I'm told that we have a small mouse problem further down in the school. I'm sure that they're afraid of humans, but it would be good exercise for them and it would be kinder to have them with us. Hagrid, will you please check on the owl aerie for everyone else?" Hagrid nodded. "Thank you. I'll expect you with us tonight. The puppies will be most welcome to help us."
"They don't like cats," Hagrid reminded him.
"Neither do the phoenixes, but I'm sure they can learn to live side-by-side for now. We'll give you your own corner so you can amuse the students with stories?" Hagrid smiled and nodded. "Thank you." He sat back down. "Tara, would you mind making a quick stop into Diagon for us to get some puzzle books and the like?"
"Fine with me. I'll pack my bag and bring it to the room then go while my mate moves furniture around." Dumbledore nodded. "Puzzles books, puzzles, and things like that?" He nodded again. "Very brilliant, Albus."
"Bored children can be quite troublesome," he pointed out.
"Oh, I remember," she agreed. A little too well. Zach had decided to fix her hair the day before he left because he was too hot to play. She still had a few knots in it. "I'll take Xander with me so he can carry it all back by teleport, that way we don't have to fire up the floos."
"Thank you, dear." He went back to his dinner and noticed Adrian had stolen another fork to eat with. Yes, a wonderful idea. Though he might be out getting some sun tomorrow morning if it wasn't too hot.
Tara tapped on the doorway to the basement room.
"Come in, Tara," George called. He nudged Xander, who mumbled against Draco's shoulder. "Tara's here," he told him. Xander didn't wake up. "Xander." Nothing. "Xander!"
"Shit, it's trying to eat me!" Iggy yelled. Xander sat up and looked around. "Aunt Tara needs some help," Iggy told him, smiling at him.
Xander slid out of the bed, pulling back on his shoes. "What can I do for the beautiful woman?" he asked, leading her to the cool area. She shivered. "Sorry, but I need some juice."
"I have to pick up things for the kids to do. We're moving everyone to the upper storage rooms. Can you shop with me so we can get it back?"
"Sure," he agreed, grabbing a bottle of juice and following her back to the lit area. He could hear mice, but he could also hear movement from one of the cats. The moving stopped then something shrieked. "Mice."
"We're bringing everyone's cats with us."
"We're getting all the phoenixes down here," Xander told her with a grin. "They can leave the cats alone long enough to cure the stupid mice problem." He took her hand and transported them to Diagon, hurrying them into the bank before it could close. "Sorry," he told the goblin frowning at them. "We need into our vaults very quickly."
"I need into Hogwart's," Tara told him, handing over the key. "Xander, I got told I could give you a few coins of allowance for helping me."
"I need to make a soda and chip run," he told her. "Jiffy pop and the like." He handed over his key. "Please? We'll be very fast."
"Fine," the goblin grunted, making notes about their vault numbers and sending them on. They were very fast, they split up and met back up there within minutes. He watched him go, shaking his head. Those little humans were odd. To be buying things for the students to do was stupid, they could study if they were bored. He watched as one of them changed some of his to muggle money and left, following the woman out. She was pretty, but still, humoring those children.
Tara walked into the toy and game store, smiling at the owner. "Dumbledore sent me," she told him. The shopkeeper smiled. "We're moving the kids down to the storage rooms so they won't all die from the heat. We need things to keep six-hundred-seventy-nine students busy for the next week."
He laughed. "How are you getting it back?"
"Teleporting," Xander told him. "Give me a few. I'll come back with containers for everything so it's easily stored." Tara nodded so he searched for Iggy's markers, finding the one in the middle of the mall. "It's busy but I'll land in the garage." He disappeared, landing in an empty spot in the shadows of the garage. It was mostly empty, it was too hot to shop. He hurried inside, going to the book store first to get his own kids something to do, and to get some large plastic storage containers for everything else. Six of them should do it, but he got eight in case, ones with lids. He carried them back to the garage, smiling at the man trying to get the thumbtack out of the floor, zapping him to make him forget about it. Once the hallway was clear, he touched everything and found Tara, but a woman came out of a bathroom so he smiled at her, looking like he was resting, until she moved on. He disappeared, taking everything with him but one bag, which he came back to get. He landed behind Tara second time and smiled. "Fun reading," he said when he noticed she was looking at the bags. "I'll get you back then grab munchies and the like."
"Six would have done it," she told him.
"We've got mice too, I'm putting some of the food in the other two."
"Good idea." She took the puzzle books and started to fill up the first bucket. "Xander, help him carry please, love." He headed back to help pick out things for the children to do. Bored children were evil creatures of death. Or that needed death, depending on the child. Once those six were filled, he helped Tara back to the school and took his two, smiling as he walked away with them. He walked around the Leaky Cauldron, since the back door was locked, and down to his favorite store. "I'm stocking up so we don't have to come out of the cool spots," he told her, dropping the containers onto the floor. The cashier looked at him like he was insane, but she was the one with the size four barbel through the bridge of her nose so he didn't pay too much mind to her. "What? There's fifteen of us. This has to last us for a week." He grabbed a cart and put one of the containers into it, then headed down to the soda aisle. The bottom of the fifty- gallon container was filled with two and three liters, most of the stock they had, and he added some of the kids' soda as well. Then he went for the snacks and those things. The other would have the stuff that was more like real food. He wasn't going to eat fruit for an entire week, his stomach would complain. He switched out containers, letting the girl ring him up as he finished shopping. He heard a crunch and looked at her. "Don't put the soda on top of the chips," he whined. "They'll break."
She nodded and repacked it like he had had it, taking the other cart to fill as well while he did one last check. Some chocolate cakes went into the tubs as well, and then he paid her. He walked out with the two containers, only grunting a little bit, and she looked around the nearly empty store. She called her boss. "Some bloke just cleaned us out. No, shopped us clean!" she told him. "We've got nothing left. No, chips, soda, cakes, cookies, most of the lunch meats and bread. We're nearly bare." She snorted and hung up. "Let him restock it all," she noted. Some people were just damn odd, and why had he been wearing a robe?
Xander appeared in his classroom and called down to his mate, who came to help him carry stuff down. "Real food," he announced as he walked in. "Lunch meats, soda, chips, popcorn, and bread sort of stuff." Everyone looked at him. "I can't eat veggies all week, I'll go insane and my stomach will start making bad things happen to me." The girls got up to help him unpack the things that could be unpacked and packed the loose fruits and veggies in as well, shoving the containers into the expanded cold area. "So, who's making dinner?"
"You," Draco told him smugly. "I can't cook."
"It's a sandwich, son, you slap meat on bread and add condiments." Xander slid onto his bed and watched as Simone was the first to go forage, followed quickly by all the growing boys and Ron, who still ate like one. "Tara took your books from the mall." Anastasia hopped up and went to hunt her down. "East Wing," he called after her. George snuggled against him. "Are you hungry?"
"Yes, but there are children around," George told him.
"Xander, what do you do with these silver things with handles," Katie called.
"That's Jiffy Pop, don't open it," he called. "Just heat it until it pops fully." She brought it over, letting him show her. He put it on the floor and zapped it with his wand, making it heat up and go off. She giggled. "It's popcorn. I can pop anything you guys want."
"Thanks, daddy," Iggy mumbled as he brought over a can to be opened. He wasn't that strong. Xander couldn't get it either so Simone pulled her boot knife and pierced the top, breaking the suction seal. "Even better." He opened the jar of hot peppers and put them onto his sandwich, handing them off. Draco took one and sniffed it. "It's spicy," he warned.
"I saw it on the label," Draco said patiently. He took a bite and waved a hand in front of his mouth. "Eww!" Xander took the rest of it to eat. "How can you do that!"
"A lifetime of Mexican food," Xander told him, tossing the stem of the pepper into the trash can someone had put beside the bed. "Eat, Draco."
"I want him to stick with light stuff," Iggy told him.
"Chocolate!" Anastasia said as she walked back in, waving a cake. "I found it in the hall." She put the bookstore bags onto the small table that someone had moved to the center of the furniture groups. "We don't have pencils, Uncle Xander."
"They're in the tower, in my room," Draco told her. "They're the yellow things in the cup on my desk." She sighed so her brother went to get them. "Get some of the muggle pens as well. And my blue book!"
"Yes, father," Denver said obediently. He left the older people to be insane together. After all, he did have homework to do so he could goof off with Iggy later in the year. He met the Headmaster in the hallway and accepted the bag with the word finds. "What are those?" he asked, taking one out to look through. "What do you do with them?"
"The instructions are on the front page," the Headmaster said with a smile. "Tara got us enough of our own. Did he also get you more food? We'd be more than happy to have you at meals."
"Daddy brought back two *huge* containers of food," Denver told him, smiling. "One half-filled with soda for us." They shared a small laugh. "I'm off to get pencils, pens, and a few books for Father. You're welcome to join us if the students get to be too much. There's a lot of adults down there."
"I might be down later to check on you," the Headmaster said, giving him a pat on the back. "Have you seen Ryan? I've seen Agatha, but not him and I can't find him."
"Someone said that he had went into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom earlier. For all I know, he decided to try and open the Chamber of Secrets."
"He probably did," Dumbledore sighed, heading that way. Either that or he was in trouble. He found the boy with a girl and cleared his throat, scaring them. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Something I wanted to try out," Ryan told him, smiling confidently. "Agatha knows. She won't do these things with me." He finished up and got away from the girl, handing her the clothes she had taken off earlier. "Thank you, Sissy." She scurried into a stall and got dressed, then slid past them to leave. "Sorry, sir, but I couldn't wait."
"I'm sure," Dumbledore said dryly. "You are grounded to your tower for two days once we move back to them, young man. I suggest you shower before you go back to Agatha. I don't think she's that understanding." Ryan nodded, looking resigned. "If you need to, the rest of us are in the various storage rooms. Your class is in the East Wing's secondary storage area. Tell her yourself before I have to mention this gross misconduct to the head of your house."
"Yes, sir," Ryan sighed, but he knew he'd have to do it. Dumbledore didn't make threats, he made promises. It had only been a bit of fun and games to raise power. He trudged down to he basement and walked inside. He smiled at his consort. "Hey, Aggie."
She glared at him. "You even smell like her, get away from me." He blew a kiss. "I mean it, Ryan. I said once, not more than that. If you fuck around on me again, you'll be very sorry. Not even your mother will save you."
He smirked. "And you're going to do what?" he sneered. "Bat at me like the girl you are?" He didn't notice most everyone backing away from them. "I can sleep with whomever I want. I am in demand. It seems that the reason you're so calm and pleasant is because of us, or at least that's what the other girls say."
"Ryan," Draco warned. "This is one of the biggest mistakes of your life. Back down now before she harms you."
"She can't hurt me! She hits like a girl." Even Simone winced as Agatha stood up. "Oooh, I'm scared. Are you going to whine to your cousins?"
"No, stupid, I'm going to call down the wrath of the Gods on your ass." She looked him over, then smirked back. "Who do you think you're messing with, Rosenberg? Remember me, haven of chaos power and tapped into the school's underground bed of it. Hello, not a brilliant idea to piss me off."
"Children," Draco said again. George moved him behind him. "I'm fine."
"Agatha," George said calmly. "You can't kill him. You know what your father said."
"Pfft. Yay! I'm not picking on my brother. I'm only not allowed to kill Ron, no one said anything about this one." She grabbed her boyfriend and they wavered.
"Shit! It's a temporal spell," Ronnie said, diving behind his girlfriend. "She did that to me once. She's got a small place inbetween that she can hurt him a lot in only a few seconds."
Xander looked around. "Simone, Tara now. She's got the blocking bracelet. Iggy, be ready to stabilize the idiot." Iggy nodded, stuffing the banana into his mouth and heading for his wand and the first aid supplies he had stocked. "George, Fred, protect the kids and Draco. She's going to either come back satisfied or raging." He moved closer, stepping carefully onto her side, the same as Ron was. "Not you, Ron, I'm not making your kids orphans." He glared. "Move, now!" Ron stepped back and he shook his head when Oliver started to move. "I can handle her until we can get the blocking bracelet on her." Their images wavered again and he grabbed her, holding her tightly and wrapping his shields around her as well. "Iggy, he's bad!" he called. Iggy rushed over, carefully floating Ryan off, being sure not to move him in any way before he checked him over. Xander sat on the bed, continuing to hold her, even though she wasn't struggling. "Agatha, that was uncalled for!"
"I warned him," she said calmly. "I won't continue to attack."
Draco walked over and looked down at her. "She's calm, you can let her go, Xander." He slowly let her go, then slowly dissolved the shields. "You will sit on that bed, young lady, until your bracelet is back," Draco said in his iciest voice. He winced as he looked at the abused body. "Did you have to hurt him so much?"
Agatha cleaned her nails against her shirt. "I did warn him. He knew better, Uncle Draco." She looked up at him, then stood up. "I wasn't going to let that behavior go on without suitable punishment. He knew the risks and he played the odds." She smiled coldly at him. "I knew exactly what I was doing and how far I could take it. He'll live. He'll learn. And like I said, he'll never do it again. I don't demand perfection, but I do demand loyalty and truth." She sat back down once Xander had moved. "Should I call his mother?"
Madam Pomfrey was let in by Denver, who was standing over there. She gasped when she saw the boy, then looked at Agatha in horror. "What did you do!" she demanded.
"Do you want the entire list or just the big things?" she asked. "I kept a diary." She snapped her fingers and tossed the book that appeared over. "We were out of time if it helps." The nurse stared at her in shock. "I warned him not to fuck around on me," she said simply. She looked up and smiled. "His mother's on her way, she felt it."
"Wonderful, an enraged Willow," George said, shaking his head. "Madam Pomfrey, may we help?"
"If I had a tack at the hospital, I'd teleport you both," Xander told her. "Can I get the portkey for you?"
Madam Pomfrey grabbed the book and the boy, floating him out of the room, followed by Xander and his son. She saw Tara and shook her head. "She needs contained."
"I have a blocking bracelet ready for her chaos powers," Tara assured her. She looked at the boy and shuddered. "What did he do?"
"He fucked around on her," Xander said seriously.
Tara winced. "Stupid idiot." She walked in and grabbed Agatha, putting the bracelet on her wrist. "There, now you won't be able to hurt anyone else, Agatha Potter."
Willow jogged in and looked at Agatha, pointing a finger at her. "Now!" Agatha calmly walked over and looked up at her. "What did you do to my son?"
"He fucked around on me and had the audacity to come here smelling like his slut," she said coldly. "You forgot to teach him to use his brain and his dick at the same time. I corrected it. He'll live."
"Oh, I'm not sure you will," Willow said. She looked at Tara and smiled. "I think we'll be having a talk about why you have that bracelet."
"I made it for her," Tara told her. "We all knew she was going to snap some day. Are you taking her to the Chaos Sorcerer's Council?" Willow nodded. "Have fun, tell Ethan I said hi." She smiled. "She did say your son would live."
"Good. He'd better." She drug Agatha with her. "I want his father."
"He's in hiding," Tara called after her. "He got attacked." She looked around and picked up the charm Agatha had dropped. "Hmm, a hiding place," she said, bouncing it in her hand. "Guys, Agatha is still evil. Of the sort that doesn't care what happens to you if you get in her way. She's not intentionally malign, she's not got a soul. So stay out of it." She walked away, still bouncing the charm in her hand. She handed it to the Headmaster, who frowned. "She used it to take her consort away and hurt him. Badly," she told him. He looked up at her in alarm. "Poppy was really upset and Willow's taking her to the chaos people to get her reprimanded and punished." Xander slid past her. "Is he going to be fine?"
"Lots of little cuts and tears. A few burns. He was awake and begging for forgiveness," he said with a light shrug. "I was surprised that she held back that much."
"You think she's soulless?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, I think she's not got a conscience."
Xander nodded. "She's not on the same scale as Voldemort, she's in a higher class of evil. She doesn't do it because she's mad at herself or has the urge to kill, but because in her mind it's all the same. To her, this was the same as slapping him. Or having Simone beat him since she can't throw a punch. She's one of the truly evil, not the lesser evils like Voldemort, Spike, and the others. To her, this isn't a thrill, it's a nothing. An activity that has to happen on occasion." He looked at Tara. "Which proves she's right for the Braxis job. She'll be able to coolly judge anyone wanting across and not be bothered when she swats someone for breaking the inter- dimension rules."
"I'll have to expel her," Dumbledore told them. Tara and Xander both shook their heads. "It is the rule."
"No, she's the calmest she's been in *years*," Xander told him.
Tara nodded. "Severus keeps her in line. He knows other sociopaths and can keep her in line. Sending her back to her father will only make it worse, Albus. If you don't believe me, ask Severus, or ask Willow to explain it to you. Agatha has a carefully charted out plan and this wasn't on it."
"I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to mess with time to fix it," Xander said thoughtfully. Tara looked at him. "If she can create or use a spot in-between, then she's more than powerful enough to call up something to help her fix this so no one knows."
"You'd remember, you're not attuned to the temporal matrix like most people," Tara reminded him.
Xander nodded. "And she knows that too, Tara." He looked at his boss. "Bottom line, she's safer here than she is in the real world for a bit longer. She controlled herself. She wasn't trying to kill him. She's evil with a purpose, which is to hold enough power to live comfortably yet not have to defend it from people wanting it."
"She's got the power since her mother warped her, but not the control," Tara offered. "She's being good on purpose, Albus." Snape walked up the hall to join them, following Ignatius. "How is he?"
"Badly injured but not horribly so. She did break most of the bones in his face and a few others. A few medium cuts, a few burns, some ripped flesh on his back. Madam Pomfrey wanted to know if you had a suggestion to remove the wax left on him. Apparently she ran out of energy to keep them wherever before she could remove it from his genitals," Iggy reported.
"Severus, I want your opinion on the girl," Albus told him.
"She told me she's in this current school for the control. She could easily manipulate others into doing all the work for her, but she does her own so that she learns the lessons we can give her. She realizes that incidents like this make her more noticed and she doesn't want that. Mostly she wants control so she can live with her power and not have to defend it. Or so she's said a few times. This was teaching her consort a lesson, not to go against her wishes. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before."
"That's because she was sucking off Ryan to get to Willow," Tara told him. Xander nodded. "Willow controls that sort of power as well, but she's managed to pull herself away from the dark a few times. Agatha didn't have that chance with Hermione working on her since she was five and manifested by lighting a candle to combat her fear of the dark. To her, this is the same as slapping him a few times."
Xander shifted to lean against the wall. "She really won't be doing it again unless someone gets in her way that way. This is 'raging girlfriend fights with boyfriend' in her mind."
"Would this position, the Braxis one, help her?"
"There's so many rules that she'll have to live by," Tara told him.
"But she'll have the freedom of the power that she already has and no need to defend herself unless there's a direct attack to try and take her position. It is literally the only thing that will keep her out of an institution for the criminally insane."
"The wizarding world doesn't have those and I dare say she could defeat a dementor by draining it," Tara told them. Albus hissed. "She is that strong. She's learned how to feed off the powers of others, that's one of the first things that she learned from her mother."
"That's why she likes Little Ron so much," Xander said with a smirk. "He's got his mother's power and his father's will power. Mellie's more like Agatha, they've got their father's power levels."
"Granger was a strong witch," Snape agreed. "Where is she?"
"Willow dragged her to be punished by the others of her class. The Chaos Sorcerers have a panel of them that meet to control those that get in their way."
"I can take you to them," Xander offered. "Willow can get you back."
"Is it in London?" Xander nodded. "How do you know?"
"I asked Ethan about what to do about her," he said honestly, but grinning slightly. "He was very not happy with the dark little darling and knew this day was coming as well. He didn't think she had the control to not kill someone. They should allow you to speak and plead for her to be banded and controlled until she graduates. Or at least to find her a proper mentor among her own kind."
"Then do so," Albus commanded. "I'll hear a report, Severus. I'll have to report this incident of course, and the Minister of Magic won't be pleased."
Tara snorted. "This girl is the least of his worries. If he comes for her, she'll get him. She's going to complete her plan and stay there until the next opportunity comes along."
"Then take him to this Ethan chap," Dumbledore agreed. Xander took Snape's hand and disappeared. "I'm worried about the rest of the student body."
Tara chuckled and put her arm through his, walking them back up the hall. "Ryan is the only one in the whole school stupid enough to mess with her, Albus. Everyone else is scared of her and leaves her alone. Even Shey."
"There are a few like her in that group," he admitted. "I could possibly ask her mother if she could find one to talk to the girl."
Tara gave his arm a squeeze. "What makes you think the Ravettenas aren't on this council?" She smiled at his stunned look. "At least one of them should be. These are the most powerful politically, not necessarily magic wise. They've got henchmen for that stuff." She looked at him. "Would Draco be in that group?"
He shook his head. "His family ranks right under them and makes up the top of the next group down. His grandmother used to rule the non-royal circles with an iron first. He could play in their group if he wanted to push it, but he's happier being at the top of his pond instead of the lower one of the top one."
"Makes sense to me," she agreed. "Why doesn't he have henchmen now?"
"He has a few retainers," he corrected. "Nothing like the bodyguards he used to have. Xander took care of that need for him you see. Aligning himself with Xander has caused some problems, but has eased a great many more. No one would think about going up against him these days. Not even his former goons. Even if there were remaining Death Eaters, or their children that were inclined to follow in the same footsteps, they wouldn't be stupid enough to try for Draco or any part of his family. It would be suicide and they know it. Even Goyles' daughter respects his authority and follows any order he gives, without question I might add." He let her go. "Go back to your students." He put the charm into his pocket and left her there to go think. Chaos was very powerful; the girl was as powerful as he was, if not more. If only she would fight for the good side. He noticed Xander stalking down the hall. "Xander?" He backtracked and came in. "I wanted to ask if you could possibly manipulate Agatha's goals to protect everyone else."
Xander grinned. "That's already part of it. Why would she let *anything* get in her way? Good or bad." He winked. "Severus is with them. Willow got Ethan to make the petition and he was not impressed with her. Seems he yelled at her for running out of power and doing something so showy when she could have called a minion to do it for her."
"Are they going to block her?"
"I don't know, you'll have to ask him. I'm not allowed in there. My white-knight personality makes them edgy and upsets the current balance. They were very polite, but they made sure I knew I shouldn't come back unless it was a desperate world-ending emergency. Though one of them did thank me for looking out for his daughter." He winked and walked away.
"Rupert?" he called. Xander shook his head. "Then who?"
Xander stopped to look at him. "Shey's father. It seems she's written a lot about the family taking her under their wing to protect her." He grinned. "I deserve ice cream for that. Or a kiss. I guess I'll have to settle for that since I forgot to get any ice cream." He continued back to the basement.
Dumbledore shook his head. Well, that was certainly interesting. At least he didn't have to worry. He noticed a few of the teachers looking at him in worry. "Agatha and her consort got into a small fight," he told them. "Madam Pomfrey has him well in hand." They shuddered and went back to their sorting out of students. The sorting by houses and by sex was a bit complicated in the old room with so many of the students around.
Harry walked into the hospital room and Willow smiled at him. "Someone finally found you?"
He nodded, moving closer. He winced at all the cuts and bandages. "What happened?"
"My son was not only stupid enough to cheat on your daughter, but he couldn't take good advice when he heard it and went back to her smelling like the cheap floosy." Ryan groaned. "Son, I used to think you had more sense. Now I'm not so sure you have any." She smiled at Harry. "Let me guess, you want to know what happened to your daughter?"
He swallowed. "No one else seems to know and Albus is somewhere."
"Hmm. Probably getting his ass chewed for not expelling her." She led him over to a seat and sat him down. "I got a chaos sorcerer to take her before their board, the guys who make sure that knowledge of what they can do doesn't get out." Harry looked stunned. "You thought they were individually responsible? So many of them brag that they'd be overrun with people looking for revenge and miracles in no time." She smiled larger. "Your daughter stood up to them like the woman she's becoming. She stated her reasons. She stated her actions. She even accepted their criticism for drawing attention to her gifts. They locked her away from the pool of chaos power under the school, telling her that she could get it back when she was twenty, and they put in her application and nomination for the Braxis position." Her son coughed so she walked over to wipe his mouth for him, then turned to look at the concerned parent in front of her.
"They've also set her up with a mentor, Harry. Someone who will keep in touch with her and oversee her education. When I told them that I had been, they pointed out that I'm now officially a guardian and am not exactly the most effective teacher for her. They suggested I castrate my son and give him back to her." Harry laughed weakly and she crossed her arms. "Your daughter has decided that she does want the Braxis position. Xander has done an amazing job of teaching her that what she really wants is a lot of power without having to defend it from others who'd want it as well. The demon over the Braxis people assured her that she could have that sort of position, one where she gets a lot of power and won't get attacked for anything less than a civil war. He's also taught her, and they reminded her last night, that showing her ass that way gets everyone into trouble, especially her." She grinned. "They thought the dampening bracelet Tara put on her was cute, but not wholly effective. I had to point out that Tara is every inch the White Witch of the World." He smiled more. "She's fine and controlled herself." She pointed at her son. "She took him out of time and space and kept him there until her energy ran out. She hurt him a lot, but nothing fatal, and she didn't kill him when she could have."
He stood up and came back over to look down at Ryan. "Are you two taking back up again?" Ryan's eyes widened in horror. "Good. It's probably safer for you." He looked at Willow. "She's really controlled?"
"Harry, she had him for nearly forty-five minutes out of time and space. That's all she did." She waved at hand at her son's body. "Think about what the eleven-year-old Agatha would have done."
He nodded, feeling better. "I am sorry she hurt Ryan."
She shrugged. "It was his own fault. He isn't usually this dumb and I'm sure he's learned his lesson this time. Oh, they bound them together. At the very least, he'll be her concubine to wear off energy with, even if she doesn't take him on as more than that."
"No," Ryan moaned. "Mother, don't sacrifice me," he begged.
"Shut up. You did it to yourself, son. You promised to look out for her and you didn't. All because you wanted to try sex magick and she was too bright for that." Harry coughed. "Yup, he cheated on her for a cheap piece of ass and very little power," she told him, nodding. "My son is beyond stupid, I could have linked him in with more power than he could ever dream of easily, but *nooooo* he had to go to the floosy and get caught in the bathroom by the Headmaster and then forget his brain when he put on his pants." Ryan moaned and looked at Harry.
"You are lucky you're alive," Harry told him. He glanced around. "I'll cover his medical costs if that's all right."
"Fine with us," Willow agreed, smiling at him. "You should have seen Molly's face when Arthur brought her to visit. She looked like she wanted to yell at him so badly but was biting her lip. Either that or she saw the misspelled 'philanderer' cut into his chest. You really do need to help her with her spelling, Harry." The door opened. "Hey, Wes. Someone finally found him."
"I see," he said, shaking Harry's hand. "She's contained. She's found a calling that will both frustrate her and free her, and has even acknowledged that she meant to leave him in that condition instead of trying to kill him."
"I heard," Harry said gently. "I'm at this place," he said, handing over a card. "Call me if you need anything for him. Please. I'm so sorry."
Willow patted him on the arm. "It's okay, Harry. She actually gave him quite the lesson."
Harry smiled a bit more. "Thank you. I'll check back in a few days." He waved at Ryan and left them to visit.
"He is a very nice young man," Wesley told his wife. "How ever did his daughter get that way?"
"Her mother used her as a toddling power source and she got warped to the chaos side. She's actually sociopathic and is very much aware of her limits. It's fascinating to watch." She smiled at her son. "With any luck, they'll give you pain medicine before they pierce your jaw together."
Ryan shifted and groaned in misery. He had to go back to her. They were bound. She would castrate him next time. She had promised him to make it last long and be horrible. He would have to beg a lot to get her to make her not hurt him again. He caught his step-father's eyes and silently begged for a merciful blow to the head. Wesley smiled sweetly at him and shook his head.
Harry walked up to the door where the family was hiding and knocked. Ravena looked over and waved him in. "Hi, Uncle Harry. How's Ryan?"
"Living. Where's my daughter?"
"Locked in a tower with a fan spell," his son told him. "They're going to interview her once things start going back to normal to make sure she's back in control." He raised his arms and his father gave him a hug. The heat had even gotten down here today so he was feeling lethargic. Even his snitch wouldn't open up and fly. "She's back to normal. Just like always, she only inflicted as much pain as she wanted."
Ravena looked at him. "I think she wanted to peel off the wax herself."
"True," Ron agreed with a grin. "She ran out of power a few minutes before she was done." He smiled at his father. "How are you, daddy? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Ron," Harry said, sitting under both kids' feet. "How are you doing?"
"It's been very hot," Ron told him. "Do you have that air conditioning stuff?" Harry nodded. "Is it nice?"
"My room feels about like this." He waved at Oliver. "Are you okay?"
"I'm good, she leaves me alone," Ron reminded him. He looked at Ravena. "Does she pick on you?"
"Not at all," Ravena told them. "She's got her plans and I'm not part of them. She's accepted that I'm just as powerful, if more subtle. I'm as powerful socially and magically. We have an understanding." She snickered. "Did she castrate Ryan? The rumors are very strong that she went that way."
"All but. That's her next step," Harry assured her. "They bound them together." Everyone awake snickered. "Really. Even his mother called him stupid."
"The Headmaster suggested he take a shower and he didn't take it," Simone sighed as she rolled onto her side on her new bed. Agatha didn't need it and it was bigger. "How's practice?"
"Not half as exciting as your games, dear. Our beaters don't try to hurt anyone." She giggled. "I'm actually on break for a few days. My coach told me and gave me the news about you guys and I told him I'd be coming up to visit today." He looked over as a little head popped up from behind Iggy. "Hi, Lucien," he said with a wave.
"Hi, Uncle," he said happily. "Maeve," he said with great appreciation, pointing at her. She was laying between Iggy and his wife.
"Are you enjoying spending time with everyone?" Lucien nodded and pointed at his father so Harry looked. "He's huge, when did that happen?"
"The freezing spell became a temporal one. He's almost twenty-eight weeks now." Someone groaned in pain. "Cramps, Aunt Alicia?" Ravena called.
"Yes," Alicia groaned. "Xander, help!" He slid off his bed and stumbled over there, giving her a hug. "Not that, my legs, grumpy."
"Okay." He attacked the cramp, making her groan again. He blinked a few times and looked down at her. "How is that?"
"More? Prepayment for next week's game?" He laughed but worked on her legs for her. "Thank you. You're a God!" She went limp against Fred's side.
"Xander, want to come work on my team?" Harry called. "Our keeper needs the help."
"Nope, I'm saving it for the guys I coach. If I spread it around, it becomes less special." He noted who he was talking to and looked at him. "When did you get here?"
"Just a few minutes ago." Harry slid out from under the kids and walked over to look down at who he was working on. "Alicia?" he said in amazement.
"Harry!" she said happily. "Hell, I'll even give up my leg rub for you." He gave her a hug. "Katie, look who's here!" she called. Katie snorted and lifted her head and smiled, waving. Then her head fell back onto Oliver's chest. They laughed. "She's got heat sleepy feelings." She sat up and pulled him down to sit beside her. "How are you handling the forced isolation?"
"Fine. I brought the cats with me and they're living large in the hotel room." He heard a squeal of terror and looked around. "What was that?"
"Hemlock just found a mouse," Ravena told him with a smirk. She looked so much like her father, only with dark red hair. Her cat trotted over and presented her with the mouse, accepting some attention in return. "You're such a good boy," she assured him. "Yes, you are wonderful, Hemlock. You protect me and hunt for the pack so very well." Her cat gave her a nudge then trotted off to search out more of the fun food source.
Harry chuckled. "I'm glad that you and your cat are getting along so well."
"Big Red is stalking something," Anastasia said sleepily as she woke up. She sat up and smiled at Harry. "Welcome to our haven from the heat. Pull up a bed and nap with us."
"Yeah, you can nap with us," Alicia told him. Fred gave her a nudge. "What? You two haven't shared a bed?"
"I like women, dear, not Harry," Fred said dryly. "I'll let you have him all to yourself and go crawl in with Katie." Oliver shook his head. "Fine, then I'll snuggle with one of the kids."
"You can snuggle me, Uncle Fred," Simone offered. "I like being snuggled while I nap." She laid back down and he trudged over to nap with her. "No offense, Uncle Harry, but you're interrupting our nap time. We'll talk to you in a few hours if you'll stay."
"Sure, I have all night," Harry assured her. Alicia pulled him down and he squeaked. "Alicia!"
"You hardly ever stop by, Harry, I have to get my suggestive behavior in when you're available."
Katie lifted her head again. "Is that really Harry or am I dreaming?"
"You're dreaming," Harry called, waving a hand. "In no manner am I Harry Potter."
She laughed. "I'll get you next hour. We'll switch off with sharing Oliver." Oliver snorted. "What? You give very good cuddles," she told him.
"It's nice to remember being cuddled," he told her. He looked around. "Weren't we supposed to meet Angelina today for lunch?"
"I told her to come up but the baby got sick," Alicia told him. "We rescheduled for after the game on Saturday."
"You're going to play in this heat?" Harry asked. "Even our games have been called until the end of the heat wave."
"The other team wants to play," Xander said with a shrug as he snuggled back into his husband's body. "Food is over in the cool spot. Happy nap, Harry."
"You too, Xander." Harry got snuggled against and he forced himself to stay calm. "Alicia? Are you *snuggling* me?"
"Yes, Harry, I am. You're very cuddly. It's good for you. Relax and accept it. I couldn't jump you, Xander would never give me a backrub again." He relaxed in her arms. "See, it's nice."
"It is. No one ever wanted to cuddle me before."
"Not even the groupies?" she teased, looking up at him. He shook his head. "You don't have groupies? Oliver still has them."
"I try very hard to avoid them," he admitted. "They usually want me to do things for them."
"Gee, it's a good thing I only want to cuddle you," she teased. He blushed. "Harry! Such a dirty mind."
"I'm trying to be good, but you're a beautiful woman," he protested.
"Just relax, she won't be jumping you in here. There's an anti-grope charm," Oliver told him.
Alicia pinched Harry's thigh and made him squeak in fear. "It's not working for some of us."
"Hey, no groping the alternate-son," George told them. "He's scared of women. Hermione was all he knew for years."
"Hey!" Harry protested. "She was nice originally." Xander grinned at him. "Sorry, but she never cuddled either."
"That's why I'm doing it now. So some lucky woman can latch onto you and cuddle you into submission at some later time," Alicia told him. "That way you'll know what a *good* cuddle feels like." She put her leg over his. "Now relax and nap."
"Yes, Alicia." Harry shifted so he was comfortable, and let himself drift off while experiencing his first real cuddle from a pretty woman. He was asleep when Katie snuck over and climbed in on his other side so he missed the jealous look Oliver and Fred gave him.
To Part 5: