Summary: Draco thinks he is pregnant, but Harry won't believe it for a minute. Regardless, Draco prepares for their child with eagerness.
Notes: Thank you, maltkate22, for beta'ing this chapter! For readers: next chapter on Wednesday.
More chapters: Two, Three, Four
Chapter One: Babies
Draco knew the precise moment it happened. Harry had been on top of him, inside him, and panting furiously. His hands were on Harry's sweaty face, feeling his nose and dark, soft eyelashes. They hadn't bothered to pull down the sheets of their large, squeaking bed, into whose coverlet Draco's heels were currently digging as he propelled his hips toward Harry's. They were the only two people in the world, and when Harry shuddered between his legs he called Draco's name in such a way that Draco thought there would never be anything but happiness ever again.
Afterward, he kept saying Draco's name as he nuzzled him and held him close. Draco recalled kissing Harry's damp head, which lay on his chest.
There was once an article in Witch Weekly---and because Draco had dignity, he would never admit to having read that trash, thank you very much---that said the only time a wizard got pregnant was when he made love with a man very special to him and when that man found him very special in return. And, yes, Draco knew that time he and Harry had made love that things were just as the article said: they were in love and they were going to have a baby. He was sure of it.
Harry was not so sure.
"Draco," he said on a fine summer day, "don't be such a romantic. A baby? Really."
"Listen to me, Potter! I felt it inside me---"
"Well, of course you did, darling." He gave Draco a patronizing grin. "How could you not?"
"Don't be a pervert at a time like this." He snatched the Daily Prophet out of Harry's hands and smacked him over the head with it. "And get your feet off the table."
Draco went back to his book on the opposite end of the sofa. That was certainly the last time he would be speaking to Harry until he admitted that they were having a baby. How could Harry not believe him? Draco's stomach was practically popping out of his shirt! It was round and swollen and---
Well...no, it wasn't round at all. And technically he hadn't put on any weight whatsoever. But in a few months---Harry would see.
"What are you reading?" Harry asked.
Draco ignored him.
He felt the breeze on his neck from an open window behind them. He left the book on his lap and stretched his arms over the back of the sofa, feeling the light, which shined into the room and heated up the floor and furniture. The tree leaves had been swaying all afternoon; it reminded him of long days on the veranda with his father and mother, whose hair had fluttered under the golden sun. For hours they had looked out over the lawns, which were dotted with trees and slit down the middle by a cool blue stream. He loved summer.
He continued to ignore Harry, thinking that they should go on a picnic. Right away! Under a tree, one just like they'd had at the mansion. And they could do it with the baby once it arrived!
Suddenly there were lips and Harry's annoying whisper on the side of his neck. "Are you snubbing me?"
"Yes," Draco sighed, looking out the window.
"Can't help it. You're disagreeable and nasty."
"Draco," Harry said firmly, "you're not pregnant. Forget about it."
Draco shut his book and stood up. "We're going to be late if we don't start getting ready," he said, leaving the room.
He stayed in the shower for twenty extra minutes that day, even though he was finished washing; the water was hot and relaxing, and Harry was irritating him so much that he didn't mind the wrinkles appearing on his hands. When he went to their bedroom, wrapped in a towel, Harry was on the edge of the bed in his rumpled blue robes looking bored.
"Take a little longer next time," he said.
Draco shed the towel without acknowledging him and dug around in the wardrobe for something suitable. He tossed his lightweight scarlet robes onto the bed, and picked up his wand and cast a charm to press out all the wrinkles. He cast the same charm on the robes Harry was wearing.
Harry jumped, patting his chest like a buffoon. "You could have warned me!"
"You could wear something that doesn't make you look like you were dragged from the gutter."
"These are my favorite robes."
"They're too short on you. You've had them for years."
"Fine," Harry snapped, and began to undress.
Draco pulled his robes tightly around his body and turned from side to side in the mirror. Maybe someone would notice something about his stomach today. He smiled.
"Are you ready?" Harry asked. He was wearing Muggle clothes now.
Draco nodded, and as soon as he put on his shoes they were off. Whenever they took a cab Harry complained that Draco was elbowing him as he primped, at which point Draco would elbow him on purpose; so they took Harry's stupid SUV, which he kept much neater than he kept himself. It was comfortable and spacious enough for Draco to cast a series of drying charms on his hair. They didn't speak throughout the ride.
Hermione lived about an hour's drive away, in a less urban town that Draco didn't care to learn the name of. It was Muggle-populated, he knew that much. The front door was painted cherry red, while the rest of the house was white as eggshells. It was surrounded by grass and other lovely houses.
"Hello!" Hermione cried upon seeing them. She looked tired but cheerful as she whipped off her apron and opened the door wider for them. "I hope you're hungry. There are hors d'oeuvres on the table," she said, seeing Draco take out a little parcel, "and gifts go over there." She indicated the direction and dashed into the kitchen.
"Here," said Harry, taking Draco's cloak and hanging it on the rack.
He looked at Draco for a long moment and then leaned to give him a kiss. Draco sighed against his mouth; he couldn't be angry at Harry for long. Harry was pulling him closer by the shoulders when a jovial voice boomed nearby.
"Harry, mate!" It was Weasley. He clapped Harry on the shoulder. "Still lovey-dovey? What's it been---five, six months?"
"Two years," Harry corrected. "We've been living together for two years."
"Right, right." His hair was a clump of dry curls and as red as ever. His freckles stood out. They hadn't seen him in a while, but he was the same annoying Weasel. "Malfoy," he greeted.
Draco inclined his head.
"Well, then," said Weasley. He was still smiling. "Come on, Harry. Grab a drink and we'll catch up."
Weasley took him by the arm, and Harry looked over his shoulder at Draco as his friend steered him away.
Draco found himself wandering away from the other guests, who were in the living room and backyard. He went to the dining room, where indoor plants thrived in the windows and came in green and deeper green and manuals on gardening sat in a tiny bookcase. A pot of small, soft flowers adorned the mantle, where one could admire a display of photographs as well. A particularly lovely one contained a woman with thick brown hair, a man with friendly eyes and an olive complexion, and a little boy. Next to that was a photo of single child, a baby girl.
Hermione's family, he thought.
He leaned closer to the photographs.
"Draco?" someone asked from a doorway at the far end of the room. "Is that you in there?"
"You're not stealing our sconces, are you?"
"No," he laughed, and turned around.
Hermione was wiping her hands on a dishtowel. She had flushed cheeks and the apron slung over her shoulder, and she cocked her head as if Draco wrinkling his nose at the dust on the picture frames were the most amusing thing she'd seen all day.
"Well, I've just finished," she said, "and I'm looking for a helper to set the table with."
"If I must..." he said, following her into the kitchen.
It was a calming activity. The rattle of plates, bowls, and silverware was rhythmic enough that it helped him sigh some of his worry about the pregnancy right out of his body. Hermione chattered about her husband and the children.
"Regina---now, that child is a handful. Whoever said boys were tougher to raise was wrong."
"But she's hardly a year old," said Draco.
"Well, she's able to get around on her own now, and while she's having a ball it's quite a nuisance to me."
Draco carefully set a plastic cup next to one of the smaller plates at the end of the table. The children would be sitting over here.
"It sounds fun to me...."
"I suppose it is," she said thoughtfully. "Just a little." She left the room and returned with a large basket of glasses. "I'm so happy David agreed to stay home with them. If I had to quit my job to run after them all day, I don't know what I'd do."
"Don't you wish you had more?"
Hermione handed Draco a couple glasses, and he set those out on the green tablecloth too.
"More what?" she asked.
"Heavens, no! Why would I want that?"
"Well, you only have two. I should imagine everyone would want many more than that."
She laughed. "What's got into you?"
He sneered the best he could at the large daisy painting on the opposite wall. "Doesn't matter."
"I don't believe you. Why are you in here talking about my kids when you're usually outside playing with them?"
Oh, the way her stare made his neck prickle!
"Hermione," he said suddenly. "Hermione, can you keep a secret?"
"You know me better than that."
He hurried over to her and they sat down and bowed their heads conspiratorially.
"Hermione" ---his voice was hushed, because he feared someone would come around the corner--- "I think---what I mean to say---well..."
"Harry would kill me if anyone knew!"
"I won't tell a soul, so spit it out."
"I'm pregnant! I know it's true, it has to be, but Harry won't believe me."
She put her hand to her mouth, without words for several moments. Then she said, "Are you sure? Does it happen accidentally?"
"I think it's possible. Shouldn't you know these things? Tell me it's possible."
"It is. I think. Yes! I've read about men who never intended to get pregnant, and out of nowhere they have a round belly."
"I've always wanted a bigger family, you know, and definitely with Harry. But I don't know what to do. He doesn't believe me."
"Harry's a mediwizard. He has to believe you."
"That's not it. He says I'm being a romantic, that I'm imagining it or something. He thinks it's rubbish."
"Harry," said Hermione, rolling her eyes. "He's silly. He...doesn't accept big changes sometimes. He'll come around, Draco, just give him some time to adjust."
"You should have heard him. He didn't just act like it wasn't true. He acted like the concept of me getting pregnant by him was the silliest thing in the world."
"Do you really think Harry would think anything like that?"
"I don't know. What if it means he doesn't...well, what if it means he doesn't believe me because he thinks the two of us could never make a baby? It takes two wizards who deeply care for each other to get one of them pregnant, you know---"
"That's just a rumor," she scolded.
"It could be true."
"Even if it were true, that's not the reason Harry would think you're not pregnant. Harry loves you. He can't keep his eyes off you."
"That doesn't mean anything at all, Granger! What if---"
"Stop! You're being ridiculous. And don't call me 'Granger.'" She swatted him with her dishtowel and stood up. "Will you help me bring out the food?"
"If I absolutely must."
"You know you don't mind."
Draco moved his fingers down the long counter as he followed her in the kitchen. The room was humid and the counter stocked with browned, rich dishes waiting to be eaten.
"Tell me what to do," he said calmly, looking down at the apple crumble. "You don't think he'd leave me if we had a baby?"
"No." Her voice was solid. She turned to look him in the eye. "Not Harry."
"You're probably right." He put his hands on his face. "I'm nervous."
"Like I said, give him time. Keep talking to him, but don't push him."
Draco carried the heavier platters and Hermione carried the bowls of salad, fruit, and bread. They made two trips, going on about his pregnancy.
"You can have all Regina's old clothes, if you want them," said Hermione. "She's got mostly dresses, but a few sets of unisex robes."
"Well, I don't want any dresses."
"You might need them."
"No. I won't stand for it if our first child isn't a boy. I want to gel his hair back and teach him to be extremely rude." Hermione laughed. "And I really want to be right."
"About what?" she asked.
"About the pregnancy!"
"You haven't even been tested? For God's sake, Draco---"
"I don't need to be tested. I know I'm right," he concluded. "Yes. I know when I'm pregnant."
She shook her head as they set the last things down, and rested her hands on her hips in contentment. The meal looked vast and tasty across the table, enough for all the adults and children who could be heard talking outside the dining room.
Hermione and Draco opened the drapes and the windows, letting the warm summer air flow in.
"Still with that Adrienne woman?" Harry asked.
"No, no," said Ron. "Split up. I'm with Martha now. She's lovely."
"Is she here?"
"Ah, no. She, uh, was busy...."
No matter how awkward the subject, Harry thought, it felt wonderful to get away from home life and talk with Ron. He sighed, leaning back in his chair.
They were sitting on the backyard porch with cold glasses of pumpkin juice, which drizzled and left clear rings of fluid on the wooden table. Hermione's boy, Roger, was playing in the garden nearby with friends. When Harry saw him a few moments earlier, Roger had dashed over and jumped into his arms. Harry wished him a happy birthday and slipped him a shining galleon, and every once and a while the boy would grin at Harry as though it were a magnificent secret.
It was a peaceful day, relaxing, drinking, and eating....
"So, what's life like with Malfoy?" Ron asked.
"I really wish you would call him 'Draco.'"
Ron shrugged his shoulders. "I'm doing the best I can with the whole arrangement. I haven't been around to make friends with him like Hermione has."
"I know. You're doing well enough."
"Tell me what it's like. Does he nag? Adrienne used to do that."
"A little. In a good way, I mean."
"Actually, just this morning he was on me about---well, if you'll believe me---babies."
"Babies!" he spluttered. He set his drink aside to wipe the juice off his shirt.
"Yes. He said to me, 'Harry, sweet, we're having a baby,' and I told him he was mad."
"Good man, Harry. Malfoy. He's the type to want children, yeah. It's Hermione giving him these ideas, I bet."
Harry smiled. "He and Hermione are close. They go out to the cinema together and everything. You should see Draco in the Muggle world. It's hilarious. He loves it, but he won't ever admit it."
"You know him well." Ron was looking over the expansive gardens, a little twitch to his lips as he watched Roger and a friend dump soil on one another's heads.
"Of course. We've been together a long time."
"I, uh" ---Ron cleared his throat--- "I've been a little regretful lately. I've sort of been wishing I'd got a job around here. You and Hermione are still close. And even Malfoy is in your little clique."
"You know you're our best friend no matter how far away you live."
Ron chuckled weakly. "I don't suppose I can slay dragons around here. Besides, Charlie would be lonely without me."
"He would. And you love your job, Ron, so you should stay at it. Keep coming around by floo and we'll all go out to dinner sometime. Just the three of us."
"Yeah. I'll do that."
"Hello, Harry, Ron," someone said over their shoulders. Harry looked up as David, Hermione's husband, came around and took a seat next to them. "How are things?" he asked.
"Fine, just fine," said Harry. He was still eyeing Ron's melancholy expression.
"What about Romania, Ron? How are things out there?"
Ron's eyes lit up, he turned to David, and began an exciting tale about a remarkably ferocious dragon.
"The cake was beautiful, wasn't it?" Draco exclaimed.
"Beautiful," said Harry, closing the door behind them and switching on the lights. The sun had set while they were driving home.
Draco hung up his cloak and Harry's jacket and went into the living room.
"And that icing! I want to know how Hermione made those designs. I want to make cakes like that."
"You can hardly boil an egg."
"Shush," said Draco, and plopped onto the sofa. To his annoyance, Harry did the same thing but he laid himself out and put his head in Draco's lap.
Harry hummed deeply in his throat when Draco threaded his fingers in his hair.
"Can you believe Roger's six years old now?" asked Harry.
"It's called growing up. Children tend to do that, you see."
Draco smirked at his content face. "Harry?"
"Your shoes are on the couch."
Harry sighed loudly and toed off his shoes. They fell to the floor, and he gave a yawn and stretch.
"You can hardly be tired," Draco commented. "It's only six o'clock."
"Been talking, talking, talking all day. All people want to do is talk at parties. Can't enjoy the surroundings. Hermione and David's yard is lovely."
"Yeah. I was watching the children play in the garden."
Draco's fingers stroked over his scar, and then down his nose and onto his lips. Harry kissed his fingers many times and bit them until Draco began to laugh.
"Not so hard, Potter!"
"You say that now. Wait until later tonight."
Draco snorted, pinching Harry's nose and then shoving him off his lap. "Get off, get off."
"I don't feel well. Take care of me, won't you?"
"No, I want to go to bed."
"Oh," said Harry, suddenly cured and helping Draco to his feet, "so you're eager for the real festivities start."
"You are such a bore." He avoided Harry's hands as he walked away, but Harry grasped his body from behind. Harry put wet kisses on his neck and ear.
"Stop that," Draco moaned. But Harry's lips felt so nice that Draco only put half the intended effort into it. "I want to change my clothes and then I want to talk to you about something."
"It can wait until later."
"Potter, be reasonable---"
But Harry wasn't in the mood to be reasonable, so just this once Draco relented, and they stumbled into the bedroom and under the covers without any more words. It came to Draco's attention that Harry was not as tired or ill as he had complained. He managed to stay up for a couple more hours. In more way than one.
Harry wasn't in bed when Draco awoke the next day. He found a note on the bedside table. Apparently, Weasley hadn't left for Romania yet and they had gone out to watch a Quidditch match. Fine with Draco. He had shopping to do and Harry would get in the way. After washing and dressing he went to call Hermione by floo; David was strolling past the other end of the fireplace, toweling his wet hair. He was startled, and belatedly remembered to cover his bare torso.
"I'll never get used to seeing your head in my fireplace, Draco," he said unhappily.
"What a silly Muggle."
"Malfoy, is that you?" he heard from behind David. Hermione turned up over his shoulder and crouched to see Draco face-to-face. "Watch your tongue."
"I'm terribly sorry," said Draco, "but I was so excited that I completely forgot myself."
"I'm sure. Do you need something?"
"Yes! Let's go out. I want to look at baby things."
"I'm in the middle of feeding Regina."
"Take her along. Oh! She can be my guinea pig."
Hermione snorted. "She's spoiled enough. She doesn't need to be pampered by the likes of you."
"Go on. We'll have fun."
"Fine. Give me a half hour and I'll floo to your place."
When Hermione arrived she had Regina on her hip and Roger trailing behind her. They were very sweet children in their little colorful robes.
"Your husband has a nice chest," said Draco.
"You talk entirely too much," Hermione replied, setting Regina in Draco's arms as he reached out. "Where's Harry?"
"He went out somewhere with Weasley."
"Oh, David's out, too. Fishing with his father."
"I wanted to go with Dad and Grandpa," said Roger, swinging his legs on the edge of the sofa, "but I have to wait until I can cast a pole right."
"Is that so?" asked Draco.
"Yeah. But I'm going to be a real fisherman someday, like my dad. I'll probably have a boat."
"I don't doubt it. Will Regina be your first mate?" He turned to look at her closely.
"She's too little. Can I use the loo?"
"May I," said Hermione.
Roger shrugged, and Draco shooed him down the hallway, wondering why children had to drag their hands along the walls as they went.
"He told me before we left he didn't have to go," said Hermione.
"Leave him be. I think he just likes to play with our razors."
"A joke, Granger."
Draco commenced in lifting Regina in the air, watching her squeal, and then making grotesque faces at her until Roger had returned. They all piled into the floo and arrived in Diagon Alley appropriately sooty.
The first thing Roger did was ask for ice cream, at which point Regina shouted, "Keem!" which Draco supposed meant she liked that idea. Hermione said it was too early, and they moved down the long street toward Gringotts. It was not especially crowded because toward the beginning of summer there were no students clogging the place up with their cauldrons and new books. When they had finished at the bank, Hermione suggested Flourish and Blotts for baby books, but Draco simply couldn't wait to pick out a sippy cup; so after dragging Roger from a broom display they found themselves in a shop that sold miscellaneous kitchen items. The children's section was heavenly.
"What about this one with the whirly things?" Hermione wondered.
"It's too complicated. It would confuse my baby. Can't have him going cross-eyed or anything."
"Funny, I assumed you'd be having a genius for a child."
"Give him some time! Soon he'll be the smartest Slytherin who ever lived."
"So not only have you decided on a gender, but you've decided on a House. How far along are you?"
"I'm two weeks pregnant, thanks. And of course I've decided on a House. No child of mine would be anything but Slytherin."
"You forget---if you're pregnant, your child has Harry's blood in it, and I'm sure his genes are just as stubborn as he is."
"Nonsense." Draco looked at his stomach, and said strictly, "As long as you're living inside of me, you're a Slytherin."
Hermione was about to reply; however, she glanced down and found Roger was not beside her. She turned around, saying, "Draco, did you see which way---?"
But then she saw that Roger had run off to the knife section and was wielding an enormous meat cleaver. She left Regina with Draco and hurried away.
Together Regina and Draco picked a sippy cup: a smiling duck that looked straight upward.
"Why, look, the ducky's bill is the sippy part, Reggie!"
She clapped, so he supposed this was just the one.
They went to find Hermione and Roger, and neither of them looked very happy---Roger in particular, with his red eyes.
"I cut my finger," he mumbled.
"Oh no," said Draco.
"Mummy casted a spell and it doesn't hurt anymore."
Hermione put her hand on Roger's head for a moment, looking doleful, like she had failed him in some way. She picked him up with a sigh at his weight, and they all walked to the counter to purchase the sippy cup.
"Are you sure you want to buy this so early?" she asked once they had left. "What if Harry wants to help out when he sees eye to eye?"
"I just want a few things, just to hold me over---just to look at."
After purchasing a couple pregnancy books for men and having sandwiches at a quaint restaurant, they were outside Madam Malkin's.
"Can I have ice cream yet?" asked Roger.
"I don't know," Hermione replied. "You did wander off earlier."
"But I was good after lunch."
Draco smiled, not mentioning they'd had lunch only five minutes ago. He said, "I'll take Regina with me if you take my friend Roger to get ice cream. A six-year-old deserves some respect!"
"Yeah!" Roger cried.
"I'll even pay," he added.
Hermione shook her head at them. "Fine, fine. Come on, love." She took Draco's Galleon and Roger's hand and they disappeared into the crowd.
"Well, little one," he said to Regina, whose head rested on his shoulder. "Shall we?"
They entered Madam Malkin's.
"Do you have pre-made clothes? For infants?" Draco asked an assistant with a large red hairdo. She put down her Quidditch magazine and led them to a far corner of the shop, where he gasped at a little yellow dress. It turned out to be much too big for a newborn, however, and he reminded himself if he had anything besides a boy he'd put the baby right back where it came from, close his legs, and forget he'd ever given birth.
Fifteen minutes later, he had a set of frilly robes slung over his arm, only because he was sure Harry would be embarrassed to see any son of his in those, a set of plain black robes, and a shirt with a turtle on the front. Hermione came in, with Roger shuffling at her side and slurping a tall pink cone, and immediately spotted him.
"Did you find anything you liked?" she asked.
"Yes," Draco said excitedly. "Look at the turtle shirt!"
"Regina seemed to like it. She has good taste."
"Yes, she does," Hermione cooed.
Regina squirmed in Draco's arms, seeing the ice-cream her brother held; Roger gave her a tiny lick.
"Why's Draco helping us buy clothes for Reggie?" asked Roger.
"He's not buying clothes for her," said Hermione, glancing at Draco. "Draco is just expecting a friend, who happens to be about Regina's size, and he wants his friend to have plenty of clothes when he comes."
Roger looked at the trousers Draco was holding up to Regina. "His friend is really small."
They sent Roger to a bench a few feet away to eat his ice cream without getting it on the clothes.
"You can tell him the truth, you know," Draco said quietly. "I don't mind."
"I don't want to get Roger's hopes up. What if we told him you were having a baby, and he was excited, and then we found out you weren't pregnant at all?"
"I wouldn't be here shopping if I weren't pregnant!"
"You told me yesterday you hadn't been tested. I won't believe it until I hear it from a mediwizard, and you happen to live with one."
"Harry wouldn't agree to test me."
"You should ask. He might not believe you're pregnant, but he wouldn't dare tell you no if you asked for something."
Draco grinned to himself. "Yeah. He's a pushover, isn't he?"
She laughed. "He'd fly around the world nude on a broomstick if it made you happy. But if he does say no, then call me in and we'll corner him together."
"What would I do without you, Hermione?"
"You'd certainly be lonely." She held up some lavender robes with embroidered flowers. "What about these?"