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27 February 2011 @ 12:12 pm
something worth fighting for, chapter four  
Title: Something Worth Fighting For
Author: xxCabalinaxx
Rating: T (Teen)
Warnings: Slash, mpreg (past/present/future)
Summary: Harry is invited to Hogwarts for his ten year reunion. Everyone finds out what has been going on since he left England, and that he married a certain someone named Draco Malfoy.

Author’s Note: Feb, 1, 2011. So for those of you new to this fic, thank you for reading :) For those of you who have been waiting patiently for me to update this fic, I thank you all for being patient with me. And it is because of you guys that this chapter has been written. And with a new chapter, comes a total revamp and overhaul of this fic, so while the basics of this fic are still the same, I would advise you to go back and start reading from the beginning again. Also, if you guys are interested, I have created a website with images and extra tidbits of information about the horses and other animals that may pop up. I always like having a picture or visual to put with a description, so in case any of you are like me, the link to the site can be found here

Chapter Four

Harry let out a strangled scream and sat up in bed abruptly, chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath. He looked over to Draco, finding him still sound asleep, and curled around one of the massive pillows on the bed. His heart going a mile a minute, and his pulse pounding in his ears, Harry got out of the bed as quietly as he could.

He stepped quietly out of the bedroom that he and Draco were using in Malfoy Manor. Now that he didn't have to worry about waking Draco, Harry could relax his stance a bit and almost walk normally. He moved through the hallways, eyes sliding over paintings and portraits and sculptures, trying his best to get rid of the lingering images in his head.

Soon Harry found himself outside at the immaculate stable that was situated next to the main manor on the grounds. Without thinking, Harry opened the cumbersome door and went into the dark building. He started to hum softly as to alert the horses to his presence. This group of equines knew who he was, but it was late. There was a possibility that the ones who were starting to wake up now that he was there, would startle and set the others off. It was a slim possibility, but horses were skittish creatures and there could be commotion that Harry would have preferred to avoid at this moment.

He had come in specifically to see one horse, but out of habit he stopped at each stall to check that each horse was safe and settled. Athena was in the first stall. The eight year old Thoroughbred mare was Draco’s latest project. A tall and leggy former racehorse, off the track, she had a bright chestnut coat that glowed twice as brightly in the sun, and she was crazy smart to boot. She and Draco were always engaged in a battle of wits and will, trying to outsmart each other.

Harry reached up to turn on the hose that filled the plastic water bucket hanging on the wall. The water bubbled and gurgled for a moment as the air pockets in the hose were pushed out and the water level rose. Athena ambled over from where she had been pressed against the back wall, watching him with steady eyes. She pressed her soft nose against the bars and wiggled her upper lip at Harry; her customary request for a treat.

The first stable on the Malfoy property had been built hundreds of years ago, even before the original manor house had been constructed. Since then, both the manor and the equine facility had been renovated and remodeled, and it was expected that the stable would be as up to date as possible, but there were some things that Draco preferred to do the old fashion way. Stalls were mucked by hand every morning, no magic or house elves. Water buckets were filled manually; grain, feed, and hay doled out with meticulous notes recorded in the office books. Exercise regimens created and kept to, with easier and more strenuous works spaced evenly between.

The program was down to a science and everything was done for a reason. If the same people mucked the same stalls everyday, then if there was a change in the horse’s habits (and yes that includes how much manure is produced) then it is easy to tell if something is wrong. Filling the water buckets yourself instead of using automatic waterers enables you to watch the horse’s water intake. The riding schedule was organized to keep horses at the peak of fitness and health.

When the bucket was full, Harry reached up again to shut off the water valve. Athena wiggled her lip again when no treat was produced and squealed softly when Harry reached his fingers between the metal bars and scratched under her chin instead. “Sorry, princess. I have nothing on me. You’ll be getting your breakfast in a few hours anyway.” Athena snorted and moved back to her place against the wall. Harry watched for a moment longer and Athena reached down to lip at a few leftover bites of hay from dinner. The mare chewed slowly, one eye still on Harry. When Harry didn’t move, she snorted again and swung her butt around so it was the only view Harry had of her. Chuckling, Harry moved to the next stall.

Sleeping soundly in the stall next to Athena, flat out on his side, was Ranger. Harry and Draco liked to joke that the pony was older than dirt. No one believed them when they were told that Ranger was almost thirty years old. Lucius Malfoy had bought the dark bay gelding as a four year old when Draco was a toddler and Draco had learnt to ride on the pony before outgrowing him and moving on to a bigger horse. All of their children had learned to ride on Ranger as well. At the ripe old age of twenty-nine years old, Ranger was still fat and happy, with a thick glossy coat, and the biggest appetite out of every horse in the barn. At this rate, Ranger would outlive all of them.

The sound of water hitting the plastic of the bucket startled Ranger out of his slumber. The pony rolled over onto his belly and gave Harry his nastiest glare, his ears laying flat against his head. The effectiveness of the death stare was diminished by the fact that the fat, dark little pony had pale shavings stuck all over him, clinging to his coat. Very terrifying. Harry rolled his eyes. “Cranky old brat.” Ranger shook his head, dislodging some of the shavings and lay back down again.

Harry thought back to the description he had gotten of Jamie’s ‘wild ride’ on Ranger that afternoon. He knew that what his little girl had described wasn’t quite what happened, and a pony’s antics could seem much wilder to a child with a big imagination. And Harry was also one hundred percent positive that if any of their children were in any danger, Draco would have done something. Besides, Ranger would never do anything on purpose to hurt on of the kids. He was a cranky old man that had a bit of an attitude, what pony didn’t? And he had no qualms about being difficult for Harry or Draco, but he would never hurt the kids.

Cadet blinked owlishly at him from the stall across from Athena. The patient older mare was the horse Draco moved on to years ago after outgrowing Ranger. The high jumping, classy, bay warmblood was as patient as they come. She’d taken Draco all the way to the top levels of show jumping. Now that she was nineteen years young, Draco had retired her from the higher levels of serious competition and turned her care over to Jake and Jeremy. Cadet still had just enough energy to keep up with the twins requests and whims. 

And finally, there was Orion. The massive brown stallion was wide awake and gazing at him with big dark brown eyes. Harry unbolted the stall door and slipped inside. He was slightly cautious as he was all too familiar with the horse’s nasty stall manners. But, for once, Orion stood calm and quietly. He stayed motionless as Harry ran his hands over the warmblood’s coat, the motion more for Harry’s comfort than for Orion’s. The muscle’s under his hands were firm and Orion’s skin rippled at the touch.

When Harry felt teeth bite into his arm he scolded the horse sharply, but softly. "None of that. You know better." The horse grunted and pinned his ears back for a moment, but kept his teeth to himself after that. Harry grinned and ran his fingers through the thick, short black mane, pulling out a few tangles. Orion had been his wedding present from Draco. A green as grass six year old,  that had been handled by people a grand total of five times since he’d been born, and had a disposition worse that Satan. Harry had worked with the youngster day after day, gained his trust, and had been able to tap into Orion's amazing potential. The two had done very well in the show ring over the years. But, as much as Harry hated to admit it, Orion was getting older. And while he was in his prime and at the top of his game now, in a few years the stallion would be retired to stud most likely. Harry would have to start looking over the horses they had back home and figure out who was his next grand prix horse. However, now wasn’t the time to think about that. Right now, right now he was just taking comfort in being around a good friend.

It was over an hour later when Harry finally made his way back to the house. It was still pitch black as he walked through the halls on the manor. He was about to go back into the master bedroom, but paused as he was about to grasp the door handle. He turned around instead and went to the room his two oldest children were sleeping in. What Harry expected to see was two boys sleeping in one of the two queen sized beds that had been set up. They tended to stay in the same bed when the surroundings were unfamiliar to them. It was for that reason the boys were given such large beds in the first place. When he saw that both beds were empty, Harry felt dread and horror pool in his gut. He hurried back into the hall and threw open the door to Alexis' room. Nothing. Jamie's room was the same.

The panic from his earlier nightmare that had never really gone away returned full forcer and started to build up inside him and it felt like it took him ages to get back to his and Draco's room. He had to tell his husband that their kids were missing. But, when he shoved the door open and went to yell, he found his voice caught in his throat.

Draco was awake and propped up in bed leaning against a pile of pillows against the headboard. Pressed up against each side of him were Jake and Jeremy. Alexis was lying on Draco's knees, half asleep and snuggled under her favorite fuzzy blanket. James was curled up on Draco's lap., his blonde head tucked under Draco’s chin. All five of them were watching a video on the television that had recently be mounted on the wall in the corner of the bedroom. When Draco heard the door open he looked up so see Harry standing there. The grin that was on his face was enough to make all of Harry's fear and tension vanish. Draco cocked his head sideways when Harry stayed motionless in the entry. "Well, don't just stand there. Come watch the movie."

The fist that seemed to have grabbed hold of Harry’s heart loosened and he smiled tiredly and climbed onto his side of the bed, sliding under the covers. He reached out and dragged a sleepy Alexis over to him, pulling her onto his lap. The little girl yawned and snuggled into her daddy's chest. Harry kissed the top of her head and ran a hand over her soft curls. With the other arm Harry pulled Draco closer to him and pressed his lips against his fair blond hair. "I love you," he whispered.

Draco turned slightly and looked into Harry's eyes. What he saw there was enough to make him almost cry. The love and devotion was something that Draco couldn't get enough of seeing, but the fear and grief were unbearable to see. He kissed his husband tenderly and leant his forehead against Harry's and nodded. "I love you too. More and more every day."

Current Mood: amusedamused