Maze

The Last Time This Happened Chapter 2


Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, make any profit from this and no copyright infringement was intended.



Neville savored a spoonful of Fortescue’s Triple Fudge and Mushroom sundae with relish. Across from him, Colin Creevey tried to keep from hurling. Neville was purposefully oblivious to the stares of the other patrons in the American 1950’s diner-themed ice creamed parlor. The duo, seated at a booth by the windows, were used to the stares that followed them every time they were together.  


Colin remained the same short, slight, brown-haired figure from Hogwarts. His enthusiasm and sparkle drew attention along with his loud mouth. Even when he was trying to wrestle Neville into going along with one of his half-baked schemes he radiated such good will that Neville found it hard to remain angry.  


Neville himself tried to continue his famous blending-in-with-the-wallpaper technique but had found it harder to do once he became a hero; even more so now that he was pregnant with the Savior and the Fallen Angel’s progeny. Most of the patrons of the ice cream parlor were openly staring at him as he ate his ice cream and enjoyed Colin’s energetic chatter. Neville decided after some thought that maybe moving had not been the worst thing he could have done.


After two weeks of soul searching, howlers and more than a dozen attempts to break through his wards, Neville had conceded the need to be closer to the hospital and the two fathers. He still refused to consider Lucius’s proposal – he figured that he was making enough concessions by simply moving to closer to London.


Neville had not found it difficult to secure a brick four-bedroom, three-bath cottage in a good neighborhood. It was an hour from the Malfoy Manor and about the same distance from Grimmauld Place. Neville had meant to tell them of the move but something told him they would know soon enough.  


The house was baby-proofed by the two house elves he brought with him. Neville had seen to getting the wards set up and added some Muggle conveniences he took an interest in. The 50-inch plasma screen television was proving to be his best investment to date, keeping him mentally stimulated when he did not have people around.  


“So have you considered my offer?” Colin asked keeping his eyes firmly directed away from the disgusting confection in front of him.  


“What offer?” Neville queried, wrinkling his brow at Colin even though he was well aware of what the offer was. Colin had been trying to get inside Neville’s pants for as long as they knew each other. Neville had purposefully worn some of his least flattering baggy jeans and a red polo shirt with sandals in hopes of deterring the slightly stalkerish attentions.
 

“Neville, you know that you’ll need someone to look after you in every way…” Colin gave Neville a slightly more lecherous look.


Neville narrowed his eyes and tilted his head at him before declining out of hand. “Colin, I couldn’t possibly put you out like that. Besides I don’t know if I want to have sex, now that I can get the kids without all the mess of emotions and intercourse and the like.” Neville thoughtfully tapped his chin then, thinking that the subject was closed, licked his spoon happily. “So how is the photography business going?”


“Well enough, I suppose.” Colin sighed, temporarily retreating in defeat. “The Prophet is always willing to pay, but you know I want to do a more private and intimate collection of personal portraits.”


“No, I will not model for you.” Neville spoke firmly, looking Colin in the eye.


“You haven’t even heard my proposal yet!” Colin squawked indignantly, waving his hands in the air in frustration. Half the shop turned to look at them and Neville flushed.


“Fine. What is it?” Neville contemplated Colin as he leaned back in his seat.


“Male pregnancies are so rare that I thought it would be a good idea to get photographs and make a book about your experiences.” Colin kept it short and to the point in an attempt to soothe Neville’s worries.


“That actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea,” Neville conceded.  


“Think of it as your babies’ first picture album,” Colin coaxed, waving for and paying the bill.


“Alright, I will give it a go. But no funny business.”


“I’ll bring my stuff around tomorrow.” Colin smiled at Neville happily. “The next seven months will be high-quality picture time as your body goes through all the different changes.”


“Why seven months?” Neville asked bewildered.


“I figure that getting the first months of the babies lives would be important to you.” Colin wheedled.  


“Are you sure you weren’t meant for Slytherin, you manipulative…” Neville growled.


“Now Neville, not in front of the children!” Colin scolded before reaching over and patting Neville’s bump affectionately. Neville attempted to hit Colin who Apparated away laughing.


“Neville!” a voice called from behind him.  


Neville sighed and realized his appetite had fled with Colin. “Hey Greg.” Neville’s defense of Gregory Goyle had raised many eyebrows. The finding of almost two hundred supposedly-dead innocents scattered across several of Gregory’s properties had further pleaded his case and as such, all charges were dropped. Goyle had quickly set about reestablishing his family’s fortune using his one superior talent.


“I finished the wards for your house.” Goyle flopped down into the seat Colin had vacated.  


“Thanks. How is Ginny?” Neville leaned back and folded his hands over his stomach.


“Nervous about telling her family we’re married,” Goyle responded with a shrug.  


“Would you rather they found out about the baby first?” Neville questioned amused by Goyle’s nonchalance.


“I value my balls.” Goyle spoke warily his eyes crinkling in good humor. “Speaking of which, I’m supposed to try to convince you that it’s in your best interests to accept the Malfoy-Potter proposal.”

“Please Goyle, not you too!” Neville snapped, glaring at his friend ferociously.


“Wait, I haven’t started.” Goyle cleared his throat. “Convince.” Goyle paused his mouth twitching. “Okay, I’m done.” Neville began to laugh helplessly and Goyle chuckled.


Across the street, Draco scowled at the two. He was standing in the front window of the Pressure Makes a Diamond jewelry shop, partially hidden by the curtain. “Harry, why is Goyle talking to Neville?”


“They’re friends.” Harry spoke carefully as he peered through the glass as well. “Aren’t you supposed to be picking out rings for the three of us?”


“It seems hopeless if he won’t agree, but I don’t want any child of mine to be a bastard or a pariah.” Draco worried his bottom lip and turned his mercurial eyes to meet Harry’s emerald ones. “If he doesn’t want it, I won’t push him to bond with us.”


“That’s very big of you.” Harry murmured, leaning in to place a soft kiss on Draco’s lips.  


“Not the only thing big,” Draco responded as he dragged their bodies together; Harry’s slightly shorter, more muscular form fitting nicely with Draco’s taller, more slender one. “Though you know this already.”


Harry was about to reply when a flash of green light caught his eye. Instinct took over and Harry pushed Draco to the ground. For a moment, the world stood still and then the screaming started. Harry and Draco ran out of the shop and only to find it was too late. The Rogue Deatheaters had descended on Diagon Alley and blasted a hole in the ice cream parlor.  


“Neville!” Harry yelled as he realized what that green light had been.  


Neville blinked and found the world a kaleidoscope of different colors. Something was lying heavily over his stomach; detachedly he noticed the long ears that marked the object a house elf. Sounds rushed over him, assaulting his brain and temporarily short-circuiting his body functions. All he could think was how wrong it was that he should be staring at the underside of a table before all thoughts left him.  




“Papa, wake up!” Neville’s eyelids fluttered briefly, and he opened his eyes. Female versions of Harry and Draco stood impatiently looking at him.


“Harry, Draco – why are you girls?” Neville sputtered briefly, eyeing the two teenage girls in front of him. Taking in their mini skirts and tiny graphic tees, Neville shuddered with disgust. “Just for the record those skirts are entirely too short.”  


“Papa, these are in fashion, something you would never understand,”the blonde girl retorted, smoothing down the material on her denim mini skirt. “Besides, the Dads buy them for us.” The raven-haired one just shook her head before pinning him with her eyes.



“Look, we don’t have much time, but you have to marry our Dads.” The raven-haired girl held him with an intense emerald gaze.


“Why would I do that? How do I know this isn’t a trick?” Neville inquired, trying his best to gather his wits.


“Fine. I’ll tell you something no one could possibly know, will that convince you?” The blonde girl scratched her head thoughtfully while the other bit her lip and studied the ground. “Got it. You want both of us to take after you in some noticeable way.” Neville paled at her words. That was indeed one of his deepest wishes.


“You used to stare at us, hoping for some sign that we took after you.” the raven-haired girl continued. “You wanted us to look like you so that if our Dads ever left, you wouldn’t be constantly faced with their images.”


Neville felt his jaw drop. “That’s impossible! You aren’t even born yet!”


“Oops. Pretend you didn’t hear that part.” The raven-haired one waved her hand airily. “The fact remains that if you don’t marry the Dads, then we don’t grow up with a Papa and that is a problem.”  

“I still think this is a trick of some kind.” Neville grumbled, but he somehow believed them despite himself. Looking at their bare midriffs, he paused and blinked. Both girls had the Longbottom family birthmark by their navels.



“No, it’s magic,” the flaxen-haired girl intoned patiently. “Dads told us you were a little slow on the uptake but this is ridiculous.”


“Great, my own daughter treats me like I’m an idiot,” Neville groaned.


“Papa, we’ve delivered the message and now we must go, but remember: you have to marry them. It’s the only way.” The blonde girl linked arms with the dark-haired one.


“Wait!” Neville yelled and both girls paused. “What are your names?”


Both girls winced before looking at their father, “Let’s just say that you might want to try to be lucid, when we are born but try not to stay too mad at our Dads if you’re not.”

“Yeah. They mean well, Papa.” Raven nodded, the mist thickened and they were gone.



Neville felt like his eyelids weighed a million tons.  


“He’s coming around,” Draco whispered urgently. “Move, you damn House elf.” The sound of an explosive magical report made Neville’s eyes snap open. Turning his head carefully to the side, he almost burst out laughing. One of his personal house elves, Pepper, was standing beside him. A somber Harry was helping Draco up from where the house elf had flung him.


“Pepper…” Neville spoke softly.


“Master wants something?” Pepper blinked large grey eyes at him expectantly.  


“I want…mashed potatoes,” Neville responded, with a smile Pepper was gone.  


“Damn house elf,” Draco grumbled. He moved to Neville’s bedside. “Are you okay?”


“Yeah, but what happened?” Neville sat up slightly. Harry moved to plump his pillows while Draco explained.


“You were sitting talking to Goyle when someone tried to…” Draco paused, trying to calm his temper.  


“Ginger…” Neville whispered recalling the long ears that landed on top of him. A house elf appeared.  


“Master wants something to go with his mashed potatoes?” Ginger asked blinking at her master.  


“Oh thank goodness. I thought you were dead.” Neville sighed.


“No, master.” Ginger shook her head, her ears flopping. “I and the big one shielded well enough for the spell to bounce. But the sign over the shop didn’t make it.”


“Thank you, Ginger.” Neville dismissed her, his mind moving on to different ways he might avoid the spotlight following this newest development. Nothing came to mind, so Neville gave in to the inevitable. His daughters were right: it was better for them, and him, if he just married Harry and Draco and got it over with. “How soon can we get married?”  


“What!” Draco gasped and Harry blinked slowly.  


Harry sat down on the edge of the bed. “May I ask what brought this about?”
 

“I just think that if that’s even a small sample of the reaction to my pregnancy, it might be better for me to marry you and take the protection you can offer.” Neville replied with a shrug. “If you don’t want to marry me…”


“He didn’t say that!” Draco shrieked, patting his pockets frantically.  


“Left pants pocket,” Harry commented watching Draco with amusement shining in his eyes.  


“Here we go.” Draco held the ring box up triumphantly and Neville blanched.


“Well, that was quick,” he murmured.


“We were in the jewelers when you were attacked,” Harry explained as Draco perched on the other side of the bed and took out the rings.  


“You could have at least acted surprised that I gave in.” Neville couldn’t help grumbling, feeling slightly grumpy about the turn of events.  


“Ha! This is one of the few times where he’s been prepared beforehand.” Harry smirked at Neville, but his mind was running through possible motives and people who would want to harm Neville. None of his thoughts were good.


“Harry, I told you we should have gotten the diamonds!” Draco grumbled pulling Harry from his reverie.


“I said whatever you want, and you wanted titanium with engravings in Latin, French and Greek,” Harry retorted, smiling at Draco’s disgruntlement and Neville’s amused smile.


“How will I even know what this thing says?” Neville asked studying the band on his ring finger thoughtfully.


“They’re made by goblins. When we’re married they will say different things to represent us as individuals, and one thing for our bond.” Draco went on into an explanation of the history of the process, but Neville’s eyes crossed in confusion halfway through the explanation and he allowed his eyes to close, falling asleep before he realized he was even tired.