"Something always happens tonight, Theo," Harry sighed in exasperation. "Just because we're home—because I'm home, doesn't mean that nothing will happen."
His Alpha smiled indulgently and pulled him over for a kiss and cuddle. "That may be true, treasure," he murmured into one blushing ear. "But in that same line, I think we've all managed to keep the trouble from reaching you for the day, there is only tonight to weather and so as long as we are all together, I'm sure there will be no gaps in our logic or security measures." He nuzzled Harry's neck. "Upstairs and bed for you—we'll be right up."
"M'not tired yet," Harry started to say and then yawned. He offered a sheepish smile. "Alright, maybe a little, but that's Bruen and the twins' fault." He tilted his head to the side for more of Theo's nibbling kisses.
"Really?" Theo hummed. "I thought they adored you."
Harry bit back a groan. Farnati and Karnati, Quinn's twin little sisters were indeed his self-proclaimed shadows, delighting in following him about, helping—or interfering—with his every move and generally begging for stories of the Wizarding World, Hogwarts and Muggles. He'd managed to share what few happy memories he had of such things and in return, they would happily chatter on of Nevarean customs, holidays and household spells.
George had been delighted to have them about and halfway underfoot as apparently they reminded him of Ginny. Fred had immediately made himself scarce to the point where his hiding places and muted temper had begun to overlap with the one Bonded he could never quite get along with—Wikhn.
The dark fae in question had become increasingly grumpy and withdrawn after their latest Gheyo-vs-Pareya spat over something that neither side refused to disclose and so Harry had threatened to call his Ace on Wikhn, sending the Gheyo for a beachside run and banished Fred to the downstairs laboratory—without George. His grumbling Bonded had reluctantly complied.
It had been the only actual excitement in his day as he'd spent most of it in the kitchen with Quinn, Bruen and the Kalzik twins, making sugary treats and talking about their carnival evening with costumes and bonfires and caspers. They'd had bundles of fun and it was three very reluctant young dragels that were finally collected by their respective parents.
Quinn's mother, Surajini, had brought over some tasty dinner treats in exchange for watching her girls and to save them both the trouble of cooking for the evening, Harry had happily given her a portion of Theo's favorite Butterscotch pudding, to which she'd declared divine and hugged the stuffing out of him.
Overall, it had been a good day.
His Bonded had been wonderful in making sure that he was occupied and busy with things that would make good memories. He'd had the occasional twinge of unease, but chose to ignore it, when he would catch sight of one of his Gheyos hovering anxiously within view, keeping an eye on him, just because.
It made him smile now as he unwrapped his arms from Theo and pulled back for a goodnight kiss. "You'll be right up?" He clarified. "No more paperwork?"
Theo blushed beautifully. "Harry, the paper-"
"Paperwork is important, but if there is nothing that can't be done tomorrow, then I want you up there with me," Harry said, firmly. "Don't keep me waiting."
"I'll send Charlie up," Theo offered.
"That's fine. Send the twins too, but I know they won't come until everyone else is already up here and they won't come until you are, so don't keep me waiting." Harry headed for the stairs, he waited on the last step until Theo nodded. Satisfied, he took the stairs two at a time, humming as he went about his nightly routine for a warm shower, brushing his teeth and rooting out his favorite pair of cosy pyjamas.
He burrowed into the covers in the center of the bed and curled up, waiting for his Bonded to arrive.
True to his word, Theo sent Charlie up and his lovely hulk of a Beta appeared in the bedroom, pausing to kiss his forehead in greeting, before disappearing into the loo. One by one, the rest of his Bonded made their appearance, all save for his Ace, Wikhn and Fred and George. Theo appeared when George did and his Ace put in an appearance shortly afterward.
"Hmm?" A bleary-eyed Harry roused himself enough to see the shadowed figure bending over him. He propped himself up on his elbows and accepted the warm, minty kiss that followed. "Ev'rything alright?"
"Perimeter's fine, wards are up and our favorite pair is squabbling again. I'll call Wikhn off, but if they both end up here, keep them apart. I'll take the night watch."
"That's fine," Harry purred softly, greedily accepting another kiss. He let himself be tucked back under the covers and smiled when he felt Quinn's arms twining around him for a cuddle and George's searing warmth pressed up against his front. "Night."
His Ace left as quietly as he'd come.
Exactly as he'd promised, Wikhn appeared first, grumbling, muttering and generally swearing all sorts of terror and destruction on humanity in general—threats that tapered off when he entered the room. He went about his nightly routine with the occasional muffled bump and fae ranting without turning on the lights.
Disgruntled, he stood at the foot of the bed, contemplating whether to join them or bunk outside, when Harry wriggled free of George's grip and moved over to offer Wikhn the space between Quinn and Theo. With a quiet sigh, Wikhn slid beneath the covers and settled down behind Quinn, accepting Theo's blunt-toothed bite to the shoulder that settled his Gheyo instincts almost at once.
It took a few minutes before everyone was fast asleep.
Harry woke several hours later when he realized that Fred hadn't arrived and George was tossing and turning because of it. The twins were always very closely connected and he'd learned to watch for the signs early on. "George?" He shifted until he could rouse his first Pareya. "Wake up, George?"
He felt a sudden spike of worry through their shared bonds and knew that Wikhn and Theo were instantly awake. He pushed a few threads of calm down to them and shook George awake. The Pareya shuddered into his embrace with a low, pained groan.
"George?" Harry whispered. He smoothed back sweat-dampened hair from George's warm forehead and kissed his throat. "It's just a dream."
"…Gred?" came the sleepy question.
Harry bit his lip. "I don't think he's up yet."
George stirred, trying to will his tired body to rise and go in search of said missing twin.
"No, don't…" Harry shushed him. "I'm sure he's fine," he mentally threw his senses out, searching and finding his Ace first, then reaching out for Fred. He could feel a muted presence that suggested Fred was back in the laboratory and cooking up another scheme of some sort. He hoped it wasn't more pranks. This week had been almost unbearable, as in the spirit of good sportsmanship, Fred had attempted to prank everyone in turn.
That hadn't turned out well with the Gheyos and a certain prickly water-bonded. Harry stifled a laugh in remembrance, inwardly reminding himself of the entirely inappropriate timing. He had a feeling that Fred would have to watch his back soon, because Gheyos knew how to hold a grudge and if any of them should choose to give him a dose of his own medicine, well, it would be amusing.
"I'll call him," Theo began.
"Don't," Harry yawned. "He'll just complain."
"…hate this," George muttered, burrowing down back under the covers. They were paired Pareya and he was always hyper sensitive to Fred's half of things.
"He's in the lab, he's fine, reach out and see for yourself," Harry coaxed. "Alright, there…see? He's fine." He sighed and mentally reached out, drawing on the bonded strand of make his request known.
Fred's answer filtered back and Harry settled back down with a smile of relief. Fred would be up in a bit.