Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, if I did….you'd better believe the books would be *really* slashy. But they aren't…so I don't. i.e., don't sue me.
A/N: As promised my dears…here is your sequel. I was really overwhelmed with the positive response to the end of It's Only Love…I really thought there'd be death threats. Thank you guys so much for your support and reviews. Thank you, as always, to Jasmine.
Weeeeeell…..here goes our second installment in the saga….
Chapter 1…………………Extra Extra! Boy Who Lived On The Market!
It had been two months since the Hogwarts graduation. Since he was alone, Harry feared the time would pass slowly. Luckily, he kept so busy that the time seemed to just fly by. With his path to the future free of debris, Harry had reviewed his options carefully as to what to do now that he was out in the real world. He narrowed the choices down to two. He could be an auror, a noble position, of course…but Harry felt he had been surrounded by darkness of one kind or another for far too long. Or he could play quidditch. He loved the game…and he was damn good at it too. He'd had several offers since even the beginning of his seventh year from several teams. After his little announcement at graduation, a few of the offers were rescinded, out of bigotry of some form or another. However, most of the offers had even doubled in their promises, as they all wanted the even *more* famous Boy Who Lived to play for them.
After deciding that, yes, he wanted to be a professional quidditch player, Harry found an apartment in muggle London. The rent was cheaper, the flat was bigger, it had electricity (a definite muggle plus) and he could escape the wizarding world when he came home this way. He had a blast moving in and shopping for all the new furniture to go into his very first home of his own. He'd taken half of his money out of his Gringotts account and had it converted to pounds, then set up a muggle bank account…as he couldn't very well buy furniture in London with galleons.
Hermione had opted to stay at Hogwarts and continue her studying as an assistant to McGonagall. Ron had, uneventfully, taken a job with the ministry. The duo both had a fair amount of time before they set out to their separate paths, and Harry had enlisted them to help with the embellishment of his home. Hermione had seemed enthusiastic, chatting with Harry about carpet colors and draperies…while Ron lagged behind the two, carrying bags and mumbling under his breath about how Harry really *was* gay….
When it came time for his two best friends to leave, Harry wished them well, but knew that they would continue to see each other a great deal. Harry was very pleased with his flat; it was…homey. Nice…but not too nice. He didn't want to feel bad about putting his feet on his own table. He had photos adorning every available surface, so that those he loved could smile back at him from every room in his house…except the bathroom of course, *that* would just be creepy.
His new job as a professional seeker had gone great so far. The team had been very happy to have him and everyone seemed to have a great attitude. He had gotten along fairly well with everyone. The team was still in practice mode, as there were a good few months before any actual games, and Harry had taken quite a liking to the team's keeper, Paul Thomas. The brawny man had been the first to welcome Harry, and had managed to make him feel at home right from the beginning. Harry had even been invited to dinner with Paul and his wife, who was a rather plain looking, but very witty woman.
And now, two months after Harry Potter officially left the closet for the real world, he was content. He couldn't lie and say that he wasn't lonely at times…but it was bearable. He'd had *quite* a few offers since his announcement, most of which were so forward, it was all Harry could do not to run screaming. A few of them were…intriguing…but he didn't really think he was ready just yet. What filled his heart with joy, though, was that since that fateful day, he'd had a number of wizards, young and…not so young…approach him and tell him his courage had inspired them. Finally, the boy with the glasses and piercing green eyes was happy to be The Famous Harry Potter.
On a Tuesday night…just like any Tuesday night…Harry sat lazily on his couch with his feet propped up on the coffee table. He still had the days practice clothes on, but he wanted to relax a bit before showering and changing. With a glass of water by his side, he languidly flipped through the channels on the telly, waiting for his take out to arrive. He was just about to go into the kitchen and have a pre-meal snack when he heard a knock at the door.
"Finally" he mused aloud and swept up some money to pay the delivery person.
No sooner had he opened the door when a hand pushed it the rest of the way open and a person that was *not* delivering food barged into his apartment.
"Paul…what are you…?"
The larger man plopped himself down on Harry's sofa and began rambling off, slurring his words every now and then. The only parts Harry managed to catch clearly were "through with…stupid broads…always right…well *excuse* me…."
Harry sat next to his new friend and tried to comfort the obviously inebriated man. He awkwardly patted him on the back.
And Paul began his tale of marital woe (something having to do with the toilet seat). After he had finished, Harry assured the man that he could stay with him and sleep it off. Paul grabbed Harry up in a crushing hug, knocking the former Gryffindor's glasses crooked and leaving him gasping for air. The drunken man leered at Harry a moment before opening his liquor fouled mouth.
"I stink Harry…do you have mouthwash and another shirt?"
Harry pointed to the bathroom. "Mouthwash is in there…but Paul….my shirts won't fit you. They might if you wanted to go to a gay bar…but if you *aren't* keen on baring your navel…you're out of luck."
Paul chuckled, realizing Harry was right and simply removed his sweaty shirt and headed for the bathroom to rinse out his mouth. Harry fixed him a large glass of water to help flush out his system and handed it to him as soon as he reemerged from the bathroom. The other man already seemed a bit more coherent. Harry handed him the money for the food that was on its way and headed to take a shower.
While Harry finished his shower, Paul heard a knock. He grabbed the money Harry had given him and answered the door, not taking into account his shirtless state.
On the other side of the door, again, was not food…but a rather striking blonde boy who whipped around when he heard the door open. The blonde smiled briefly, but the smile faded when he realized who he was looking at…or rather…who he *wasn't* looking at.
"I'm sorry…I must have the wrong flat…."
Paul turned to see Harry just coming out of the bathroom with but a towel draped around his waist. He called over his shoulder.
"Harry…I think it's for you…."
Harry walked over to the door, holding the towel up with one hand, still expecting to see food. When he got beside Paul and peered out the door he was, to say the least, shocked. After all…it's not every day you find a dragon on your doorstep.
Draco looked up at him nervously. "Hi…."
Paul, realizing he had no place in the current conversation, retreated back into the living room and to his glass of water.
Harry's shock soon gave way to anger. "What are you doing here?"
Draco looked a bit taken aback by the cold tone of Harry's voice.
"I'm sorry…I didn't have anywhere else to go…"
Harry sighed. "Fine…wait here."
He abruptly closed the door in Draco's face and stomped off to his room to dress himself more appropriately. He realized after the third time he put his shirt on backwards that he was more than a little nervous about what was waiting for him on the other side of his front door.
After finally managing to dress himself properly, Harry took a deep breath and counted to ten before heading to the door. He opened it, half expecting Draco to have gone, but no…he sat in the hallway, with his back against the wall and his knees pulled up. When he heard the door open, his head jerked up and he smiled magnificently at Harry who cursed the Malfoys for having such good genes.
Tentatively, Harry sat down across the hall from the blonde and eyed him for a moment. He noticed a fairly deep gash across Draco's cheek that had only just stopped bleeding. He exhaled slowly and steeled his resolve.
"So…what happened to you then?"
Draco met Harry's eyes and began his tale.
"Well…I suppose it's like this…"
After two months of preparation…the night had finally arrived. The Manor had been beautifully decorated and the younger master of the house was impeccably dressed.
The Parkinsons arrived with their only daughter, Pansy, right on schedule for night of sociality with the Malfoys. Lucius, Narcissa and Draco gathered in the sitting room to wait for their guests to be ushered in. Malfoy senior eyed his son carefully who was wringing his hands and chewing on his bottom lip. This would not do.
"Draco, may I have a word with you in my office before our guests arrive?"
Draco was surprised by his Father's request, but nodded his head in the affirmative.
Lucius turned his attention to his wife who, as per usual, sat coldly staring back at him.
"Narcissa, try to keep the company entertained until we come back…it shouldn't take long."
The woman nodded and poured herself yet another glass of brandy.
Once upstairs in Lucius' office, the older man told his son to take a seat while he stood by the window.
"Are you nervous Draco?"
"That's quite understandable…I was nervous when I went through this myself, but you have to remember…you are a Malfoy, and there is no room for hesitancy here. You do like Pansy, do you not?"
Again Draco nodded. "Yes, sir…I do like her….but I don't love her."
Lucius laughed a hearty laugh which took Draco by surprise.
"My dear boy…what does love have to do with anything?"
Draco blinked. "But I thought…"
"Obviously you are still young and entertaining silly romantic notions."
In his surprise, Draco found himself doing something he had never done before…questioning his Father.
"So you expect me to live my whole life next to a woman I don't love? I'm not even attracted to her…I'll be miserable."
Again Lucius laughed.
"Why Draco, you are even more innocent than I was at your age. I *do* expect you to marry Pansy. She will make a good wife. She has a good name, and she will look good next to you, as well as produce you a fine heir. As far as attraction goes…well…what you do in your free time is your business."
Draco was shocked at what he thought he was hearing. His Father was always so illusive in his wording…one could never tell *exactly* what he meant.
"Are you saying…but I thought…you and Mother…"
Lucius fixed his gaze on his son. "Have you ever met your mother, Draco? The woman isn't what one would call…passionate. However, she has made a good wife and remained loyal all these years…although, that last part could be due to her inherent frigidity."
Draco felt like he would be sick. He hadn't thought of his parents as mushy or romantic…but he had always thought that *somewhere* deep down, they loved each other. He found himself questioning whether or not his Father had ever even known love.
He was jolted from his reverie when Lucius placed a hand on his shoulder.
"You'll be fine…you are my son. It's your destiny."
Still quite shocked, Draco nodded and followed his Father out of the office and back downstairs where his future wife and in laws awaited him.
The six purebloods relocated to the dining hall where an enormous dinner was served. There was much talk between the Parkinsons and Lucius while Draco concentrated on keeping his food down and Narcissa concentrated on her brandy glass. After dessert had been served, Lucius addressed the table.
"I'd like to thank you for coming to our home and I believe my son has a small announcement he'd like to make now….Draco?"
From his end of the table, Draco stood on shaky legs. He shook his head a little to try and clear the tunnel vision and cleared his throat after taking a long, slow, deep breath. Reaching into the pocket of his robes, he pulled out the box his father had given him on graduation day. He turned to Pansy and opened the box. The girl looked up at him expectantly, her eyes sparkling with anticipation. Draco cleared his throat again and took another deep breath.
After the silence had grown from unexpected to awkward, Lucius made a small coughing noise and when Draco turned to look at him, he glared at his son, his eyes saying 'get on with it'.
After another deep breath, Draco spoke…his resolve like concrete.
Pansy smiled and held her breath for the moment she'd waited for all her life. Draco smiled at her and snapped the box shut. Before anyone had a chance to ask why, he slammed it onto the table and slid it down, back to his father who caught it with a murderous glint in his eye.
"Pansy…" he began again.
"Yes, Draco?" the girl asked tentatively.
Mrs. Parkinson fainted, Mr. Parkinson immediately tended to his fallen wife, Pansy began to cry while Narcissa snorted and quirked a brow. Lucius stormed to Draco's end of the table and promptly grabbed him by his robes, dragging him back upstairs to the office.
Once back upstairs, he brusquely tossed Draco into the chair he'd been sitting in before.
"What the HELL do you think you are doing?"
Draco flinched, as he had never seen his Father this mad at him before, still, he kept his head high and his voice strong.
"What did it look like? I'm gay…"
Lucius again fisted Draco's robes. "I couldn't care less what you think your sexual orientation is…I thought we discussed this…it doesn't matter. Now, you *will* go downstairs and fix this!"
Draco looked his Father in the eye. "No…I won't."
"And why not?"
Still staring into the eyes of the man who raised him, the man he placed above all others, Draco held tight to his courage.
"Because I don't want to be you."
Lucius drew his hand back and held it there a moment, giving Draco the opportunity to speak.
"Father, in spite of everything, you still have my utmost respect. Do not lose it by raising your hand to me. I am a man now…not a boy…I *will* hit you back."
Lucius' hand fell limply at his side. The older man regained his composure and began to pace the room.
"You do realize you have to leave now. I don't want to see you in this house ever again."
"I will not disinherit you…yet…as you may come to your senses, and you are my only heir. Had I known you would fail me…I would have broken the Malfoy tradition and replaced you. As it is…I am too old for that. Until you do come to your senses, you will receive *nothing* from me. Do you understand?"
"And you still insist on denying your birthright?"
"I do." Draco repeated.
Not looking at his son, Lucius spoke as Draco prepared to leave.
"If you see my son, tell him his duty awaits him."
"Goodbye Father." Draco had to force the words out without sobbing.
"And Draco…one more thing."
"I do hope you realize…I do what is best for you. I also hope you realize I'm not stupid…give Mr. Potter my best."
Draco's eyes went wide…he wanted to ask his Father what he knew…but now was not the time; and it was likely there would never be a time. With only his wand, Draco headed down the stairs to leave his family home…probably forever.
"You disgusting little deviant!"
Draco turned his head toward the insult and Mrs. Parkinson (who's four carot diamond ring had coincidentally turned around so that the stone faced the palm of her hand) graced his cheek with a harsh slap, slicing the skin open.
If the plump woman thought her gender kept her safe from retaliation, she was sorely mistaken. Mrs. Victoria Parkinson had the privilege to be the first female Draco ever punched directly in the face. The blow knocked the woman back several feet and on her ass as well as breaking the skin on her cheekbone. Draco looked down at her and wiped the blood from his cheek. His voice was calm and controlled.
"*Never* lay your hand on a Malfoy."
Draco looked over to the window where his mother sat. She gazed at him a moment, her expression stoic and empty, before turning her head away to stare out the window again. Draco said his silent goodbyes to the Manor and finally left.
"Draco!" a voice to his left called.
"I suppose you want to hit me too?"
The girl stopped a few feet from the worn out blonde.
"No…I mean…I'm shocked…and I won't lie and say I'm not upset, but it's not really your fault…if I think about it. I wouldn't want you to marry me if you didn't love me anyways. Is this why you were so scarce the last few months of school?"
"Does this have anything to do with Harry Potter?"
"That's none of your business."
She scoffed. "Well…it's best if you stay away a while…our parents are livid…but after everything settles down…and it *will*, Draco….if you need anything, let me know, okay?"
He smiled at her, remembering why she'd been his friend all his life. "Thanks Pansy"
She kissed his cheek then, sniffled a bit and ran back to the house while Draco made his way out of the closet he'd been buried in for years.
"So that's basically what happened…" Draco finished his story and turned to face Harry who looked more than a little surprised. After a moment, the raven haired boy leaned across the hall and embraced the blonde one loosely.
"Good for you then."
"Thanks…I'm sorry to have bothered you, it's just that I didn't have anywhere else to go. I heard you were living around here a few months ago. I have my own money from my Grandfather, but I can't get to it until the morning…then I'll leave you be, I promise."
Harry stood and helped Draco to his feet as well.
"Come on in. I already promised Paul the spare room for tonight, as he had a row with his wife…you'll have to take the sofa."
Draco quirked a brow. "His wife? Heh….I thought…"
Harry shot him a sidelong glare. "I know what you thought…and I was content to let you think it…but now you know. Sit down, I'll get something for that cut on your cheek."
Draco sat down on the sofa and noted that the burly man from earlier had gone to bed. Harry came back into the room and sat beside him taking out some peroxide and a cotton ball.
"I'm not so good with healing charms…sorry."
Draco smiled at him. "That's fine. So….since that man, Paul was it?...since he's a friend…a married friend…is there…I mean…do you…"
Harry harshly lapped the peroxide onto the wound causing Draco to hiss at the sting.
"Am I seeing anyone? I hardly think that's any of your concern, now is it?"
"I suppose not…" Draco answered while Harry placed a bandage over the cut.
Harry got up and gathered a blanket and pillow for his unlikely guest and tossed them onto the couch.
"There…I have practice early tomorrow, so I have to go to bed now. Goodnight."
"Goodnight Harry…and thank you."
Harry paused before entering his bedroom. "Draco?"
"This doesn't change anything….but I am glad you're okay….goodnight."