I do not own Harry Potter or its associated franchises.
Hopefully, no name changes for this story.
This is the sequel to Diamond in the Rough. It can almost be read alone if you don't mind the constant references to things done in the past.
A little bit to say before we start. Sorry for the editing mistakes you will undoubtedly see. I'm always in a rush to get this story to you. I was so glad at all the author alerts I got from you guys. It showed me that you are interested! So here is the sequel as promised...
Cut and Polished
I shouldn't be this nervous, he said to himself, taking another sip of some ridiculously expensive wine Draco had bought on some whim.
It was an hour before the Ministry's ball was to take place, and he was still standing in front of his bedroom mirror, fiddling with the deep purple robes, made of some material that felt like butter on his skin. In all honesty, he didn't know why Draco had picked them for him; the price tag would probably cover their rent for a few months, and in some deep recess of his mind, he thought that they might've looked good on him, but vanity had never been in his blood. He wished he could say the same for his decadent boyfriend.
"Stop messing with your robes. You look stunning, Harry." He placed a hand at the small of Harry's back and appraised his handiwork.
"You're just saying that so you won't have to sleep on the couch." Harry laughed, looking at the two of them in the mirror. "If I didn't know better, we look like a real couple right now."
A smirk broke out on Draco's face, and he pulled Harry against him rather ungracefully. "There are going to be a lot of people who don't like the thought of you and I being there together, and they're going to talk about you even if they know you can hear them. I just don't want you to be… perturbed." The confession didn't fall on deaf ears.
"You don't need to defend me. I can handle myself on my own, and I don't want to look like some weak git with a rich boyfriend." He huffed out.
Draco raised his hands in defense. "I meant nothing of the sort. The only thing they will be able to think is how good you look by my side." The blonde pressed a kiss at the base of Harry chin, continuing up until he reached his lips.
"Could you stop being horny for a few hours until everything is over and done with." After being together, Harry had grown accustomed to his lover's possessive streak. "All I have to do is smile for the first ten minutes of the banquet, and then we can enjoy ourselves." He mimicked Draco perfectly. "Remember to stray away from questions that do with the Ministry or questions that are too personal." Harry turned to him and placed a placating hand on his chest. "I know the drill, Draco. I'll be fine."
But that wasn't the truth; his nerves were practically on fire as they walked up to the doors of the Ministry's largest banquet hall. Draco had a hand placed at the small of his back offering him nonverbal support as countless pictures were snapped at them. Between flashes, Draco would whisper small tidbits in his ear, most were funny others perverted, making Harry laugh and smile a little bigger for the cameras. Any observer could see that the smiles they shared were genuine, and the envy of many had been placed on their shoulders.
"A few questions, Mr. Malfoy!" A reporter piped. "Dennis Creevey from the Quibbler." His face did seem familiar.
Draco turned to him. "We don't have to speak with them if you don't want to."
"The Lovegoods are good friends of mine. Luna and I were in the same house." He stepped closer to Collin, dragging Draco with him. "Go ahead and ask away, Dennis."
'Dennis' blushed and nervously flipped at his notebook. "Um, I don't know where to start. There's so many things that the readers would want to know. What is being with Draco Malfoy like? What do you use on your hair? Who designed your suit? Would you say you're more of a cat person or a dog person? Do you like these kinds of events?"
"I didn't know I was agreeing to the Spanish Inquisition." Harry joked, putting the boy at ease. "Being with Draco Malfoy is amazing. I use water and shampoo like everyone else. My suit was made by Draco's tailor. I'm partial to dogs, and this is the first type of event I've been to like this."
The boy stood in awe before regaining some composure. "You're celebrating your one year anniversary soon. Do you have any special plans?"
He looked up to Draco who had remained quiet thus far. "I don't know?"
"That's enough for today," Draco spoke, shooing away the press. "But I'm planning something monumental."
Dennis's eyebrows shot up at this as his quick notes quill almost snapped writing this new development.
"That wasn't so bad." Harry sighed deeply. "What do we do now?"
"Well, right now we're doing the standard 'meet and greet'. A chance for some to rub elbows with higher ups." Harry took in the information. "Then, we'll be having dinner and afterwards, followed by a speech from our dear minister. After that, we can go home, and I can get you out of those clothes."
He was too distracted to reprimand him.
"Thank you," Draco said bringing Harry out of his stupor. "Here," He offered Harry a glass of champagne.
The raven accepted it. "I feel so out of place." He took another look around the room, taking in all the big names, millionaires, and the minister himself lurking somewhere around the room.
"That's the beauty of something as superficial as this place. It only matters what outward appearances are. When I turned fourteen, my father finally allowed me to come one of these things. I was scared shitless that I would mess up and get scolded. I know how you're feeling and in hindsight, you are wasting your thoughts."
His lover's words helped a little. "Thank you, Draco." He leaned up and kissed him quickly.
"You should try and find Ginny." The blonde advised after seeing an associate.
Then Harry was left alone in a room filled to brim. Thousands of different conversation went on around him, some in languages he'd only heard of in books. This ball truly was the epicenter of what was happening within the wizarding world's elite. This is what life with Draco Malfoy was like.
Harry scanned the ballroom, finally taking the time to appreciate the decor. There was a general theme of black and gold with pops of white scattered about the room. Gold drapery adorned the white walls with the ministry's logo centered at every arch. The hall was lighted by a crystal chandelier suspended in the air above them. It too was gold with black and white accents.
His lowered his gaze and was immediately attracted to the dining room where servers were placing the first course with a surprising amount of care. The tables were covered with black satin tablecloths. A bouquet of white magnolias served as the center piece for each table. He would have to send his compliments to the coordinator. Everything was beautiful, including the music, a beautiful waltz played by a live band, though only a few couples danced.
Servers floated around the room with food Harry thought was too beautiful to eat and an endless supply of every liquor imaginable. Everything was so decadent. His mind could barely register the amount of pomp and circumstance being poured into this event. He would finally be able to empathize with Draco's distaste for them.
"Harry!" Ginny exclaimed, wrapping her arms round his neck and giving him an excited hug.
"Ginny," He let out a rush of air and returned her hug, "I was starting to think I would never find you."
"Let's go get something to drink. You look like you could use one." He cursed inwardly at how she'd picked up on his panic.
"I already had a glass of champagne and a glass of wine before that. I doubt I need anything else."
Ginny stopped her almost frantic pace to get to the open bar. "Well, let's go get me another drink. I haven't seen you in ages, Harry?"
"I've been a little preoccupied with Draco lately."
"Oh 'preoccupied', so that is what has been happening in the wonderful life of Harry James Potter, almost Malfoy?"
His face heated at the hint, but he brushed it off. "I've finally gained somewhat of a normal routine where I can sit down in the morning, and he's started referring to everything as ours instead of his or mine. I think progress is being made. What about you and Neville?"
She gave an impressed nod. "Neville," She said with a faraway look, "has been very busy as of late with all the preparations for security for the ball and what not. He's barely been home and when he is, he's asleep in the guest bedroom because it's the closest to our front door." She huffed out in one big breath. "But! After today I'm finally going to be able to enjoy some quality time with him. I'm just here for moral support really. Just here to enjoy all of his hard work."
"I know what you mean." He spotted Draco talking to a Wizengamot member. "It's weird not being so involved with his life anymore. Are you even listening, Ginny?" The woman didn't reply but continued to look past him. He followed her gaze.
Pansy Parkinson stood behind them, just a few yards away. She donned an elegant dress, custom tailored for someone in her condition. Her blonde hair was pinned up with curls framing her sharp cheekbones. She truly was a beautiful woman. Harry could understand why Draco had loved her so, despite her dismal personality. A delicate hand was placed on her protruding abdomen. She was talking to some important political figures' wives, he couldn't remember for the life of him who belonged to whom. The women were practically gushing out compliments to her, and Pansy was receiving them all in stride. She dismissed herself from their group with a smile before heading in his direction.
She regarded with a smile that practically dripped acid. "Harry Potter, I'm so glad that you're still able to show your face in public."
He disregarded the jab. "You look stunning as always, Miss Parkinson."
"Custom made robes, tailor fitted and in Draco's favorite color, Potter? Hmm, Drake really did pull out all the stops tonight, I do, however, take delight in the fact Draco found a suitable partner in my absence. He's always liked to take on pet projects. From pauper to prince's consort, I believe." He might've hexed her if not for the obvious reason.
Ginny chose that moment to step in. "Funny how the pregnant and unwed can pass judgment so quickly?" Ginny added, stepping in front of him. "Harry might be too polite to say what he wants, but I'm not, Parkinson."
The blonde placed her hand above her heart, feigning innocence. "I'm sorry. I don't remember asking for your input, Weasley. I was speaking with Potter and him alone. So if you'd move along to whatever depraved hole you came from-?"
"It's Longbottom." She informed with a raise of her chin that Harry knew meant lioness to come. "You know how your name changes when you get married. Oh," She snapped her fingers and a fake look of realization came over her, "I don't think you do."
Pansy's flawless smile faltered. "Your petty insults don't faze me, Longbottom." She paused to frown at the name. "I would rather marry a muggle than share air with your husband."
The redhead's eye twitched and her chin jutted further into the air. "I doubt that even a muggle would want to marry a lying, evil, conniving, scheming, desperate bitch like you."
The blonde woman chuckled and looked past her to Harry, completely ignoring Ginny's glare. "It's so sad that Draco's and your little fling was short-lived, hmm?"
"Harry, we don't have to listen to her nonsense." Ginny pulled him to the side. "They're asking us to take our seats now, anyway."
"Ginny." He dismissed and turned to Pansy. "I assure you that what I have with Draco is not a fling."
Her face showed genuine pity. "Draco didn't tell you, did he? I've been touring France for the last eight months. On the second week of my trip, I found that I was pregnant. I was delighted as was Draco."
Ginny looked at her skeptically. "Harry, do you know many men there are in France?"
The blonde woman rolled her eyes. "Please spare me the theatrics. You're wasting my time."
"I need an answer, Harry." His friend pressed, turning her ear towards him.
"Um, about twenty million." He answered quickly.
The redhead tsked and leaned in closer to the other. "Twenty million possible fathers of that child, and you honestly think that its Draco's."
Pansy gaped, opening her mouth a time or two but no sound coming out. She was rendered speechless. Ginny savored her victory, but it was short lived when she saw the affect the blonde woman's words had on Harry. "You vulgar bit-."
"How about we go for some fresh air?" Ginny said, cutting her off and leading him through the crowd and into the vacant atrium.
"Are you going to drink that?" He pointed to the bottle of gin she'd snubbed from the bar. He wasted no time lifting to his lips and draining its contents. "I know she lies to get what she wants in life, but the timing's right. The child could be Draco's."
He couldn't even believe the words were coming out of his mouth.
"I bet she's blowing hot air." Ginny confided, her anger matching Harry's own. "There's no telling who the baby's father is with that tramp." On any normal occasion, he would've reprimanded her, but his mind didn't have the energy to.
"I'm going to go back." He pulled himself up from his seat.
"Back where?" She stood up after him, but he waived her off.
"Harry!" She shouted after him.
He flooed to Draco's flat, an empty feeling entering at the thought of leaving another place he considered to be home. A feeling washed over him, feeling like a bad cold with no medical explanation. His stomach was in knots, but doubted Draco had even noticed his absence. The ball had been more for his lover's benefit. Harry's being there wouldn't have affected his political agenda, but there was a part of him that Draco would come home and dispel Parkinson's lies.
"Harry?" Malfoy called out, coming into the living room.
He kept his eyes glued to the floor with the intent of not giving Draco the satisfaction of seeing the hurt in his eyes.
"Harry? I was worried when I heard you left." Draco whispered, gathering the smaller into his arms. "You should have told me if you wanted to leave."
More guilt came over him "I'm sorry for ruining your night."
"You didn't ruin anything."
Green eyes looked up from the floor. "I thought this was an important day for you?"
"I don't need to get into the good graces of anyone. If anything, they should be getting into mine." Mirth showed in Draco's eyes as he pulled Harry from his seat. "Come on, there is someone I want you to meet."
The blonde stepped back and motioned someone forward.
"Harry, I would like for you to formally meet Pansy Parkinson. It is… unfortunate that her words took so long to reach my ears."
She strode over to him gracefully despite her large front side. "I do admit that I chose my words with the intention of causing pain." She gritted out the apology, doing it for Draco's sake only.
"Why would you lie?"
"I told no lies, Potter. Unfortunately, his biological father is indisposed at the moment. Draco has stepped in to save my honor."
"To save your honor." Harry fumed. "What honor? The whole world knows you're a slut." His hands flew to his mouth.
"You're one to be talking, you little trollop. I remember reading a certain article having to do with your sexual exploits." She shot back, glaring at him from over Draco's shoulder.
He snorted at the mention of the Betty Braithwaite fiasco. "My small feature in the papers pales in comparison to all of the full page articles on your resume."
Her porcelain skin tinted crimson and her thin hands clenched into tightly balled fists, but she didn't dispute the fact.
Draco silenced them with a hand in the air. "I'll explain the situation later, Harry. But for now, we need to discuss a few things. The most pressing… Pansy's living situation."
Harry nodded his head, trying to follow. Draco wouldn't, would he?
"Pansy will be living here until the baby comes and a little bit after that until we can get her settled."
The raven bristled, sending a pleading look to his lover. "Do I get any say in this, Draco, or do you just expect me to lie down and accept her moving into our home?"
Draco cleared his throat. "We'll discuss this later. In the meantime, I'll get Pansy to her room." His eyes left no room for negotiating.
Harry bristled as they parted, Pansy sending him a smug look as she leaned on Draco for support.
"I had the left wing, guest bedroom fitted for you. We'll have to see what you want to do in terms of the nursery." He heard Draco announce after they'd made a little headway down the hall.
Harry remained standing there even after they were out of ear's reach. His fear and anxiety had all but tripled. There was something very wrong with this situation, and the way Draco had acted so coldly and so distant was enough to make him physically sick. It was almost as if he was at his first day at work all over again with the uncertainty of what to come, but the only pressing question Harry wanted answered was why Pansy needed to depend on Draco anyway. Didn't she have enough money and connections to last her lifetimes over?
He took a break from his thoughts when he heard Draco reenter the room.
"What's going on, Draco? Why is she here?"
"Pansy needs my help, and I want to give it to her." Harry couldn't believe the words.
"Why would you want to offer your help to her?"
"Pansy had always been a good friend to me. It's only fair that I return the favor." Harry could hear several loose ends in his explanation.
He stiffened as two strong arms pulled him against his lover's chest. "Even with everything going on, I won't neglect you Harry."
He reached up and pulled his lover into a kiss before parting. "The thing is that I don't think you'll mean to."
I really hope you liked it. If you don't feel free, to tell me about whatever it is. All writers need feedback to grow, and I'll always give you a response of some kind. And thanks go to my beta for her revising eye. Oh yeah, I don't know how many men there are in France. and google apparently can't help me either.
Is it worth continuing?