I do not own Harry Potter or its associated franchises.
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.
Cut and Polished
Draco had left by the time Harry woke up. The raven haired man found it hard to suppress the disappointment brimming inside of him. Still though he changed into a pair of running shorts and made his way downstairs, cautiously approaching the racket coming from his kitchen. It was no surprise to him when he saw Pansy, making a huge mess of it. The woman probably hadn't cleaned a thing her life, so Harry knew she wouldn't try to learn any time soon. House elves also watched in horror, taking in the mess they were going to have to clean up eventually. Harry felt for them.
"What are you doing to my kitchen?" He finally intervened, the three pairs of impossibly big eyes pleading to him.
She brushed him off and continued to rummaging through his cabinets, more things plummeting to the ground and splashing their contents to the floor.
"Are you looking for something?" He tried again, catching a few cans before they hit the ground. When he received no answer, he plucked a can of coffee off a nearby counter and debated starting a fresh pot.
"Ugh," She shot him a dirty look, "Could you please not brew that around me."
He didn't have any pity for her, but he stopped. "I don't work in the morning without coffee, so you're going to have to deal for the time being. You could always move into a coffee free dwelling."
She muttered under her breath and openly glared at him, but she stayed quiet. Harry had no reason as to why, but he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. "I'm going out today. Will you be okay alone?"
"Where are you going?" She demanded. He didn't bother to answer her. "I can't go with you?" Her face fell the smallest bit.
"I hardly thing you are in the position for a jog, and even if you were, I prefer to go alone."
She donned a bitter expression. "Where is your peanut butter?"
"Draco doesn't like peanut butter."
"So you don't keep any in the house?"
He rolled his eyes. "No, I don't. How about you let one of the house elves whip you up something nice, yeah?" He suggested, but his tone was anything but helpful.
"Where are you jogging to?" She questioned again, pausing in her search in favor of staring him down.
"A little ways down the street. I won't be long." He gestured to his running shorts.
He stood and stretched from the cushioned seat of his kitchen table. There was no need to prolong this really awkward moment between the two of them. "I'll be back before noon. I left some leftovers in the fridge in case you get hungry."
She shoved aside the products in the floor and made her out of the kitchen. "Clean this up!" She squeaked at the house elves still looking on at her with frazzled eyes. "I don't care whatever you do, Potter."
He gave the elves an apologetic glance before going on his own way.
Harry took his usual route down an empty street and through a neighborhood park. The park was the one thing that he'd loved about living with Draco. It was always filled with kids running around and playing everywhere, and the scenery was gorgeous. It would have been a great place to raise a child.
He slowed down to a casual walk once he reached where the quiet park met a busy street. A little ways down the street, he noticed a small coffee shop. He took at a fortune of good luck after checking his wallet for muggle change and finding it. He waited till the street clear and bee lined for it.
A bell chimed as he entered the door. He jumped at the muggle invention. It had been a long time since he'd been somewhere so muggle. There was nothing special about the place other than the cartoon coffee cups plastered all around the interior. The furniture was warm colored, it actually looked pretty cozy in the room, only a few people had settled in the small dining room. It was low key, the perfect place to not be recognized.
"Sir? Can I help you?" A teenage clerk asked, looking at him with an odd expression.
Harry blushed at his absent mindedness and went up to the counter. "Uh, yeah, how much is a cup of black coffee?"
"Two pound, sir."
He gave his name, handed over the money and stepped to the small waiting area. Something seemed familiar about this place, but he couldn't place it. As he waited for his coffee, he took one last look, hoping to find some kind of clue as to what he was remembering. Just then another bell chime went off. A man in a loose fitting sweatshirt and running shorts approached the counter.
"Coffee for Potter!" The barista in front of him yelled out.
"Potter?" The man asked.
Shocked at being recognized, he turned to see a familiar face. "Anthony?" Harry choked out.
A smile grew on the blonde's face, and Harry found himself enveloped into a bear hug. "It's so great to see you!"
He was too surprised to respond. "It's good to see you too." He finally returned the hug, patting the other the back as best as he could with his arms pinned to his sides.
Anthony pulled away to look down at him. "How are you, Harry? I haven't heard from you in ages. For the obvious reasons, I guess." He rambled for a few more minutes until his name was called. "Well, that's the short version. How about you?"
Was he supposed to tell the absolute crap his life had been the last few weeks. "I've been… well."
Anthony smiled in return, grabbing their cups and directing Harry to a booth. "That's good, really good." A goofy grin spread across his lips, revealing a set of pearly whites. "I can't believe I'd see you here of all places."
Harry rubbed at the back of his neck. "Me neither. This doesn't seem like the kind of place you'd be, some side street in a random coffee house."
He shook his head. "This was my first job in the summer of my youth." He said with a sense of nostalgia. "The more important question is why you are here. So, Harry Potter, why are you here?"
Harry's face gained a bit of heat. "I just wanted some coffee." He explained lamely and then decided to expand. "This place isn't too far from my flat, so I just kind of wandered in here."
Anthony took one of Harry's s hands in both of his own. "It must have been fate then, hmm? Fate brought us together on this very dreary day. It started rained on my morning jog, and I ended up here, and you, Harry, were wandering aimlessly down an empty street. "
His outburst got him a few odd looks. Harry let out a true, toothy smile and began laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all. "Where have you been all my life?" The raven said in jest, still chuckling.
"We could be a muggle drama on the telly." Anthony put in.
"No," Harry dismissed, "We'd get cancelled. There's nothing remotely interesting about the two of us."
Anthony reared back in playful retort. "You, maybe, but I am fascinating." He took this moment to talk a long sip of his coffee. "Of all the places in the world. We're both here."
Harry nodded in agreement. "How is Charlie?" The mood dropped at the question.
Anthony shrugged, fingering the plastic top on his cup. "He misses having you around to clean the house, cooking the meals, tending to the children..."
"Children?" Harry snorted and an awkward pregnant pause happened as each of them wondered what they should say next. "Is he still with Alexa?"
"It's difficult." Was Anthony's answer before he went on to explain. "They both love each other and want to be together, but Alexa doesn't trust him like she used to."
Now that was my fault. Harry thought with a grimace. "If you get a chance, tell him I'm sorry for what happened. I'm sure he's told you by now."
The blonde shook his head. "That's between you and your Charlie, Harry. He wants to hear from your mouth, and I'm sure you would want to hear it from his." Harry found himself agreeing with Anthony again.
"It must be relaxing in off season?" Anthony smiled at the subject change.
"Mhmm, nothing better than a jog and cup of coffee. I've never been one for tea, but training sessions are starting pretty soon. Vacation's over." He chuckled and tapped at his empty cup. "It was nice meeting up with you again Harry."
The raven looked down at his watch. It was about noon. "I should probably go check on something at home, anyway."
They stood, facing each other. Both of them wondering the appropriate way to say goodbye. They settled for a short hug, one meant for friends.
Anthony stepped away first, grabbing for a napkin. "I moved out of Charlie's place." He scrawled out a number and an address on the napkin. "Owl me sometime when you want to talk you know. Charlie isn't much of the conversationalist."
Harry laughed at the jab and folded the paper into his pocket, handling it like a delicate piece of china.
"I actually have to go to some promotional Quidditch thing." Anthony prompted, rocking on the balls of his heels.
"Oh?" Harry responded, noticing Anthony's excitement.
"Come with me?" The blonde asked with a hopeful smile.
Harry fumbled dumbly for a few moments, weighing his options. It was Anthony or Pansy. "I don't think I should go, but I-"
"Oh, that's great!" Anthony took him by the hand and pulled him towards the door. "You don't mind side along apparation, do you?"
Harry didn't have a chance at a response before he was dragged to an empty alley and apparated into a crowded room.
The beater expertly steered him along the rim of the crowd until they reached where all the players were seated. They all wore something with a magpie on it like Anthony. There was a panel, seating all the first string players, barring Anthony whose seat was vacant for the obvious reasons. The panel faced at least fifty or so reporters, but it was hard to focus on the big picture when Charlie was just a few steps away. He expected to see his god brother wearing his trademark cocky grin and flirting with reporters, but Charlie's eyes didn't have their usual mirth.
Maybe it was another bout of divine intervention that made Charlie miraculously look in his direction.
"Harry?" Charlie mouthed, his eyes flickering between Anthony and him.
Anthony gave a coy wave before walking to the stage and taking his seat. For the most part Harry stood against the side wall, fiddling with his running shorts, glad that they let him blend in with the slew of Magpie fans and press.
The team went on to answer some questions, some from reporters and some from fans, but the only thing on his mind was what he was going to say to his god brother. Before he could come up with anything spectacular to say, the conference had ended, and slowly everyone was starting to disperse. A few minutes past before the team had worked its way to doors, Charlie and Anthony mixed in with them somewhere.
"Harry!" Anthony called out, dragging Charlie behind him.
"Hi," Harry replied, peeling himself from the wall and walking forward to meet them. "Charlie."
The chaser looked up from the ground. "Harry."
"I'm going to go get something to drink." Anthony said before slipping out from between the two.
They both watched him leave with wary eyes.
Harry turned to his god brother. "I'm sorry." He started.
"You should be." Charlie replied indignantly without hesitation, folding his arms and setting his jaw.
Harry knew his god brother would be a losing battle so he chose the only surefire approach, apologize until he accepted it. "Look, I apologize for making things rough with Anthony and for everything else I did."
"What you did to Anthony was the least of the shit that matters to me. You betrayed my trust. My own brother backstabbed me over some random asshole."
Harry fought through the urge to correct Charlie and remind him the random asshole was his lover, but Charlie could hold a fierce grudge, like his father. "I'm sorry." He repeated weakly.
"Have you said that to Anthony?" His steely gaze faltered if only just for a moment.
"Anthony has been a good friend in the time I've known him. He understands my decision."
Charlie loosened at the words, but his eyes remained calculating. "I believe you."
Harry allowed himself a smile. "Thank you, Charlie."
The mood automatically lightened as Charlie enveloped the smaller man into a bone crushing hug. "I'm so glad we can talk again! There have been so many things I've wanted to tell you." He let a little bit of joy bubble in his stomach as he hugged his god brother in return.
"I've missed you too, Charlie." Harry whispered into his shoulder.
Their sweet moment was interrupted by a smiling Anthony. "It's so great to that you've made up." He exclaimed, wrapping his arms around the pair. "I was beginning to think I'd have to lock you in a room, and let you duel it out." He laughed and led them to the doors. "I think we all need a drink, yeah?"
The following morning…
Like the morning before, Harry awoke to an empty bed. Unlike the morning before, his head was pounding with the after effects of a night out with Charlie Black.
He'd gotten home around one a.m. when Harry arrived home from Charlie's and Anthony's excursion. Before last night, Harry hadn't thought it possible to drink for six straight hours, but Charlie had found a way, something about a hangover potion and a lemon. He had forgotten how much trouble his god brother was.
Gingerly, he sat up and assessed the damage he'd done to himself. The hangover was obvious, but it wasn't as head splitting as he had expected. Then, there was a taste in his mouth that he wasn't able to quite place, but he dismissed that too and begrudgingly made his way through a quick shower.
To his surprise, the smells of eggs and bacon greeted him as he entered his kitchen. His stomach almost retched at the thought of food, but nevertheless, he continued his pace until he reached the island counter, balking at the feast set out in from of him.
Upon his entry, Draco turned from his position over the stove and greeted him warmly. "Good morning, love."
Harry gave his best smile. "Thank you for the food, Draco, but I don't think I'm in an eating mood right now. I'm sure Pansy will go to town on all of this."
"I'm making her eat in her room. This is our time right now." He smirked, placing the last pan in the dishwater.
Harry smiled at Draco's attempt, but there were things they had to discuss. "This is a welcome change. You've been distant lately." He prompted.
"I know." Draco admitted.
"I think it's time to talk about it."
Draco feigned confusion, but Harry could see through the façade. "What would you like to talk about?" He turned away from Harry to get a plate down. "Pansy?"
"Glad we're on the same page."
Harry could see his lover's posture stiffen and his grip on the plate tighten. "Harry, I do not want to spend my breakfast talking about this."
"But you will be." Harry pressed as Draco spooned his food onto his plate. "I need to know why she is here."
"You want to know why she is here." Draco ground out, setting down his plate
"Tell me why she is here." Harry guessed it was the remnants of the firewhiskey that were fueling him at this point.
Draco grey eyes flashed dangerously for a moment, so fleeting that Harry thought he might have imagined it. "She's pregnant, if you hadn't got that by now. She asked for my help and I'm giving it to her under the scrutiny of the press, the Ministry and now my bleeding boyfriend." He seethed, clenching and unclenching his fists repeatedly. "Is there anything else you want to know, Harry?"
Harry set his jaw. "Don't yell at me." He said in a deceptively calm voice.
"I'm not fucking yelling at you. If I were, you'd know it!" He through his hands in the air; it was almost comical. "Now, I'm yelling."
"Are you really choosing her over me?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Harry stood up from his chair and move towards the door. "This is our house, Draco. I shouldn't have to ask why some pregnant woman is upstairs in our guest bedroom, eating our food, spending our money, and damn near giving me a fucking aneurism day in day out."
Draco moved to say something in response, but Harry waived him off. "I don't want to live with someone constantly trying to one up m, and I don't want to live with someone who is constantly keeping me in the dark." Of course, Draco knew Harry was talking about him. "I don't want to go back to being like I was with Percy, dependent and clueless."
The reminder of being with Percy made him bolt up from his chair. "I need some time to think."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Draco bristled, making his way over to where Harry stood.
Harry ignored and made his way through the their living room to the front door. Before he got the chance, a hand slammed on the wood, and his eyes met those of an irate Malfoy.
"Draco." Harry warned, knowing that it would fall on deaf ears. "I'm just going out for coffee."
Draco grunted before slamming Harry against his chest and bringing him into a passionate kiss, bruising and desperate. The kiss was short. "Just come back home when you're finished… thinking. I promise that I'll be ready to talk when you get back."
Harry nodded and slipped out the door, his heart beating erratically as his mind processed what had just happened. He was in a daze as he made his way down his street, absently wandering back to the coffee shop he'd visited the day before.
Once the smell of coffee hit his nose, he knew that he had come to the right place.
"Hello, sir." The barista said from behind the counter, not the teenage boy from before. "What can I do you for?"
"He'll take a black coffee, and I'll have my usual, Katie." A voice intoned over his shoulder.
A deep blush coated the girl's cheeks as she scampered off to finish the order, and even Harry jumped a bit before swiveling around to meet hazel eyes and a blinding smile.
And instantly, Harry felt his day get a lot better.
I'm late... I'm late... I'm very very late... I know, and I'm sorry. My not updating was me being lazy, but I hope what you just read will make up for that. I also plan to update Guess Who's A Veela for those who are interested.
My reason for being late on the updates other than my laziness is that I've been reading your reviews, taking into account everything that you have said and I needed to revamp and refocus Harry as the main character of my story. Like most of you suggested, I needed to give him a backbone. I'd been feeling the same way, and I partly thought I'd painted myself into a corner, but after a little motivation. Here I am updating.
Thanks for sticking with me. Please leave me some encouragement to keep me writing. Any suggestions you have will be taken into full account. Review will always be replied to...