Title: Birthdays Past and Present
Summary: It's Harry's birthday, and he has a very specific request for Draco to fulfill.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Word Count: ~1200
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta, D, who correctly pointed out that some things are better left up to the reader's imagination.
"Harry, when I said I'd do anything you wanted for your birthday, I didn't mean really mean anything," Draco protested.
"Come on," Harry grinned, "how do you know you won't like it? I assume that you've never done this before?"
"Don't be ridiculous, of course I've never done it before!" Draco shuddered. "I can't believe that you actually want to --" He couldn't bring himself to finish the sentence.
Harry came up behind Draco and wrapped his arms around his waist. "Please? Just once?" He nuzzled Draco's neck in the exact right spot. "For me?" he asked as Draco melted against him.
Draco sighed. "Just this once," he relented. "But I'm not wearing the costume."
Harry licked the back of Draco's neck. "It's not a costume, it's a uniform. And I'll be wearing one too. Come on, you have to. It's for my birthday."
Draco took a breath as if to begin protesting anew, but then Harry shifted his tongue's attention to Draco's left ear. "OK, you win," Draco acceded. "But you can't tell anyone about this, ever."
"Of course not," agreed Harry. "Not a soul -- except for Ron and Hermione, of course."
"WHAT??? "Absolutely not! I refuse --"
Harry cut him off. "Oh, didn't I tell you? They'll be joining us."
"Are you sure this is where Harry said to be?" Ron asked Hermione yet again.
"Yes, Ron," replied Hermione in her best my-god-it's-like-talking-to-a-10-year-ol
"But why here?" Ron asked.
"I have no idea, but Harry was quite specific. And besides, it's not like you had anything planned for this afternoon, did you?"
"Yes, I did!" Ron protested. "The Cannons are playing Puddlemere United --"
"So you miss one game. You can get tickets any time you want, Ron."
"But Oliver got me a private box at mid-field!"
"Ron, it's Harry's birthday."
"Exactly! And what better place to celebrate than at a Cannons match in a private box at mid-field? But instead, Harry wants to go ... cupping?"
Hermione laughed. "Bowling, Ron. It's called 'bowling'. And I'm as surprised as you, to be honest, but this is what Harry said he wanted to do. And speaking of which --" Hermione had just spotted Harry and Draco walking towards them.
Ron turned in the direction Hermione was pointing, and his eyes widened in surprise. He started to laugh as Harry and Draco drew closer. "Quiet, Ron, they look cute," admonished Hermione, though she was clearly trying to hide her own amusement. Harry and Draco were wearing matching shirts, bowling shirts to be precise. The pattern was blend of Gryffindor scarlet and gold and Slytherin green and silver, a colorfully ambitious but misguided attempt that threatened to make onlookers dizzy or nauseous. The logo over the breast was an entwined lion and snake, though Hermione couldn't tell at first glance if the two animals were meant to be embracing in friendship, battling to the death, or having sex.
"Harry, Draco," Hermione said a bit too cheerfully. She hugged both of them, not noticing the embarrassed flush that hit Draco's face. "Happy birthday, Harry."
"Yeah, Harry, happy birthday," added Ron as he gave his best friend a man-hug. He looked at Draco. "Malfoy," he said, nodding. Draco nodded back, relieved at the lack of physical contact. He had never mastered the art of man-hugging.
"Sorry that we're late," Harry apologized, "but someone had trouble dressing properly for the occasion." He smiled at Draco. "But once he got it right, he turned out gorgeous, didn't he?"
Draco picked at his shirt distastefully. "Don't get me started. I offered to express order us shirts from Madame Malkin's, but Harry refused."
Harry was quick to explain. "That's 'cause you wanted them in silk, Draco. Bowlers would never wear shirts made of silk."
"I guess I'm not a bowler, then," Draco concluded, but before he could make his escape, Harry snagged him by the waist and started to steer him inside the building. "Come on, I've got a lane reserved for us. This is going to be great."
It was late in the evening by the time Harry and Draco returned home. They collapsed on the couch together, and Draco reached out and ran his fingers through Harry's hair. They looked into each other's eyes for a long moment, and then Harry leaned in for a kiss, a move he quickly aborted when Draco belched loudly.
"Sorry," Draco said. "What were those things called again?"
"Curly fries," Harry replied. "I warned you not to order that third plate."
"But they were good!" Draco protested. "And besides, I had to eat something to get that horrid taste out of my mouth."
"Yes, Muggle beer and butterbeer really aren't anything alike, are they?" agreed Harry. He snuggled his head against Draco's shoulder. "Admit it, you had a good time."
"It wasn't horrible," admitted Draco, "at least not once you let me Scourgify those miserable shoes they made us wear."
"The shoes were part of the fun," Harry countered. "Just like the shirts -- which you were an incredibly good sport to wear, by the way. Thank you."
"I still can't believe I let you talk me into it. Into the entire day, for that matter. What on earth made you want to go bowling for your birthday?"
Harry looked at Draco for a long moment. "Dudley," he finally said.
"Your Muggle cousin?"
"Yeah, him. When we were growing up, every year on his birthday, he and his friends would come to the house for a party that I wasn't allowed to be at, and then they'd go somewhere fun like the amusement park or the zoo or bowling, while I had to go over to Mrs. Figg's. Afterwards, Dudley would always tell me what a great time they'd had without me. I guess I wanted to see what I'd been missing." Harry smiled wryly. "Kind of silly, isn't it?"
Draco smiled. "Not at all." He closed his eyes and leaned in for a long, gentle kiss. "Happy birthday, Harry." An mischievous glint came to his eyes. "You do realize, though, that this means that I get to do whatever I want for my birthday, don't you?"
Harry smiled. He'd been counting on it.