Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 143

Harry Potter came back to find Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy awkwardly looking at anything except each other.

"Three tablespoons?" Harry asked Draco Malfoy.,

Draco Malfoy, in turn, blinked at him, and then smirked, "Of course."

"One dollop of honey?" Harry asked Hermione Granger.

"Thank you, Harry," Hermione said smoothly, her legs crossing at her ankles.

"Hey! You didn't say there'd be Honey!" Draco Malfoy protested, trying (unsuccessfully, due to Harry's automatic reflexes) to shove his cup underneath the dripping honeystick.

"I didn't realize you liked Honey." Harry Potter said mildly. "Or I'd have offered." Harry poured himself some tea, not saying a word (though Hermione frowned), when Draco Malfoy managed to snag the honey stick and drizzle a generous dollop into his already oversweetened tea. To each his own.

Harry didn't especially like black tea, mind, but he'd gotten very well used to it at the Dursleys, and wasn't terribly interested in figuring out how much cream he'd really like. He sat back to watch the... nonexistent conversation.

Well, better see about fixing that then. What's an appropriate Tea Party Conversational Topic?

"So, about the weather..." Harry Potter started.

"Crisp and clear this week. I always enjoy the weather before the fall turns." Malfoy said precisely, his eyes glinting malevolently as he spoke. Both Harry and Hermione seemed visibly surprised at his candor.

"Indeed." Hermione said, and then the conversation languished, for long enough for the silence to prick at Malfoy's temper.

"Merlin, this is shite! If you won't talk about anything, let's at least have some meaningless drabble about Quiddich." Malfoy said, his temper clear in his words, though they were a normal-volume sort of thing.

"I think we've got a pretty good shot this year." Harry said, "Though I'm still wondering who you picked for the third chaser on your lineup."

"Oh, that's the thing." Draco Malfoy said lightly, his eyes sparkling like knives over the lip of his teacup. "I'm not picking."

"Oh?" Harry Potter asked, fighting to keep his tone mild and his eyes uninterested.

"Rosier's two years younger than I am, and unlike you Gryffindors, we believe in training up." Draco Malfoy said promptly, the whole thing sounding entirely too rehearsed and well-said.

"What's your real reason?" Harry Potter chanced bluntness, thinking that Malfoy was perhaps the only Slytherin he could get away with bluntness toward - oh, sure, everyone'd expect Potter the Hero to be blunt - but Slytherins tended to close down if shoved so blatantly. Malfoy though? He liked to boast, always had, maybe always would.

"Too much to do this year." Malfoy said, still looking at Potter, before glancing towards Hermione, "Not necessarily schoolwork."

"I should... that's a really good idea," Harry said, "Maybe if I..."

"Oh, no way." Malfoy said, smirking evilly, "If you step down in the middle of the season, nobody will believe it. Worse, nobody will want to be your obvious substitute."

Harry Potter let out a resigned sigh.

"Of course, I could help you with your little Quiddich Captain problem." Harry's eyes rose from his teacup to Malfoy's silversteel eyes, looking frankly incredulous. Help? From Malfoy? It wasn't just that he was offering, it was that... that'd probably be obvious enough for the whole school to notice...

"Yeah, I bet if you were dramatically injured, you could step down from being Quiddich captain easily." Draco Malfoy said lightly, before those now molten eyes looked dead on at Potter, "All you have to do is let me catch the Snitch."

"Ha-rry! You can't cheat like that! You can't possibly throw the game!" Hermione said from the sidelines.

Harry Potter merely smirked, enjoying the twist Malfoy had put on his offer of help. Help via mangling injury. "I'll think about it." He said shortly, and Malfoy nodded, his emotions retreating again behind that expressionless Slytherin mask.

[Draco liking his tea extremely, extremely sweet is a reference to him being descended from the English Cavaliers, as is the American South, which is known for enjoying sweet tea too.

It is probably a good idea, for all concerned, that Harry's already told Hermione to let that Draco-kissing her alone. It is most definitely a good idea that Malfoy knows that Harry said this, otherwise this teaparty would exceed maximum awkwardness and implode.

More to come!

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