Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 301

Harry let the excitement of the day wash over him, biting the inside of his lip to keep from grinning. It was fun, for once, to take a real break, and have a true Halloween Ball. Oh, sure, the youngest kids were still at the Feast, but the older kids got to dance. And someone always tried to sneak some liquor into the punch. Not that it generally worked - and if so, certainly not for long, but it was a gas pretending that it had.

Harry grinned, thinking of last year, and all the pranks the Twins had told him about from earlier years. Unseen by him, his lily was pure grass green, just a shade lighter than his eyes.

Odd thing though, Neville still wasn't down at breakfast. "Should you be worried?" Harry asked Hermione, leaning into her.

"Of course not," Hermione said, making an o with her thumb and fingers, and then tapping the pulse point at her wrist.

Draco Malfoy's eyes narrowed, the whole way across the room in the Great Hall. Since when did Gryffindors have secret call signs?

Draco wasn't the only one who'd noticed that Longbottom was gone. Goyle said gruffly, "Figure he's gone off to cry, too scared to get a date?"

Draco just shrugged. Now that he looked, there were other people missing. Lovegood. Finnegan. That made an odd combination, in truth.

"Something's happening," Draco Malfoy said, gritting his teeth, "And I'd like to know what." Nott caught his eye, across the table, and nodded. Nott was always the quiet one, so few people really suspected just how much mischief he got into on a regular basis. Perhaps the Twins had figured it out, but they guarded secrets like dragons guarded gold.

Harry was out by the Black Lake, skipping stones across the water. Ginny Weasley hoofed up, huffing at the unplanned exertion. "What's up, Potter?" she asked.

Harry just shrugged. "Gotta dance. Your date ready?"

"Suppose so," Gin said, shrugging.

Harry turned his eyes on her, as usual, flame red hair. It was, as usual, utterly gorgeous. "Just remember at the dance... I'm not gay, Gin."

Ginny started to laugh, and laugh, "Oh, god, I thought you were gonna pull a Ron there!" Her laughter, bright and cheery, continued. Ginny leaned up close to him, and asked, "What deviltry are you planning!"

"No deviltry at all, ma'am" Harry said, "I'll be the perfect gentleman."

"Oh, will you." Ginny grinned, "Are you going with Neville? Tell me it's Neville!"

"Better." Harry said, no longer fighting the grin.

Ginny squealed. "This is going to be SO much fun! Vane won't know what to do with herself!"

Harry grinned back, and went back to skipping stones, as Ginny ran off to be girly with her girly friends.

[a/n: Mm? Is there some reason Harry's just telling Ginny? What's going on with the ... trio? Leave a review, it'll get you more quicker. Also, second post today.]