Nobody ever asked my birthday

Magpie

Harry Potter had watched Hermione Granger research - she worked like a magpie, grabbing up one thing after another, reading it a little before tossing it into Promising or Put Back piles. She'd later curl up with each, savoring it like a dragon did gold.

Harry wasn't like that with research. He approached research like most people approached a punching bag. Hit it until it submitted.

So, Harry's idea both took more time, and less, than Hermione's way of doing it.

He'd woken early in the morning, and taken a run, using the time to get his thoughts into place. He'd wolfed breakfast, so quickly that he even managed to surpass Ron - ignoring everyone with that "uh huh" that he knew most people took to be him brooding. He'd ignored especially the stares from the Slytherin table. He didn't want to know that he was troubling them. Harry hated to trouble people, hated to be scrutinized like a bug - as if he was about ready to explode, or shrivel up, or both.

Up to his room, again, pulling the curtains on his bed shut, nevermind it was broad daylight and a Sunday to boot. From the open window, he could hear the Quiddich pitch (Ron was captain, from what he'd osmosified).

No distractions. Harry needed focus. He pulled out the crumpled bobs and bits of parchment... and wrapping paper... and butcher's paper, god knows where they'd got that.

The twins writing was replete with details, spurious details, intriguing details, useful details. But it was all told as a story, and thus was embroiled and embroidered with laughter.

Harry couldn't quite suppress a smile at the Twins turning green-faced (literally), as their gas-inducing latest product came out their other end. They'd intended it to help with burping contests.

Harry skipped lunch.

There were miles of parchment, here, Harry thought, as he flopped down on his back, tilting the paper up towards the ceiling as he kept reading.

I know it's here, somewhere...

Harry dared not skip dinner, even as he dodged the questions Ron and Hermione asked. Afterwards, as he retreated towards Gryffindor Tower, Malfoy proved even easier to dodge - Harry darted around Romilda Vane, with a whispered, "He likes you."

As Harry disappeared inside Gryffindor, he heard Malfoy's disbelieving voice, asking, "And you BELIEVED him?!"

With a smirk on his face, Harry got back to work. Maybe it hadn't been this year at all, maybe it'd been last year, or the summer...

[a/n: Draco Malfoy does actually know better than to trample Gryffindor girls for no real reason. Who knew? Leave a review?]