Nobody ever asked my birthday

Marking Time

Harry didn't really have many plans to teach Draco Malfoy today. It was really about the flying, and getting to fly, and chasing each other around the pitch. He didn't much care if Malfoy learned a new trick or not - unlike the DA, he was really not in the business of teaching.

It was still fun, though. The wind through his hair, the feel of the wood under his fingers, the tautness of his face stretched into a perpetual grin.

They were some of the best flyers at Hogwarts, so it was a good idea they were doing this "Bright and Early" on a Sunday (which was to say, after Harry's morning run).

If they did this before supper, they'd draw a crowd.

Harry spun, doing a sloth roll, and then a reverse Immelman, enjoying the shocked look on Malfoy's face, a second before it turned into a hard, determined glare (that Harry felt on his back, his face long pointed in the other direction).

Malfoy might have roared, or bellowed (it was hard to hear over the banshee-like effect of the wind), but in seconds he was relying on his broom's pure speed to catch up.

Neither of them was really looking for the snitch. Not really.

Instead, this intricate ballet, this aerial maneuvering - that was the fun.

Malfoy seeing if he could come close enough to pull a few twigs from Harry's broom, and Harry trying to swat Malfoy with his broom, all while not falling off.

Hermione would hate watching this, so it was a good thing she was asleep in her bed.

Harry started upward, and Malfoy turned a spiral around him, showing off the increased maneuverability of his broom. It was a deft thing, cornered well, but Harry far preferred his speedy broom. When you saw the snitch, it was time to race.

Harry shot a bit more speed into his broom, by bending over it a bit, and then braked, sending himself parallel to the ground, in a rush of "nearly hit the safety lines."

Malfoy was right on Harry's heels, and Harry could feel the ebullience coming off both of them in waves.

"Harry James Potter!" was the sound Harry heard, and he repressed the urge to wince. "And Draco Malfoy!"

Shite.

Caught.

Harry and Draco exchanged chagrined grins, still way too high to hear effectively. They took slow circles downward, intent on enjoying their time in the air.

Hermione was there, on the ground, her hands on her hips. "Just what do you think you two are up to?"

"Training," Draco Malfoy said, in his usual lazy drawl. His stiffness on the broom, however, was far from usual. They do have tells, Harry thought, just subtler ones.

"That didn't look like training to me!" Hermione hollered, "That looked like rubbing right up against the safety spells."

"The snitch does get up that close sometimes," Harry said, trying to smile a gormless smile.

"You two get off those brooms right now, and shower up. It's nearly the end of breakfast, and my mother always said teenage boys eat like three grown men." Hermione ordered.

"Yes'm." Harry said, already off his broom and moving towards the Gryffindor changing room. He didn't hear what Malfoy said to Hermione, and suspected it was better that way. If Malfoy wanted to be a git, Hermione had a ready spell for most occasions. Come to think of it, he should ask her to teach him some of those. Might come in handy the next time the entire school takes a fancy for Harry Potter Rump.

[a/n: I didn't start out having Hermione walk in. But then she did, and it worked, and, well, I don't like descriptions of flying so much as I like human interplay. If you do want descriptions of flying, you might try my "The subtle scent of oak and onion."

Reviews, as always, mean I write more!

Hermione really, really doesn't like Quiddich, but she hates people screwing around with the safety spells. And Harry, of all people, ought to know better. Quirrel knew what he was doing, so he didn't trigger them.]