Nobody ever asked my birthday

Surefooted is next to Bloody-mindedness

[a/n: The title is a play on "Cleanliness is next to Godliness", one of those Ben Franklin sayings people are fond of repeating. Now with a Twist!]

Harry Potter rose before the sun did, stretched lightly, bouncing on his toes, and then proceeded to stamp and hop around Hogwarts. It was nearly Christmas*, after all, and it had rained. Rain, when there were no active trees to sop it up, made moors into boggy, splashy, mucky messes.

It was Scotland after all.

Which meant he was a sopping, dripping, bedraggled mess by the time he was hauling himself up the stairs. At least Malfoy wasn't there to make fun of him. Or worse, Pansy. Pansy looked like she'd never dream of letting herself get that messy, no matter what skullduggery she got up to.

"Potter," Pansy said, stepping out of a shadow. Because in Harry's entire life, nothing ever went to plan.

"What?" Harry said, greeting her with less indifference, and more 'I'm melting. Please don't take long. There's a shower when you're done.' Hardly the most dignified start of a conversation ever.

"Who's planning parties for the Gryffindors these days?" Pansy asked, and her show of casual indifference was a blessing. (Who could be entirely indifferent when mud was splattering the floor? Certainly no one who cared about image at all.)

Harry shrugged, "I dunno."

"Typical. You sure it's not Parvati or Brown?" Pansy said, her hands making treacherously for her hips.

"Pretty sure not Brown," Harry said, "I'd have heard about her."

Pansy snarled, "Well, someone needs to plan a party over Break."

Harry... almost nodded. It was true, there had always been some sort of illicit party over break. Generally the Twins planned those...

Instead, Harry asked, "Why do you care?" It was a loaded question, so he tried to drown any latent hostility before it rose to the surface.

Pansy's smile was sharp, in her fox-shaped face. "Business, not pleasure."

Harry just looked at her. And waited.

Pansy stood there, seeing if she could out stare him. In less than a minute's time, she broke eye contact, throwing up her hands, whirling, stalking away, coming back. "You! I'm in the business of procuring party elements that are of the more clandestine sort."

Harry nodded, "You're trying to take over from the Weasleys?"

Pansy sniffed, "We never used them." She then smiled at Harry, and said, "But, essentially, yes. I do a good job, I get a good reputation. A good reputation can take you far."

Harry's smile was more rueful chagrin than anything else, "Slytherin ambition."

"Better believe it." Pansy said, her mouth curling into a truer smile.

"I'll see what I can do." Harry said, pushing his hands into his pockets. "We'll buy at least something."

*By which Harry means they still haven't hung the trimmings up. I have not timeskipped, yet.

**Malfoy plays Quiddich. Malfoy does get muddy on occasion. Malfoy would simply ask why Harry didn't use the Quiddich showers before climbing over a hundred stairs.

[a/n: You think the Slytherins would trust Twin-procured liquor? Nah.

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