Nobody ever asked my birthday

Like a bedraggled cat

Harry and Hagrid managed to pull Fang off Draco, who came up sputtering and so muddy he looked like an extremely bedragged cat in need of a warm towel.

Harry used a cleansing charm. He knew that this could actually get a lot worse if Malfoy was left soaked and muddy for an extended period of time. For one, it was awfully undignified. For another, nobody actually liked rolling in the mud.

Not seeming to notice (or care) about the cleansing charm, Hagrid put a hand on both their shoulders, and guided them around to the ... pine trees? Yes, there were in fact eight pine trees, sitting cut - and bundled! behind Hagrid's hut. Harry's quick (if not particularly stealthy), darting look to the side, showed that Malfoy wasn't surprised. He'd done this intentionally, the slimy bugger! Harry's face broke out into a delighted grin. He couldn't really bring himself to be too upset, not when he'd just delighted in pulling rug right out from under Malfoy's feet.

"All cut and ready to go!" Hagrid said, with a booming laugh.

"Take half," Malfoy said, and they levitated them to go back inside.

Malfoy waited in discrete silence until they were well away from Hagrid's hut, or the castle, or anyone who might be listening. "The foundation to a well-told lie, is generally truthful."

"Oh?" Harry asked, in a tone that said academic interest.

Malfoy turned to face Harry, slowing his pace as he kept moving toward the tower. "Potter," Draco Malfoy said like he was suppressing irratation (and, knowing him, he was). "You were crying yesterday."

"That was completely fake." Harry insisted.

"Are you sure about that?" Draco Malfoy said, continuing without enough of a pause for Harry to interject politely. "I hope you enjoy the detention." Malfoy managed to say that in such a soft tone, it was nearly softer than a whisper.

"You gave me a detention to what? Cheer me up?" Harry's hands were balling into fists, even though he really supposed he ought not to be surprised, and he wasn't upset so much as angry.

"Who knows? It might even work." Draco Malfoy said, smirking it up. Harry just knew that was a cover for unease and a soul-deep lack of confidence.

[a/n: I had an English teacher who insisted that nobody liked 'getting dirty' or 'rolling in the mud.' I am skeptical, but figure in Scottish November, nobody wants to get soaked and mudded up. Leave a review? I hope you've guessed what the detention is, it's not supposed to be too much of a secret, by this point.]