Nobody ever asked my birthday

Time for Tea

Draco Malfoy had never been properly in Professor Rubeus Hagrid's domicile (was it really properly called a hut?). Oh, sure, when he'd been younger and incessantly curious about daring Gryffindors - he'd peeked in.

But he'd never actually been inside. Perhaps that, among other reasons, was why the Twins were abiding within it. They had needed someplace to stay, and they'd be more invisible in the 'Hut' than sleeping outside. It wasn't as if smuggling them up to Gryffindor Tower was a possibility. (Draco knew several dungeon rooms with desks that could pass for a bed, and as a prefect, he could conduct nearly anyone there. his next thought tried to lap his previous one: So Granger wasn't involved.)

Draco Malfoy straightened his black robes, and rapped firmly on the door. There was no answer, not even the swoosh of curtains. Not that the some-fraction-giant professor appeared to have curtains, so whatever. Draco drew in a deep breath, and pounded on the door.


"COMING!" Hagrid cried, even in narration escaping the title 'professor.' His pounding footsteps made the dried vegetation nearby shake. "Why, if it isn't Draco Malfoy! Join me for tea - everyone loves a good biscuit."

Draco found himself nodding, swept away less by the cheerfulness of the professor (though that itself was disquieting - he'd tried to have the man sacked, for god's sake! Holding a grudge would be sensible and prudent. People who were neither were best avoided.) and more by the boom of his excessively loud voice.

Hagrid flung open the door to his... it really looked like a hut... home.

Draco Malfoy strode inside the one-room...dwelling, turning to Hagrid, who was already shutting the door. "I've got a message from Professor Snape."

Hagrid nodded, "Sounds important. Best hear it out before tea, then."

Draco scrambled to recall when he'd actually agreed to tea. Then, a full five seconds of silence later, he realized that it was his turn to speak. "It's not for you. It's for the maniacal disruptions to his classroom yesterday. I have reliable intelligence that they've been drowsing here."

Draco blinked, and the two redheaded terrors had appeared. Unfortunately for him, they'd appeared to his sides. He had only a moment to gape, before they lifted him onto their shoulders (Draco was suddenly glad he was slender, otherwise his head would be hitting the rafters*).

"Honored messenger from the Potions Master," the twins said, "Allow us to convey you to the recipient of your knowledge."

"Let me down!" Draco said irritably. "You're the intended recipients, so I'm already there." It was nowhere near how spookily good Snape was, but at least they set him down - and then kneeled in front of him. It was a good thing Draco really was on messenger duty - there were so many possibilities to taking advantage of these two charlatans kneeling in front of him.

"He must be an angel..." One whispered to the other.

"Are you going to wrestle him, or am I?" the second whispered to the first.

"Enough!" Draco belted, the word less of a shout than a classroom voice designed for the Great Outdoors. It echoed in the single room. "I bear a message from the personage most harmed by your willful prank. Our potion master says that if you are willing to be responsible adults, and provide him with a list of which student buys what from you while you are at Hogwarts, you may spend a day's worth of detention with Filch. If you are not willing to be responsible adults, Filch will be most pleased to hand you in the dungeons by your hands for a week. At some point, someone may even remember to fetch you out." Draco made sure the last sentence sounded like this was a remote possibility. That, and he was entirely smug about it. "Furthermore, while you are on Hogwarts' soil, inside the castle or out, you will give fifty percent of your proceeds to Professor Snape."

Draco cocked his head, and then drawled, in a confiding tone. "I have it on good authority that Snape will be splitting his share with Filch, fifty fifty."

The twins exchanged a look. "We aren't responsible adults!" One said, protestingly.

The other, somberly said, "But we can pretend to be." And they gave a most satisfyingly Slytherin smirk, the lot of them.

"You'll find Filch in the castle. Best be quick, so he doesn't think he can keep you working all night." Draco said, smiling.

As the twins departed, Hagrid smiled (a wide, gaptoothed grin, actually, but that sounded far less dignified), "Time for Tea!" he said, and managed the whip-poor-will accent. Draco considered that this was his idea of a joke, probably.

With an internalized sigh, Draco perched himself on one of Hagrid's rough-hewn chairs. He supposed they had a rustic sort of ... familiarity to them.

*Draco says slender. He really means tiny and dainty.

[a/n: I find it hilarious when Draco's trying to be nice (and figures, rightly, that hut is an insult par excellance), and yet, it really looks like a hut.

Drowsing is a skill, used to shirk work.

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And yes, Hagrid is Very Much enjoying making Draco Malfoy twitch.]

errata and lost pages:

By the time Draco Malfoy had reached the north end of the Western (Ravenclaw) tower on the sixth floor, he'd heard alll about the Twins' Detention. Mainly from Ravenclaws trying to avoid their books being drenched, but still.

The Day that Shall Live in Infamy.

So he wasn't precisely surprised to meet old man Filch at the bottom of the stairs (properly on the fifth floor), craning his neck up, as the twins merrily sloshed suds... on the ceiling.

"You're good with this?" Draco Malfoy said to the crotchety old caretaker.

"I can't get the topside myself," the old man said, grinning a yellow-toothed grin, "So yes, extremely."