Nobody ever asked my birthday

In a headlock

Harry's frame of mind, as he leaped into the air, was What have I done now?

That quickly faded into the sheer joy of flying. they started doing maneuverability drills (that did not include Chicken, thank you very much). Spin, bank, loop - and the craziest of them, jag. Jagging was when you briefly broke your connection to the broom, letting it continue in motion If you did it right, you could gain an unexpected advantage - not from the broom's motion, but from your reconnection to it. Hence the jag - a sudden motion in an unexpected direction.

The crowd, and whatever ideas they'd managed to get about Harry, just seemed to fade away.

Honestly, that was a lot of what Harry liked about flying - something that took his full concentration. You couldn't worry when you needed your wits to not fall on your noggin.

He was sweaty, and hot by the time they landed, and it wasn't unusual for them to walk under the stands together, on the way to the showers.

Harry wasn't expecting Draco to put him in a headlock. One part of Harry expected his ass to get beat, and beat hard. Another part, thinking of Dudley, imagined that Crabbe and Goyle were finally going to knock the tar out of him. And a third, just wanted to fight back. As is often the case, when you have three different options that you want to do, you wind up doing neither.

Draco hissed, "I was engaged to Pansy at one point, you prat. So I want you to listen good and listen well."

Harry blaunched. He didn't need this complication.

Draco continued, "Pansy is afraid her parents are going to treat you two as if you're married. That's why she hasn't provided a wisp of grist to the gossip mill."

Harry couldn't help but ask, "Is that even something that could really happen?"

"Yeah," Draco said, "It could. Her parents aren't fools, though. Staking a marriage to the Chosen One is rolling large, even for an ambitious Slytherin family."

Harry could feel that, as he whispered, "They don't think that I'll win, do they?"

"Not enough to bet on you," Draco said, "With Pansy refusing to fall all over you - you're most likely going to receive a letter informing you of your engagement. A formality, of course, since you already announced it with a public kiss."

Harry felt himself go weightless in Draco's arms, leaving Draco to lower Harry's head himself - otherwise, Draco'd actually be throttling Harry.

"What you need to do, when you get that letter, is Something Stupid." Draco hissed.

"My speciality," Potter joked, weak and white.

"Look, just stand up in the Great Hall and announce that The Dark Lord has no right to claim Britain as his own, and you will oppose him until your dying breath."

"That's stupid?" Harry said, honestly uncomprehending.

"Slytherins don't put cards on the table like that. Slytherins don't deal in absolutes like that. Speaking so will allow them to break off the engagement with their dignity intact." Draco pulled Harry's head around, so that Draco was staring into Harry's eyes, "That's assuming you don't want to be engaged."

Harry nodded, quiet and thinking.

Draco looked Harry in the eyes, and continued, "You don't want the engagement. Repeat that."

"I don't want the engagement," Harry said by rote.

"Now say it like you mean it," Draco growled.

"I don't want the engagement," Harry insisted, his voice low and intent.

"That's right," Draco said, a slow smile stealing over his features, "Because if you did, Pansy would geld you."


[a/n: Pansy can forgive "stupid Gryffindor" a lot, provided it's done from a position of ignorance (and he is causing a lot of heartburn for her family). She would not forgive him claiming her in Potions class. Honestly, turning Harry into a eunuch is the least of what she'd do.

Draco is Pansy's friend, for all that they conspired together to break off their own engagement.

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