Nobody ever asked my birthday

Harry had thought

Harry had thought he'd be sitting up in the Eyrie, reading a book and practicing a few spells for his free period.

Draco Malfoy had other plans.

That, somehow, included dragging Harry Potter into the nearest (ubiquitous) broom closet. "Explain. Now."

Harry Potter just looked baffled, which, while normal, was probably not the best thing to do at the time. "What's this about?" Harry asked, his tone mild.

"What?" Draco Malfoy spat. "Did someone obliviate you, or something? Is your mind broken?"

Harry stretched his arms above his head, "Wouldn't you like to know?" I don't need to feign nonchalance. You don't scare me, Draco Malfoy.

Draco Malfoy was rarely mad enough to spit nails. He gave Harry Potter a glare full of bridled fury. "Tell me what happened."

"Why do you care?" Harry Potter said, his nonchalance dropping, giving way to honest curiosity.

Draco Malfoy shrugged, "Say I don't, then. One idiot of a Gryffindor is just the same as the next, after all." That's a lie treading close to the truth, which only means the insight is deeper still. "Call it enlightened self-interest."

Harry Potter looked, again, confused. "Self-interest?"

Draco nodded, "Seems to me a lot of Gryffindors were glaring at Professor Snape this morning."

Harry Potter shrugged, "Nothing new there. Did I forget to study for a test again?"

Draco spat mockingly, "Nothing new there, he says." Draco pushed closer to Harry, who reluctantly gave way, until his back was pushed against the wall. "You can't be this oblivious, can you?"

"Hermione-" Harry started, but Draco cut him off.

"Enough, already!" Draco Malfoy growled. "You looked fine, right as rain, last night at supper. This morning, you're beet red." Draco used a toe to idly push up Potter's robe. "Everywhere, apparently."

"Oh, that." Harry said, shrugging.

"What the hell happened? And why do the rest of the Gryffindors blame Severus Snape?"

Harry shrugged again, "It was nothing I couldn't handle."

Draco spun in a small circle, winding up poking a finger into Potter's breastbone, "Which means there was something."

"Yeah. Detention." Harry said, shrugging. He gave Malfoy an unimpressed look, "You have heard of it?"

"Of course I-" Malfoy cut off, clasping Harry's shoulders in a tight grip. "What sort of detention... Merlin, Potter, what did you do?"

Harry Potter smiled, slightly, "Nothing you don't know about."

Malfoy's nostrils flared like a bull; his grip on Harry's shoulders consciously relaxing.

"How is it enlightened self-interest to care what's happened to me?" Harry Potter asked, again.

"What did you tell them, Potter? When there's a House full of Gryffindors with murder on their mind, it's in everyone's bloody self-interest to stay the fuck out of the way." Draco Malfoy's face was turning a sort of red that Harry'd never seen on him before. "But you see this tie - green and silver, right? If they're pissed at my house, they're coming after me. Or worse, they'll head after some stupid firstie."

Harry raised both eyebrows, "I told them nothing."

Draco Malfoy looked hard at Harry, "No wonder they were so hoppin' mad! Trust Gryffindors to leap to unwarranted conclusions." Harry wasn't quite so sure they were unwarranted."Well, you better come up with something, and fast. Because if you don't, as prefect, I'm going to be bringing every bump, bruise, and hex to you for a full accounting."

Harry gulped. "Yes, Prefect Malfoy."

[a/n: Well. Malfoy does have a heart. Slytherins are used to putting their rationality first, in terms of 'give me your reasons.' And self-interest is always a good explanation. You haven't seen a Slytherin explain why Puffs stick together so well. It's entertaining.

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Malfoy is kinda right to be concerned - he's rather distinctive, and known as one of Snape's favorites.]