Nobody ever asked my birthday


The funny thing is, if you do something enough, you can do it almost on autopilot.

That was such an unwizarding thought, Harry Potter pondered, scampering across the cold, crunchy soil. Not that he cared.

Nimbleness and caution were things he'd learned - and relearned, so it wasn't all that foreign to him to be thinking about something else while running. Well, Harry'd call it running, sure, but Hermione or Ron would call it "fleeing a battle" and Malfoy would term it "avoiding your opponent until you reach your goal." Snape would have just termed it dunderheaded - but, hell, it was his idea of training, wasn't it?

Harry was thinking over a half-formed idea that had arisen in his mind out of his unconscious mind into his sleeping consciousness. "Up the stakes" - Harry's hand pushing more money towards the center pot.


For such an insightful idea, it was hard to track down what it referred to.

So, Harry idly started to page through his life, starting from the start of the school year. It seemed like he'd done so much, he marveled at it all. Harry reflected that it was such because he'd trusted other people for once. Hadn't taken it all on himself.

He was nearly around Hogwarts when he thought Pansy!

That was what his dream had been referencing.

He drove himself into another circle of Hogwarts, because he had much to plan.

Hermione was out of sorts at breakfast (moreso than a frantic study session). Harry's mind was still windmilling around with thoughts of Pansy's Project. Ron was with his girlfriend, and they were being 'perfectly sickening' - or so Hermione and Ginny had named it, ages ago. Harry had escaped the rest of the conversation, but those particular words were apt. Dudley would probably have called it "sucking face." Although Petunia would have had a conniption if he'd done it at the dinner table, no matter if she liked the girl or no.

Psst. Harry hissed. Slytherins liked this skulking around corners. Harry didn't, but he understood why none of the Slytherins wanted to be seen associating with him. Snape had seen to that, even as he'd neatly driven the Slytherins right into Harry's waiting arms.

Pansy entered, soft as a shadow and as graceful as a lynx. She ducked to the side, as much to be unseen by passersby as to avoid any spells in her direction. Harry let her eyes adjust - startling Slytherins was inadvisable, under the best of circumstances. "Potter? When they say you should give a girl a pass, this is not how it's done."

"I thought of how to get you in the door." Harry blurted out, not wanting to contemplate responding to her sortie.

Pansy blinked at him. "As you can see, I'm here. Although, there was no door?" She turned around to look, bending over a bit - which lifted her skirt three inches.

Harry reassessed. "How you can get some good ol' House Gryffindor business."

At that, Pansy straightened and spun on him, hawklike eyes glittering. Harry imagined that the lifting of her skirt had been entirely accidental that time - it was a lot hotter that way. "Oh?"

"Sabotage the Slytherin team." Harry said. "If you do that, I'll have no trouble getting the Quiddich team to buy whatever you're selling."

Pansy's mouth gaped, "But! It's Quiddich... if I sabotage my house team, I'll be crucified!"

Harry tutted, "I hardly doubt they'd go so far..."

"Social Outcast!" Pansy shrieked, before covering her mouth and casting a shaky silence spell.

Harry shrugged, "Isn't the watchword of Slytherin House 'Don't Get Caught'?"

Pansy's panic dissolved into full-on giggles. "You think it's that easy? You all use professional gear when you can get it, and Malfoy's on the team! It's warded against sabotage."

Harry shrugged again, "Better be a good plan, then. You don't necessarily need to pull it off, mind, so long as the tale's good enough to prove your worth."

Pansy looked at him, less 'in hope' than 'with thoughtful scrutiny.' Finally, after a long pause, "I'll see what I can do."

[a/n: Yes, Harry's looking. He's an adolescent boy, they do that.]