Warnings: This will have slash(Guys on guys, ppl.). This also has mentions of child abuse. Perhaps a bit mild…
Disclaim Her: Nag, nag, nag…. Bite me.(Aren't I pleasant?)
"Mornin'." Harry yawned as he stepping into the joke shop.
Twin smiles greeted him. "Tired?" Fred inquired gently. Harry didn't look his best.
"Nightmares." Harry agreed. He knew Tom was still pissed at him, and hadn't bothered going out to the café, pushing through his homework without the few pointers the brilliant Dark Lord offered. "I'll be fine."
"Sure…" George and Fred chorused, giving the Boy-Who-Lived wary looks. They had known Harry long enough, though, to know better than to push him, so they just led him back towards the fireplace.
"Floo?" Fred offered the container of power.
Harry grimaced, but took some and tossed it into the fireplace. He stepped into the green fire and gave a shout of "The Burrow!" He gave a soft cough as the world started spinning away from him.
"I hate Floo!" Was Harry's exclamation as he picked himself up from the Weasley's kitchen.
"I know, mate." Ron grinned.
"Oh, Harry! It's wonderful to see you again!" Molly exclaimed, running over to embrace the boy tightly as Fred popped through.
"See, safe and sound. Told you he was fine." The twin told his mother as George followed through.
"Harry!" Hermione and Ginny had just come into the room and both hurried over to give him hugs as Molly let him go.
"Hey, there." The raven-haired boy smiled. "Mrs. Weasley, do you think I could have some coffee? The place I'm staying doesn't serve it with breakfast…" Harry inquired as he wriggled from the hugs.
"Of course you may, dear. How would you like it?"
"Black's fine." The boy sighed. Molly poured him a cup and handed it over. "Thanks." Harry nodded before taking a long sip, not noticing how hot it was.
"Of course." Molly frowned at the state the boy was in as Ginny led him over to the table to sit and Ron started going over Quidditch scores.
"Harry!" Arthur smiled as he entered the room. "Happy Birthday, my dear boy!"
"You sound like Dumbledore." Harry informed the eldest Weasley with a bright smile. The coffee had definitely helped. Beat that, Tom! He mentally shot at the Dark Lord.
"Ah. All that practise is finally paying off!" Everyone laughed as Arthur sat. "We hope you don't mind, but we took the liberty of inviting a few friends for a small party."
"Not at all! Who's going to be here?" Harry inquired, taking a small sip of the drink in his hands.
"Neville, since it's his birthday too, Dean, Seamus, Lee, and Luna from school." Ginny informed the boy. "And Seamus said he was bringing his boyfriend and we'll have to just deal."
"Lovely." Harry sighed, knowing Seamus was dating a Slytherin in their year, just not who.
"Ah, Tonks, Moody, and Remus are all coming from the Order." Arthur filled in. "Dumbledore wanted to come, but he can't make it. Trouble with some teachers, I think."
Harry winced. Tom, give poor Snape a moment of rest, won't you? He mentally berated the man who normally invaded his mind. He heard a faint growl in response. "Hope everything's okay." Was all the boy said to the family around him.
"Yes, yes." Arthur nodded. "Bill's going to be here, of course, but he had to work late. I think that's everyone…"
"It sounds like fun." Harry agreed.
There was a sudden flare of the fire and Seamus Finnigan came through with a smile and a couple gifts. Blaise Zabini followed him, looking nervous. "Hey!" Seamus offered. Blaise just nodded to everyone.
"So, we finally figure out who the mystery boy is?" Harry teased. "Good catch. Nice to see you, Blaise."
Blaise smiled at that. "Yeah, yeah. Happy Birthday, Harry." The Slytherin offered. Seamus beamed.
The party was thrown out in the backyard. No one wanted to ruin the special day, so everyone stayed friendly and made Blaise welcome. If Harry Potter could put up with the only son from a family who supported You-Know-Who, how could anyone else turn him away.
"Hey, Harry." Blaise stepped up to one of the two birthday boys as he was getting some fruit.
"Oh, hello, Blaise!"
"Thanks." Blaise said in a voice that didn't apologize much.
"For what?" The Gryffindor inquired seriously.
"For making me feel welcome."
"Don't thank me for that. You're not a bad guy, Blaise. If Seamus likes you, I see no reason to turn around and put you down."
"From what Malfoy says, I'd think you'd hate me."
"Blaise," Harry gave the smaller boy a firm look. "It's not Slytherins I have problems with, it's their personalities, the way they treat others, and the way they go about their beliefs. You haven't given me a reason to hate you for all the six years I've known you. I don't think anything but the way you treat Seamus could change that. He's a great friend, and, as long as you treat him well, I see no reason to change my views of you."
"What if I told the Dark Mark?" The Slytherins shot back.
"Do you want to?" Was Harry's mild response. Blaise blinked at him for a long moment before shaking his head slowly. "I would still respect you. I wouldn't turn you away. The Dark Mark isn't what makes you evil, it's the intent behind it and your actions."
"I want to see you tell that to Malfoy. He'd be so confused." Blaise offered with a small smile.
Harry laughed. "Bring him on!"
Blaise nodded. "Thanks, again. Perhaps we were wrong about you."
"Ah, perhaps." Harry's eyes twinkled mischievously. "And, just some friendly advice, don't drink the juice in your cup. There's a twin under the table."
"Harry!" George popped out from under the table as Blaise laughed.
Harry smirked. "Never leave your drink unguarded and never eat anything unless it's been tested by someone else recently." He warned the Slytherin before waving and walking off with a peach, which he quietly unhexed before biting into.
George sighed sadly. "Can't catch him anymore. I blame it on that Tom fellow." He stood and gently brushed himself off.
"Tom fellow?" Blaise inquired.
"Yeah. Auror friend of Harry's. Been keeping an eye on him and whatnot. Great guy. A little secretive, though. Fred and I think he was probably a Slytherin."
"Interesting." Blaise watched Harry stop to talk to Tonks. "What did he look like?"
"Eh? Black hair, really tall, pale. Kinda looks like Harry." George shrugged. "Why?"
"No reason, really. Just wondering." Blaise replied before wandering back to Seamus.
Ginny, blinked at Harry from where she'd overheard her brother talking to Blaise. Tom? Surely not Tom Riddle? The description fits him, though… I wonder…
"So, what's it like, living on your own?" Ron inquired.
"Oh. Boring, you know? I run out of things to do real fast, even with my homework."
"Oh! You're not doing you homework already?!" Ron gave the raven-haired boy a horrified look.
"I think it's wonderful." Hermione replied. "I'm glad you called me for the homework."
"Sure thing, Hermione." Harry replied nervously.
"Wait, Harry called you to get his homework?!" Dean inquired, shocked.
"I couldn't very well owl her." Harry snorted. "Last I knew, the Dursleys still had Hedwig."
"Hope she's okay." Hermione sighed.
"I can go get her this week." Harry replied darkly.
"Don't do anything you'll regret!" Hermione cried in shock.
"Hex them good." Ron growled.
"Teach them not to mess with you, mate!" Dean agreed.
"Leaving a wizard out in the middle of London. Really." Seamus nodded.
"Did they really?" Blaise inquired. Everyone in the group nodded. "Idiot Muggles."
"Hear, hear!" Seamus called, eyes crossed slightly.
"Seamus, did you finally figure out how to turn stuff into rum?" Harry asked with a laugh.
"Yes, he did." Blaise nodded. "Managed to talk me into teaching him, in fact."
"Regret it?" Dean inquired.
"Nope. He's fun when he's drunk." The Slytherin replied with a wink. Ron, Dean, and Neville all made horrified faces. Hermione tutted under her breath. Harry smirked with a knowing nod. Blaise grinned.
"I'd hate to break this up, lady, gentlemen." Arthur said as he stepped over. "But I've got strict orders to make sure both our birthday boys get their Apparation Licenses today. Now should be a good time to go!"
"The bloody license again. I can't escape!" Harry groaned.
"At least you haven't been hexed by Fred or George." Neville pointed out. His hair was still orange from a prank earlier.
"No, Harry's too good at that." Fred sighed as he came over and draped an arm around Harry's shoulders.
"Fred, if that goes anywhere near my mouth, I'll hex you into next year." The black-haired boy warned, eyeing the hand on his shoulder.
"See what I mean."
"No, Harry just knows all your pranks." Ron snorted.
That was only half true. Harry had spent part of the summer between fifth and sixth years, all of Christmas, and parts of his sixth year learning how to detect things that were out of the ordinary by Moody and Tonks. The training had been mostly unknown to his friends, but it was part of the reason he'd survived the last fight with Voldemort. He wasn't perfect, though. If he didn't know Fred and George so well, he probably wouldn't have caught most of their tricks.
"Not all of them. Keep trying, guys." Harry offered with an easy smile, shifting away from Fred. "Mr. Weasley, how are we getting to the Ministry?"
Harry and Neville traded looks and groaned.
Harry Apparated back to the Burrow with Arthur. Neville had gone home after the two traded "Happy Birthday"s. When the two wizards returned, they saw that everything was definitely winding down.
Moody pulled Harry to the side before his friends saw him. "Potter, Dumbledore wanted us to tell you that, if you ever feel the need for more training, you know to let us know."
"Of course, Mad-Eye." Harry nodded to the ex-Auror seriously. "And I may just take you up on that, but I want to get my homework done first."
"Of course." Moody smiled crookedly. "And this time, we won't have to use any spells to keep you from getting caught by the Ministry."
"Oh, thanks for the concern." Harry rolled his eyes.
"Of course." Moody nodded and Apparated, leaving Harry to think to himself. He'd gotten used to the ex-Auror's strange sense of humour during his training.
"Harry!" Ron waved from where he stood with Ginny, Hermione, and Dean.
Harry wandered on over to his friends. "Blaise, Seamus, and Luna go home?"
"Lee, too." Ginny replied, nodding to where the twins were dozing.
Harry chuckled. "Who put them to sleep?"
"You can tell?!" Ron gaped.
"I did." Ginny replied, smirking. "Hexed them while their backs were turned."
"You, my dear, are turning into an absolute Slytherin!" Harry laughed.
"Did Neville pass?" Hermione inquired.
"Yeah. Took him a little bit, but he didn't splinch himself." Harry nodded.
"Good." Dean grinned. "I'll pass the word on to Seamus. Have a good birthday, Harry."
"Thanks for coming, Dean. See you on the train."
"Sure thing. See everyone there!" He waved and wandered into the house to take a portkey back home.
"So, I'm assuming I'm to spend the night here?" Harry joked.
"Of course you are!" Molly had joined them. "We couldn't have you going back out to London on your birthday!"
"Thanks, Mrs. Weasley." Harry smiled. "Did Remus go home?"
"Yes. Full moon's coming up." Molly nodded sadly. "Poor fellow."
Harry didn't manage more than a nod before he yawned.
"Bed!" Ron said brightly. "Come on. I've got some pyjamas you can borrow."
"Thanks, Ron. Good night, everyone."
"Good night, Harry!" Hermione smiled.
"Sleep well, dear." Molly agreed.
Harry nodded and let Ron drag him off to bed. Good night, Tom. Let me have some peace, for once.
Lord Voldemort, who looked like his human self, Tom Riddle, sighed and stood. "Wormtail, I'm turning in. If any idiots need me, make them wait until the morning." He ordered before sweeping from the hall.
Sweet dreams, Harry. Happy birthday. He offered to the sleeping boy. Perhaps it was time he made up with the boy. He'd found himself missing Harry's companionship over the past few days. It was a strange thing for him, terror of the wizarding world, to miss watching his worst enemy doing his homework, but he went with it.
What else could he do?
A/N: Packheads. -blinks- I think I'm heading for bed, you know? I'm getting weird.
Dursleys next chapter.
As always, many thanks to my reviewers!!
Also, stop bugging me about the drunkness. It's coming. I know exactly what's going to happen and when. However, you all shall just have to wait! -sticks out her tongue-
SingSingMa: Ah, yes… I shall await the appearance of the pairing before I switch that, though. Thank you!
Fiery Pheonix: I have no clue what's wrong with poor Tom. I suppose he's just having a bad day… -sweatdrop-
Just so everyone knows, I've decided that I'm not posting chapter 10(yes, it's written) until I have 70 reviews. -smirks- Keep 'em rolling!!