Author's Note: The Timestamp Meme was pretty simple: give me any one of my fics and a timestamp, and I'll write you at least 100 words. Problem: I babble. This time, Caliope Amphora said May I ask Bond as well - and since someone has already had the great idea of "three years later", could I go for something like "the 1st anniversary"? 'Cause there's a line in chapter 14 when Draco says "Remind me to point and laugh at you at every anniversary then" when they're talking about the new regulation and I've always thought it was so sweet!
So, 6555 words later...
"Pass the butter, please," said Hermione.
"So how is Ron doing now?" asked Blaise as he handed it over.
"Oh, better. Thank god," she said, buttering her toast.
"Gave us a scare, though," Harry said.
"What was he doing, anyway?" Blaise asked, and rolled his eyes as Harry and Hermione exchanged an uncomfortable look. "Never mind, I didn't ask."
"It's not that we don't want to tell-"
"Never mind," Blaise repeated, annoyance tinged with affection in his voice. "It doesn't matter. He was off doing something terribly heroic, you could tell me but then you'd have to kill me, he got hurt, now he's better. That's really all anybody needs to know."
"That and he'll be out of the hospital in two more days," Draco said, and was pleased to note that his voice didn't betray his wistful anticipation of the date... much. The Trio had been gone for three weeks before coming back from their latest foray, and Draco had been eagerly looking forward to having Harry to himself again. But Weasley had been injured and Harry had insisted that Granger stay at their place until Weasley was better. And it wasn't that Granger was all that tiresome these days, but he was very much looking forward to having her out from underfoot for at least a few days before they all had to take off again.
Blaise smirked at him. "Yes, there is that. Oh Draco," he said, an innocent expression on his face. "I forgot, how's your, erm, broomstick these days? Getting much riding done?"
Draco suppressed a laugh and stepped on Blaise's foot under the table. "It's doing just fine, thanks. But not much riding, no."
"What happened to your broomstick?" Hermione asked.
"Erm, not enough flying. Gets jittery. Nothing to worry about."
"It probably just needs some tender loving care," Blaise said, and bit his lip at the toe-grinding Draco gave him.
Harry frowned, distracted by his toast. "You never told me your broomstick was off. When did that happen?"
Draco opened his mouth and was saved from having to answer as an oddly familiar brown owl tapped at the window and Harry got up to let it in.
"Did you order something?" Harry asked as he removed a small letter from the owl's foot and tossed it to Draco.
Draco shook his head as he opened the small envelope. "It's got your name on it too, Harry," he said as he opened it up. "Fuck!" he exclaimed, and Blaise looked over his shoulder immediately, his mouth dropping open.
"Mordred! What's she thinking?"
"'Hoping you have a wonderful day' - she's gone mad," Draco sputtered in disbelief.
"What is it?" Harry and Hermione asked.
"I knew I recognized the bloody owl," said Blaise, looking shocked. "It's from Pansy."
"Parkinson?!" Hermione and Harry exclaimed.
"It says Jennifer Stuyvesant, but it's Pansy all right."
"What's she saying? Is she defecting?" Harry asked.
"No, she's not," Draco said flatly, re-reading the simple message. "She wishes to congratulate us on our first year of marriage."
"Today's our anniversary, apparently," said Draco, shaking his head in disbelief. "And she decided this would be an excellent time to throw caution to the winds and take her brain on holiday and endanger herself by congratulating us. What a splendid first year anniversary gift that would be. Crucioed Pansy."
"Funny that," Blaise said, sounding utterly unamused. "It's supposed to be the Parchment Anniversary, not the Dead Friend Anniversary."
"Fuck, she's insane. And of all things, our bloody anniversary!"
"I didn't realize the date..." Harry said.
"No, nor did I," Draco said. "God, what an idiot!"
"I take it she didn't do this for your real first anniversary," Hermione said.
"Well I hardly think an anniversary counts as such if you divorced before the end of the year," Blaise pointed out.
"Not to mention didn't consent to or even remember the blessed event in the first place," said Draco. "Bloody hell. What's the matter with her?"
"I've told you, she's not happy over there," Blaise said.
"So she'd be happier Crucioed into imbecility? Or maybe she already has been; it would certainly explain this bloody card." He tossed the card to the table and got up to get himself a tea.
"Come on, Draco, it's just a card," said Harry.
"It's a card sent by somebody with Emerson's Death Eaters to somebody who is decidedly not," Draco shot back, pouring himself a tea. "It's stupid and unnecessary and insane." He scowled at his tea for a moment, then poured it down the drain and reached for the espresso.
"You weren't planning on celebrating your anniversary, I take it?" Hermione asked neutrally.
"What? No, of course not, why would we?" Draco said brusquely, filling his mug.
"Generally people do."
"Generally people don't spend half of their first year married tracking down all sorts of Death Eaters," Harry pointed out. "Or in hiding. It's not that big a deal."
"You don't mind?" she asked.
"No, of course not," said Harry. "Why would I?"
Draco breathed a sigh of relief as the espresso burned down his throat, and made himself take a step back from the nasty shock of Pansy's card. What a stupid - of all the times for Pansy to go Hufflepuff on him... now, of all times, when Harry and the rest of the Order were so close to finding the last of the Death Eater splinter groups, and said groups were turning on each other in a frenzy of betrayals and sell-outs and vendettas... now Pansy decided to make a move like this...
Although maybe it actually was a move on her part. Maybe she was going to try to defect soon, or knew her group was going to be tracked down soon, and was hoping to remind Draco that he'd promised to be her contact on the other side, should she ever need one. As if she needed to remind him.
He swallowed the last of the espresso and picked up the card. "Granger, would you mind checking this for charms and spells?"
"You don't think she would have sent something to harm you-" Hermione started, her eyes growing wider, and Draco rolled his eyes impatiently.
"No, of course not, but I do wonder if maybe she put something in there to try to get us information. Maybe turn spy, or ask us to go get her."
"Yeah, that might be it," Blaise said, and frowned at the card. "Here, I'll probably have better luck than you, Granger, I know Pansy much better. I know what she's likely to send."
"Burn it when you're done with it, Blaise," Draco said.
"Right," Blaise said, and picked it up. "I trust you two know enough not to mention this to anybody?" he said to Harry and Hermione, who both nodded. "Well, I'll get going, then. I have to meet Mother at Diagon in a few hours. Don't worry, Draco, if there's anything on the card, I'll find it." He grabbed a handful of Floo powder and stepped into the Floo.
"Thanks," Draco said, and put down his espresso. "Bloody hell, I forgot I'm supposed to meet Severus in an hour too." He hurried to the Floo.
"Don't say anything like Happy Anniversary," Hermione said softly, and Draco threw her a puzzled look as he stepped into the Floo.
"Do you ever think you missed out by not having a real wedding?" Harry asked that night in their small lab, as he finished a report and Draco checked his potion stocks.
"What?" Draco asked, squinting at his Shrivelfig and trying to decide whether he needed to order more.
"Do you ever think you missed out by not having a real wedding?" Harry repeated.
Draco frowned and looked down. "Have I suddenly grown breasts?"
Harry laughed. "No, I was just wondering. Weddings are usually a big deal in the wizarding world, aren't they? Like in the Muggle world?"
"I wouldn't know about the Muggle world. Yeah, they're big, depending on who's getting married."
"Would yours have been big if you'd married whoever you thought you were going to marry?"
"Oh, probably," Draco said indifferently, adding Shrivelfig to his list of ingredients to order. "I know my father wanted an advantageous match. Might've made the society pages of the Prophet. Why?"
"I just wondered."
"Oh, nothing, just..." Harry shrugged, scratched a correction onto his report. "I just wondered if you would've enjoyed something like that."
"Why would I?"
"You used to like being the centre of attention."
Draco snorted indelicately. "I think I had enough of that last year, what with the Prophet reporting every event and speculation and sneeze from either one of us for most of the year."
Harry chuckled. "So you're cured of that particular desire, then?"
"It would've been better publicity than what we got for our bond, though. It would've been favourable."
"Unless the Malfoy name was in the toilet, or I was married off to somebody whose family was a follower of Voldemort."
"But if it wasn't? Would you have been happy with a big wedding?"
"I suppose so, yes," Draco said absently, then looked up from his list. "Why are you asking this?"
"Just wondering. Can't I make conversation?"
Draco frowned, puzzled. "Of course. It just seems an odd thing to ask about. We didn't get a big public wedding, but that's over and done with, so why wonder about it?"
"And it doesn't bother you?"
"No, I said."
There was a long pause as Draco went back to his list, before something niggled at him and he looked up. "Why, does it bother you?"
"No, of course not," Harry said, and signed his report.
"Why, were you hoping for a big wedding some day?"
Harry laughed. "Why, have I grown breasts too?" Draco chuckled. "I wasn't raised to think about things like that. First the Dursleys made sure I understood that nobody would ever want to marry somebody like me, and during school I thought there was a good chance I would die long before I even thought of getting married." He tapped his quill on the tabletop absently. "Weddings, birthdays... anniversaries, whatever, all of that was for other people, as far as I could tell."
Draco nodded, and sniffed his jar of murtlap, deciding to add it to the list as well. "What are Muggle weddings like?" he asked curiously.
"How would I know?"
"Didn't you ever go to any as a child?"
"D'you honestly think the Dursleys would've taken me anywhere public like that? I was shoved off to Mrs. Figg's cats every time."
"Bloody hell, those people were idiots," Draco said, finishing his list of ingredients and putting it with his bookbag for the next day.
"Still are, probably."
"Wouldn't you love to back in time and hex them?"
"That would be brilliant," Harry chuckled.
"Better than going back in time to the day we were married and making it be a real wedding?"
Harry smiled and rolled up his report. "Absolutely. Come on, let's go to bed," he said, standing and stretching.
"You go on ahead. I have a bit more work to do."
"Oh. All right," Harry said, sounding a little disappointed.
"It's my Pepper-Up potion variation," Draco said apologetically. "I need to do a bit more work on it. Granger said she might be able to help with it."
"She should still be up."
"Right. I'll be up later."
"All right. Erm. Good night." Harry went upstairs.
Draco took out his slowly brewing potion, gazing at it and trying to figure out why it was greenish instead of ice-blue, as the instructions said it should be, while trying to ignore an annoying little buzz in his mind. A buzz that said that he was missing something.
He frowned. Maybe... maybe Granger could help him figure out what that something was.
Author's Note: OK, I don't know if this is a problem with fanfiction dot net in general, or just my browser right now, but for the life of me I cannot seem to upload any chapter longer than 10 pages in Word. So, instead of a simple 24-page story, which I think makes sense, this tiny little story is demanding to be posted as three annoyingly bitty little chapters. Sorry, guys :(