Author's Notes: Written for my good friend Olivia's birthday, a text theafternoon before her birthday stating 'Now that you're writing again, I expect a birthday drabble' isn't exactly what I'd call reasonable notice. I suppose I love you, anyway, Livs. Enjoy. =)

Birthday Surprises

"They're not closed."

"They are closed!"

"You're such a liar. I can see you peeking. Now close your bloody eyes!"

Lily let out an annoyed huff, squeezing her eyelids closed dramatically and choosing to ignore the fact that he was right, that she had indeed been peeking through her squinted eyelids as he shifted about in front of her. She sighed heavily, her thoughts rambling about in the darkness, waiting for him to get on with it.

She didn't do surprises. Not even birthday surprises.

"Are they closed?" James asked again, still suspicious. Lily thought he might be waving his hand in front of her face. She scowled, cracking open an eye.

"You have a minute," she warned. "Then it's no-more-eye-closing, got it?"

James grumbled as she closed her eyes once more.

"You're about the grouchiest birthday girl I know," he said. "Missing seventeen already?"

"Seventeen was a good year," Lily replied, sniffing. She leaned back into the couch he had forced her down upon after accosting her as she exited her bedroom on her way to breakfast this morning. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd seen him awake this early. "I have a feeling eighteen is going to be a bit sour," she added flatly.

"Not possible," James answered instantly.

Lily lifted an eyebrow. "How do you figure?"

She could practically hear the snarky grin in his voice.

"Well, you've got me around now, haven't you?"

Lily snorted, shaking her head as a small laugh slipped from her lips. She didn't want to say it—didn't think his already over-sized head could handle it—but he was one of the main reasons that her seventeenth year had closed on such a high note. She tried not to think too much about it—knew that doing so would force her to accept a few things that her heart and her head weren't quite ready to accept just yet—but Lily had to acknowledge that the past three months being James Potter's girlfriend had certainly been...a lovely adventure.

Though this eye-closing bit was certainly rather testing.

"We'll see," she muttered in response, ignoring the tingling shivers that ran up and down her spine at his throaty chuckle. She sat up on the couch once more. "Can I open my eyes now?"

James clicked his tongue. "Patience is a virtue, love."

"Thirty seconds, James."

"And counting. I know. I get it."

"Twenty-six, twenty-five..."

"All right, you bloody spoil sport." She could hear him moving around. "You can open your ruddy eyes now."

"You know, you're not making this...oh."

Lily shut her mouth. She reeled back, her recently opened eyes blinking rapidly.



"Happy birthday, Lil," James said, grinning down at her. In his hands, thrust proudly out to her, he held a glass serving platter that was presently straining under the weight of a giant, pink cake.

He'd gotten her a cake.

A cake for her birthday.

"I know it's before 9 A.M.," he went on, sitting down on the couch next to her, placing the cake on the coffee table in front of them. She leaned over to get a better look. "But I figure the only reason people don't eat these things in the morning is because they're not available, see. So I figured I'd make one available. Pretty brill way to start off eighteen, yeah?"

"You got me a cake," was all Lily could get out, unable to take her eyes away from the pink dessert. "You got me a cake for my birthday."

James laughed.

"Well, yeah," he said. She could feel him staring at her. "It's tradition—you know, birthday cake, blow out the candles? People do it all the time. Granted, not usually before breakfast, but you've heard my theory on that. Oh," he suddenly said, leaning over a bit, as well, "and I know it rather looks like it says 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY L-L-L-Y', but that's an 'I'. Those cake charms are bloody murderous. That first 'L' was originally looking a bit like an upside-down 'T', as well, but—"

Lily was finally able to tear her eyes away from the cake, her gaze snapping over to her boyfriend. "Wait," she said. " made this? You didn't buy it or anything?"

James threw her a questioning look. "Of course I made it," he said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "I mean, I had help—those house elves are dead useful, let me tell you—but it's mostly my handiwork. Impressed?"

Lily hummed a response, dragging her gaze away from James and back down to her birthday cake. Something inside her chest jumped as she stared at the large, square confection, the pink frosting, and the—albeit, yes—slightly odd-looking spelling of her name. Now that she really looked at it, she could see the cake was clearly homemade. Aside from the scrambled writing, the icing was bunched and smeared at certain places, and there was a slightly off-kilter look to it, as if, with a bit more of a shove, the whole top could go tumbling over.

It was the most beautiful cake she'd ever seen.

"I know it's a bit stupid," James said uneasily, obviously growing nervous at Lily's prolonged silence. She glanced over just in time to see him running a hand through his hair. "It's not my present or anything," he was quick to add, making that point clear. "I've got an actual gift, I swear, but I just thought...I don't know. I know you don't like surprises, but I thought you might—"

"No," Lily interrupted, shaking her head. James suddenly looked even more anxious. Lily couldn't help it then. She let the huge smile that had been bursting to come out crawl up onto her face. She practically shined at him. "I love it," she said. "I absolutely love it. The best birthday cake I've ever seen."

James laughed, sounding relieved. "You don't have to lie," he told her. "I mean, I haven't even spelled your name properly. And it's on a bit of an angle."

"It's lovely," Lily insisted. She leaned over the cake once more and felt a rush of giddiness seep through her. "Just wonderful."

James grinned, cocking an eyebrow her. "Almost wonderful enough to be worth a bit of eye-closing?" he asked

Lily laughed, unable to stop herself from reaching up to drop an enthusiastic kiss upon his lips. When she pulled away, her eyes were sparkling.

"Almost," she agreed.