The sky was just so blue. So perfectly, wonderfully, fantastically blue. She would expect nothing else on her birthday. Especially this birthday.
Turning six was a big deal. It was, after all, the oldest she had ever been.
Laying on her back in the middle of the field with her puppy, Jojo, at her side, she felt that nothing could be better. She lived in a perfect fairy cottage, had a perfectly pink bedroom with a perfect dollhouse (with its perfect dolls), had perfectly in love parents (at least she thought so; they were always kissin' each other), and a perfect puppy. Well, someday he'd be a perfect puppy. He was growing really fast and wasn't used to his legs yet so he fell down a lot. But someday he'll be big and strong and will carry her around on his back. He was a Mute, after all, and Mummy said that Mute's carried and pulled stuff around. He was also part wolf, which is why no one had wanted him. But Maddy liked his wolfiness. He howled a lot and it kind of sounded like singing.
"Maddy!" a loud, deep voice called. "Maddy, the guests are starting to arrive!"
Oh! Guests! Guests meant PRESENTS!
Maddy jumped to her feet in excitement and started to run through the tall grasses to the cottage but stopped to brush off all the dirt and stuff that was all over her. Jojo bounded to her side, his furry tail flying back and forth with glee.
"People are here, Jojo!" she said with a grin. "Maybe it's Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron! Maybe they brought Lucy for you to play with!"
Lucy was Jojo's best friend. They'd been adopted at the same time from the Mute rescue and had been really sad when they'd been separated. Luckily Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron came around a lot and Lucy and Jojo could play.
Maddy checked herself one last time and deemed herself clean (at least mostly, but it was her birthday anyway and if she wanted to be dirty, she could!) and hurried home, Jojo tumbling along beside her, his white and grey fur full of dead grass and dirt clods.
The cottage came into view and just like every other time she saw it, her heart seemed to get hot. It had two floors and her room overlooked the open fields that she so loved to play in. The whole back wall was covered in climbing rosebushes, which were in full bloom. Maddy liked the pink roses the best, but the yellow ones came in a close second. Making sure not to run through Mummy's garden, Maddy hurried onward. At the back door to the cottage, Maddy stopped to listen, wanting to know who had arrived.
Deep voices and cheerful yip. Definitely Harry and Ron. With a shriek of glee, she ran forward through the bright kitchen and into the little foyer. She spotted her uncles but before she could zoom up to them, she was caught in strong arms and swung around.
"Daddy!" she giggled. "Put me down!"
"No, I need my birthday hug first," he replied and Maddy grinned further. She always could tell when her Daddy was smiling at talking at the same time. As he swung her up and around, she turned and wrapped her arms around his neck. He held her close and nuzzled her dark curls.
"Daddy, you're smooth!" she said in surprise, pulling back and looking at his face.
Maddy thought her daddy was the handsomest man in the whole world. He was tall and muscly, and had pretty brown hair. But his eyes were her favorite, because she had them too. They were golden, like the wood of the cabinets in their kitchen and they were always bright and happy.
"Mummy told me to shave," he said ruefully, looking over her shoulder. Maddy turned and looked at her Mummy, who was also smiling. Today she had her hair up and back and looked pretty as ever. Maddy always thought her parents made the prettiest couple of all their friends.
"But I thought you liked the scruffy," Maddy said to her Mum. "You said it felt better in the nighttime."
Mummy's mouth dropped open like it does whenever Jojo has an accident in her closet and Maddy suddenly felt nervous. Uncle Harry and Ron suddenly started coughing really hard. Before anyone could say anything else, Jojo slid across the wooden floors from the kitchen and collided into Lucy. There were yips and growls of joy and then the two bolted out the front door.
More people arrived after that. Maddy kind of wanted to be put down, but not really so instead stayed in her Daddy's arms and hugged people as they came in. Fred and George always gave the best hugs. Ginny and Dean brought their son, who was just a baby and was very seriously chewing on a stuffed unicorn's horn. Bill and his pretty partner came with their three year-old adopted twins, who tried to play with the dogs, but couldn't keep up.
"What kind of rescue did you get them from, again?" Bill asked, eyeing the dogs with interest. "The twins have been wanting one for a while."
"The Mute rescue!" Maddy said helpfully.
"Malamute rescue, Maddy," Mummy corrected. Daddy laughed and set her down, telling to go and play with her friends. But the other kids were so little that she went to play with the dogs instead. Little kids were annoying.
Maddy finally settled on top of the wooden table in the garden and simply watched as more people came. Technically it was her birthday, but it was also a good excuse to get everyone together. At least, that's what Mummy said. Maddy loved watching her family. True, they weren't her blood family, but they were her family.
Grandma Weasley always gave her lots of sweets, Grandpa Weasley always showed her some new weird Muggle thingy, Fred would tell her funny jokes and George would give her toys. They never really brought girls with them, or if they did the girls never came back. Grandma Weasley said they were dogs. But Maddy liked dogs so she couldn't understand why that would be a bad thing.
She didn't know the others as well. She'd seen Ginny and Dean at every major holiday, but they didn't just stop by like Harry and Ron, who lived next door. Well… in the next field at least. They were her ultimate favorites. They were like another set of parents, even though they were both boys. Ron says that because they don't want kids of their own, she was partly theirs too. Maddy liked that. They were really good at playing Airplane, too.
Her party was so much fun! The grown-ups got really funny after drinking a lot of punch. Maddy couldn't have any, though. She got Pumpkin Juice instead. But they were all singing and dancing, though not very well. Daddy was the best though, because he couldn't stop laughing.
She opened her presents and got nearly everything she wanted. It looked like she was going to have to try harder to change her Mummy's mind about getting a hamster, but Maddy had a plan. She'd set that into motion soon. No doubt Harry would help her. Harry did almost anything she asked him to.
When it got dark, everyone started to leave. They all gave her hugs and sloppy wet kisses. The twins each blew on her belly. The last to leave were Harry and Ron. Lucy wasn't ready to go though and they had to pull her away from Jojo, who was whining sadly.
"Don't worry Jojo," Maddy said, petting his head. "She'll be back tomorrow."
Lucy tended to run away to be with Jojo. Or Jojo would run away to Harry and Ron's house to be with Lucy. Somehow they always ended up together and if one went missing, they were always at their friend's house. It's a good thing they live so close!
And then it was bath time, where Daddy played with mermaid dolls with her, and then helped her get ready for bed as Mummy cleaned up after the party.
"Wouldn't she like it better if she waited until tomorrow?" Maddy asked, thinking of the huge mess.
"Oh no," Daddy replied, running and comb through Maddy's curls. "You know your mother. If she let it sit, she'd never sleep."
True. It was scary how much her parents knew about each other.
Daddy tucked her in, kissed her forehead and said goodnight. He left the door a little open, just as she liked it. You know, in case the nargles under her bed wanted out in the middle of the night for a stroll. Luna said they did that sometimes. Jojo, who'd been waiting patiently in his basket, hopped up and went to jump on the bed. But his legs slid and he hit his head on the mattress. Biting back giggles, Maddy urged him to try again. He finally made it and curled up on her feet.
She tried to sleep, she really did. But after the excitement of the day, she just couldn't. She really wanted to play with her new broomstick, which Ron had given her, but knew Mummy would be mad if she flew in the house. Her thoughts were interrupted when music started playing from outside. It wasn't like the fun, fast music from the party. It was slow and romantic, like those films they sometimes went to in the city. Curious, Maddy pulled her feet out from under the sleeping Jojo and went to her window.
Down below, dancing in the light of the full moon, were her parents. They held each other close, real close (just like the film stars!) and were swaying back and forth. Maddy smiled. She couldn't wait to fall in love and live in a cottage with her prince charming, just like Mummy did. Because Daddy was the perfect prince charming. He even played with mermaids in the bathtub.
She watched for a while longer, grinning at every laugh and smile. When they kissed, all slow and sweet (like in the films!) she sighed. Someday… she'd fall in love too. For now, she thought as she went back into bed and stuffed her feet underneath her puppy, she'd be perfectly fine with Jojo. True, he fell down a lot, but he was still very cute. And sometimes, when he howled and hopped around, he kind of reminded her of Daddy.
Author's Note: AND THAT'S IT! It's complete! Omg. It's complete. I don't even know what to do with myself now. OMG.