30 July 1998

Harry and Ron sat on the roof of the garden shed at the Burrow. Harry passed Ron the firewhisky bottle, from which he took an enormous swig and began to cough. Harry snickered.

"Oh, go on, if you're so tough," Ron grumbled, handing it back to Harry, who grinned and promptly inhaled half the bottle up his nose.

"OH, MERLIN'S LUMPY LEFT—"

Ron almost sent both of them tumbling off the roof as he tackled Harry, clamping a hand over his best friend's mouth.

"Quiet, you idiot," Ron told him in his ear, glancing back at the dark house. "And it's saggy."

Harry wrinkled his nose in distaste. "How would you know?" Ron whacked his shoulder and Harry laughed. They both sat forward, looking up at the sky, and Ron sighed heavily.

"It's only been a year since we've been here," he said quietly.

Harry nodded, not looking at Ron. He took a gulp of firewhisky. "I know."

"Well, happy birthday, mate," said Ron, taking the bottle and toasting Harry.

Harry grinned. "I'll drink to that," he said. Ron passed him the bottle, and he did, swirling the contents around. "We're running low, here."

"Like hell," Ron told him, scandalized. He pointed his wand at the open kitchen window, and another bottle of firewhisky zoomed towards them. It hit Harry squarely in the chest and knocked him on his back. Ron laughed. "Nice," he commented, wresting the bottle from Harry's grasp and uncorking it.

"Your dad's going to murder us," Harry said, finishing the end of their first bottle and stretching out on the roof.

"Nah, he'll never notice, not with this huge party they're planning," Ron slurred. Then he looked at Harry, horrified. "Oh—"

"Your parents are throwing me a birthday party?" Harry asked, his voice afraid.

"Just with the family…and Kingsley…McGonagall…Hagrid…the Order…the Army…"

"Merlin, Ron, everyone we know?" asked Harry, his voice cracking.

Ron snorted, passing Harry the fresh bottle. "Sure, take on You-Know-Who in single combat, no problem, but your friends want to throw you a birthday party, and you lose your mind," he said, chuckling. Then he looked worried. "Don't tell Mum, she'd probably curse me into next year."

Harry shook his head. "Now is dnot the time for this," he muttered, taking another sip of firewhisky. Ron hit him again and grabbed the bottle. "Ow!" Harry cried, rubbing the back of his head. "What was that for?"

"Just let my mum do this," Ron said seriously, all traces of laughter gone from his face. "And let it be a surprise."

Harry stared at him for a moment, and Ron's ears turned pink. He looked away, uncomfortable. They were both getting to be very tipsy, but they were sober enough to feel the remains of the sadness still hanging in the air.

"Sure, mate," Harry said quietly. "No problem."

Ron nodded and took a sip of firewhisky. "Thanks." They were silent for a while longer, and Harry drew his wand, rolling it between his hands. It shot blue sparks, and Harry jumped, shaking his burned hand. Ron snorted.

"Harry, let me hold your wand for a sec," Ron said, putting his hand out.

Harry paused, staring at Ron a little unfocusedly. "That's what she said," he answered, starting to snicker.

Ron rolled his eyes, chuckling, and snatched the wand away, examining the many scars and scrapes in the wood, souvenirs of the war. There was a clean, narrow line where the holly had been snapped and repaired. It looked quite as used as Ron's own wand.

"You've practically wrecked this thing, Harry," Ron told him, scrutinizing it closely.

Harry gave him another sneaky grin and muttered, "That's what she said!" He gave a maniacal laugh, and Ron started join him, his shoulders shaking as he tried to stay quiet.

"Stop," he whispered frantically, gesturing at the house. "Seriously, Harry, how old are you?"

Harry wiggled his eyebrows, making Ron spit out a mouthful of firewhisky, and drew back his sleeve to check his watch. "Eighteen!" he cried, showing Ron his wrist. It was seven minutes past midnight. "I'm eighteen!"

"Sure," Ron said slowly, handing Harry the bottle. "That's what she said."

"HA!" Harry gave a great shout of laughter and tumbled off the roof of the garden shed.

Hermione was soundly sleeping in Ginny's room, having a very good dream indeed. She was not pleased to be awoken by two slightly drunk wizards, one of whom needed to have his broken wrist mended.


So *this* is for Crazy Flamingo and The Clowns' "Cyanide and Happiness" Quotes Challenge. I had to alter my quote a bit, but yeah! Huzzah for actually getting to challenges I signed up for in...oh, you know...March. :) Hope you like!

Lucy