So I genuinely did start writing this the day before my friend Kate's birthday (dark-night-sky) which was, incidentally, on the 8th of March. So obviously, you COULD view it as me being really late but you know, I could also be super ahead of schedule. Is that kind of the half empty, half full debate? :P

Anyway, Kate, happy belated/premature birthday! Hope you had/have a gud'n! :D

Also: quickie here, I suppose it's kind of suggestive and it is Al/Scor pairing. :D

"It's my birthday."

Albus looked up fleetingly, confirmed the drawling voice and clucked his tongue, dropping his gaze back to the book he was reading. "Oh, really, Scor? You hadn't mentioned it or anything."

Scorpius grinned, leaning forwards on one arm. "Have you got me anything?"

"No. And no," repeated Albus firmly as Scorpius opened his mouth to suggest something. "Non, nada, niente."

"'No' what?" Scorpius asked, his lips quirking upwards. He leaned forwards tilted his head. "You have a very talented tongue."

Albus ignored this. "My answer remains no."

Scorpius sighed and twirled around as theatrically as he could, pulling the seat next to the dark haired boy out and plonking himself onto it. "What're you reading then, Mr Grumpy-Arse?"

Albus turned a page. "None of your business."

"Is it 'How to woo your boyfriend without him suspecting a thing'?"

"Funnily enough, it isn't."

"Is it 'Misery: How to Turn Emo Successfully'? The guide to blocking others out and retreating to the desolate depths of your soul."

"You won't get anything for your birthday if you're not careful."

"So you are giving me something." Scorpius grinned triumphantly. "Listen, you might as well tell me what it is. I'll find out soon enough. Plus, surprises are stupid. If someone doesn't like a surprise it's very hard to feign excitement. You might as well tell me now so I can prepare myself for the occasion." He beamed at Albus, who scanned him up and down. "Can I help you?"

"If we met now, we would never be friends."

"You can't be mean to me on my birthday." He leant back in his chair and glanced at the novel over Albus's shoulder. "'But, oh, Mina, I love him; I love him; I love him!' Oh come on. You're neglecting me on my birthday for Dracula?"

"There are worse things to be neglected to," Albus replied, looking up and biting his lip at the expression on the blond's face. He shut the book and stood up. "Come on, you poor hard-done-by child."

"Are you going to give me my present?"

Albus smirked. "What do you think?"

Scorpius's eyes did not move from the other's face. "I think this present had better be bloody good if you insist on torturing me like this. Else you'll pay, Potter."

"I dread to think," Albus said lightly, tucking his chair under. Scorpius watched as he handed the book over to the librarian, who snapped it up quickly and surveyed him intently as if trying to determine whether or not he was a worthy candidate for such a novel. That didn't seem a particularly bad idea, either. He inclined his head, looking at his... what was he? A boyfriend? Albus didn't like that terminology, he thought it seemed too clingy and girly. Scorpius wasn't particularly fussed. Lover seemed more sensual, but Albus said no to that. It sounded too secretive and heinous, and though Scorpius quite liked those connotations, Albus did not. Albus says no a lot, Scorpius thought with a small smirk as the dark haired boy turned to pull a face at the fact he was being held up for so long.

He was slight, still; where the others had bulked out Albus stayed willowy and slender, the build of a seeker. Dark hair and pale skin, green eyes and a range of facial expressions so uncannily like his mother's that Scorpius had often thought he was staring at Mrs Potter rather than her son. Albus smirked as Scorpius continued to stare. "That's not going to make your present come any quicker you know."

Scorpius grinned. "I knew it was going to be a good present."

"Get your mind out of the gutter."

"You love it."


"The thing is," Scorpius said as they sat down to eat lunch that day, examining a meatball between his eyes, "I'm starting to worry you haven't actually gotten me anything. You know, for my birthday."

"What a tragedy that would be," Albus murmured as he flicked a page of the Daily Prophet over, leaning interestedly in to read an article about a broomstick or something. Scorpius wrinkled his nose; broomsticks didn't appeal to him in the slightest. Quidditch players had always seemed to have a level of arrogance that didn't quite match his own, and he had been warned that should his ego inflate anymore things would begin to orbit it.

"It would be a tragedy though, Albus Potter," Scorpius continued, covering the advert with his hand. "I mean, you're my boyfriend..."

"Eugh."

"Partner..."

"That's what old people call them."

"Decidedly masculine companion?"

"Could settle for that."

"You're my decidedly masculine companion," continued Scorpius, leaning his chin on the ball of his other palm and looking at Albus, who was avoiding his eyes, though the blond could already see the smirk on the other boy's face. "You should get me something. I always get you something."

"Half a year late," Albus said, meeting his eyes for the first time with flickering amusement. "But it was the thought that counted."

Scorpius frowned. "Is this revenge?"

Albus sighed and smiled wearily. "I suppose you could meet me after dinner, then."

"Oooh, alluring."

Albus laughed and stood up. "Don't get your hopes up though. That thing you're thinking? It won't be that."

Scorpius grinned and saluted. "See you then. Enjoy Craprithmancy."

"Arithmancy."

"That's the one."


"Open your eyes."

Scorpius did as commanded, and frowned. "What am I supposed to be looking at?" He looked at the sky above him and pulled a face. "Is this one of those corny 'I give you all the stars my darling' things where I have to pretend I'm grateful that you haven't actually given me a physical object to display proudly? And I never deemed you a mush monster."

"That's supposed to be romantic," Albus said, the corners of his lips tugging upwards.

"Well it's boring. It's like if your parents wouldn't give you anything for Christmas because they've donated a galleon to the Squibs in Need or something. Except this time there's no guilt for feeling disappointed when you know it's gone to a good cause, this is just shoddy 'crap, I forgot to get him something! Are there any clouds tonight?'" He stopped when Albus maintained the same faintly amused, knowing, highly irritating expression. "What? Is this the part where you tell me you've actually bought me something? Like um," he looked around for anything he could see that could possibly be a gift, "the castle."

Albus laughed a little at the notion. "What the hell would you do with a castle? You already live in a borderline one anyway."

"I live at Hogwarts, well recognised," Scorpius said to be pedantic, and Albus rolled his eyes, proving to him that it had worked. "Honestly, Albus, your intellectual ability shows no boundary."

"You can go off people pretty quickly, even if it's their birthday."

"Yeah, it's my birthday. Where's my present?"

"Where are your manners?"

"It's my birthday, I don't need manners."

"You'll need a parachute when I shove you off of here," Albus retorted, and Scorpius grinned, before pursing his lips together. "Are you going to be quiet now? Good." He grabbed Scorpius by the shoulders and steered him towards a trunk, Scorpius narrowly avoiding hitting his head on a telescope.

"You know where we are?"

"The telescope's a bit of a giveaway."

"How do you know it's not some very intellectual Gryffindor's?"

"You have a brilliant imagination."

"I'm sure there's some clever Gryffindors!" Albus said, chuckling a little. "Auntie Herm's really bright."

"The Sorting Hat was confused that day. You said yourself about your Dad."

"Shut up."

"And I mean, Louis has the excuse of being a pretty boy with girly handwriting and the epitome of what it is to have a blond moment, but James is thick as shit isn't he?"

"He's not thick as shit, Scor, he's just saving himself."

"Oh, I'm pretty sure he's not saving himself. A lot of girls would tell you otherwise."

"That's my life destroyed," Albus murmured; Scorpius grinned smugly and Albus whacked him lightly. "You're distracting me, Malfoy."

"I beg your pardon, sugarplum." He got a glare for that. "Come on then, I'm dying with anticipation."

"Okay then," Albus said, grinning, before sending up a spark of red light into the air and coming to sit next to Scorpius on the trunk. At first nothing seemed to happen, and Scorpius was about to make another comment, wondering whether something had gone wrong. But then he realised it hadn't as he let out a little cackle of surprise.

A myriad of balloons began to float upwards, at first a spectrum of overwhelming colours, enchanted to glow brightly, and as they progressed upwards and outwards, floating towards him, they began to form small pictures, little moving scenes; a snake slithering from a hat, a train, three blonde heads – it seemed to map out little details of his life. Scorpius watched, mouth hanging open in awe and impression, as they began to get closer together, the colours changing so that they were block now rather than a shimmery multitude, and he laughed as they formed a face with dark hair and green eyes, grinning widely at him, before they dispersed again, this time moving to spell out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCORPIUS". Al grinned and stood up, but the words had not finished yet, and they were now rearranging themselves again. Albus looked confused now, muttering to himself, and then groaned a little as Scorpius fell about laughing, the words "HOPEFULLY AL'LL GIVE YOU SOME TONIGHT" emblazoned in the sky.

"No! No! What are you pricks doing?" Albus was hollering, as Scorpius choked and straightened up, rubbing at his ribs. "Very funny guys, hilarious."

"It was pretty funny," Scorpius called over, and Albus seemingly ignored this.

"Aw, mate, we couldn't resist!" another voice yelled back up, and Scorpius frowned as he tried to determine it. Pushing himself to his feet, he wondered over to look over the railings with the other boy, only to spot three faces beaming back up, Louis's hair almost luminous as he stood on one side of James, Fred on the other. "Have they been here the whole time?" he muttered quickly to Albus. His question was answered for him.

"Still think we're thick as shit?" James asked, though Scorpius could hear the good humour in his voice.

"Oh yeah. Balloons, man. If you were clever you'd have used actual memories or something," Scorpius replied in the same tone. But it wouldn't have been as special, he added in his head. He could hear them laughing from here.

"It's Al's idea," Fred told him. "We just engineered it. But he's the mastermind. So it is his present, he bought the balloons."

Scorpius grinned and nodded. "Well, thanks for engineering it. Special thanks to your additional birthday message. Hopefully it'll work in my favour."

"I've given you my present now, I can still push you over the edge," Al said, and the three boys on the ground laughed again.
"Happy birthday, mate!" Louis called up, and there was a murmur of agreement before one of them suggested they should go and forage for food, leading them from the scene.

"Well, that was good," Scorpius commented, and Albus clucked his tongue.

"They didn't ruin it?"

"Maybe they ruined it for you, but I found that hilarious," Scorpius admitted, and Albus gave a half-smile.

"Still. It wasn't exactly what you wanted, was it?"

"Al, I didn't know that this was an option," Scorpius laughed, and Albus grinned slightly. "And now I do, well, bloody hell, could I have asked for anything better? I mean how many people can say they were given balloons for their birthday without it meaning cheap shit or condoms? It was just so... so..." Whatever it was so was cut off as Albus's lips met his, crushing down against them, Scorpius weaving his hands up behind Albus's neck and into his hair as he was pulled against him.

"You know that other stuff they put on there?" Albus whispered against his cheek as he pulled away, "Maybe we could make that possible."

Scorpius couldn't help the smile that was emerging across his face. "How kind of you."

"Go on son, it's yer birthday," Albus mimicked in a gruff generic Yorkshire accent, and Scorpius laughed a little.

"Best birthday ever," he mumbled, before he smiled wickedly. "Oh, and Al?"

"Scor?"

"You'll give me my actual present on Monday, yeah?"

"And the moment's gone."

"Because namby pamby wishwashy romance isn't really my scene."

"Prick."

Scorpius grinned.