"Happy birthday Harry!"
Harry looked up from the bed he was sitting on. As previous years, he was spending his birthday at the Burrow. And even though he loved the Weasley's company, he didn't feel like celebration his birthday. Sirius had died mere wees ago and his heart still ached at the thought that it was all his fault.
Fred and George were standing before him, a genuine grin on their faces.
"We'd like to give you a present," George said.
"But you already gave me a present this morning."
"Well, consider this a thank you gift then for helping us set up the shop," Fred said. "I think you can understand why we couldn't give it to you this morning."
Harry nodded. Mrs. Weasley was not to find out he had helped them.
The twins handed him a package. "Don't open it until you're at Hogwarts, okay?"
He raised an eyebrow, but complied nonetheless.
Harry had put the present in his trunk and then forgot about it. He only found it again in October. Pleasantly surprised, he opened it. It was a bottle of perfume and it had a letter attached to it: 'Just a little preview of our new product line for wizards.' He opened the bottle. It actually smelled quite nice. He put some on, maybe Ginny would like it. Then he went to his first lesson of the day: Potions. He hated it, but he was careful not to be late.
"Well, well, if it isn't Mr Potter," Snape drooled. "You're late." He came closer and sniffed the air. "But seeing as you're Harry Potter, you can be as late as you like."
Harry blinked, as did several of his classmates. But it looked like Snape wasn't going to deduct points from Gryffindor for him being late, so he quickly sat down without thinking any further on it.
"You really have nice hair," Ron said the moment he sat down.
"Uh, thanks, I guess, Harry replied, a little confused.
It was the weirdest Potions class Harry had ever been in, Snape kept eyeing him up in way that made him nervous, Hannah and Susan kept giggling every time they looked at him, which made him more nervous and Ron kept patting him on the arm which made him even more nervous. When he looked over at Hermione, he saw that instead of taking notes, her parchment was filled with hearts and 'Mrs Hermione Potter' which unsettled him further.
"Guys, knock it off," he hissed. "It's not funny."
"What is?" Ron asked surprised. "You are amazing."
Harry shook his head, irritated. But it was only just the beginning. They were walking towards Care for Magical Creatures, when Draco, Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy Parkinson stopped dead in their tracks.
"You know Potter, you really are handsome. And your eyes are beautiful," Draco said dreamily.
"Sod off, Malfoy!" he said angrily.
Malfoy looked hurt.
"Damnit this day keeps getting freakier by the minute!" Harry muttered to himself.
But it was far from over. In Care of Magical Creatures, Hagrid had them all draw a detailed picture of Harry. Professor Trelawney ran into him in the hall and proclaimed that he would have a long and happy life, if only he picked the right person (hint hint). Professor McGonagall had them all write an essay on all of Harry's good qualities. Harry sank into his chair as low as he could, but to no avail. By the end of the lessons, Harry just wanted to run and scream from all the staring, giggling and people touching him.
But nowhere was safe, it seemed. Everywhere he went, people turned their heads, stared at him – even more so than usually – telling him he was beautiful or even worse, that they loved him. Not only the girls, but also the boys and even the teachers! There was a little skirmish between Professors Sprout and Burbage, which Harry only managed to end by running away very quickly. He hid the rest of the day in the Room of Requirements, wondering if the world had gone mad overnight.
The only reason he could come up with for these strange events was the perfume Fred and George had given him. So when the darkness had fallen over Hogwarts, he sneaked off into the Owlery and wrote a rather angry letter to the twins. The next day he woke up by the sound of someone shouting. It was Seamus.
"What the hack happened last night that I know your face above my bed?"
"I honestly don't know," Harry managed. A quick glance around the room taught him they had all put up his face above their heads. I was rather freaky, almost stalker like even. He wondered slightly panicking if today was going to be different from yesterday, because if it wasn't he'd probably under the duvet all day.
But no other strange things happened. He got an owl from Fred and George just after breakfast. It was rather short: 'We hope you have enjoyed the product. Please could you tell us what worked and what didn't'? Yours Truly, Fred and George Weasley. "
He sure as hell was never going to do that. They had just been using him to test their products on! Well, he couldn't say he was that surprised. After all, they did that all the time. He still wished they had given him a warning or something.
He threw the bottle of perfume away. He' had well enough for years.