A/N: Written for the Harmony & Co. Birthday Drabble Challenge. Checks in just under the limit at 995 words. Happy Birthday, Hermione! (Oh yeah, I don't own Harry Potter, I just play with the characters when I have the chance. And I promise to put them back neatly when I'm done.)
Best. Birthday. EVER!
Harry woke up on the morning of September 19th and smiled as he reached for his glasses. While at Grimmauld Place over the summer, Sirius had helped him and Hermione evade the Weasley matriarch's not-so-subtle hints that they pair off with her two youngest children, and Hermione accepted when he asked her to be his girlfriend. Ron and Ginny had been pouting ever since, but he didn't care. He and Hermione agreed, the thought of Molly Weasley as a mother-in-law was reason enough to avoid dating the redheads.
Today was Hermione's sixteenth birthday, would be the first one they'd celebrate as a couple, and he planned to make it a memorable one. To that end, he enlisted Dobby's aid, as he wanted his first surprise to be waiting when she woke up. The excitable elf happily agreed to perform certain tasks for 'the Great Harry Potter Sir and his Miss Mynee.'
Hermione blinked sleepily, the fragrance of roses filling her consciousness. An enormous bouquet of red and white roses in a round, pale-green vase sat on her bedside table, a small card with a large number 1 on the front tucked among the blooms. Ignoring the squeals from Parvati and Lavender, she sat up and plucked the card from its perch. The back read, Happy Sweet Sixteen to my beautiful girlfriend. Keep your eyes open for other surprises as the day goes on. And don't worry, I haven't gone too crazy. Love, Harry.
She blushed and tucked the card under her pillow before getting up to get ready for the day. After thinking about it for a moment, she decided to attach one of the red roses to her robes with a sticking charm, so Harry would see that she'd received them. Heading down to the common room, she found him waiting for her with a smile on his face.
"Happy Birthday, love," he said, pulling her in for a gentle good morning kiss. "I see my first surprise reached you."
"They did, and how did you manage? I could tell my roommates were as surprised as I was, so you didn't ask one of them to bring them up."
"I had a little help, and don't worry, he's being compensated appropriately."
Hermione laughed. "Oh, of course, Dobby! The roses are lovely, by the way." She gently stroked the blossom adorning her robes.
"No more lovely than my lady," Harry replied. "Shall we go to breakfast?" He offered her his arm.
"Lead on, good sir," she answered as she tucked her hand into his crooked elbow.
They sat with Neville, Katie Bell, and her friend Leanne, avoiding Ron and Ginny frowning at them from further down the table. Neville gave Hermione a box of her favourite sugar quills and a card. She thanked him as the morning post owls started to arrive.
To her surprise, two owls landed in front of her. One, wearing the harness of the Diagon Alley Owl Post Office, delivered a birthday card and a gift certificate to Flourish and Blotts from her parents. The other owl was Hedwig, bearing a package marked with a large 2. Hermione looked at Harry. "I thought you weren't going to go crazy?" she asked.
Harry chuckled. "Just open it. This one's partly from me and partly from a certain former professor and his canine friend."
Now very curious, Hermione opened the package to find a compact and a note stuck to it that said, Open me and say your mum's name. She did so, then the mirror vibrated for a moment and her mother's face appeared in it.
"Happy Birthday, darling," Emma Granger said. "Dan! Come quick! Hermione's calling!"
A moment later, her mother's image was pushed halfway out of the mirror, replaced with half of her father's face. "Happy Birthday, Princess," he said. "Isn't this thing amazing? Be sure to thank your boyfriend for us, for setting these up so we can talk regularly." The three Grangers chatted for a while longer before they had to part to go to work and class.
As the day progressed, more little numbered cards appeared, each with some small gift attached. A collar and engraved nametag for Crookshanks. A featherweight-charmed bookbag. A wand holster. Several books, both muggle and magical, and all ones she'd mentioned wanting. A scarf, hat, and mittens. A music box that played Edelweiss. Then, as she was dropping off her books before dinner, she saw card 15 on her pillow. Meet me on the seventh floor for dinner and dancing, it said.
Hermione blushed and headed to the seventh floor. Harry poked his head out of a door she didn't remember seeing before and beckoned her inside.
"A special birthday dinner for a special birthday girl," he said, giving her a kiss as he seated her at a candlelit small table. Soft music played in the background as her favourite foods appeared on their plates.
She smiled. "More Dobby help?"
"Yes. He told me about the room and helped arrange the meal." They continued chatting as they ate, and then Harry drew her out to the dance floor adjoining their table, his cheek resting against her hair as they danced.
"Today has been so perfect, Harry, thank you for everything," Hermione murmured. "The roses, my parents, everything! It's too much."
"You only turn sixteen once," Harry said. "Speaking of which…" He gestured to the table, where a covered dish and a card marked 16 had appeared. "Your final present. I hope you like it."
She lifted the cover to see… a cake. An obviously homemade cake. Lopsided, smeared frosting, decorated with a single deformed-looking frosting flower, sixteen candles, and Happy Birthday – I Love You in Harry's messy printing. She burst into tears and threw her arms around him. "It's amazing! No one's ever made me a cake before. Even Mum bought my birthday cakes. Oh, Harry!"
He kissed her tenderly. "You like it, then?"
"I love it. And I love you, too."