How Birthday Gifts Work

This is a new Dramione one shot, just for MissRissa81’s birthday! Hope you enjoy!

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Hermione’s shrill squeak made his lips quirk up in amusement. He knew he should probably be angry that his girlfriend was upset, but the adorable way she clung to him kept those thoughts at bay.

“Happy birthday, ‘Mione!”

Draco chuckled again as she cringed. Weasley would never learn. She hated that particular shortening of her name.

“Oh, happy birthday, dear! We’re so happy to be here with you!”

Arthur Weasley caught Draco’s eyes, distantly familial blue meeting grey, and the two men shared a sympathetic grin. Molly, on the other hand, tugged Hermione from his own arms and smothered her in one of her patented hugs. Hugs designed to comfort and show just how much you were loved, as only a mother of seven could.

He knew Hermione was only really comfortable with a handful of people touching her, much less trying to smother her with love, and Molly Weasley was not one of them. He also knew she loved the woman enough that she’d never dare breathe a word to her pseudo-mother about how very uncomfortable she was.

“Ah, uh-hello everyone. It’s nice to see you….here…in our flat…”

Her eyes turned helplessly toward him as Molly steered her toward the sea of redheads gathered in their shared home. He watched in fascination as she was passed from one person to the next, making awkward conversation and thanking them politely, though it seemed only he, Arthur and Harry could really see how miserable she was.

“Isn’t this great? We’ve never been able to surprise you before!”

Hermione smiled weakly at Ginny as the exuberant girl pulled her into a tight hug. A light nudge from his back drew his eyes and Draco smirked down at the newly arrived party guest.

“Do they have any idea how much she just wants to run away right now?”

“Of course not, love.” Harry’s voice broke into the Slytherin duo’s bubble as he wrapped his arm casually around Pansy’s shoulder. “They’ve always been particularly inept at reading Hermione.”

“Why didn’t you stop it then? This is just painful to watch.”

Draco snorted inelegantly, noting absently how horrified his mother would be if she heard the sound.

“You don’t think we tried?”

Harry groaned as Ginny sat in the chair facing his desk, expectant smile upon her freckled face.

“Can’t you just see? It’s perfect! She always tries to get out of celebrating, but she can’t escape a surprise party!”

Draco quirked a blond eyebrow incredulously. “There’s a reason she doesn’t like to make a big deal. She’s uncomfortable in large crowds and doesn’t like to be the center of attention.”

His eyes turned toward Harry, silently questioning the mental capacity of the woman in front of him. She’d been one of Hermione’s closest friends for ten years and still seemed to know next to nothing about her.

“Oh, everyone likes to be the center of attention on their birthdays!”

Harry dropped his head to his desk, the muffled thud echoing in the quiet office. Draco sighed in exasperation.

“So what exactly do you want from us? Why are we even here?”

“Well, we need to use your flat.” The matter of fact tone, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world, grated on his nerves.

“You’ve got to be joking, right?”

Ginny’s expression morphed into disbelief as she sat in silence for a moment. Then, with a careless shrug, she continued her bout of idiocy.

“Well, that’s inconvenient. Oh well, we can always break in and surprise you too, I guess. After all, Harry’s wards accept all of us and then we can floo from his flat…”

Harry’s head shot up, his hair flopping low over his forehead, as Ginny’s ramblings continued. She seemed to be speaking more to herself than them at this point, but the Boy-Who-Lived just couldn’t keep silent any longer.

“Ginny, do you realize how monumentally stupid you sound right now?”

An affronted glare met his eyes as Draco chuckled lowly from the seat beside the young woman.

“You’re honestly sitting in my office-the Junior Head of the Auror department-telling me that not only are you going to break into my flat, but use it as an access point to break into Draco’s?”

Blazing blue met chilling green as the former lovers stared each other down, their magics crackling sharply in the air. Draco sighed again as he ran a hand over his face.

“Just stop it. Both of you.”

The tension abated as the other two occupants looked his way. “I will give you access to our flat the night of her birthday, but only on one condition.”

Ginny straightened in the uncomfortable seat and shot a triumphant smirk at Harry.

“Okay, sure, yeah. Anything!”

Draco was still rather doubtful that the stipulations he’d laid out would be honored, and didn’t look forward to the inevitable battle he’d need to wage to get the veritable circus of Weasleys out of his home. Thankfully, they’d just come from a lovely and completely relaxing dinner out with his parents and hers. A quiet, low key dinner to celebrate his girlfriend’s twenty second birthday. Or should he say…

“So, did you do it?”

Grey eyes slid over toward his former childhood enemy. Emerald eyes sparkled at him in question as Pansy turned an expectant eye on him. Draco sighed. Of course, they’d known all along what he’d intended. Potter had hounded him for over a week, chasing him through the halls of Malfoy Enterprises as he questioned every single tiny bit of the plan.

More than anything though, Harry had just wanted to make sure that Draco knew what he was doing and that Hermione would be happy. And Draco could respect that.

“I did indeed.”

A beat of silence followed as the unlikely couple before him raised expectant eyebrows. Pansy’s lips pursed as he remained silent.

And?!”

Fingers entwined with his as a warmth pressed against his side. “I said yes, of course.”

Draco’s eyes turned toward his girlfriend-no, his fiance-as she huddled into his side, content to hide away in the corner with him, Harry and Pansy.

“Mother actually squealed.”

His friend’s jaw dropped and Hermione giggled, the tinkling sound lost in the cacophony of the party.

“It was rather remarkable. Lucius looked as if he’d have a stroke right there in the restaurant.”

Draco pressed a soft kiss to the top of her head, inhaling the delicate scent that was so distinctly her and felt himself relaxing even further.

An hour passed in comfortable conversation with Harry and Pansy before Theo and Percy joined them. The couple seemed to be doing well, which Hermione was thankful for.

“Mione!” Draco felt her cringe as Ginny’s shrill voice called her name. Harry and Pansy chuckled under his breath as Percy shot the duo a sympathetic look. After all, he of all people knew how his little sister could be.

“I think it’s time to honor our agreement, Weaslette.” Hermione glanced up at his, a question clear in her eyes. “I gave her permission to throw this party on the condition that everyone packed up and left when I said so.”

“Oh, Malfoy, don’t be such a spoil sport! The party can’t be over!”

Harry groaned as he watched his friend’s disposition shift drastically, the ice cold demeanor settling over him in an instant.

“This party-is over.”

A low whistle erupted from the vicinity of the twins and the party goers broke into small bouts of laughter. They dutifully trooped past the birthday girl, wishing her a happy day and bidding her and Draco goodbye until only the Harry and Pansy were left.

The remaining couple giggled as Hermione excused herself as Draco shoved Ginny out the front door, the redhead still protesting even after the heavy wooden door shut in her face.

“Oh, thank Merlin!” Pansy laughed as Hermione threw herself onto the plush sofa and toed her heels off. “Oh, these are pretty, but they are murder on my feet! I don’t know how I let you talk me into them.”

“Because they’re pretty. Sooooo pretty!” Harry chuckled at his best friend and girlfriend’s playful banter.

“So, now that they’re all gone-” Draco sighed as he flopped down beside his better half and rested his head on her stomach. “-are you going to tell me what you wanted to at dinner?”

“What? What did you want to tell him?” Harry’s eye swept over Hermione, trying to gauge the odd vibe he was feeling from her.

“That I want to get married soon. Think your mother would go for a Christmas wedding?”

Draco shifted around and glanced up into her face, his hand automatically raising to brush away a stray strand of hair. His brow furrowed as he contemplated her request. “Why the rush? Don’t you want to take your time and have the wedding of your dreams?”

Harry snorted and Pansy let out a laugh. “Did you forget who you’re talking to? Hermione is not the kind of girl who has ever fantasized about that.”

His lovely resting place shook as Hermione joined their friends in laughter. “They’re right, love. My only requirements for my wedding are the perfect groom and looking wonderful in my dress. Which is why I want it to be as soon as possible.”

The trio glanced at each other in bewilderment as they tried to puzzle out Hermione’s words.

“Mia, you know you’ll look wonderful no matter what you wear. You always look disgustingly perfect, even with that hair of yours.”

Hermione chuckled at her friend as Pansy extended her foot to nudge her. “But I won’t when I’m the size of a house.”

Harry rolled his eyes and Pansy giggled. “Oh honestly, Hermione. I never thought you’d be vain! You’ll neve-”

The Boy-Who-Lived trailed off as he noticed the intense stare between his friends. Draco stared up at her in astonishment and Hermione’s mouth curled into a soft smile as a single tear slid down her cheek.

“Are you-”

She nodded and let out a watery laugh as Draco launched himself up. His arms banded around her small body as he pulled her to her feet and spun her around, laughing when Harry yelped and tugged his legs away to avoid being kicked.

“Care to share here?” Harry’s voice interrupted the gleeful celebration with an irritated grumble.

Pansy quirked an eyebrow at her boyfriend, already having a feeling where this was going. “You haven’t figured it out?”

An obnoxious snarl only made her giggle even more as Draco and Hermione went back to spinning happily and-she groaned in annoyance-snogging.

“As usual, Granger obviously doesn’t know how birthday gifts work.I mean,she’s giving Draco the ultimate gift here.” A blank stare met hers and she marveled yet again at how much she loved this absolutely clueless man. “She’s pregnant, you prat!”

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