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CHAPTER 17 BIRTHDAY WISHES AND TRADITIONAL KISSES Harry woke up in a very good mood. 'Today is my birthday and I'm getting a party, my first one even, and I'm finally sixteen. It will be nice to see a few friends from school. I wonder who will come.' These thoughts kept racing through his head as he went to change. He noticed in the mirror all traces of green had left his body. After he dressed he went down to the kitchen for breakfast. The only one there was Dudley, who was eating his breakfast, he was still overweight, but looked more stocky than fat. "Hi ya Dud," said Harry, while grabbing a bowl. He sat down across from Dudley. "Hi Harry,” said Dudley in a quiet voice. "Can you pass the 'Lucky Charms'?" Harry asked Dudley, who passed the box over to him. Harry noticed that Dudley looked a little down today and he remembered how Dudley used to hate that cereal because Harry would always remind him that they were 'magically delicious'. "Hey Dud, you want to go running with me today?" Asked Harry. "Aren't you mad at us?" Dudley asked, looking a little confused. Harry thought for a moment. "Well no, I really don't like how uncle Vernon acts towards people like me, but I've seen aunt Petunia try to get along. There have also been a few times that she has been nice, but I think that you can see that you don't get anywhere by being prejudice against people because they're different. There are the same kind of prejudice in the wizarding world against muggles and muggle borns." Replied Harry. "Yeah I'm starting to see that,” said Dudley "I know I have been horrible, not only to you but a lot of other kids. My friends always thought it was funny and I worked hard to impress them. Do you remember when we started kindergarten?" Harry nodded in response. "Well some kids picked on me about being fat and they were nice to you. I hated it, and I hated you so I pounded you and anyone who made fun of me. You should really hate me Harry. I… I want to let you know that...I'm sorry." Said Dudley, hanging his head. "Thanks Dud, and I forgive you,” said Harry with a smile. "So you want to go running now or what?" "Yeah,” said Dudley smiling back. They got up from the table and headed for the back door. "So what do you think of Fred and George?" Harry asked. "Well I was scared of them at first because of the whole candy thing, but after spending time with them I think they're great. I've never laughed so hard and I love testing their stuff." Dudley answered. "You are nuts Dud." Laughed Harry as they started to run. Harry and Dudley finished up their run and decided to head back to shower and change. "Oh Dud you are coming to the ball and everything aren't you?" Asked Harry. "Um...well I don't know. Do you think it will be okay since I'm a muggle?" Responded Dudley with a shrug. "I'm sure only friends are invited and none of my friends would care." Said Harry grinning. "Oh so not even if it's the ‘boy who beat up’, ‘the boy who lived’?" Dudley asked while trying to stifle a laugh. "So you know about that,” Harry raised his eyebrows. "The twins told me. Talk about having a weight on your head." Replied Dudley. "You don't know the half of it." Said Harry as he headed for the stairs. When Harry was dressing there was a knock on the door. "Come in,” called Harry. "Happy birthday Harry!" Came the yell of Ron, Hermione and Ginny as the door flung open. "Thanks guys,” Harry beamed. "Here Harry we wanted to give you this alone." Said Ron as he handed a small package to Harry. Harry took the package and read the note attached. 'To Harry from the Marauders'. Harry looked at it now unsure if he should open it. Ginny noticed the worried look on his face. "Don't worry it's not going to blow up or turn you green or anything." She smiled. Harry wandered how she could read him so well. "Oi hurry up!" said Ron, always impatient for presents to be opened. Harry made quick work of unwrapping and opening the small box. Inside was a pendant in the shape of a diamond with an 'M' across the middle. "It's the marauders symbol," said Hermione. "We stayed up last night after Hermione found the symbol, making this for you." Said Ginny, giving what Harry thought as her most beautiful smile. "Thanks,” Harry said before putting it around his neck. He then gave Hermione and Ginny a quick hug and Ron a pat on the back. “Mum wants us down stairs for when the first guests arrive, to show them to their rooms cause Ickus is busy getting lunch ready”, said Ginny. Harry and the others were downstairs waiting in the living room until they heard the first ring of the front bell. Harry went to pull on the door but it wouldn't budge. "It's locked," he said as he released the handle. They looked at each other for a few seconds when they heard a click and the door opened. "Hi ya, Harry,” said Neville as he spotted Harry through the opened door. "Hi Neville!" Came the reply from all four. Harry ushered Neville inside as the door shut behind him and locked with a click. Before they had time to take Neville up the stairs the bell rang a second time. This time they waited for the door to open itself. There was a pretty girl, long blonde hair, and large dreamy eyes gazing absently around the room. At first Harry didn't realize who this person was until he heard that she was quietly humming the tune of 'Weasley is Our King'. "Luna?" Harry asked, getting her attention. "Happy birthday Harry,” she said with a smile. "Luna you look great,” said Ginny, who came forward and picked up her bag. Harry and Ginny took Luna and Neville up to the third floor where Neville was staying in Harry's sitting room. Ickus had transfigured a bed for him. Ginny took Luna, who was sharing her room. Harry and Ginny left their guests to get adjusted and headed back down to the front door. They passed Ron on the stairs taking Seamus up to his room. Hermione had made a list of where everyone was staying. Suddenly a bell sounded, it was different from the one they heard before. "That must be the side door with the ones that are coming on the Knight Bus." Harry quickly made his way to the side door. He could see some of his classmates through the window. He opened the door to a chorus of 'Happy birthdays' from Denis and Colin Creevy, Justin Finch-Fletchy and Dean Thomas. After everyone said 'Hello' Harry took the group to the front hall. "Ginny do you want to take them up to their rooms?" Harry asked, thinking he should allow Ginny some time alone with Dean, no matter how much he hated it. Ginny shot Hermione a pleading look. "Oh Ginny I forgot, your mum needs your help." Hermione said with a slight nod letting Ginny know she understood. "Oh okay," Ginny said before she rushed off to the kitchen. "Harry you stay by the door and I'll take them up to their rooms," Hermione gave him a smile and lead the way upstairs. Harry waited by the door and let the guests in as they arrived. His first arrival was Pavarti and Padma Patil, then Lavender Brown, followed by Hannah Abbott. By this time Ron had come back down so Harry took the four giggling girls to their rooms. Soon everyone was finding their way back downstairs and Ginny came to tell them it was time for lunch. They all went to the dinning room to see a spread of sandwiches and salads on the huge dinning table. "Nice house Harry," said Seamus. "Thanks, it belonged to my grandparents,” Harry returned. "So you finally got away from your bloody relatives huh?" Said Collin, who had heard some of the stories about his family. Harry looked up in time to see Dudley standing in the doorway. "Everyone I'd like you to meet my cousin Dudley," Harry said as he got up and walked over to where Dudley was standing. Dudley had a very nervous look on his face, Harry made the introductions and when he got to, a red faced Collin, Collin said ‘Hi’, followed by a small ‘sorry’. When they finished eating they all decided on a game of quidditch before going swimming. Those who brought their brooms rushed off to get them, while the rest waited in the hall to lead them through the house to the backyard. They chose up their teams, Harry and Ginny would play seekers and also captions. Harry's team consisted of Ron, Neville, Collin, and Hannah. Ginny's consisted of Dean, Seamus, Dennis, and Justin. They played for about an hour before Harry caught the snitch by distracting Ginny, who was closer to the snitch, with a set of goofy faces. (Little did he know what really got her was the brilliant smile he gave her after the funny faces). Being that today was one of the hottest days of the summer, no one objected to hanging by the pool. Those who needed to change went back to the house, meeting the others at the pool when they were changed. The pool was soon filled with scantily clad teens laughing and splashing. Some of the girls were sunbathing, laid out in lounges in their skimpy swimwear. 'Flash' "Collin!" Yelled Ginny, she was standing under a beach umbrella holding on to the pole while watching the swimmers. Collin just smiled and moved on to take someone else’s picture. Half of an hour later more guests were starting to arrive. The twins, who took off work early, were followed by Lee Jordan, Alicia Spinet, Angelina Johnson, and Katie Bell. "Oi let the fun begin!" Yelled Fred as he dropped Angelina into the pool. Dobby suddenly appeared caring a tray with self-refilling pitchers of lemonade and iced tea. Another group came from the house making up the rest of the D.A. members. Harry noticed that Cho Chang came, looking as beautiful as always, but he had never seen her in a bikini before. At 4 o'clock Dobby came down and announced it was time to start getting ready for the ball. Lavender and Pavarti gave a squeal that they'd never be ready in time. They all went to the house and up to their rooms to get ready. Harry went to his room, took a quick shower and dressed putting on his new dress robes. All the boys on the third floor were sharing Harry's bathroom and the girls shared the bathroom down the hall. The boys went downstairs to find the rest of the boys from the D.A. standing in the front hall. While the boys were waiting the first of the girls came down, it was Hermione. Ron's, and a few others, eyes went wide. Hermione did look beautiful, she was wearing a pale blue dress with her hair done up in an elegant twist. One by one a few other girls drifted down, each looking very lovely, in either dress robes or muggle evening gowns. Before the rest of the girls came down Molly came and shooed everyone to the ballroom. There were circular tables around the outer edge of the dance floor and at the other end was a buffet table, laden with almost as much food as one could wish for. It was now 5 o'clock and time for the other guests to arrive. The room was soon full of almost everyone Harry had ever met, and a few he hadn't. Hagrid was there with Madam Maxime, all the Weasleys excluding Percy. Harry was surprised when Bill and Charlie came over to him with Fleur Delecour. "Arry, I'z zo good to zee you, 'appy birzday. You know iz tradizion to give zee birzday boy a keess." Said Fleur as she leaned forward and kissed him soundly on the mouth, before he could even comprehend what she had said. "Um..right," stammered Harry, turning quite red. He hadn't kissed many people but Fleur was definitely different and enjoyable. "Sorree 'Arry I'z zee veela in me." Fleur nodded knowingly. "Don't go making Harry fall for you now,” said Bill placing his arm around Fleur. Harry talked to a few other people before seeing his Aunt and Dudley walk in. They spotted Harry and walked over to him while cautiously looking about the room full of wizards and witches. "Happy birthday Harry,” said Dudley, nervously. Harry noticed his Aunt was dressed in her best dress and had gone all out in fixing herself up. "Yes Harry happy birthday,” Petunia smiled at him. It was a weak smile but at least she tried. Harry was about to make a comment to Dudley when he saw Snape appear in the doorway. Harry and his relatives right in the way of his entrance. "Potter," Snape said in his usual manner. "Professor Snape, uh..Hi," Harry muttered. He wanted to ask what he was doing here but thought better of it. "Um.. Professor this is my cousin Dudley and my Aunt Petunia Dursley." 'They should have enough in common, they both hate me', Harry thought to himself. "So you're one of Harry's teachers," Petunia said in a sickly sweet voice. “Yes that unfortunately has been one of my tasks.” Snape said in his usual menising voice, although a trace of a smile could be seen at the edge of his lips. He continued,” You would be Lilly’s sister am I correct?” "Um..if you'll excuse me," Harry said as he grabbed Dudley's arm leading him away. "Does he always look like that?" asked Dudley. "What? Like he is about to murder someone?" Harry grinned and Dudley nodded. "Yeah, but only this bad when he sees me." "Gee and I thought my teachers were bad," Dudley grinned back. At that moment Luna came over to them. "Hello Harry," she said in her dreamy voice, "You're Dudley right?" Luna asked as she turned to look at him. Dudley nodded, not sure what to think of her yet. "Harry I heard about the tradition of kissing the birthday boy." Said Luna. Harry gulped. "That's not true,” she said. Harry sighed in relief, "It's not?" "No it's not tradition," Luna started "it's good luck." Before Harry could blink Luna grabbed him pulling him downward and kissed him square on the mouth. This lasted for about 20 seconds before she released him. "Good thing too I was running low." She said before she walked away, leaving an open mouthed Dudley and a shocked Harry staring after her. Remus walked over to Harry chuckling to himself. "So Harry up to two now?" Remus asked. "What?" Harry asked. Remus put his arm around Harry's shoulder. "Sorry you won't be able to break your dad's record, we did have to limit invitations and everything. Don't look now Harry, but here comes number three." Said Remus as he walked away laughing before Harry could ask him what that was about. "Wotcher Harry," Harry turned to see Tonks standing beside him. It was kind of a shock to see Tonks in dress robes. She had her hair up in a twist. Harry wouldn't have recognized her if it wasn't for her pink hair. "Hi ya Tonks,” said Harry with a smile. "Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday Harry,” said Tonks. "Thanks I a..." Harry started but couldn't finish because Tonks leaned in and kissed him. "Tonks?!" Harry exclaimed. "Sorry Harry, tradition and all." She said as she walked away throwing him a wink over her shoulder. "Has everyone gone mad?" Harry asked looking at Dudley, who was doubled over in laughter. "You know Harry it's not all bad at least it's only the girls that are kissing you." Chuckled Dudley. Harry was pardoned from any further aggressive females by the sound of Molly's voice announcing it was time to eat. Everyone waited for Harry to go first. He told Dudley to follow him and soon a line formed behind them. Harry sat at one of the table with Dudley. Ron was soon to follow with Hermione. Hermione sat down next to Harry and waited for him to swallow a bite of food then she leaned over to him. "Harry can I ask you something?" Harry turned to look at her and she gave him a quick peck on the mouth. "Hermione?!" both Harry and Ron exclaimed in unison. "What?" She looked back and forth between them. "It’s tradition and I also heard it's suppose to bring luck to the birthday person, and Harry needs all the luck he can get." At about 7 o'clock when dinner was almost over, Dumbledore stood casting a sonorous charm on himself and gained everyone’s attention. "I would like to propose a toast to our birthday boy," He started "Harry, since I've known you you've always amazed me. You are one of the most caring young wizards I've ever known, your forgiving, loyal and your bravery is almost legendary. I'm happy to know you and privileged to call you my friend. Happy birthday Harry." Harry, although blushing, was touched by the Headmaster's words. Harry didn't know he had thought of him as a friend. 'Well I guess I've always felt more towards him then just being a Headmaster and teacher' thought Harry. Molly was next to stand and give her toast, "Harry I’m sure you know, because I've said it before, but do I want you to always know that you're like the son I never had," This gained a laugh especially when five boys and in unison said, "Mum!" Molly just laughed, "Oh now hush you,” she continued "yes Harry you are the son I never had. The one without the red hair. I love you Harry happy birthday. Now if everyone is ready may the ball begin. Oh! and Harry dear, do save me a dance will you?" Molly flicked her wand and a platform raised on one side of the floor, the lights dimmed and some lights started to reflect of the mirror ball that appeared above the dance floor. The band came in and started playing and couples started to dance. Harry looked at Ron, "I never knew your mum could be funny." Said Harry. xxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxx AN: Hope everyone enjoyed the first half of the Birthday Party. I know it wasn’t as good as others, but it was hard writing and trying to place everyone there and then give them stuff to say. The next chapter wil deal with What happens when you get rid of the adults. (Yes I know that I’m technically one of the later but I try to think back to my youth) To make a not on the whole marauder prophecy. ‘One will fail’ and ‘one will have both’ One refers to one group. Its kind of written in a riddlish form. Sorry to get you worried. Thanks for the reviews. Well like before, You review and Ill submit another chapter. I checked the amount of reads for this chapter and they were sitting at 69. Only 4 reviews oh come now you can do better than that. Just bush the little button and type me your thoughts. I know you can do it. I have faith in you. Individual response: Paige: thanks and please review again. J.: Impatient aren’t we. I have no idea how many chapters there will be I just keep making stuff up who would have thought that for a 2 month period Id have over 20 chapters and they haven’t left for school yet. I hope to go through out the year if I can make it. Me and Hannah: thanks for the reviews.

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