Four-year-old Harry looked at Mrs Figg's cat with wide eyes.
She had handed him one of her many cats and only said that she's bringing a surprise. The room smelled of cabbages.
"Harry!" Mrs Figg said as she walked back with a cake.
"Mrs Figg, what's that?" He asked, pointing at the cake in her hand.
She put the cake on the table, and took her cat back, "Off you go Tibbles, you can go play now!"
The cake looked very different from the others.
"Now, Harry, it's your birthday today! I made a cake but we must cut it before Aunt Petunia comes to pick you up!" She was smiling at him.
"Okay," he said, sucking his thumb. He walked up to the table and rolled up the gigantic sleeves of his shirt even further.
He slowly cut the burnt cake while Mrs Figg sang, "Happy Birthday."
She cut some for herself, and both of them sat in silence and ate the cake.
Though it tasted a little odd, it was much better than the lettuce he had to eat for breakfast. Remembering what his teacher said about being polite, he quietly said, "Thank you, Mrs Figg."
She just smiled and patted his head and handed him Snowy.
Freshly eight-year-old Harry Potter woke to the banging on his cupboard's door by Aunt Petunia. Sighing, he stretched, immediately regretting it as his hand hit the wall.
Rubbing his knuckles, he rolled out and quickly showered before going to the doorstep to get the newspaper. The date read July 31st.
Sighing yet again, he murmured, "Happy birthday to you, Harry!"
"Get the newspaper, boy!" Uncle Vernon's resounding voice came from the drawing-room. Shuffling, he quickly rushed to his uncle's side and handed him the newspaper. He then went to the kitchen and took the eggs out for her aunt.
"What's the date, honey?" his aunt asked Uncle Vernon.
Rolling his eyes, he took the milk carton out.
"Thirty-first. Petunia, dear." Mr Dursley replied.
"Oh." was all she said, "Boy! You're to do the laundry today, then you can arrange the shelf in the living room, then clean the dishes."
"Yes, Aunt Petunia," he said as she walked past him and up the stairs. He was cracking the eggs on the pan when she came back and handed him Dudley's old T-shirt. It must've become too tight because it looked relatively new, "Happy Birthday."
"Thank you," he said, looking at the t-shirt with half wonder and half distaste.
"Now, go do the laundry, and you best do it fast, otherwise, you'll have to mow the lawn too," she said, resuming her position at the stove.
He went and threw the shirt inside his cupboard before trudging upstairs to get the clothes.
He was twenty today. He had insisted on having a quiet celebration, but Mrs Weasley had just shushed him saying, "Nonsense! It's not every day that you turn twenty!"
All-day, letters and gifts had bombarded him. He grinned at the mirror before taking the Floo to the Burrow.
Frowning at the lack of light, he took his wand from his holster and muttered, "Lumos."
He almost yelped when a hand touched his shoulder.
He looked over his shoulder to see Ginny smirking at him. He was greeted by the huge number of guests Mrs Weasley had invited, though he hadn't wanted a big fuss, he couldn't help but grin at all of them as they sang and either hugged him or slapped his back.
"Hawwy!" Teddy's laughter reverberated through the house; it seemed as if happiness bloomed from all sides. The party had been an immediate success.
Later, as he waved the guests goodbye with Teddy's sleeping form giving him a sense of comfort, Ginny's hand on his waist, and Ron and Hermione on his side, everything felt perfect.
Harry knocked on the door.
Exhaustion threatened to consume him completely; he leaned against the wall as he waited for Ginny to open the door. All means of accessing the house were removed, as was necessary before any mission. He sighed in relief as the door opened.
"Gin," he said, wrapping his hands around her, inhaling her flowery scent.
"Harry." She breathed.
They stayed wrapped in each other's arms until the cuckoo clock's voice resounded through the house. She pulled back and kissed him softly, love pouring out of it; and though his bones groaned, he responded enthusiastically.
"Happy twenty-fourth, Harry," she whispered, looking up at him. The fire reflected off her hair, making her glow. He smiled softly; he'd forgotten all about what day it was.
"Thank you,” he said just as a cry resonated through the house.
They both looked at each other. "James."
He would have never thought he would cherish his son's cries as much after his birth, but now, he rushed to the nursery eagerly. It was as if someone had sucked the exhaustion out of him,
"Hey, Jamie, dada's here,” he cooed, approaching him softly. James stopped crying immediately as Harry picked him up. Ginny came and put a hand on his back, "He loves you more, I'm telling you, he's been crying for you every night!"
James gurgled happily. "He's singing to you now," Ginny said, a grin on her face, "It's not his feeding time yet, he's only been asleep for some time before you came," she answered to his questioning gaze.
He blew raspberries at James as he spoke gibberish. Harry rocked him gently and wrapped a hand around Ginny as she sang to James.
The tranquillity of the moment was better than any birthday present he could receive. Opening his eyes, he placed the now fast-asleep baby in the cot, and they both retreated from the room, closing the door softly as the Muggle stars glowed in the dark.
He waved his wand to reinforce the wards around the house as they moved to their bedroom.
Once inside, Ginny held him at arm's length and squinted her eyes to examine him. Satisfied, she nodded and sat on the bed, patting the space beside her, he changed quickly into his pyjamas- he'd showered at the Ministry, and fell onto the bed, face-first.
Ginny rubbed his back and spoke in an amused tone with anxiousness carefully hidden, "The baddies didn't give you any birthday presents, from the looks of it."
He groaned and turned over. A tired grin forming on his face, he said, "Yeah, they were not as scary as they'd made themselves to be, no scars for you to explore this time. I have to wish Neville tomorrow though, I completely forgot the date."
She swatted his head, "I do not wish to explore any scars, and we had quite a cosy party at Leaky's yesterday, he understands. We do have to buy a few things for your party in the morning."
"Can it just be us, pleeease? I want to play with James and Teddy; we could invite Neville and Hannah, and Luna of course, but I want it to be quiet, like Neville's," he said, sounding not too different from Teddy at the age of seven.
She rolled him over to his side of the bed and laid her head on his hand, "Hmm."
He looked at her to see that her eyes were already closed, and he exhaled deeply, drifting off into a comfortable sleep, feeling childishly excited about his birthday, for it was his first after James.
"Do you think he's still sleeping?" A whisper woke him up,
"Yes, I think so, should we jump on him?" Another whisper replied,
He fought to keep the smile off his face as he heard Teddy and James whispering to each other,
"No! Let's go check with Ginny first." He assumed it was Teddy.
He had woken up long before Ginny since he had to brief a few Aurors for their mission early in the morning.
When he had come back, Ginny had forced him into the bed with just three words, "Kids. Happy Birthday," and planted a soft kiss before instructing him to sleep. And so, he had spent the last hour musing about work; the new baby, who was due in less than a month, and all things in general.
"Let's make Al jump on him, then," a voice exclaimed; it must have been James.
"Shh! No, Jamie, why do you want to have someone jump on him so bad? C'mon, let's go to Ginny and ask her. Come!" Teddy said, and the two tip-toed out of the room, closing the door behind them softly.
It was not long before someone jumped on his stomach, albeit lighter than he'd anticipated.
A chorus of "Happy Birthday, Harry!", "Happy twenty-eighth, Harry!", and the loudest, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!" greeted him.
He put his glasses on and grinned at them, picking up Albus from his stomach.
James immediately snuggled into his side, Teddy sat on the other side as a heavily pregnant Ginny smiled at him.
"Dada!" Albus giggled, trying to reach for his glasses.
"We have a little something downstairs!" Ginny said in a sing-song voice.
He would've told her to not do anything, to relax, but her excitement made his protests die on the tip of his tongue.
As they made their way downstairs, James bounced up and down. Teddy seemed excited too; Albus continued trying to reach his glasses.
"Close your eyes, Dad!" James shouted as he reached the end of the staircase.
He laughed, "I won't be able to see, then!"
"Hold my hand!" Teddy said cheerfully, grabbing his free hand, shaking his head; he handed Albus to Ginny and closed his eyes, letting Teddy lead him.
"Open! Open!" James shouted.
He opened his eyes to find a chocolate cake on the table.
Gasping, he looked at James and Teddy, "Did you help mummy make me a cake?"
"SURPRISE!" James took hold of his hand and dragged him to the table, Harry couldn't help but smile at his excitement.
On the table were three cards. One had a neat wand and a heart on it, the other was a drawing with five stick figures. There was yet another with many colours mixed with tiny handprints.
He opened Teddy's first-
"Happy Birthday, Harry! You're the best godfather is the whole world! I love you very much and I want to be just like you when I grow up! Love, Teddy x
Harry opened his arms wide, Teddy rushed to hug him, he returned it with equal enthusiasm. "I loved the card, it was lovely, Teddy." He said, smoothing his black hair. Teddy grinned at him and took a bow.
He then took James' letter, "Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you!"
James pulled him down and pointed at the stick figures, "This is me, and this one is you, this one is Al, this one is mummy, and this one is Teddy, that's a quaffle," he said, pointing at the figures and then a red blotch of paint.
"Thanks, bud. This is amazing!" Harry said, grinning at him before pulling him in to drop a kiss on his head.
"This one is made by Al, he is very messy," James said, mimicking his grandmother's tone.
Harry chuckled and looked at the handprints, "Thanks, Al, thank you, Mummy!" he said, standing up and kissing Al's messy hair before giving Ginny a quick peck.
"Let's cut the cake!" Teddy announced, moving to the opposite side of the table, Harry draped an arm around Ginny and they both followed an eager James.
Someone's hair was tickling his nose, groaning he swatted it, and buried himself in the blanket.
"Well, aren't you a ray of sunshine." Ginny's voice floated to him, he buried himself deeper,
"Wakey, wakey!" she said, pulling the blanket off him, the sun hit his eyes instantly, laying extremely still, he waited for Ginny to come closer.
"Haaaarrry," she said, her breath tickling his neck, he instantly turned back and started tickling her. Her laughter vibrated off the room.
Satisfied, he nodded and jumped off the bed to do his morning routine. When he returned, Ginny was pulling the sheets around the edges. Ginny pulled him down for a passionate kiss, "Happy Birthday."
He groaned, "Forty! Can't believe it's been so long..."
She laughed and poked him in the stomach. "Oldie!"
She dashed out of the room before stopping at the door and winking at him, "Don't worry, love, you still look thirty for me."
He shook his head and buttoned up his shirt.
Someone had decorated the house, with streamers and balloons.
There was a sudden bang as confetti rained down on him on the middle step; shaking and coughing he made his way to the bottom.
"Happy Birthday!" A set of voices chorused. There was a flash as James took a picture of him covered head-to-toe in frills and glitter.
"Was this necessary?" He was shaking his head violently to get rid of the silver bits of paper when he felt someone hug him in the middle.
Lily looked up with sparkling eyes and a wide smile, "Happy Birthday, Daddy!"
"Thank you, Lily,” he said, returning the hug.
The Floo flared up, and two enthusiastic children tumbled out, followed by two enthusiastic adults. "Happy birthday, mate!"
"Happy birthday, Harry," Hermione gave him a peck on both his cheeks.
"Happy birthday, Uncle Harry!" said Rose and Hugo Granger-Weasley.
"Thanks, guys!" he said, fighting for breath as Teddy, James, Rose, Hugo and Lily swamped him.
Albus walked up and offered his hand, "Happy Birthday, Dad,” he said, plainly.
A part of him ached but he smiled at Albus and shook it, "Thank you, Albus."
"Alright, everyone, we're going for a birthday lunch to the Burrow so I've made a light breakfast! To the table. Now! Harry, love, we're all giving you the presents together at the Burrow," Ginny said, clapping her hands.
"Light breakfast for lunch or because she can't cook?" Ron snickered. Harry hid his smile tactfully.
"Oh, here are some letters," Ginny said, handing him a pile of letters.
"Can I see them later?" Harry asked in a childish tone, blinking his eyes to look innocent.
She raised her eyebrow at him before shrugging and making her way to the kitchen, he dropped them onto the sofa.
"I bought you a cane, Harry, it will help with walking," Ron said from the table, his plate already half-full.
"Oi, I'm still a few months younger than you, grandpa Ron," he said, sitting on his seat, sticking his tongue at Ron.
They chatted through breakfast before taking the Floo to the Burrow, as the kids scrambled off, he was greeted with "Happy Birthday, Harry!" and "Happy Birthday, Uncle Harry," all through the way to the kitchen.
He was suddenly enveloped in a bone-crushing hug, "Happy birthday, Harry, dear!" Molly Weasley said, positively beaming.
"Thank you, Molly," He replied, gasping as he returned the hug.
"Mum, don't strangle the poor kid, it's his birthday!" George Weasley said, slapping Harry on the back.
"I remember when he was just an ickle eleven-year-old who needed help lifting his trunk. Oh, how fast time flies." He wiped a fake-tear, striding out of the kitchen.
Molly pinched his cheek, before shooing him out, she wanted to add some finishing touched to the cake.
The meal was amazing. It was filled with Harry's favourite dishes, and the Gryffindor colours cake tasted brilliant, and Harry told that to a jovial Mrs Weasley.
"Presents time!" James announced, rushing into the living room. "Dad, sit on that sofa while we hand them to you."
And so they did, Ginny, James, Albus, Lily and Teddy had gifted him with a new holster, he thanked them with a wide smile. Molly and Arthur had given him a set of new quills with multiple features. George had given him a stash of materials from the Defence line of the shop.
Percy and Audrey had given him a book "How to manage deadlines and paperwork."
Charlie sent a new dragon-hide jacket while Bill gave him an amulet, "It allows you to sense trouble with its heat fluctuations."
Ron had bought him new Quidditch gloves, and a stick, "For your feeble back," he said, in a shaky voice.
Hermione had given another book, "Discoveries in Defence- newest edition." and a work planner. Harry shook his head fondly.
The kids, all of them, had made him a giant card which reached up to his waist. When Harry opened it, confetti popped into his face, much to James and Fred's delight. The card, however, had serious magic in it.
Multiple notes, varying from scrawls of the younger kids to elegant notes of the older, were spread across the card. There was also a portrait of Harry surrounded by all of them in the centre, it looked very realistic for Dominique, an aspiring artist had drawn them.
What amazed Harry, though, was how the mouths of the children open and sang 'Happy Birthday.' to him, little bursts of paper fireworks took care of the edges.
When Harry did put the card aside, he had been bombarded with all the children whom he had happily squeezed into a hug.
Once Harry had thanked everyone, Teddy had, very bravely, challenged Harry for a Quidditch match.
"Let's see if you've still got your touch,” he'd asked with a grin.
Harry narrowed his eyes, "You're on."
Laughing all the children, and the adults had raced to the make-shift Quidditch pitch, eagerly yelling whose team they wanted to be in.
Harry looked at Ginny smiling, "This has got to be one of the best birthdays."
She grinned, "Don't be so quick, you're going to lose this match."
"I'll show you, Potter," Harry said, running behind a laughing Ginny.
Author's note: Happy Birthday to Neville! Next, Happy birthday JK Rowling and Harry, and anyone who celebrates it on the thirty-first! A huge, huge thanks to Arnel for beta-reading this. Please review, they're my only way of knowing your views, they make as happy as the quidditch team after winning a match! All characters belong to JK Rowling.
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