Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 114

The rest of the DA meeting seemed to fly by, Harry thought, though it might have been just his blatant "not paying attention."

As the meeting began to break up, Harry tugged Hermione off to one side, saying, "We need to practice more."

Hermione nodded at him, her mouth grinning gleefully. It was rare, after all, for Harry to want to do more work, even at defense, which he was honestly sharp at.

"Tomorrow, same time, same place." Harry said, grinning at his "already busy planning" friend - Harry might be more of a people person than Hermione'd ever be, but she was certainly the person to turn to when you needed something academic done. How had she managed to not get into Ravenclaw?

Neither of them noticed Draco Malfoy, standing very quietly and eavesdropping shamelessly behind a potted plant that Lovegood had conjured.

Harry could tell that Hermione wanted to talk with him - she kept on shooting him urgent glances, and then sighing in frustration. Even Ron asked at breakfast, "what's up with her, Harry?" Harry had just given a shrug, though he knew quite well what was up with her. It wasn't his call to tell, anyway. And he'd have advised Hermione against telling Ron anyway. Gin was grinning at Harry like she'd pullled the golden goose, and she seemed to expect him to want to sit beside her. Which, he generally didn't mind doing, but he also didn't want her to get any ideas... They were not dating, and he did not fancy her... much (one episode in the shower doesn't count, he did that with practically every girl). So he sat on Ron's other side, and dealt with Gin shooting him glares - which, he thought, was much better than her openly weeping. He always felt so confused when girls had a good cry. Was he supposed to hold them? Would that be a bad idea when Gin clearly fancied him?

So, so much better to be glared at.

Potions in the afternoon was ... well, almost disconcertingly normal. First Snape collected homework - sans the normal comment on Hermione's overeagerness (Harry thought that she'd brought her pages down to just under the asked for amount). Then, Snape was lecturing about potions that could take away someone's will, and then using the Babbling Beverage as his example - the one the class was to brew. Babbling Beverage was an easy potion, but the point of the exercise was to make certain that everyone in the advanced potions class knew how to do the simple things right. Snape corrected everyone, somehow - even Malfoy and Hermione. It was remarkably impartial, and Harry almost felt himself beginning to relax in Potions class - and that never happened!

"Potter," Snape said abruptly, nearly making Harry jump, "You've left a complete wreck of your workspace." Harry was actually just decanting the potion. "What do you have to say for yourself?"

"Sorry, I was just in the middle of..." Harry Potter said.

"Do not whine." Snape snarled, "It was a simple question, you can answer it so, as well." Snape looked down his long nose at Harry Potter, "And you ought to remember to address me as sir or Professor. I've certainly told you often enough."

"Yeah, sorry." Harry said, scratching the back of his neck as he looked down.

"Sorry, what?" Snape said, and Harry practiced a look of dumb incomprehension for several seconds, before a light of realization dawned.

"Sorry, Sir Snape."

"That will be three detentions for your cheek." Snape said, whirling back to his desk.

I can't tell if he really is an absolute, cheerless bastard, or if it's really just all an act.

[a/n: Second chappie today. Plz review. Up Next: Draco - but not how you're expecting.]