Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 122

Harry was starting to get used to, or maybe even actually like this feeling of suppressed anticipation, like pins and needles walking all over your feet. It was an odd sensation, and one that he didn't want anyone noticing that he was feeling. So, Harry Potter sat in the same place he always sat at the Gryffindor table, and tried not to think if Malfoy would have called it "holding court" - he had a feeling that Snape would call it so, and from his mouth the words would be bilious indeed. He laughed at Ron's jokes, which, though overused, were often still funny. The joke about Hermione's reading at the breakfast table had been old in his second year, for crying out loud. "You'd be reading too, if only there were more books on Quiddich." Harry put in, to Hermione's sparkling laughter. Ron flushed, but hung his head for a moment before laughing along. That was the thing about Ron Weasley. He was always trying. Didn't often succeed, at least not completely - but on anything that wasn't schoolwork, he was always determined. And, like a stone, would eventually find his way to the proper road, bouncing left and right, but always heading downward. Hermione tended to work like an avalanche, whisking things from far away into her mind, stirring them up, and landing flat on anyone so foolish as to stand in her way.

Harry was rarely that foolish.

Harry grabbed an extra portion of bacon - just seconds before Ron thought to, and was about to put it down on his plate, when he saw something unexpected. Creamed spinach. Well, Harry thought, I suppose I haven't tried it before... Setting the bacon down, he stuck his fork in it. Wow, this was surprisingly tasty! Why hadn't he tried this before? And, just like that, Harry was pulling the whole thing into a metaphor for his life. He'd gotten so used to doing things Just So when he was at the Dursleys - to being punished for any creativity.

Well, he was here, at Hogwarts. And it wouldn't kill him to try more things.

With a mental note to thank Dobby for the spinach, Harry trundled off to his Wednesday class with Snape - he knew he was running early, so he let his feet take him where they willed, knowing that eventually he'd end up at the classroom.

[a/n: Ron's still eating, and Hermione was still reading. Harry generally waits and goes when everyone's ready. Any guesses as to who put the spinach on his plate? Leave a review.]