Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 157

For the second day in a row, Harry Potter was staring at the Potion Master's Office Door. He wanted to kick it. Wanted to pound on it until it burst free from its tracings.* Wanted, in fact, to be doing absolutely anything rather than simply standing there.

Worse, he couldn't be completely sure that Draco Malfoy had done this on purpose. He hadn't reacted yesterday - but with Malfoy, that was more likely to mean he was surprised than he had intentionally done something. Besides, since when did Severus Snape leave Hogwarts? Harry Potter could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he'd seen the man even outside the building.**

Harry Potter hated waiting, but waiting like this was even worse. It was the uncertainty that was driving him up a wall. In fact, he could feel his magic pricking at his fingers. Now there's a thought... Harry Potter started preparing to cast a spell - wandlessly and wordlessly, summoning Earth. He could feel the leaden feeling pooling in his hands, and he instinctively slumped, bringing his hands closer to the ground. Then, at a flick of his concentration, he was channeling Fire, which leapt into his hands and only was resistant to staying there. Harry bit on his lip to keep it there.

"Potter?" Draco Malfoy said, stopping short in his walk down a different corridor entirely - he'd obviously seen Harry and been caught a bit offguard. From the suspiciously long pause, Harry amended that to 'caught well off his guard.'

Draco came down the connecting corridor with a swagger, and said, "Still no sign of my Head of House, I see." Draco's mouth quirked into a smirk, as if Draco Malfoy had actually been responsible for it. But, Harry's reason asserted, he couldn't possibly have been. He was surprised, I saw it! "You can make the detention up tomorrow. If he doesn't show." No excuse there for slacking off, Harry thought with a grumble as Draco swaggered away, uncaring that Harry hadn't actually responded.

Harry went back to working through the elements, with water being such a slippery thing that he had trouble summoning it.*** Nearly half the time had gone by before he remembered needing water in his cupboard; he cupped his hands, and it was there, pooling and not trying to slither away from him. Huh.

Air, Harry found, took even longer, as it didn't want to come or stay. He was forced to make it spin, and then his hands hurt. A lot. Harry stopped working for a while, just letting himself think.

Almost unbidden he started thinking about Snape's comment about how easy it was to get mad at Harry Potter. Oddly, Harry found the notion slightly comforting. After all, Snape could have been referencing his father. He'd certainly made enough comments bending in that direction that Harry wouldn't have been surprised at it. But no, he'd found something that Harry'd Done to be upset with. And, it was actually NOT something that Harry should have done! Harry would have been upset, he thought, if Snape's "get mad at Harry" memory was Harry chasing after the Philosopher's Stone (best not to mention to Snape that they'd thought he was the one stealing it...). And... and it would have hurt if Snape's memory was of Harry running off to the Department of Mysteries. Harry now knew that he was in the wrong, but... it would have still hurt.

As the minutes clicked by, Harry began to look forward to Zach's study sessions. He wondered idly what they'd be learning today. Probably Ravenclaw's turn next, he thought wryly. Because if it was either Slytherin or Gryffindor, someone was still apt to take it ill.

*that's a metaphor.

**Snape does get fresh air from time to time. Why else does he wander the halls late at night? (answer: harvesting potion ingredients).

***Gryffindors are naturally fire aligned, befitting their quicktempered nature. Slytherins are naturally water aligned, and still waters run deep, shall we say?

[a/n: leave a review? Where has Snape gone?]