Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 177

Snape was perfectly silent - not a footstep, not a word, not anything, until they were both inside his office. At which point he cast spells, and yet more spells, and, after the last spell was cast, he keyed a ward that looked more complicated that Harry had ever seen before.

By this point, Harry was starting to wonder what the hell he had gotten himself into. Was it Order Business? Something else entirely?

"Now, you wanted to speak to me." Snape said, lacing his hands.

"How did you-"

"Your mind, Potter" Snape said coldly, "If you do not close it, it leaks. Yours, in particular, leaks loudly."

Harry shuffled his feet, and tried to grasp the words to an apology that would actually be sincere.

"Now, hurry up and talk, as you're going to serve an actual detention today."

"But I haven't-" Harry said.

"Done anything?" Snape snarled. "I believe the operative word there is yet. You can serve an a priori detention then."

Harry Potter's jaw dropped, and he started to say - well, he wasn't really sure what, as Snape interrupted, "As you'll undoubtedly do something to deserve detention within the next twenty four hours, it won't even be that much in advance." Snape looked down his long nose at Harry, and said, "It's not like I'm punishing you for something that you'll do after Christmas." Harry ruefully admitted that he had no clue how Snape managed to make Christmas sound like a curse, but somehow he managed.

"What do you know that I don't?"

"Plenty of things. As it so happens, it is relatively unimportant that there is an unexpected visitor arriving at Hogwarts tommorrow."

"If the visitor's unexpected, how do you know about it?"

"Certain people are dreadfully predictable." Snape snarked with his deadpan face.

"Care to tell me who it is?" Harry shot back, eyes flashing.

"Hm." Snape said, lacing his hands together, "I could, but why should I - when not telling you will leave you on tenterhooks for most of the day?"

"That's not fair!" Harry Potter shot back.

"Live so rarely is." Snape responded, looking implacable.

[a/n: second post of the day. Up Next: what harry was repeating to himself over and over again.

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Snape has been planning a most illuminating reception for his illustrious visitor.

Guess who?]