Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 197

Dinner was hale and wholesome as usual, Harry found, and everyone had (wonder of all wonders) recovered - Harry rather thought it was because Snape didn't fancy having to babysit the entire year's worth of students until curfew. He didn't bother pointing out to everyone that they seemed to be enjoying the dinner more than usual. Supper was best when people just enjoyed chatting. Harry, for his own part, was enjoying filling his teenage male stomach - which had been of the opinion that ignoring food after exercise was a poor job at best. Harry, luckily, had overruled his stomach.

After dinner, he gave a sharp nod at Hermione - trusting Ron to catch it, and headed upstairs, towards the Room of Requirement. His mind was so focused on what they'd be doing - running down two separate paths - no, three - as he tried to imagine who would be at the training session that day. Strangely, he didn't feel awkward about Snape listening in. At least that way, if someone managed to get in abnormal amounts of trouble, they wouldn't have to find him first.

So resolved, it was a shock when a sudden weight tugged on his sleeve. Harry kept barreling ahead, but with the weight, he nearly faceplanted into a wall. (As it was, he wound up spun into an alcove, missing the wall by bare inches). Turning towards the abnormal weight, he saw Pansy Parkinson, her smirking face creased with amusement. "Gotcha, Potter," she smirked, in a manner disturbingly like Tonks.

"Oh, it's you," Harry said, mentally deducting a whole host of points from himself for

- First, managing to be so preoccupied that someone could touch him

-Second, so unaware of his surroundings that a mere sharp jerk could send him into a wall.

-Three, that neither of the above had actually resulted in him drawing his wand or assuming a combat stance.

That was sloppy and Harry abruptly realized that if Snape ever caught him acting this way, he'd never hear the end of it. And with Snape, that meant stinging hexes whenever Harry Potter looked the least bit unwary.

[a/n: Yes, Snape would make him pay. And he'd do it with a toothy smile, saying that it doesn't pay to get rusty, there's a war on you know. And harry would have to fight to not wipe that smirk off his hated Professor's oh-so-smug face.

Pansy showed up! Pansy got Screentime! Pansy said two words. Oh, well, in the next episode...

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