Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 20

Lupin pushed the "play"button, and the reel started to roll. Each and every person from the Order of the Phoenix stepped into the Room of Requirement in turn. As they all divided into their usual divisions, on-the-reel Snape said, "Choose the partners you trust, and take positions you can hold. You have time, so pick well." Around him, Dumbledore's eyes seemed to sparkle, and Moody tottered off, with a suspicious glance towards Snape - a jerk of his head the only thing that attracted Shacklebolt towards him.

"You should halt it, wolf." Snape's voice purred across the darkened room. "We have things to discuss." His voice seemed practically overwhelmed with a feral sort of hunger. **

Lupin pressed the pause button, and said, "As you say, scamp." A new nickname, Harry thought, or at least I think it is. A new beginning perhaps?

"Well, class, what do you think of the battle so far?" Snape said, and Harry could hear his drawling voice smiling a very wolfish smile.

Vance piped up with a huff, "Why, nothing at all! There's been not a jot of fighting and I don't see why you're wasting my time!"

"Typical impulsive little Gryffindor," Snape's quiet voice stole the floor - somehow even more fearsome in the near darkness. "Now which of you brave Gryffindors wants to answer the question, instead of ignorantly dodging it?"

Gin spoke up, her voice cutting through the twins hushed whispers. "You weren't helping them, sir, were you? You were setting them up to fail."

"What gave you that impression?" Snape's voice was cold, but Harry detected a small trace of smugness. He's baiting her a bit, wants to see what she's observed.

"You don't want to split up - not against Fred and George. You want to hit them hard, and fast, and take them down."

"Why's that?"

"Because! Because they're creative. Creativity won't guard against 10 stunners, sure... but ... well, you saw! You know!" Gin said, her temper interfering with her ability to communicate.

"Anyone else?"

"Sir?"

"Yes, know-it-all?"

"You picked the battlefield, too. Close combat, close quarters. Maximal interference from multiple attackers. I'm not sure it would have been the best tactic to all bunch together. Maybe if you outflanked them..."

"They didn't question your orders, sir. We're sitting here saying there's a debate, but there they are jumping to, without even a thought to why."

"Better" Snape said, and Potter thought incredulously, Was that a compliment, or was he saying do better?

In her dreamy voice, Luna spoke up, "It wasn't them snapping to - you asked them to do what they know - no, what they wanted to do. Of course they weren't going to try and get you to do things they didn't want to do. Even if they were right."

"You didn't look for spies, didn't spare a glance for anything out of the ordinary, did you?" Either Fred or George spoke up, "Maybe we should work on that idea..."

Snape rounded on them, his black robes whirling like a black whirlpool in the near darkness. "And what would you have done differently with the information?"

"Why nothing, Sir Snape. But then again, why should we? You were fighting on our side."

"Sabotage." Moody said, grumbling under his breath, "Simply sabotage. Why, Severus, did you choose that as a tactic, with people you hope to work with?"

"It's training. We need to be able to recognize it, so we can take advantage of it." Snape purred.

**Snape really likes cinema. And he likes effective teaching more.

[a/n: I cut out a lot of arguing about starting here. The order is a real pain in the ass. Write me a review, if you please.]