Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 217

Snape had been anticipating the languid furballs arriving first. Surprisingly, it was Neville Longbottom who was back with the first cats (apparently some liked to catch butterflies in the greenhouses. How they were getting into said greenhouses, which were outside the castle, Merlin only knew.

"Leave the cat by the door." Snape said, words that he would repeat, even as he lay looking upward on the podium, watching all the students. And McGonagall, whose sense of humor was no doubt tickled pink to be participating.

There she goes again, tripping another of my Slytherins, Snape thought with a very slight quirk of the mouth - his thin lips and thinner smiles were difficult to read even in the best of times. And this was far from that.

Snape was taking notes in his head, as he watched the viewing spells above him. Goyle was doing well at this; while Neville had come back with two cats, Goyle could carry a dozen (in the carrier case, gently bound in white bathtowels). Apparently Greg Goyle knew where the best sunbeams were.

Oof! Snape thought as one of the cats thoughtfully pounced on his chest. He gave the cat a sure scritch, running up behind the ears - his sadistic fingers turning their learning backward, to cause pleasure instead of pain. "Off you go," He said sternly, his melodic voice belying his words, as he sent the cat by basic portkey to a new location in the castle. The last of the cat he heard was a startled yowl. Apparently, the cat wasn't done being petted yet.

Ooof! That was a bigger cat.

Snape smirked at Pansy Parkinson, who had thought to get a bowl of cream. Pity she wouldn't have to deal with the cats after class, such a fatty diet would only make them sick. And Malfoy? He apparently thought his voice would properly attract cats. Unfortunately, they didn't know about his wealth, his father, or any such mishegoss. Haughty as always, the cats were ignoring him.

Seamus Finnegan had actually managed to set a cat on fire. If Snape believed he'd done it apurpose, he'd have expelled the fool. As it was, at least the next lad in the hallway, Dean Thomas, had the sense to cast an Aguamenti. Sadly, neither of them apparently believed in drying cats off. So, five minutes later, Severus Snape had to explain to them what they'd done to the poor thing they'd immobilized for the trip down. Without the ability to shiver, the cat had just been getting colder. And-"What's proper practice for dealing with those who've experienced moderate hypothermia? Without your wand?" The dolts of course didn't know. Snape merely got out a large quilted bag, and bade them both crawl in... along with the cat.

Returning to watching the others, he nestled into his robes, waiting for the screams.

[a/n: Of course cats like Snape. He reads like a big cat to them.

Reviews always appreciated!

Snape's being a bit of a dick, sure, but in his defense, the boys might very well have had a dead quarry, which would violate the terms of the assignment.

The title of the chapter refers to a Russian novelistic convention, where the Devil's black cat wanders in and provides commentary. Seemed apropos]