Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 225

[a/n: In case anyone's wondering: Goyle's not afraid of being decent to middling-good in Care of Magical Creatures. If Harry was two years ago Harry, he'd still be convinced that Goyle was a complete duffer (It's not that Care's exactly an easy class, but it's not a magical discipline like Transfiguration). Goyle spends most classes trying to look like he's barely able to pass, magically speaking.]

Nott seemed to sit there for a moment, collecting his thoughts. Harry felt oddly at ease - part of that was Luna being around, she had this crystal calm about her that seemed to settle everyone else down. Most silences weren't calm. In Harry's experience, they tended to be hostile. Snape had dozens, from "you are scum" to "there'd better be a good reason for this!"

Eventually, Nott spoke up, "The first problem I had was finding cats. I've never much cared for the fickle creatures, and all of them that i knew of, someone else did too." Nott paused, and then continued, "And by the time I'd organized a list of likely-to-be-caught felines, their owners or friends were already upon them." Nott sighed, nearly deflating before straightening his spine as if by habit. I wonder if Malfoy had the same tutor? Focus, Harry. "So, there i was without any way to find a cat." Nott smirked, looking a little smug, "So I set out to get them to find me." Luna smiled at that, her expression caught midway between dreamy and incisive. "Turns out cats don't actually like caviar." Nott said, "I laid about five caviar-laden traps." Zach was looking at Nott in unabashed horror. "Noise traps, Smith, not kill-traps."

Smith smiled back awkwardly, saying "You're alright Nott," Harry wasn't particularly sure that Smith believed what he just said.

"Where'd you put the traps?" Harry asked, wondering if he'd get a bit more detail on the quiet Slytherin.

"Mostly in the dungeons. Whereever I'd seen a cat, really." Nott responded.

"That'll do it," Harry said, to Nott's frown - not quite a question, but definite incomprehension. "Cats hate the damp and cold - it's why they seek out sunbeams. When they're down there, it's to hunt."

"So why didn't the food work?" Nott responded.

"Because they're down there to hunt, not to feed. Cats don't often hunt because they're hungry." Harry said.

Luna nodded saying, "all cats play with their food. I thought everyone knew that."

[a/n: Poor Theo. No clue about cats.

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