Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 232

Inside the walls and over the doors,

Beside the windows and beneath the floors,

Hark ye fools, the dragon snores.

Moving from one part of the school to another was proving more difficult than Harry had ever found it before. Any girl, it seemed, would immediately head his way. And while he could have just ran by them (and got a detention from that Hufflepuff prefect while he was at it), Harry elected to go the easier route.

Namely, through the walls.

There were just tons of secret passages - Hermione'd had the idea that they were to save magical people from Muggles before the Muggle-repelling charms were laid. Luna thought they were just for secret lovers.

Harry just knew they were dusty. Smothering a sneeze (someone would look over, and he'd have to hide again), he whispered the password to the Fat Lady, who was really just plump, and she fussed at him, "Where have you been up to?"

"Breakfast. And a dandy little jaunt through some unused corridors." Well, they were unused because they were hidden and rather hard to find, but details details. Obligingly, the Fat Lady opened up, and Harry raced through the Common Room. He idly wondered if he looked a little like a dust devil. There was his homework - nearly finished! Harry scrawled the last conclusion on the page, and then wrote his name.

Down we go again! Harry thought, sliding through old classrooms (the ones with two doors), and otherwise being just swift and shifty enough to avoid everyone looking for him.

He was about three corridors away from Potions when he went stock still (luckily, behind a statue). This had to be the first time, since, well before he'd met Snape, that he was looking forward to Potions Class. Nobody would dare talk to him about anything not class related. Not with Snape teaching. Harry hastily smothered a grin. It would not do to show up grinning to Snape's class. He'd get sent to the Nurse with suspicion of fever. And then everyone in the school would descend, with enough candy to completely fill the entire ward!

Harry slid into class moments before it was time. Strangely, Snape was already at the front of the class, and looking at Harry Potter like one might look at a particularly manged mog. "Potter," Snape said, "Why did you possibly think it was appropriate to attend Potions Class dressed as a dust devil?"

Harry, abashed, looked down, seeing how his normally black uniform was coated in dust. "Um... sir..." He said, shifting from foot to foot.

"Worse," Snape said, and Harry's heart sunk, "You neglected the charms that would keep your ... garb to yourself. You've spread dust from floor to ceiling, and over my entire classroom. "

"Malfoy," Snape said in that false laziness, "Clean this place up." Malfoy smirked, managing to look as superior as Harry'd ever seen him. In that moment, Harry wanted to pound Malfoy's face into the ground, simply for that look of "you're dumber than dirt."

"Potter, as you obviously do not know how to dress yourself in a fashion appropriate for this class, you may remand yourself to your dormitory for a shower. That will be one detention, during which you may prove your understanding of the potion currently on the board. You will do so without wasting my time. So take your own notes and come prepared."

"But sir, my homework..."

Snape gave him a withering look, "Can also be collected during the detention. With suitably higher standards, of course."

At that point, Harry left the class hurriedly.

Somewhat surprisingly, the entire castle was clear of people - undoubtedly attending classes.

A moment to breathe. A moment of peace.

[a/n: some people take dances seriously. and we won't mention how many are actually golddiggers.

Harry's being a bit impossible - not turning anyone down doesn't actually save people's feelings.

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