Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 235

Remus followed after Tonks, taking up a position midway between Snape and Moody - in the corner of the room. His eyes tracked back and forth as if he was really listening to the fight, resembling a dog's eyes watching a tennis match. "Ball! Ball! Ball! Ball!" Harry'd seen it often at the park. Not the sort of thing to mention to Lupin, of course, he was sensitive enough about his canid nature...

In thinking about all this, Harry had quite missed the arrival of the twins. So, instead, he saw the middle of the table turn black as pitch. When the dust dissipated, Snape and Moody were still arguing - but they'd now been switched. Snape had on a slightly peeved look to his face, but Moody - Moody had turned about, and started flinging spells all over the place.

Harry dove to protect Molly Weasley, who'd been talking with Vance and thus hadn't seen the spells heading straight for her neck. That looked like a severing spell too...

"Constant Vigilance!" Moody proclaimed, having sent enough spells in all directions that even Snape had ducked for cover. Don't waste energy blocking spells if you can dodge. It spoils your concentration too.

Harry Potter quietly surveyed the room, finding nearly everyone unharmed. Tonks was bleeding, her leg cut in a strangely zagged pattern, but she was busy fixing it herself, even if only temporarily. Harry recognized the field medic spell - it would keep her from bleeding out, but wasn't actually designed to suture anything. Quick and dirty patching, but it was functional. Harry Potter liked it, and reminded himself that he should really be teaching spells like this at DA. Not that a healing spell couldn't be turned around and used to wound (Plenty of immobilizing spells could kill, all you had to do was immobilize the chest cavity), but by and large, they'd save more lives than they crushed.

Albus Dumbledore walked in, looking jolly as usual, "Gentlemen! Let's have a seat. This meeting won't start without you."

Snape gave Moody a glare that seemed to say, "I wish it would start without you."

Harry couldn't even dig up the energy to be mad at Moody for questioning Snape so hard - he'd have been like that himself, just a year ago.

The meeting started with meaningless gossip and speculation. There were rumors that someone had been subverted in St. Mungo's. Except that no one could actually point to someone in particular. Ditto with ten other places, including Ottery St. Catchpole, which was weird, as Harry was certain that Molly would have noticed a Single Thing Wrong. Then Harry thought back to the summer, and realized that Molly hadn't noticed anything different about, well, much of anything. And Severus Snape, that grinch and grump, had been helping - and Harry was quite certain that no one else had realized it.

And didn't that just say something about this meeting, in general? After all, if they couldn't recognize what Snape was doing, repeatedly and often, in Orders Headquarters - how did they expect to catch Slytherins doing anything, well, anywhere? Slytherins had a reputation for being sneaky - but that wasn't sneaky, that was just subtle! No wonder people kept warning him to steer clear of Slytherins, if most people just sailed on oblivious while Slytherins pulled strings all around them. They'd look up one day, and see themselves ensnared, and curse the man who did it.

Hermione was taking great gobs of notes, because of course she was. And Ron and Gin and Neville were looking so earnestly happy to be there. The twins... oh. Now that was interesting. They seemed to be plotting something with Luna, of all people. That bodes well for my bank account, Harry thought wryly, if not for the Order Meeting.

Luna Lovegood eventually stood up to give a report, though Harry couldn't have honestly said if it was performance art or not. She spoke of the state of the nargles in the castle, and how they seemed to be infesting particular girls, and giving them a hard time. Harry Potter took detailed notes about this (mentally, of course, Dudley had always stolen his notes, and so he'd developed the habit of memorization for anything truly important), as those girls might decide to send him something potiony.

[a/n: Moody did not like being teleported. He especially hated being teleported blind. Moody, when startled, tends to come out swinging. Leave a review?]