Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 244

Harry Potter woke, and it was pouring cats and dogs outside. So, no run today, Harry thought, thinking of barbells, and Vernon's story about how someone had noticed that bellringers were quite physically muscular, and then they'd gone and made a bar that was as heavy as the bells. Hence the bar-bell. Vernon had laughed, and then had given Dudley 25 pounds. Dudley had managed to lift it - but just barely.

Harry was sure that by now his cousin could probably lift 75 pounds. You could say many things about Dudley, but he liked his parents approval, and if Uncle Vernon wanted something, Dudley would probably manage it.

Harry wasn't looking for weight, he was looking for endurance - and pinpoint accuracy. He stepped inside a classroom inside the Gryffindor Tower, and threw up the most basic Notice-me-not ward. And then he set to work. Up and down, it was acrobatics, it was parkour - there were desks, and as Harry thought spells, better handholds than he'd started with. In fact, the room started to look more like an Escher painting than anything.

But it was a hell of a lot of fun, and Harry knew that keeping himself engaged meant he'd give it his all.

By the time he was done, he'd collapsed in a puddle of sweat, laughing quietly at himself. At least he hadn't hit his noggin this time. Snape'd have words about that! (Or he would have, had he known where Potter was practicing...).

Harry was in the shower before he started to wonder if Snape had taken his own early morning run. Had the Potions master come back in, water dripping from everywhere - except his excessively greasy hair?

Harry was abruptly glad that the water he was in was warm.


Knowing that Snape was up, Harry was down to pound on his door before breakfast. He'd had enough, and though the practice had been good for limbering himself up, it hadn't really helped with the burning anger, just submerged it for a bit. Harry thought, bemusedly, that he should be glad there was Some Way to cool himself down, if temporary.

Unbeknownst to him, four pairs of Slytherin eyes watched him discretely, as he stomped towards Snape's office. One pair of brown eyes concluded it was probably better to pester him at some other time. Any other time, really. The others just watched curiously, as if Potter dragged an entire eddy behind him.


Harry pounded on Snape's door, his stomach idly cramping - but he was used to hunger, and didn't want to take the chance of exploding on someone who didn't deserve it. Looking immaculate, Snape's long nose peered out from a half-closed door. "Potter," he growled, sounding decidedly unamused, "Had I realized you were capable of arriving early for detention, I would have made it later." Snape's eyes ran up and down Potter's lean frame.

Harry had to restrain himself from responding. He was actually trying to be a bit highhanded, and not responding to the unasked question was part of it.

"Well? Come in!" Snape snapped, not content for Harry to enter under his own power, but instead grabbing him by the collar and fairly flinging him in, before slamming the door.

Harry waited, half calmly, half flexing his fists, as Snape cast privacy spells and activated a few wards.

"The Headmaster can still enter, but it would take even him a bit of time." Snape said, with that smug look on his face.

[a/n: Leave a review? Good luck guessing the Slytherins! I personally love the title for this chapter. It reminds me of something from Key the Metal Idol, believe it or not.]