Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 245

Snape stood looking at the wards for a moment, and then retreated to his desk, sprawling in the chair, his heels crossed on his desk, as he looked up at Harry Potter, standing in front of his desk. Snape looked as casual as a lion, sunning there. It was a lie, of course - but a deliberate one. Harry Potter wondered, suddenly, if Snape ever got a chance to really relax, not just playing at it like an adult plays at being a child.

"Well, Potter? You're here now" Snape's eyes flashed with an impatient humor, "What IS it?"

"Why didn't you tell me, sir?" Harry said, and the words struck out like lances.

Snape, of course, seemed unaffected, "Tell you what." he said, and it wasn't a question. It was a demand.

"That you didn't even trust me to fight!" Harry said, his hands fists at his side. "I went through all that, and you wouldn't have let me use it!"

Harry's fist had found the desk, "What," *pound* "Was" *pound* "The" *pound* "Point?"

"Potter, think for a moment." Snape said, seemingly unfased by Harry's venomous frustration. Harry's jaw was set, and his nostrils flared. His green eyes flashed fire.

Snape uncrossed his feet, and then recrossed them the other way. "Alright. If you just want to stare at me, without getting your questions answered, well, we can do that too." Snape opened a drawer of his desk, and pulled out the latest Potions Monthly (that Harry recognized because Hermione read it).

Harry impatiently batted the magazine out of Snape's hand, saying - through gritted teeth, "I'm listening."

"An open mind is a calm mind, Potter." Snape said, his upper body leaning over to pick up the Potions magazine.

Harry Potter took a few deep breaths, and his nose at least stopped flaring, even if the set of his jaw was the same. "I'm calmer now." Harry said, as he opened his eyes.

Snape was already studying him, of course - possibly had started the moment Harry closed his eyes. "War doesn't always let you choose who gets to fight, and who gets to hide." Snape, somehow, was saying this softly, but firmly. Perhaps, Harry thought, he really was that unaffected by adolescent pique and pride. "I stand by what I've said in class - if the only thing I manage to teach you is how to survive, I've done my job well."

"You said you'd teach me to fight." Harry said.

"I said I'd teach you to be a fully trained Order member." Snape corrected.

"You weren't training me to research!" Harry snorted.

"That's true. All Order members should be able to fight in the event of an emergency." Snape said.

"Why'd you want me in the Order if I can't even fight?" Harry Potter asked.

Snape laced his fingers together, and then unlaced them. "When I taught you how to fight this summer, did you think I was giving you claws? Or maybe snakefangs?" Harry Potter looked at Snape, still sitting there looking unconcerned (though he'd put the Potions Monthly down beside himself). Harry Potter eventually nodded.

"I was not." Snape said, "I was giving you a hedgehog's spines."

"Huh?" Potter said, his anger mutating into a more abstract frustration with Slytherins and their Fucking Mind Games.

"Eloquent as usual, Potter." Snape said mildly.

"Sir, what does that mean?" Harry Potter said, hating that Snape had made him have to repeat himself. And then hating that he'd made that into a possibility.

"A Hedgehog's main defense is curling up into a ball, and being too painful to eat." Snape smirked.

"Sir..." Harry said, thinking inchoate and vague thoughts. "You didn't teach me defensive spells! Not many, at any rate, and they aren't better than what Flitwick teaches..."

"You focused on area attack spells," Snape said, "I'd wonder what you could do with a series of portkeys."

Harry Potter paled, "More than one, sir?" He wasn't good with them, and tended to wind up vomiting afterwards. Vomiting in the middle of battle? Not just embarrassing then, Harry thought.

Snape nodded, and said, "I'd wager that the Dark Lord himself would get dizzy, if he decided to possess you while you were portkeying so quickly."

Harry Potter nodded, before saying, "But someone would have to trigger the portkeys for me, if I was possessed..."

Snape nodded, and said, "Exactly. But I believe you can trust your Order comrades to do that much."

Harry Potter started to nod, and then froze, "Exactly who would be doing that, sir? I'd probably be behind enemy lines, if I'm to be so dizzy that the Dark Lord may have trouble being in my mind." Harry didn't want to know what the consequences would be if Snape started involuntarily portkeying the Dark Lord around, even if Snape would have limited reason to know it was the Dark Lord (and it was probably a death sentence if Snape was portkeying Potter around, as well, should the Dark Lord be aware of it).

Snape said softly, "I was rather thinking Lupin."

Harry nodded, carefully and slowly. Lord Voldemort tended to treat his werewolves as shock troops, and didn't distinguish one from another aside from Greyback himself. Lupin would either need to penetrate the organization - or simply appear as a werewolf and not start any unwolfish scraps.

Suddenly, Snape sat up neatly, assuming the mien of a stern schoolteacher rather than an unconcerned ... pirate (or something like that!). "You ought to be aware that your ability to occlude while fighting is unlikely to transfer into other portions of your life."

Harry Potter looked at Snape, and then nodded, slowly. "Yes sir. I suppose it might keep me safe on a broom."

"For a questionable version of safe, which I take to be you finding as many ways to commit infernal trickery that loses Slytherin the House Cup..." Snape said sternly.

Now it was Harry that was smirking, "You mean a Sloth Grip Roll?"

"Or other such things," Snape said, affecting a disaffected air that Harry simply couldn't believe. Snape got into too many arguments with McGonagall about the sport to be that unaware of simple terminology.

[a/n: someone's been complaining about my short chapters again. Well, this one got long, and there's more to come!

Leave a review! Do you think it's believable that Harry yells at Snape so much? I do. Harry's been kept in the dark so long, he's naturally upset at people doing it intentionally.]