Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 251

Severus Snape swooshed into the classroom as usual, the students clearing out of the way. Harry was near the front - shifted enough to the right that he wouldn't be in a crowd. His instincts said that before this year was done, Snape would point out to them all the detriments of being in a place where they couldn't dodge. So, Harry watched, waited, and observed.

"Can anyone tell me the difference between an opponent and an enemy?" Snape asked, having leapt gracefully onto the small dais.

The room was silent, people shuffling. Snape had one of those tones to his voice, one that said you'd better have the answer, and be right about it. "Weasley?" Snape sneered.

Ron Weasley straightened, as Harry's eyes found him - nearer the rear of course, "An Opponent is the person you compete against in a game of skill or chance. You compete via defined rules, and you each have an objective that will determine who is the winner."

"Very good," Snape said, and Harry could hear the rustling from the Slytherins - annoyed that Weasley was being complimented, and from the few Ravenclaws, who were scrambling to take notes. Harry generally didn't take notes (he'd learned the hard way that Dudley might tear them), and here he simply tried to memorize what Snape was saying. "And an enemy?" Snape purred.

"I do not know. I don't think I've got one, sir." Ron Weasley said, his blue eyes meeting Snape's black ones levelly. Harry suppressed a smile at that sight. Ron was growing up, and in so doing, losing a lot of his intemperance at the crafty old teacher.

"Is that so?" Snape purred, "Malfoy, answer the question." he said, striding to behind Weasley, without sparing Malfoy a single glance.

"An enemy is someone who means you ill, beyond all reason, beyond all temperance. An enemy is someone who you'd better make dead - because if you don't, he'll do the same to you."

Snape gave the entire class a cool look, as he said slowly, "Opponents are people you forgive easily. Enemies are people you'll never forgive. When people use the phrase "bad blood between us" - enemies is what they mean."

Snape snapped his fingers, bringing down a disillusionment spell. To the right of his dais, on the wall, appeared a Wizarding Photograph, of a person with his face torn off, the muscles and blood still working, as he screamed. Harry's eyes drifted lower, looking at the opened chest, the still beating heart, the cage of ribs - each spread out, and the gush of intestines spilled out over his legs and twitching toes. Harry could barely stand to look at him, and that was through a photograph. Harry felt his gorge rising, as he took one last look at the man - vaguely recognizing the platinum blonde hair, half-dirtied and stained with the dark-brown of long-dried blood.

Harry bent over, and spilled the contents of his breakfast onto the floor. From the sounds around the room, there were very few people who weren't doing so - Goyle, strangely, Harry saw was one. Snape, naturally, was another, though Harry thought his face was more than normally pale, if only by a shade or two.

Harry's gorge rose again at the smell, of vomit permeated everything nearby him. He bent over again, as up it came.

[a/n: Snape's not being a very nice teacher is he? I think he'd evaluate his current lesson as "Crude but effective."

Also, o, the foreshadowing!

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