Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 262

[a/n: Title's from Space Oddity. Second chapter today, read the last one or you WILL be lost.]

Snape shrugged Potter onto his desk - the boy hit it with a boneless thunk, sending half-corrected essays flying. Snape saw Harry curling up into a ball, and then rolling to a sitting postion, as Snape watched. Snape wasn't an expert on catatonia, but he thought this didn't look quite right.* Jerking out of his reverie, Snape started casting silencing spells, secrecy spells, anti-eavesdropping spells.

Burn him, I don't have time for this, Snape thought, as he at last canceled the swelled head charm (it was a rarity, and perfectly mimicked a very common potion - he'd never hoped to have a use for it, but he'd learned it anyhow).

"Potter," Snape snapped, looming over the boy. Nothing.

"Harry," Snape said, letting the weighty word drop from his lips with an excess of care that would undoubtedly be read as sarcasm. Still nothing.

Snape studied Harry for a moment, then walked behind him - Snape's black eyes growing wider as Harry didn't move. Snape knew he was acting threatening enough to evoke a threat response, a learned reflex. Potter's unresponsiveness meant that he'd shut the world out - and effectively, which was something Snape himself had never been able to manage. With his eyes closed, Snape couldn't even try legimancy if he'd wanted to - and who knew what Legimancy would do to the truly bereft of their senses?

Snape snarled, sounding inarticulate for a moment, as his hand pounded once on Potter's back - so hard that the boy's body jerked. Snape's voice boomed, "Boy, get up."

At that, Harry Potter blinked, starting to look around - more frightened than anything. Some self-preservation, at least.

Snape strode into view, elegance personified. Now, for some answers. "Potter, report." Snape snapped, his voice a perfect drill-sergeant on parade.

Harry's spine straightened, as if by some mythical metal rod, and he opened his mouth to speak.

*Potter's actually got most of it down pat. He's missing waxy flexibility, but then again, that's not an always thing. Snape, as admitted above, is not an expert. He's just the closest person to the problem, and most definitely not used to asking for help.

[a/n: Oh, the fun of shooting blind in the dark, with a kid too traumatized to be able to tell him what's wrong.

Snape's not dwelling on it, but I'm pretty sure this would concern anyone with the least vestige of care.

Reviews, as always, welcomed!]