Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 273

When Harry was done meditating, he left for the Gryffindor common room. It was beyond late, the moon had set, and... Hermione was still awake. Harry saw this with a mental sigh as he stepped into the room. He really didn't need any more shite.

"Sit down, Harry," Hermione said, in a tone that would not brook defiance.

"Okay," Harry said, sitting on the other side of the couch and turning to face his friend. He really just wanted some sleep. Well, that and time to unravel everything he was thinking. Abruptly, the idea that he'd thought of so many things at once that Lord Voldemort had gotten concerned was completely hilarious, so of course he started laughing.

Hermione was not amused. Frowning, she looked at him, looking him over twice. As his laughter died down to short gasps, Hermione said simply, "Maybe we should deal with this in the morning."

Good advice.


Harry spent the next day completely focused on class, which was probably a good thing, considering he had Snape's class. Focus was hard to find, true, but once found, he walled himself off, as if he was in his closet again, and the outside world seemed so very far away, and definitely not worth thinking about. Find the exact motion in Transfiguration, the exact word in Charms.

Snape's class, as usual, was livelier than it had any right to be. Harry didn't know another class where the students showed up - and then glanced warily around the room, afraid to even gossip or talk to their neighbor. Snape hadn't pulled that trick yet, but Harry figured it would show up sooner or later. Possibly the day after Easter Sunday, just as a brutal reminder that sleep-deprivation isn't an excuse for letting down your guard.

When Snape strode into the room, Harry and Hermione and Ron looked at him, their bodies wheeling as he went towards the podium, "Portion yourself into groups." He said, and Harry saw the suppressed amusement in Snape's face as the students rapidly tried to calculate what the next groupings would be for. Hermione grabbed Ron and Harry, and - when Harry turned to her questioningly, responded, "At least we'll be in it together." Harry smiled a thanks back at her, and was gladdened, briefly, that she wasn't so mad at him (for whatever it was) that she would deviate from her normal behavior.

Of course, everyone said it was Harry who sulked - and they were right. Harry tended to sulk because he hated hurting people - and he'd rather demolish a metal suit of armor than hurt his friends, even with just words.

[a/n: and... I'm not sure what Snape's doing. Toss me a bone, readers? Or, have you any guesses about Hermione? I tried to have her quietly reprimand Harry, but he wasn't psychologically stable enough.]