Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 280

No one else had cottoned on, Harry was Pretty Sure. He was actually feeling a bit nervous, but he hated feeling nervous, so he was taking it out by trying to wheedle information out of everyone. By the time Snape and Malfoy had come back, Ron was laughing, Hermione had hexed him (lightly!), Su Li was bright red, and Zambini was winking at him (Uh..?).

"My turn!" Harry said brightly, drawing his wand.

Snape nodded genteely, and turned around, holding the door open so that Potter could enter first. "Where is your wand, Potter?" Snape snapped, "Don't hold back."

With gritted teeth, Harry gave a grim nod. He says to not hold back, but in nearly the same breath, use my wand.

Hermione Granger, her bright eyes fierce, faded into view, the fog blowing away. Hermione's good at long range spells, Harry thought, but her accuracy is unparalleled.

Harry stepped to the side, casting a duplication spell. With this flat ground, the duplicates would seem to act just the same as Harry. It would look odd if they ran through rocks or trees, but here...

"Try again," Hermione smirked, circular stones appearing all around her.

Shite, Harry thought, this was getting bad fast. Snape was right - it was time to cheat.

Harry didn't cast a spell with his wand, instead, he leapt forward, desperate to close the distance. Hermione wasn't as strong as he was, physically, and she had all the advantages if he kept his distance.

So he charged, but not like a bull. No, he leapt like a jackrabbit, left and then right. But he used a thin tendril of magic, to balance his feet and send him just a bit farther, just a bit less far. Jigging it, so he was harder to hit, and, using it just enough to circle around Hermione a bit. Hermione sent stinging hex after stinging hex at him, and as he slid to a jerky halt, Harry cast a full protego.

And then Harry jumped, taking his ball down on top of Hermione Granger, crumpling her underneath it. Efficiently, he cast a full body bind, and then wrapped an arm around her jugular.

"I win. Call it." Harry said, not wanting Hermione to lose consciousness.

"The fight's done," Snape acknowledged, as was typical, avoiding mentioning who'd won, even though it was bloody obvious.

Harry'd take it as a win that Snape wasn't rebuking him for his use of wandless, wordless magic.

Snape strode out of the auxilliary room, saying, "I trust you can refrain from any... competitions until I get back?" Without waiting for a response, Snape strode out of the room.

Malfoy, with that smarmy grin, remarked, "I didn't realize Muggles knew how to hoopdance."

Harry must have given it away with his face, because suddenly Ron was laughing, "Oh! He thought that was just a Muggle thing!"

And suddenly the whole room was laughing.

[a/n: It says something that Snape expects Potter to understand his doublespeak.

This is the second chapter today, but you may want to go back three to reread. Sorry they're short.

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