Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 297

Harry was too tired to wake up the next morning. Didn't matter. He thought, thankful, that he'd managed to get five hours sleep. He was running, and that was that.

In fact, as his feet started to pound on the grass outside, he found himself smiling at the world, as the physical exercise woke him up. There wasn't anyone around, and the animals were happy. Was that the Giant Squid waving at him? Well, maybe not.

Harry let his mind wander, and he touched very, very carefully on the fear that he'd experienced after Voldemort had tried to raid his mind. It, well, was scary. He knew so many things, so many things he didn't want HIM knowing about.

Still a little scared, Harry asked himself - what was so different? He'd been so angry, many times, feeling more - but no response, no question from HIM. Harry frowned, it had to be, he was suddenly sure, the mixture. Not elation, not anger, not confusion and exhaustion, but all of them wrapped together.

Harry was done being angry for a while. He'd had enough of it. He was just going to smile, and everything would be alright.

He'd barely got the thought into his head, before Snape tried to knock it out with a Stupefy. Harry rolled to avoid it, his robes flapping around him. Harry sighed, and shot back a nonverbal stinging hex. His mind inserted Is that the best you've got, Potter Though of course, Snape, under his invisibility spell, wouldn't say a word. Harry felt one of his legs lock, and he flexed his hand, releasing the hold.

Snape faded back, and Harry slowed, not daring to stop, just wanting to - He shot a green curse, and Snape went down.

Lesson passed.

Except, that Harry still had half the castle to run around. And Snape wasn't going to let him rest on his laurels.

As if to prove Potter wrong, Harry went down, again and again, before he made it back to the castle.

Ron looked at him like he had had sex with an Ent, "Mate, what happened to you?"

Harry shrugged, said, "Couldn't sleep. Went running."

Seamus looked up and said, "Running into the muddy ruddy lake?"

Dean said, "More likely running from the Farmer!" Harry didn't laugh at that last one, not appreciating the idea that he'd be rutting that early in the morning.

By the time Harry'd made it down to breakfast, they'd stopped ribbing him on how filthy he'd been. Harry ate slowly, letting his mind drift onto other matters. Like Snape and his mum. Lily. What had that been like? The way Harry saw Snape - well, in six years of knowing him, he hadn't seen the bastard smile. Not Once. Even Dumbledore smiled, could let down whatever he was working on. Not Snape - Snape the workaholic. Harry wondered if Snape'd been like that with his mum. Maybe she'd badger him, like Ron did Hermione, until Snape gave up and got out of the library.

That was a surprisingly peaceful picture. Harry knew real life wasn't that way.

Had they hidden their friendship? Was it something that led to soft laughter by the Black Lake? Had they flung it in the faces of the racist bastards and the intolerant arses? Harry'd known, for some time, that his mum and father weren't friends, to start. Was that way? Had James' hatred for Snape turned Lily against him? Harry wouldn't be surprised if it had.

"Earth to Harry," Hermione said, and not for the first time. Harry just gave her a quizzical look, noting, over her shoulder, Malfoy's brow creasing at the words.

[a/n: Spacetravel lingo is not pureblood lingo. And I had to do it sometime, give Harry some time to think about Lily and Snape. Leave a review?

Second post of the day.]