Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 30

Harry Potter remembered lessons he'd never been taught, standing up straight as he eyed the Order members entering the room. He found himself wondering, as the Twins had undoubtedly done ages ago, exactly how he'd take on each of them. Whether he'd win - and whether it would be worth the cost. The lot of them had gathered in the parlour (which strangely had a large desk in the back, as if they didn't have a full study or smoking room. Well, it was the Blacks. Maybe it was for dignity and hauteur), leaving a ten pace space in the center of the room - it crowded with furniture. "Alright, you lot." Harry spoke up crisply, catching the sidealong look from Ron of all people - seemingly not understanding what he was saying. "Anyone who doesn't want to get hurt leaves the room. Anyone who can't protect themselves, leaves the room."

Molly herded Ginny out of the room, and Hermione tugged Ron out. Harry breathed a sigh of relief as most people followed. The twins, apparently, had decided that they were going to stick themselves to the top of the room. "Won't work, you two. Out!" Harry snapped, his voice in a well-practiced parade rest. Making faces at him - and then saluting - the Twins left with as much grace as could be mustered while you were colored all the colors of the rainbow.

Dumbledore was still in the room, and Moody. They were both in corners, and Harry glanced a question at Snape, who nodded firmly. "No spells that leave the room, as best as can be managed. Hermione-" Harry called, "Set a shield, strong as you can make it. Have Ron spell you if needed."

"Yes, sir." Hermione responded, the term not of mockery but of ... pure instinct. Hermione always liked figures of authority, after all - and she recognized just who Harry was copying.

Harry Potter approached the center of the room, as Snape, who had been lounging in a corner - trying his best to look laxadaisical, though Harry had noted his deliberate tensing and releasing of muscles in his arms - approached at his normal stride.

They bowed to each other, eyes tracking the other as their heads lowered. Snape hissed a spell, "Stupefy." Dodging the red spell was child's play, as Harry Potter instinctively dropped into a sideways roll. His wand was already waving, sending a crash of water out at Snape - the flood broad enough to sweep anyone off their feet.

Snape, naturally, wasn't there. He was on the roof, clinging to transfigured handholds. Outside, Harry was dimly aware of people muttering at Snape's "treachery" - hadn't they even listened to the rules? The bow was part of the dance, not something to be done before it. Harry had only briefly touched the forms of a formal duel - and he had specifically said they didn't apply.

Snape sent out a wicked looking slicing hex, and Harry responded by shielding himself, that Protego that they had practiced so often in the DA. He dimly heard Ron's cheering, and Neville's hoot.

Snape sneered at him, thrusting out a dark hex that Harry had only seen him use one time before. Off the floor-immediately, he thought to himself, sparing the thought to transfigure his robes into a spiderman costume.

"Peter, peter, pumpkin eater." Snape snarled, his voice cold. The next hex he sent flew at Harry directly, as Harry concentrated on a finite incantem. He had to time it just so... and get the distance, and volume right. As he dropped to the floor, Harry spat, "Finite Incantem" - and it almost, almost worked. There was only a thin black streak of tar tying his legs to the ground. Without looking, Harry heard Snape approaching, his cruel laughter echoing around the room. Outside, there was only silence.

Fools. Did they think he'd be defeated so easily?

[a/n: Harry has been practicing. Other people aren't so used to his tenacity... or grit. Even those that have seen them before.

Write a review, lovelies! How do I do with the fight scene?

Snape also isn't watching himself as closely as he could be. that Muggle rhyme isn't something he'd normally reference. Heat of battle, and all that. Besides, insults are one of the tools of a Slytherin's trade.]