Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 319

Harry got through most of the rest of the day's classes by simply Not Thinking. Whenever his mind would wander, he'd find a whorl on the desk in front of him. Even when they were doing Herbology and he really ought to have paid attention.

Dinner left Harry with a problem - not that people wanted to talk with him, but that he Definitely didn't want to go to DADA Club, or whatever Zach was calling it. Harry looked at Hermione, and twisted the truth a little, "I won't be there tonight," and then he made the order sign. Nearly unconsciously, he looked up at the Head Table, finding only McGonagall watching him curiously.

"Does Dumbledore have a job for you?" Hermione asked, leaning in. Ron copied her, though Lavender pouted across the table at her conversation being interrupted.

"No," Harry said, "Just working on something."

Hermione nodded, and fingered her 'not a wand.'

Deciding that the best lie was one that she already wanted to believe, Harry nodded. Harry supposed you could call venting "Order Business" - when your head is a direct conduit to Lord V himself.

"I'll cover for you," Ron said, and then turned back to Lavender as if the conversation hadn't existed.

After dinner, Harry headed up, not to the Astronomy tower, but to the north Tower. He'd figured out a decent spell for climbing walls, and he wanted to give it a try. A good sweat might help get his emotions out too. If the twins were still in school, he'd have considered swiping some Port or Sherry for them, just to have something to boast about. Alas... Harry really needed to read what they'd been writing him. He'd been too busy to even read them, and they always brought a smile to his face.

Harry wasn't feeling like smiling right now. Instead, he cast a sure-stick spell on his hands. He'd practiced earlier, and was pretty sure this wasn't a PermaStick charm. That had been embarrassing, because both his hands had been stuck, and it had taken him a while to discipline his mind to cast the right counter.

It was sweat and pain, climbing the chinks in the tower, two stories up, to throw himself on top of the tower. Harry stayed prone for five minutes, regaining his breath and his mental balance.

Then he stood up, his head in the crisp November breeze, looking out past all of Hogwarts as he turned around.

For a few moments, he was spellbound by the grandeur.

Then he cast a simple reflection spell, designed for sound. he cast it as a parabola, starting from his feet.

Like a wolf, Harry opened his mouth skyward, and screamed a barbaric yawp towards the unblinking, unforgiving stars. He screamed until his throat hurt, and went beyond, pushing his breath and his breathing until he nearly fell unconscious.

Wavering, with black spots dotting his vision, Harry thought furiously to himself, I didn't even say ANYTHING!?

He was incensed at himself for the obvious. He hadn't apologized, he hadn't justified, he hadn't even tried to mitigate or assuage Snape's anger.

Harry nodded slightly, That probably has something to do with the anger being justified.

In the empty dark reaches of his newly-purged soul, Harry realized that he'd never been so upset with Something Snape'd Done. And Snape had done loads of completely indefensible acts. But no, it was the justified one that hurt.

He'd been warned. Harry thought, feelings threatening to encircle his mind again. Biting his cheeks till they bled, he began to punch the flagstone beneath his feet.

Harry didn't want to feel anything but pain. Pure and physical.

[a/n: If Harry was thinking... but he's not, of course.

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