Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 326

Harry had always been the type to pick at wounds. He figured everyone knew that about him. He was curious what was underneath things, always had been (even if it had taken Hogwarts to explain Aunt Petunia).

Harry was going to turn over a new leaf.

Today.

He was not going to twist, and turn, and harangue himself about Snape's... anger. hurt, rejection. Whatever you wanted to call it.

Instead, he was going to make Plans!

Because, as Malfoy had so kindly pointed out, there was a hunt upcoming.

Harry intended to be ready. Who to grab, who to work with. He knew the usual suspects, so his mind lingered longest on Pansy Parkinson, that beautiful knife of a gilrl, well practiced in using the feminine arts as a distraction.

Harry nodded slowly. Malfoy was the only Slytherin in Snape's "extra credit" project.

Now, Harry just needed a good way to talk with Pansy. She wasn't in any of his classes except Herbology, and that would mean waiting till Tuesday to talk with her. That was just unacceptable.

He'd have asked Ron or Hermione, but he really, really didn't think she was in Ancient Runes or Arithmancy (or Muggle studies for that matter).

No, the best bet was to snatch her right after breakfast.

Which meant getting through breakfast. That had one major problem, and two minor ones.

First, he couldn't skip breakfast. Not that he would miss the food (though he would), but Ron had been giving him looks all morning long, and that just meant that if he slipped the leash, he'd have Ron to deal with. And probably Hermione too. If only Lavender could distract Ron enough to get him to not notice... Futile thoughts were best ignored.

Second, he had to deal with his friends, which was difficult, when he was this... off-kilter. He didn't want to snap at them, or convince them that he was crazier than he actually is. Luckily, Hermione brought a book to breakfast, so after Harry admitted (lied!) about feeling a bit off the last few days (pukey), he could easily steer her to a discussion of - Wizarding Law it was! Really, Harry had never conceived of something so boring, and with so many precedents. At least Hermione seemed happy. Ron wasn't required to pay attention, both because he hadn't started the lecture, and because Lavender was busy playing octopus with him (Yes, at the Breakfast Table). Harry envied Ron.

Third, Harry was dealing with those increasingly quicksilver glares from Snape - Harry never seemed to be able to catch Snape's eyes. That wasn't the problem part. The problem part was in distracting himself sufficiently that he didn't think about Snape.

[a/n: harry's coping mechanisms could use some work.]