Most people realize that time's slipping through their hands.
Harry had woken up that day with the depressing realization that while he'd been scrambling to find a solution to Snape's... condition, the hourglass had broken, sending all the timesand spilling on his feet.
He couldn't do this, he wasn't going to make it.
Harry forced himself to understand that.
To stop trying to sprint.
As a child, Harry had learned all about sprinting - it was practically the only exercise he got - sprinting away from Dudley and his gang. But Harry'd learned more, since then - he knew how to breathe while loping, how to pound the dirt until it almost seemed he was floating away* and then to keep running past that, until he vomited on the ground - and then to run some more, just to show he could.
Snape believed in knowing your limits. But that came with the idea of testing them, of pushing yourself past when your muscles cried out, of just keeping going, with a sort of blind determination (or maybe that was Just Harry, or a result of this being an assignment. Harry was not that masochistic without provocation).
Blindly, Harry put on his running clothes, and headed outside. He was going to run until he'd cleared his mind, until all the frustration had given way to bone-deep tiredness. And then he was going to take one more step.
It wasn't going to work this month, Harry hadn't the time.
It was going to work. Harry'd see to it.
This was the day that Harry discovered that lectures were a lot more interesting when you were bone-weary. He even scrawled some notes in Transfiguration! Were this last year, he might even have felt half-way proud about himself.
Told Sirius, maybe. Been scolded about not being too studious (and that would be how Harry would know he was doing well).
His hand shook, holding his spoon. It was almost a relief when Hermione spoke up - a splashy distraction for him. "Why didn't you tell me?" Hermione asked quietly.
Harry studied her for a moment. She didn't look that angry - she looked like she was perfectly calm. Harry didn't trust it. On the other hand, he was pants at lying, so he said, "I, actually, I forgot." Harry stammered it out, but because it was truth, that was fine.
Hermione looked at him, and said sternly, "I wish you wouldn't do things like that."
Harry nodded, "It just slipped my mind. You know I wouldn't do anything like that to you, Hermione, not on purpose. I've been kept in the dark so much." Often literally, "That I'd never do it to you."
Across the room, silvery eyes watched Potter and his Club with a keen vigilance.
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Second post of the day.]