Nobody ever asked my birthday

Filch

It took until ten minutes before class was over, before Snape's eyes flicked up from the book he'd been perusing (not reading. You'd have to turn a page to be reading for that long).*

"Potter," Snape said mildly, "That will be a dozen detentions with Filch for amusing yourself by torturing the rest of the class."

"Anyone who's dared cast a hex in this classroom today will have double the inches on your assignment." Snape's tone was still mild. "Potter, you'll have triple."

"Any miscreants currently in my classroom should flee for the hills at the earliest opportunity." Snape said, "Diligent students may take the last ten minutes to pry knowledge out of my brilliant mind." Harry began to stand up, taking his cue from Goyle, and Snape suddenly snapped, "Not you, Potter. Remain behind."

Oh, as if that wasn't ominous.

Ron and Hermione shot him sympathetic looks (even Sue Bones did, strangely enough).

Five minutes after class had ended. two minutes after the last Ravenclaw had left. Without looking up, Snape said simply, "Your detentions will be with Filch. He requires them to start at 6pm." Still looking down at his book, Snape's lips quirked up, as if he'd read a particularly funny continues.

That was during dinner! Harry'd have to leave early. It sent a queer pang through him, just the thought.

Harry nearly bit his lip through, trying not to bite back at Snape. That never helped, never ever, and Snape was mad at him now. No need to make things worse.

Dinner was full of people exclaiming about how unfair Snape was to be targetting Harry, again. Apparently nobody's noticed that Harry'd started it, which just made Harry feel weird agreeing about Snape being a bastard (which he was), and completely unfair (which he wasn't, in this particular, unexpected, case). Harry tried not to look uncomfortable, and tried to peek over at the Slytherin table. Maybe someone had seen? Maybe not? They were supposed to be working, and Goyle had been. Even Crabbe, who loved to loaf and not do work, particularly where people could see (Harry assumed, as he always did turn in the homework. Although it was perfectly plausible it was merely copied wholesale from Malfoy's. Harry wouldn't have thought that last year - it would have been a foreign concept, treating Slytherins as just another House.)

Time was, Harry had thought that the worst professor to have steamed at you, was Professor Snape.

That time was yesterday. This morning even.

Today, Harry was rapidly learning that the worst person to have angry with you was Filch, particularly when he was the one assigning detentions.

The privy, the loo, the Water Closet.

Whatever you wanted to call it, they stank when they backed up. And Hogwarts hadn't always had working plumbing.

Filch, even, laughingly had scathingly said, "Don't complain, boy. I've still got composting toilets from two hundred years ago for you to clean! So don't whinge."

So, it was good to know things could be worse. It was much less good to hear the description of maggots and other twisty crawly things wiggling their way through and on human feces.

Harry thought he might vomit just from the description alone.

And he was going to smell like shit for the rest of the day.

He felt a brief stab of pity for the caretaker, who had to do this, and he really didn't blame Filch for wanting Harry to do this.

Harry still grumbled, though, "You've just got it out for me, for ruining your floors, even though you didn't need to clean them afters."

Filch grinned, a craggy, yellowed thing, "Of course I'm angry, you fool boy." Harry rather liked that form of address more than simply "boy." He knew better than to tell Filch that though.

Instead, Harry schooled his face into innocence, and asked, "Shouldn't you be taking it out on Snape? It was his orders and his assignment!"

Filch smiled a smile that Harry'd never seen on the man's thin face before. It was sad and sympathetic. "Can't punish a man who's too busy punishing himself."

That did not sound like Snape. Snape had a dark and fey humor about him. He wasn't always sad, or angry. Yes, his humor was black as pitch, and had that subtle stickyness to it, but he was not truly dour and gloomy all the time.

*peruse sounds like the type of word Snape would have used. Repeatedly, in the classroom. Harry's not incapable of remembering words, just doesn't go out of his way to pick them up.

[a/n: Sorry for the toilet descriptions. I figured it was necessary, because Filch is just that type of morbid personality.

Reviews welcome!]