Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 35

[a/n: yes, still a fight scene. ;-P]

Snape stood haughtily, lips pressed tight - but Harry didn't give his teacher the moment to gloat. A crash of sound flew from his... quill. Snape blocked it with a shield, and as it rebounded, Harry did the same.

Neither of them missed the shrieks of everyone outside the room. Neither of them cared.

The battle slid into old, familiar terms. Attack, shield, defend, dodge. It wasn't that the battle ended quickly, so much as Harry Potter threw himself into it so fully that he wasn't thinking any longer. It was a dance that demanded full concentration, eyes on the entire room just as much as they rested on his opponent. In short, it was exhausting and enthralling.

Harry Potter heard Snape shout "Stupefy," and Harry dropped to the floor, already anticipating the red stunner. Instead, he found Snape's wand pointing at him, and felt the ropes curling around his body. What had just happened? Without struggling, Harry frantically replayed what he had seen and done. There! he thought, with a cry of defeated victory. Snape hadn't made the motions for Stupefy, after all...

Harry was abruptly jerked back to the present, with Snape's long wand poking him in the jugular. "Your next lesson," Snape said softly. Those normally hard eyes looked at Harry with an ineffable softness, as Snape growled, "Now yield."

Harry Potter remembered that they'd discussed this. "I Yield." He said quickly, in a loud voice so that all could hear. Snape nodded, undoing the ropes, and with a tug on Harry's shoulder heaved him to his feet. Snape's dark glance sought out everyone - piercing them with the force of his gaze.

Well, except for Dumbledore, who wordlessly waved the protections away with his wand. The smile on his face was most genial, and he clapped proudly. "Well done, my boys." He said, with enough warmth in his voice to hug an army. Harry paused, considering that he might have in fact done so, during the First War.

"You're using Avada Kedavra in practice duels, now, Death Eater?" Moody crowed, his mouth curling in a rapacious grin.

"Can't have the first instance be on the battlefield, now can we?" Snape shot back, his dark, imposing manner less like a bat and more like a dark mountain.

Ron and Hermione tumbled into the room, congratulations on the tip of their tongues... Before they could say a word, Molly Weasley let out a shriek, saying, "The furniture! The entire room! Gone!"

Harry Potter took a look around the room, his eyes wide. It did appear that their fight had turned most everything into kindling or matchsticks. Smothering a grin, Harry Potter drawled out, "I never liked the colors of the room anyway."

Ron looked at him sharply, and said, "Blimey! You sound just like Snape!"

Harry's eyes, though, weren't looking at Ron - they were entirely trained on Lupin, whose face had gone white, as he stumbled - caught very much offguard by Harry's comment. Lupin shot a quick glance at Ron, and then said, "Not Snape... Sirius."

"I rather think Snape matched the decor, anyway." Harry said, his eyes sparkling with the smile that didn't reach his lips. Snape let out a rather loud snort, and Harry carefully didn't look at him.

[a/n: Well, that's the fight scene, entirely done. I'm going to wrap up the day quickly, here, and then get started.

It should be apparent to everyone that Snape's a bit better at teaching when he can be arsed to actually try.

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