Nobody ever asked my birthday

More Potions

Harry had this niggling feeling through breakfast, but it was only at lunchtime that it resolved into an actual Thought. Snape wasn't looking at him. Harry... didn't really know what that meant. Oh, he understood anger, sure - and Snape was often angry, or at least had been pretending to be.

But, expressionless? Ignoring Harry? Harry was pretty sure even after the Shrieking Shack incident, Snape had been glaring at him from the High Table.

This was unnerving. Harry wanted to stomp right up in front of the entire Great Hall and tell Snape to stop it. (Harry valued his life, so he wouldn't actually be doing that.)

The rest of the day flew by quickly, as Harry looked forward to Defense Association, to which Harry managed to arrive... early.

That was less fortunate, as Malfoy was already there, using Pansy and Goyle and Nott to set up brewing stations.

Harry's nose wrinkled. Potions was his least favorite class.

Malfoy snapped at him, "Something the matter?" Harry had the distinct impression that it was Malfoy's favorite class, and not just because he was really good at it.

Harry decided on honesty, "I hate potions..." he groaned.

Malfoy smirked, "You'd rather die than drink one?"

Harry shook his head emphatically. "I hate making potions, you tony git!"

Malfoy said, "When was the last time you tried in Potions class?"

Harry says automatically, "I always try..."

Malfoy said, "Then why do you cut your elderflowers the same way in a Cheering potion as in a Pepper-up?"

Harry shook his head, "The book doesn't say to do it differently."

Malfoy said, "Granger gets it right."

Harry said, "Hermione also reads four times the books assigned."

Malfoy nodded, "That's known as trying in Snape's class. He likes self-sufficiency." Harry, remembering some of his summer training, thought mockingly, does he ever!

Hermione bustled in, Ron on her heels, "I really think we need to learn blind-fighting, and stat. You just know it's going to be on his next exam." Shite. How did Hermione always know?

Malfoy crossed his arms, "Well, then, it's a pity that it's my turn to teach, because we're doing potions."

Harry chimed in, "I'm still not sure why we need to learn potions for Defense..."

That was the wrong thing to say, as both Hermione and Malfoy rounded on Harry.

It took about five minutes to get a word in edgewise, they were so invested in proving that Potions were needed in Defense. Harry was taking detailed notes in his head for the first four minutes, until Hermione started repeating Draco's lines and vice versa. You never knew what Snape was going to put on an exam.

"Sounds like we should be doing potions, then," Harry said, and he swore he saw someone behind Malfoy and Hermione grinning. Maybe Ron? No - Goyle.

Neville, who'd come in sometime during the heated... discussion (for Draco and Hermione had been on the same side of the argument, and Harry hadn't said boo for five minutes...), said with a bit of a sigh, "I hate potions."

"Here, sort these," Malfoy said to Longbottom, passing him some truly bedraggled fluxweed.

Neville nodded and got to it, as Harry sat down beside him, "What are you doing, Neville?" Harry prompted.

[a/n: Reviews? Malfoy's been teaching potions to Goyle and Crabbe for years. He's a better teacher than Harry is. Well, if you like subtle, at least.]